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How to Sell the Way Your Customer Buys

Lesson 18 of 23

The Five Commitments

Shari Levitin

How to Sell the Way Your Customer Buys

Shari Levitin

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Lesson Info

18. The Five Commitments

Lesson Info

The Five Commitments

We have been talking about the magic formula for how to get customers to buy. And yesterday we talked about how to get to yes. We talked about the call method. Today we're talking about what happens when the customer says no, how to move through resistance and resistance does take persistence. So what is the formula that a customer goes through? What does a customer go through when they're making a buying decision, as I said yesterday, we spent an awful lot of time thinking about the selling process but not nearly enough time diving into the buying process. And we talked about the fact that buying decisions are made because of emotional state plus five commitments. So our customer has to be in their mid brain, in the right emotional state and how do we change that emotional state, well, we use the five senses. We collaborate and we have the connection that we need to have, we left off talking about the five commitments that customers need to make today regardless of what you're selling...

, whether you're an entrepreneur, whether you're an artist, whether you're a business owner, whether you have sales person or sales leader on your business card, whenever we are talking to a perspective prospect or an existing customer, we need to convince them of five things. Why listen, why change, why our industry solution, why us and our company and of course the big one, why now? So let's talk about why listen, talk about breaking through the noise, how do we do that? How do we stand out and we meet people in a variety of ways. We might meet somebody at a networking event. We might meet somebody because of a referral. They might opt into us, they might come into our show room. We may be in an airplane, we may be in a golf course. We may be in a supermarket, when you're in sales, we're always networking all the time. And again, this is why I love sales. We're making new friends, we're networking and invariably the question comes up what do you do? Do we have an answer so I'm just gonna go really quickly down the line here and I wanna know when you're out and about, you're somewhere because again, the whole world is available to us to prospect to, to talk to, we never know who we're next to. And how do we stand out, how do we get somebody to listen to us, with an attention span of eight seconds, how do I evoke curiosity, how do I make 'em go huh? So I just wanna know, go ahead and pick up that microphone if you will and let's go right down the line of the first row, I'm gonna meet you somewhere and I'm going to say Karen, great to meet you, what do you do? I'm the people whisperer for business. I help companies transform their profitability and productivity through the selection of correct people. Awesome, Lisa and don't change it from what you had before. I'm a sales leader. Okay great. Katie. I promote or get positive press for people and companies that I relate to. Awesome, Suzanne. We help people clean up large online messes. (laughing) We fix marketing data. Great, alright. Let's give 'em a hand, thank you so much you guys. Appreciate that, so I wanna talk about the possible responses for what do you do, now of course, this can always be a little obnoxious of a question, right, particularly when you're at a party and people are sizing you up a little bit. What do you do, what neighborhood do you live in? Right, they're trying to decide if we're worth their time. Well they're trying to decide if they should talk to us and what it should be so we have to have, they call it an elevator pitch, I'm from Park City. I call it a chair lift pitch is I would like it to last a little bit longer than an elevator ride and of course if you're in Bruce Renfro's elevator, people are doing other things. They're not talking about what they do. And so with that, I find that I see three typical responses and I wanna tell you what those responses are and what it should be because our why listen the critical first step, as I said before. There's only two ways to increase our sales. More training or more customers, I don't know of any other way, you're here in training right now so after you leave, we're gonna have to leave how do I have more productive sales conversations and you've gotta go out there and get out of your comfort zone. We've talked about this, you've gotta face the fear and figure out how to have more of these conversations so number one and fortunately I didn't hear this here. But you've all talked to someone, you're at a party. You're at an airplane, what do you do and the person gives you this inflated one up man response. I'm the senior such and such, I founded five companies. I've gotten seed money and it's this very inflated and usually a lot of jargon that normal people don't even understand, correct? So you see a lot of this and of course, that breaks connection, we talked about the need to connect, the need to have a sales process and as soon as we are too competent, what happens, we lose trust. So you wanna watch that you're not playing that one up man when somebody asks you what you do. Here's what I hear more often and I call it commodity Connie and what Commodity Connie says is and don't feel bad if you do this, 94% of the population does, what do you do? I'm a sales manager, I'm a VP of sales. I'm a President, I'm a trainer, I'm a blogger, I'm a photographer, so now what happens in the mind of the consumer, they're thinking oh yeah, I know one of those, yeah, my brother does that. I used to do that and if you've ever had anybody say that when they say what do you do and they say oh yeah yeah yeah, I know somebody