It is amazing to think of how technology is helping buyers make better decisions and also helps sellers to analyze data to also make better decisions. The idea of using facial imaging to learn what a buyer is really thinking is quite “out there” still for many of us.
Imagine you are invited to a virtual meeting – a webinar, and on that webinar you are shown some features about a new service – perhaps a service you are looking to use in your business to improve customer loyalty.
The presentation ends and often the seller creates an awkward ending such as – “So what do you think?” or “Can you see this working at your company” or a poor transition to try to close you.
This time, however, your presenter shares the results of the data from their facial recognition software to let you know that they understand you have some concerns. They go on to say that when they discussed a specific element of their offering you seemed dis-engaged. They address one aspect of your concern – a real concern you had, and they talk through more detail which allows you to better understand their decision. You choose their solution.
How do you feel about brands performing facial recognition to understand real-time sentiment data as they give you an exit interview from their store? You are on video answering questions, thinking that your verbal answer is what they are looking for – but they also are analyzing your facial moves to determine how you REALLY feel.
It is interesting and cutting edge. One company to pioneer this in business (as well as in healthcare) is nViso, a Swiss startup working to understand human emotions. They use IBM® Watson™Foundations solutions for their sophisticated analytics.
In healthcare there are compelling use cases, such as detecting levels of pain in patients with dementia where they may say one thing but really feel another, or forget how much pain they felt earlier.
In the commercial world, just think of the possibilities where it can be so difficult to get honest real-time feedback. One of my early sales managers taught me, and I never forgot, that “buyers are liars”. What if you could know for sure, one way or the other?
You could screen job candidates much differently. As people embellish their resume, you can cut to the chase as an in-demand employer to find those whose facial signals match up with their interview answers, and those who don’t get ruled out. Perhaps this will help companies have more success in hiring and it will help eager candidates to get positions at companies they match up better with.
The possibilities are exciting – and of course there will be concern around privacy. What if I don’t want you as the seller to learn how I REALLY feel? What if I am price shopping and give you a false objection? If you come back to me and show me my actual data through my own facial expressions, then what?
Turn the tables and arm the buyers – then what? No hidden agendas – only honest communication?
For B2B business there are interesting developments ahead with this technology.
This post was brought to you by IBM for MSPs and opinions are my own. To read more on this topic, visit IBM’s PivotPoint. Dedicated to providing valuable insight from industry thought leaders, PivotPoint offers expertise to help you develop, differentiate and scale your business.
Lori Richardson is recognized on Forbes as one of the "Top 30 Social Sales Influencers" worldwide and is a Top 25 Innovative Sales Blogger. Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside sales teams in mid-sized companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog for sales strategies, tactics, and tips.
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