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The SONCASE method: identify your personas’ purchase incentives to develop your sales pitches

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SONCASE method

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Published on
5/23/2022
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Jean-Denis Larradet developed the SONCAS method in 1993. This selling technique aims to identify the needs of leads, and to adapt the sales pitch in line with their main purchase incentives. The method's initials make up the acronym SONCASE: Sécurité (Security), Orgueil (Self-esteem), Nouveauté (Novelty), Confort (Convenience), Argent (Price), Sympathie (Affinity). Écologie (Ecology) was added in recent years. Applied to marketing, the SONCASE method is very useful to design your buyer personas, the fictional characters that represent a target customer typology.

Identifying your personas’ purchase incentives using the SONCASE method

The SONCASE method is a well-proven selling technique used to identify a lead or customer profile, based on their expectations, needs and purchase incentives. Its purpose? Using this profile and its features as a point of reference, to then tailor the offer and develop a catchy and fully customized sales pitch.

This strategic tool includes seven levers whose initials make up the mnemonic SONCASE: Security (Sécurité), Self-esteem (Orgueil), Novelty (Nouveauté), Convenience (Confort), Price (Argent), Affinity (Sympathie), and Ecology (Écologie). These seven factors are likely to influence your lead or customer’s needs and purchase incentives.

The method supports the creation of buyer personas, fictional characters who represent a target customer typology. Use the feedback based on field experience to gain better knowledge of the person you’re dealing with. Work with your teams, who are in direct contact with the customers, and therefore likely to have a substantial amount of useful information (sales force, customer service, as well as the marketing and finance teams) available. Trust is gained through communication. In a business meeting, for example, listen to your lead or customer carefully, ask open-ended questions, and show that you care and know how to tend to their needs.

Identifying your personas in as much detail as possible, as a team, will help you consolidate and fine-tune your sales pitch based on your target’s identified needs. These fictional characters will give you a solid foundation to work on your sales pitch.

Improvising during a sales interview should be avoided. The person you’re talking to might rapidly lose interest or go to a competitor if they find your pitch too standardized or general, and feel that you haven’t pinpointed their needs.

A team of two using the SONCASE method on desktop
With the SONCASE method, you can efficiently work as a team to develop your sales pitch

The selling technique to create a sales pitch tailored to your personas’ needs

A well crafted sales pitch can lead to a sale. But there’s still a long way to go! Throughout the negotiation, you must convince the lead or customer that your offer is the best option for their needs.

Based on your interactions with your lead or customer, your qualitative and quantitative studies, and feedback from the field, centralize as much information as possible about the persona profile, and in particular their purchase incentives, on the whiteboard. Bear in mind that any prospective customer will have different perceptions of the following factors:

  • Security (Sécurité): the customer needs to be reassured 
  • Self-esteem (Orgueil): the customer is self-centered and needs to feel special
  • Novelty (Nouveauté): the customer needs change and innovation
  • Convenience (Confort): the customers care about their well-being and are in search of practicality
  • Price (Argent): the customer is concerned about saving money, and needs profitability
  • Affinity (Sympathie): the customer values social relations
  • Ecology (Écologie): the customer is environmentally conscious

Analyzing these elements will help you to develop a comprehensive sales pitch, using the right vocabulary. For example, a lead having a security-oriented profile will be on the lookout for words related to protection, reliability and support. To capture their attention, present them with reviews from customers they can relate to, provided they share a similar profile.

The SONCASE method has many advantages: you can target your leads more efficiently with the various profile types and have more impactful pitches. In marketing, personas help to understand the mind of leads and customers.

Another advantage is that it saves time: if two customer profiles are similar, use the sales pitch stored on Board, adapting it to your new target. This will give you a direct overview of all your personas.

With the SONCASE method, guess the objections that could be raised by your leads and increase your credibility.

A team working remotely on the SONCASE template with videoconference

Developing a sales pitch more efficiently with Board, using visual management

Before you start a workshop using the SONCASE method, invite your team to join the Board. Use it as a whiteboard to keep all the information necessary to boost your sales performance in the same place. It can be completed at any time, both in synchronous and asynchronous mode.

Determine your persona profile

Identify your persona’s purchase incentives from the 7 listed above, and specify their needs. Use the color code in the key to keep your whiteboard well-organized. Enter the persona’s name in the dedicated field.

Before moving on to the next stage of the workshop, ask your team to sort the persona’s purchase incentives based on their level of priority:

  • In synchronous mode: use the “like” feature
  • In asynchronous mode: use a poll Question in priority

Make sure that your personas’ purchase incentives are not contradictory.

Guess what objections might be raised

Before the business negotiation, prepare for any objections that the persona might raise against your offer. Invite your sales team to an ideation session, or ask them a Question. Objections must be posted in red, in keeping with the color code.

Develop your sales pitch

To convince your customer or lead that your offer is exactly what they need, your pitch must be tailored to their situation and needs. List your selling points using the key and display your work using the list or column view mode. You’re all set for your business negotiation!

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