who and they automatically form an opinion about what you do because it's a commodity. Because a million people have that title. But you are not your title, you do something very specific and in that response, if you don't differentiate what that is, we are not going to peak the interest span of the customer and when you don't peak interest span, you don't have attention span so commodity Connie basically tells you what she does. There's nothing wrong with it. There's just nothing right with it. The next type is a winding river. Lee Eysler talked a little bit about that. So you've all asked people what they do and you're like oh my god, why'd I put a quarter in it, my god. Like when are they gonna stop, can I eject? And this goes on for seven minutes and they're going on and on and on about the benefits, what they do and again, if you bore them or confuse them, you lose them. So how do we tighten up this why listen and how do we come up with a statement that is going to intrigue people to wanna talk to you and there's two things I want you to look at, number one and this very very hard particularly for new entrepreneurs. And you have to think about who is your target market, who do I serve, there is a tendency for us not to want to miss out on a market and believe me, I did this when I started my company, what do you do? Oh, I'm a sales trainer, a leadership trainer, growth expert, like give me this laundry list of 25 things that I do, could I do 'em all, yeah. Was I better at some than others, you bet. But the problem is it wasn't specific enough. So again, the tendency is we wanna do this catch all and I can tell you the broader your market, the less the interest, people want people that specialize in something. And if I'm a sales trainer that does everything for everybody, I'm going to end up doing nothing for anybody. My family were in Kawaii a few months ago, one of my favorite places in the world. And if you've been there in the middle near Kappa, there's a whole group of taco trucks and food trucks and it's truly the best food on the island. And I used to love going to this Ahi Taco place. They had the best Ahi Tacos. You can see I like tacos, burritos, seeing a theme here. They had the best Ahi Tacos with guacamole and cheese. They were just perfect and the next day after we had gone there three or four times in a row, we saw another woman and I thought oh, she's got tacos too. Let's try this, well it took about 25, 30 minutes to get everything and then I noticed, she not only was selling tacos, she was selling hog ties, she was selling pizza, she was selling hamburgers. She had this long list of services that she was providing because she didn't wanna miss any of her market. We had terrible service, the food wasn't that good. We never went again and next time we went, it was out of business, you don't want that to happen to you. Don't try to be all things to all people. So when you answer that question, you wanna look at who do you do it for, one of the things I recommend that sales people do when they meet somebody is change the pronoun. And I think some of you did that. So instead of saying I am a sales manager. Companies hire me who, CEOs hire us who, couples hire us who want to have a photograph that, families hire us, who is it for, because all of the sudden now you're speaking to them and that who should be the people that you want to do business with so start thinking in terms of who is it, narrow your market. And think who can I really get? Because when we do it that way, we're speaking directly to that person, the second thing that you wanna consider, not only who is that target market but then you wanna look at what is the tangible result that you bring and it should be tangible. Yesterday we talked about asking questions as part of the call method and if you recall, we said you need to ask skin, bone and heart questions. So bone questions reveal a problem, why? Nobody buys anything unless you solve a problem or give them an emotional benefit. It's going to be one of the two. So you're either going to help me serve a pressing problem or you're going to make me feel good. You're going to sell to my wanting of adventure, my need for significance, my need to spend more time with my family but a dominant buying motive is either a hope for gain or fear of loss. So since people are motivated by solving problems or fulfilling their emotional needs, can you, in a sentence or two, give them that? So we work with people who and then what problem do you solve so I want you to think in terms of that. Those are the two things that we need to do when we answer that question, why listen and for those of you who are watching from home, I've got five cards that you can fill out because we're gonna be going through the five commitments, why listen. And I say here, don't blame attention span. Increase interest span so if somebody asks me what I do instead of saying I'm a sales trainer because those are a dime a dozen, right, I'm going to say CEOs and Vps hire us if they want to scale and sustain their training programs. And we increase profitability by 24%. Whoa, I wanna talk to you about that, right? All of the sudden it's something that's tangible. It's proven and then fortunately I can back it up. You've gotta be able to back it up. If you use metrics, you better be able to back them. The more tangible it is, the more people are going to be interested so think in terms of why listen. That's what we wanna do in order to capture the attention of our customers, number two, once we've got their attention, here's the biggie, why change? We talked about the brain and we talked about how we're hard wired, we talked about when we're in reptilian mode, we're in fight or flight. Our brains are wired to be safe, not to change. Most people when they come into a place, they sit in the same seats every time. You've seen that happen, you go into a