The art of persuasion has techniques but can also be a science. Key traits directly impact revenue.
Can being persuasive impact your bottom line? Absolutely. But techniques have to be genuine. Steve Benson unpacks how the key traits of persuasion can be applied to influence decision makers and increase sales.
Applying Cialdini’s Persuasion Tactics to Sales
Have you ever wondered if there was a way to easily reduce the number of rejections you get every day? Is there really a way you can increase your close rate? Well, you’re not the only one with these questions. Persuasion tactics are useful, especially if you haven’t had a lot of luck with your sales deals. It’s a skill that is extremely important in sales strategy which involves connecting with core human needs. Every salesperson is familiar with rejection. And even if you’re doing really well with your sales quota, it never hurts to get better.
The power of persuasion has been proven time and again to be a useful skill in our sales toolkit. But it’s important to be careful and ethical in our ways when. Use the power of persuasion to benefit both of you, not just yourself.
Cialdini, an expert in the science of persuasion, talks about six major influencers that we can translate into our sales selling strategy.
Selling is a give and take relationship. One of the first things to keep in mind is that every buyer wants a personalized product. Catering to the buyer’s needs on a more personal level makes them feel like they’re receiving special treatment. Foster this by offering “special deals” like discounts to strengthen the relationship and improve your chances of getting their business.
We’re all programmed to want something more when there’s less of it. This is especially true in sales.. Have you ever found yourself buying something on Amazon just because it said the offer was only valid for a couple of hours? Well that’s your brain craving something that’s limited in availability. Want more proof? Tell any kid he can’t have something. He/she is only going to want it more. Pointing out the benefits and the uniqueness of your product is important, but introducing time and scarcity to the equation will convince buyers to buy now.
Take for example the Concorde that flew twice a day from London to New York. Sales were going down and so the business made the decision to only have the Concorde fly once a day. What happened? Their sales increased significantly.
If you have a unique qualification, use it to leverage your buyer’s trust. A good example of authority is portrayed by a study done in a physiotherapist’s clinic. When the therapist displayed his diploma on the wall, he saw an increase in the number of patients that complied with his recommended exercise programs.
If you’ve successfully employed the above tactics, you’re probably looking at a strong lead at this point. If they’re still on the edge about deciding, ask them for a smaller commitment – one they wouldn’t regret too much if the deal didn’t work out. Remember, you’re aiming to grow a relationship over time so it’s okay to start out with slightly less. Just keep in mind that the you have to be consistent with what you ask of them. If you’re selling a box of chocolates, offer something that’s smaller in quantity and more affordable. Once they’ve tasted it, chances are that they’d be interested in trying it again. And this time, in larger quantities.
A small deal is better than no deal at all. The chance of a buyer investing in a product/service is higher if you’ve done business with them before.
As a sales person, you want to be as relatable as possible. Address the buyer’s pain points like they’re your own. Human beings are drawn toward people who are like-minded and share similar interests.
Knowing this can help you get that elusive“Yes”. Make the buyer feel good; compliment them on the work they’re doing. A good icebreaker can help build rapport and make them like you more. At the end of the day, make it clear that you’re there to listen to their needs and that you’re working towards achieving a mutually beneficial goal.
This is similar to what people call ‘crowd mentality’. You know those times when you’re unsure of what to do so you just go ahead and do what everyone else is doing? Uncertainty can be leveraged to a salesperson’s advantage. Point out to the buyer that you’ve tried the product before, and that it worked great. Information from other buyers also carry a lot of value. Humans are more comfortable investing in a product if you position yourself as someone who has been through similar struggles and understands their pain points.
People who are uncertain often look to the actions and behaviors of others to determine their own. Take advantage of this and let others do the persuasion for you. Rather than relying on your own ability to persuade someone into saying “Yes”, point to what many others are already doing especially if they’re similar people. Chances are the buyers will take you up on your offer.
So there you have it, Cialdini’s science of persuasion and how it can be leveraged in sales. It’s a skill that every salesperson should master to turn that ‘No’ into a ‘Yes’.
Steven Benson is the Founder and CEO of Badger Maps, the #1 route planner for field salespeople. Badger visualizes sales data, optimizes daily routes, and generates meeting reports – helping users drive 20% less and sell 25% more on average. He is a former regional sales manager at Google.
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