The Science of Persuasion: How to Influence People
An effective salesperson’s primary role is to understand the customer, know the product, and make its benefits relevant and clear to a potential buyer. But of all the skills one should possess, being a persuasive salesperson is probably the most important. Convincing other people is a part of our daily lives, whether it’s selling a product or merely trying to change someone’s mind.
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What exactly is the art of persuasion?
All of us are susceptible to persuasion. It is a process where the objective is to change a person’s attitude and behavior towards an event, person, or idea.
Persuasion is a skill we learn throughout our lives, which many of us use all the time without even realizing it. However, when it comes to sales techniques and skills, the natural ability to convince isn’t always enough.
Persuading is the heart of sales and a talent that requires preparation and training. It has often been described as a delicate form of art involving finely tuned language and communication skills. It’s complex, totally authentic to your character, and intellectually challenging.
The correct utilization of persuasion is about making potential buyers internalize your message because they believe it is in their best interests. A successful persuasive salesperson is an excellent communicator and methodically guides customers to decide on their own. They know what to say and when to say it and can convince complete strangers to follow their advice and influence nonbelievers to trust them.
Now that we know what persuasion is, what can you do to be really persuasive?
If you think about all the successful people you know, you’ll realize that all of them have one thing in common – they’re incredibly good at selling themselves and their ideas. In other words, they’re very good at persuading other people!
Being persuasive doesn’t mean you have to pressure or manipulate people. It’s simply the ability to describe the logic and benefits of an idea so that you obtain agreement. So how do you become more persuasive?
6 Tips to develop your persuasion skills:
1. Make your audience like you
Be friendly, pleasant, and connected, and think about the impression you’re making all the time. If your clients don’t like you, they won’t buy into what you say.
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2. Give your clients what they need
Anything that makes our lives better and happier triggers our interest. To persuade your audience, you must tell them how it’s going to benefit them. Don’t just focus on yourself – pay attention to your clients and how you can help them achieve their wants and desires.
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3. Don’t require people to change too much
Many of us tend to be self-centered and lazy. Just think how difficult it is to see a New Year’s Resolution through, like dieting or starting an exercise routine. You need to expose someone to a new idea multiple times before they begin to consider changing their attitude.
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4. Use emotional strategies to persuade people.
Using positive emotions like belonging, love, and happiness are great ways to get people to agree with you, but be careful to use guilt or play on people’s emotions to achieve your goal, as this may be seen as manipulation.
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5. Earn your client’s trust
Gaining your client’s trust is vital for a successful relationship. They will also be more open to persuasion if they trust you.
6. Take a firm stand
Be bold and don’t use phrases like “I believe” or “I think.” If you believe something will work, say it. Stand behind your opinions and be enthusiastic. A confident speaker often persuades even the most skeptical people.
These are the basics, but what if you want to kick your persuasion skills up a notch?
List of characteristics you can focus on to take your persuasion skills to the next level:
1. Leave a good first impression.
First impressions are vital, so be welcoming, practice good posture, smile and offer a firm handshake.
2. Ask the right questions and encourage your client to talk.
Ask direct questions to find out what the client’s problems and needs are. The secret is to ask open-ended questions and listen. The more someone opens up to you, the more they trust you. Once you know what all the answers are, you can form a strategy to solve their problems.
3. Listen actively.
Most people are bad listeners. If you want to be a persuasive salesperson, talk less and listen more.
4. Communicate clearly and concisely.
Share information quickly and understandably. Know your topic and make sure you can explain it effectively to someone who knows nothing about it.
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5. Show passion and connect with your customer.
People buy into emotion, which is why you should show passion and conviction when talking to your clients. Take time to build a relationship with them instead of rushing in to close the deal. This will ensure a lasting relationship and repeat business.
6. Be genuine.
People gravitate towards those who are honest and genuine because they know they can trust them. Be comfortable in your own skin and concentrate on what drives you and makes you happy. This builds trust because individuals know who you are and what you stand for.
7. Use positive body language.
It is vital to focus on your body language. Always think about how you are positioning yourself, from facial expressions, tone of voice, and hand gestures. Maintaining eye contact and leaning towards the person you are speaking to are all forms of positive body language that create a welcoming environment.
This brings us to the power of words. Certain words play a huge role in helping us decide which products to buy. Here are some of the most persuasive words:
Being directly addressed always catches someone’s attention. “You” acts as a placeholder for the person’s name and makes them feel special.
Everybody loves the word “free,” and it will almost certainly grab people’s attention if they see it. The bottom line is – everyone loves free stuff!
When you make your product exclusive and available only to a select group, you make people want it even more.
Life is complicated, and we may just be a slight bit on the lazy side, which is why when we hear something is simple and “easy” to do, we are drawn to it straight away.
We all hate missing out. So whatever it may be, if you see the word “limited,” you want it for fear of losing out!
This is an action word that psychologically puts the reader in charge and prepares them for action. It’s usually followed by a reward, for example, “ get slimmer thighs in four weeks.”
Authenticity is a big concern for consumers with all the fraud going on in the world today. To see that something is “guaranteed” reassures them that the product is safe to buy.
If you give people a reason why they need your product, they will be more likely to take action.
We all use persuasion in our daily lives, but this natural ability isn’t enough for effective sales skills and techniques. You need to develop this ability by learning to apply specific persuasive methods, which takes time and practice. Using the correct persuasive words will also help you to become a successful persuasive salesperson.
Coggno has a wide range of online training courses about persuasion.