classroom, they're on the second day or the third day and they sit in exactly the same seat. We go into the same bathroom stalls. We're creatures of habit, have you noticed that, absolutely. People don't like to change, no matter what you're selling, you're selling change, you're asking somebody to go from point a to point b so in order to do that, to move them off the status quo, the only way that they're going to do it is if there's a problem that hurts enough that they need to solve it now. What problem are you solving and what are the implications of that problem? So you wanna, yesterday we talked about uncovering customer's problems and sometimes they don't even know that they have a problem, this is a great place to use a story. We talked about stories because you don't wanna just look at them and say wow, you got a real problem if you don't hire me as your photographer. You've got a real problem is Johnny doesn't come to our school, you wanna say you know what, you remind me of and you might tell a story to illuminate the problem. And that problem has to be painful or they're not gonna move off the status quo, the more it hurts, the more they're willing to move, okay. Number three, why your industry solution? What you wanna look at there and I said this before is what makes your solution better than any other solution but a lot of people today, particularly companies, they just wanna do it themselves. So what I need you to do is expand your thinking about what competition is because people will look at you and say oh, I can just do that myself. Why do I need a realtor, I'm just gonna do it myself. I'm gonna, I don't need you, people wanna be self sufficient, particularly today so you wanna start thinking about what is it that makes your industry solution different, why you and your company? Well what makes us different than anybody else is trust. So how high is that trust, that's all we've got at the very beginning, talked a little bit about trust yesterday, what's trust made of, five things. Empathy, reliability, competency, integrity and authenticity, here's something very interesting about trust, a lot of people think that to earn trust, I have to do something, trust actually begins with you trusting them first. There's a tendency for us to meet a client to be engaged with a client and to get into our own reptilian frame and think about what could go wrong, think about why they don't qualify because what we're trying to do is we're trying to preserve our own ego. So again, what we do is we think oh, you know what, they're probably not gonna go through with it anyway. I'm not gonna give 'em the whole presentation. I'm gonna shortcut it and really what's happening is it's self preservation mode is what we're doing. There's a very interesting story, does anybody know the band Radiohead, the band Radiohead was very popular several years and in a time where everybody was stealing music off the internet, a lot of the record companies were freaking out thinking oh my god, we can't protect our intellectual property, what are we gonna do? Well Radiohead took a totally different tack. Instead of thinking oh, I'm gonna try to hold onto it. I don't trust the public, they put their new CD called In Rainbows online and said to their fan base, if you like this, pay here whatever you think it's worth. They made more money off In Rainbows than any other CD before it, leaders begin with trust. Leaders risk, if you start with trust, people will trust you in return and somebody has to start. There's so many people that start and they wanna qualify their clients and they start asking questions about the money, in some instances, it's appropriate. But I'll tell you in most, it's not. If they like you and like your product enough and need your product, you need to increase the value and that's when they'll buy it but that begins with you trusting them. That begins with you looking for what's right and not for what's missing, when I had one of my first sales jobs years ago, we were in a sales situation where people were buying on the same day and I remember a lot of the sales people, if the customer tried to leave and go to lunch and talk about it, they'd say well, we need a deposit if I'm gonna hold this deal for ya. And I thought how, if you don't trust somebody, what are you saying to 'em, it's like you go into these clothing stores and they say you're only allowed three items, I walk out of those, I'm like you don't trust me, it makes me feel bad, right? So what I used to do was I decided to do something very different and I would say to customers, you're right, you need to think about it. So instead of asking them for their credit card, I literally gave 'em mine. I said go ahead and talk about it. Here's my credit card, buy your family lunch and I'll see you at two o'clock. I can assure you of one thing, if they took that credit card, they came back and they bought. If they weren't going to buy anything, they didn't take the card. A lot of people thought oh my god but what if they took your, never happened and I'm not suggesting that everybody here gives everybody their credit cards. That's now what I'm suggesting at all. But what I am saying is that trust that people have good intentions, trust that they're going to, if they say, we need to get back to you that they are but as we go through, I'm gonna show you how to tighten that process, when I ask for the credit card, look, nobody's gonna take the credit card if they know they're moving out of there and they were qualified prospects, they weren't coming out of nowhere. But it does begin with trust. And that's how you're going to differentiate yourself is through all of the ways you treat your customer, we talked about it yesterday, trust, empathy, the connection, the reliability, do you do what you say you're gonna do, do you send information when you say you're gonna send it, do you have the integrity, do you tell 'em what the product won't do so they'll believe what it will do, all of these attributes of trust are what are gonna differentiate you from everybody else out there and as your customers are going through these five commitments, understand trust can be lost in a moment. A lot of sales people think that this empathy, this trust thing is just something that starts at the beginning and I'm telling you, the littlest things can do the biggest damage and I see that you're smiling there, Felicia. You might, Felicia's a sales manager for a big home builder, do you wanna add a comment to that? What you're saying is true, once you have the sale, that doesn't mean that everything is gonna run smoothly and it's our job and duty to our clients to make sure that that trust never goes away by being honest, by doing what you're saying you're gonna do, even if it's having to tell them bad news like the home is delayed, we all hate doin' it but if you get on the phone and do it first thing in the morning, it's not as bad as if you do okay I'll do that later. I'll do that later, the more you push it off, the worse it's gonna be, not only for you but for your clients as well and so you're right, trust is a very big, very big deal throughout the whole process. Right and what you're talking about there, Felicia, and again we talked about the five tenants of trust, that's that integrity piece and mixed with the reliability piece and it used to be sales people thought well, if they like you, they'll buy from you, right? Just because I like you doesn't mean I'm gonna leave my kid with you, I need to know that you're reliable and what you're saying is once you've made a commitment and this will happen often. We make a commitment to a client whether it's a delivery date, whether it's certain product specifications, you're a photographer and you say yes, I'm gonna have it to you by a week from Tuesday and all the sudden you get delayed and I've noticed that a lot of people freeze when that happens, they think, oh god, I can't deliver what I said I could and they hide. So their fight or flight is they disappear. They go away, we had this happen with a landscaping firm. We liked the guy, he was awesome, we had rapport. We'd talk about kids, super guy and every time he said he was gonna be somewhere, he wasn't. And then he'd make another commitment and he broke it. You're allowed to make mistakes in delivery time. What you're not allowed to do is not call them and recommit and say you're sorry and not pass the buck. So it's just simply, people understand, right? So it simply sounds like I know we promised you you would have the home by such and such a date. I know we promised you that, I am so sorry. Tell 'em why but own it, totally our fault. I thought that I could get this, this and this together. I didn't, we won't have it till Tuesday. Is that okay with you, create a new agreement and then move on, everybody understands when you make a mistake. BMW is famous, there were a lot of stories about BMW years ago about how when somebody's car broke down, they actually increased their ratings because their service was so dark good, can you imagine that? When something goes wrong, the ratings go up. You can do that, it depends how you handle it. And all the way through, it's much easier to keep a customer than it is to get a new customer and I can tell you if you're not getting referrals and you don't have a customer success department, you're not thinking about my existing customers, how do I get back in touch with them, how do I make sure that they're happy. Somebody contacted me on email that was in class yesterday, Laura and he said I'm a photographer. And I think I do really good work. But I never hear from the customer afterwards and I try to get 'em to fill out a Yelp review and they won't do it, now this poor photographer, maybe you're watching right now, he's thinking, she's thinking, oh my goodness, did I do a good job? Did I not do a good job, now the real problem is when you get into your head and you're like oh god, I'm a failure, right and you start going reptile. And you think I'm no good, you beat yourself up. You get all these negative hormones coming in. And then we hide, right, we go into our reptilian brains because we feel bad and we're making up a whole story that may not exist, maybe they're just busy. Maybe it's not about you, maybe they're doing something else so what you wanna do again, we talked about sales process, plan into your sales process and tell them up front, here's what we're gonna do, we're gonna have a photography session, after that I'm gonna deliver on Tuesday, if you can't deliver on Tuesday then you say we're gonna deliver a week from Friday. And then I'm going to call you, schedule the call or I'm going to send you a form. Schedule that as part of your process. And if you give the expectation ahead of time, you're gonna triple your efforts to get that feedback that you desperately need, not to mention the fact, referral business so how we plan to keep in touch with people is going to be very critical, okay. Then we've got why now, now Suzanne and I were talking at the break and you said something really interesting Suzanne about your process and I thought maybe you could share it with the group as it relates to this why now. Sometimes whenever we're at the very end of our negotiations and our contracts and we think we're gonna get a close and a deal and it will stall out or seem like it takes forever, the why now process and this self reflecting as we're going through this course is maybe it needs to take a little bit longer so we can make the customer understand what that process of transitioning looks like for them. So you're answering the questions, maybe overcoming some fears and then just educating them, the after sell like what you were speaking to just now, what that successful relationship looks like with us. Beautiful comment so I love what you said when you have more of a complex sale, one of the things we're gonna be talking about in just a moment is the objections purchasing and one of people's biggest objections, again, this gets back to status quo is it takes too much effort, I like your product. I love that you're gonna clean up my data. It's wonderful but I've got five other priorities right now. I work for a company and there's too much going on. I'm gonna fall behind, I'm not gonna have any weekends to watch football, no way, I'm not doing that right now. And it always goes to that third level motivator at the end of the day, not having time and being panicked is going to affect you personally so too much effort is scary particularly with a software implementation or any product for that matter, it's a change, right. Gosh, I don't know, I'm gonna have a new relationship with a new PR person, I don't know. I'd love to move into a new home, not now. Let's put it off as long as possible. What you're talking about is a process where we're linking into a future state and they're going into their reptilian brain so what we have to do is I love this. Walk them through the steps of what's going to happen next when they adopt, when they buy, when they engage with you. They don't know, they don't know what it's gonna be like. Is it gonna take five hours a week? Is it gonna take 50 hours a week? What's going to happen once I engage your services? Once I use you as a copyrighter, what can I expect? So you wanna lay out what I hear you saying. Here's what's going to happen and that is part of your closing process, that's part of keeping that emotional state high and it's part of collaboration. I'm gonna say and you know what, you can have that all written out and I suggest that you do. You know what's really fun that I see a lot of tech companies do now is they do it in an infographic because again what's happening to the emotional state if it's like almost in a cartoon? What happens, here's what's going to happen and you see these big letters in blue and green and red. What happened to my emotional state right now that I've got this fun type, what happens? I would get much happier, more involved, more engaged. Yes, exactly, this is all about changing emotional state so for your process, think about what are the things that I can do to show 'em what working with me is like? What can they expect and again, I encourage you, rather than doing a Word Document, be creative. Use the five senses, should I send them a video, hey, here's what you can expect, do I do an infographic? There's all kinds of things you can do. I swear one guy that I know, he's in SDR. He literally does a song, have some fun guys. This is much too important to be taken so seriously. A famous Yoga teacher, John Friend, it's much too important to be taken so seriously. This is fun, your emotions are contagious. If we're yes, we're selling a serious product. Yes, it's important but what's the experience of engaging with you like, is it fun, do they look forward to it? And I'm not just talking about bringing chocolate? Are you adding value every step of the way? Do they look forward to talking to you? Are you making it easy, are you making it effortless for them and think of all the ways that you can do that 'cause there is a huge amount of fear about pulling the trigger and going through a new offering. So these are the five commitments and again what I want you to do is take these cards, if you're watching this at home, fill them out, write why should somebody listen to you as a resource here on Creative Life that you can download, why listen. Why should somebody listen, think about your chair lift speech, I want it to be a chair lift speech so it will last long enough, I want you to think about why should somebody change, what's the problem if they don't change and how much does that problem hurt and are you asking the right questions in the discovery, not only find the problem but the implications of that problem what'll happen if they don't clean up their data, this is Bad New Bears. It's not good, garbage in, garbage out. We're gonna have a problem. If you don't get this home now and there's no more of these and you've gotta go to x y z home builder, you're never gonna get to customize anything. You're gonna be right off the assembly line. I know who your competitor is, you don't wanna do that. They're not even a competitor so this becomes critical. And then why now and what you said helps with the why now. I will tell you this and we're gonna deal in the next section about how to get through that final objection. Again, I talked about the Buffalo tacos. We wanna be answering these questions all throughout our relationship and I wish they went in order but they don't. Nobody said generous, like I said, nobody comes in and says yup, I got four out of five, you gotta convince me of the fifth. This is what's going on subconsciously in the mind of the buyer, we talk about how to sell the way customers buy. So these are the questions that we wanna ask. Go ahead, fill these out again and try to think about what are your answers and keep perfecting these answers and then the why now becomes much easier if you've done the first four. If you get the back when you're at the cash register buying the tacos and you still go why change not answered, that's a big problem when you ask for the money. That's when they're gonna back petal. We need to get all four all the way through that process. You want 'em like, you want the taco meat in the cart and you want 'em to just check out and if the money works, they are so in, you don't wanna be going backwards anymore. And again, it is hard with multiple decision makers, isn't it, so that's why you need everybody in the room to the extent you can and you've gotta qualify that up front. And again, it's your sales process, when can I meet with?

Class Description

These days, it’s tougher than ever to make a sale. Customers are overwhelmed with too much information and suffering from decision fatigue, so they’re delaying purchases or sticking with the status quo just so they can avoid the dreaded sales process. In response, many sales professionals overcompensate, either by being too accommodating or putting on the pressure, which only alienates potential buyers even more.

In this challenging environment, salespeople must learn how to sell the way customers buy. They have to reconcile their need to make the sale with the customer's desire for a heartfelt, authentic sales approach.

Shari Levitin, best-selling author, entrepreneur, speaker and sales guru, will share her proven methods for increasing sales revenue without losing your heart. She’ll help you tap into your passion for your product or service and talk about it without coming off as cheesy or manipulative. You’ll discover how to get comfortable asking for what you want and start feeling good about selling again.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Create an authentic connection and build trust with anyone.
  • Craft a compelling sales presentation that makes your customer want to buy.
  • Uncover the seven key emotional motivators that drive all customer decisions.
  • Overcome the fear of “no” and turn customer excuses into reasons to buy.
  • Use constructive delusion to create wealth, better relationships and peace of mind.
  • Demonstrate actionable value.
  • Appeal to customer problems and buying motivations rather than lowering the price.


Karen Kennedy

Sheri had me at HELLO! Her content kept me engaged for the entire class. This class does not have nuggets of information, it has BOULDERS. Even an "old sales pro" like me found so many helpful hints and tips in Sheri's methodology. If you are a newbie to sales, search no more -- just take this course and you will have everything you need to be successful. Trust the process, follow the steps. It will work for you. I especially loved the subject matter guests who covered the topics of Digital Seling and Storytelling. Do not put off buying and viewing this class. Do it now! NOW! Sales are how people and companies get revenue. Get going on your pipeline of opportunities, connect with your Heart and SELL in a genuine way. Kudos to Sheri for this amazing class. I loved every minute.

Lisa Bournoutian

By sheer luck, I came across Shari's book, Heart and Sell, about a year ago and instantly recognized that her process was one that would align nicely with my B2C sales team. Having read her book, I knew I was in for a real treat coming to Creative Live and watching her deliver her content in person. Shari seamlessly weaved invaluable examples that creative artists, B2B and B2C entrepreneurs could all relate to, and in a way that was fun, engaging, and easy to understand. She has absolutely mastered the science of selling and the heart of connecting. If you haven't read the book, you're missing out, and if you've never seen Shari in action, it is an experience you'll never forget. This course is a perfect opportunity to not only dive right in and learn how to sell the way your customer buys, but to make the right CALL (Connect, Ask, Listen & Link) in your personal sales journey and watch your business grow.

a Creativelive Student

If you are an executive, business professional, or a salesperson who wants to improve your communications, negotiation, and sales skills --- acquire Shari Levitin’s course. Shari will show you how to better connect with customers, prospects, team members, and people from an authentic perspective. Shari Levitin’s class is filled with excellent frameworks, content, actionable exercises, insights, and knowledge that will help anyone to be better a salesperson in your professional and personal lives. I loved how Shari included other experts, such as Mario Martinez (digital sales evangelist), Lee Eisler (store telling framework and presentation skills), and Deb Calvert (how to stop selling and start leading to make extraordinary sales happen with results from her B2B research study).