Understanding how to persuade people is the most vital skill in any salesperson’s toolkit. They recognize the power this ability holds and use this card with care when sealing the deal.
In many ways, sales is like finding the courage to approach an attractive stranger at a bar. You’re waiting for the best time to walk over and introduce yourself without giving out ‘the creepy vibes’.
This same mindset can be applied to sales.
The better you understand human emotions and how to appeal to them, the more effective you’ll be at your job.
Put another way, do you wanna increase your sales? Stop learning sales strategies and start learning how to convince someone to take a specific action. This is commonly referred to as the art of persuasion.
We all want to close the deal, but how many of you can close it despite rejection? We call these sales wizards, Closers. Everyone wants to be a Closer, but not everyone has it in them. Which is where this article comes in.
The better you become at persuading someone, the closer you are to becoming a Closer.
How to Persuade People?
Before you can begin persuading someone, it wouldn’t hurt to learn about their motivations. Even the broadest knowledge of psychology can help you understand the best ways to approach potential customers.
We’re not saying you have to go back to school and get a degree in it. However, we are saying, apply a little common sense and compassionate empathy to your approach to set yourself up for success.
Study Your Client Thoroughly
You need to research your target audience and answer these three important questions:
- Who are my customers?
- Why would they buy my product over the competition’s?
- What underlying felt needs do my solutions fulfill?
Doing this step first will save you countless hours of frustration.
The better you understand your target audience, the easier it will be for you to craft your sales pitch. The goal of your sales pitch is to persuade someone or convince people to buy your products.
Before you start your pitch, make sure the people you’re pitching to are the right fit for your product. Similarly, your customer needs to know you and your product are the right fit for them.
Keep in mind, you’re not trying to get everyone to buy from you. That’s a surefire way to make sure no one buys from you.
Instead, focus your approach on those most likely to buy from you as they have a need you can fulfill.
After studying your customer, you should understand their underlying felt needs, while speaking to their pain and pleasure points.
Pitch Your Product Indirectly
Have you ever heard you catch more flies with honey than vinegar?
Translation: you’ll attract more people if you’re nice instead of being cranky and unapproachable.
When it comes to sales, you catch more conversions being indirect than being direct.
If your customer knows you’re coming in hot with a sales pitch, they’re likely going to avoid or flat out deny you. Their defenses will be up before you can get a word out. The second you try to talk, they’ll likely cut you down like an inconveniently placed sapling.
We don’t want that for you.
Instead of coming with the pitch at the ready, make small talk with them. Get them to relax then, as organically as possible, guide the conversation towards your field of expertise. Ask about items they’re currently using, see where they have the most issues, then begin pitching your product’s benefits.
Don’t name-drop your product yet.
We’re still building up to that.
At this point, we’re placing your item as the answer they need before even introducing them to the product. The hardest part is keeping your customers’ attention long enough to hear your pitch.
With an indirect approach, you’ll have their full attention before they realize they gave it to you.
Make the most of it.
Be Empathetic to Your Customer’s Needs
Some customers can be quite chatty. While you might be tempted to cut them off and proceed with your own pitch, don’t.
The information they’re unknowingly giving you is gold. When learning how to persuade people, never underestimate the power of listening to people.
The more they talk, the more you’ll learn about them, their current needs, and how best to position your product. The more you can prove why your product is the answer, the more likely you are to land the sale.
Show them they’re more to you than a dollar sign.
The more connected to you they feel, the easier it’ll be for you to convince them to purchase your product.
Every prospect is different. Do you know what they all have in common? Their entire buying decisions can be summarized in their underlying felt needs — money, energy, and time. When you manage to get their needs M.E.T. (see what I did there?), you tip the sale in your favor.
Wizard of Sales® happens to have the toolkit for this and we can teach that to your salespeople. Book a call.
Ensure Your Product Resolves Their Discontentment
Most people don’t spend money just to spend money.
For example, let’s say you’re hungry. You want to eat, but you don’t want to cook. What’s your next logical step? Ordering out, of course.
Your underlying felt need was your hunger (negative energy) but lack of desire to cook (lack of energy). Your solution is to order take out (transfer of needed energy).
Let’s work a similar example, but backwards.
You called an HVAC specialist to your house. What would be the underlying felt need behind that purchase? Chances are your heater or air conditioner gave out (negative energy: stress) and you need a professional to fix it (alleviate the stress).
Using simple logic goes a long way when learning how to persuade people. It also helps when curating your pitch.
If they’re spending money (and time), they most likely have a problem and want it fixed. Approaching sales pitches from this angle makes it easier to persuade someone.
Implicate, No Need to State
Much like pitching your product indirectly, implicating why you’re the answer they need keeps your customers from raising their guard. You’re letting them form their own conclusions based on the information provided.
This is rooted in a simple fact of human nature– no one likes being told what to do.
Imagine this: you see a shiny red button and a sign that says “don’t press”. What was the first thought that came to mind?
I’m gonna press that button!
Why? There’s clearly a sign that says don’t press that button. Yet, every fiber of your being is screaming to do the opposite. That’s human nature. The moment we’re told what we can or can’t do, we immediately want to rebel.
The same goes for sales.
Telling someone why they need to buy your product is the fastest way to keep them from buying your product. Remember, we’re learning how to persuade people, not teach customers.
Flat out stating you’re the solution to their needs will likely run off potential customers.
Why? You’re telling them why they should pick you instead of letting them choose you. Don’t be that creepy guy at the bar who comes off too strong and rubs everyone wrong.
Don’t over-promise. Don’t oversell. Unless you have the chops to overdeliver on your services. Otherwise, you’re only digging a grave for your reputation. Don’t tell your customers how they’re supposed to think, rather, through creative advertising influence how they feel.
Why? Because every buying decision stems from the part of the brain that exclusively feels. Customers will always be keen to choose solutions that make them feel good. When they feel good, they’re more likely to choose you over others. Again, they’re the ones who will choose you.
Let your customers make their own choices and trust you’ve pitched the item well enough for them to buy.
Appeal to Their Pain and Pleasure Points
At the heart of all of this are the motivators. Do you know what they are and how your product fulfills them?
In the game of sales, if you’re aiming to appeal only to logic, you’ve already lost. Logically, your pitch could make all the sense in the world. You could explain the features and benefits beautifully and set up your item to be Gollum’s, “preeeecioouuuus”. However, if you don’t connect with the buyer’s heart, you will not make a sale.
Buyers buy to generate a positive resonance. The most delightful of which are identity, purpose, and adventure. Buyers also buy to avoid negative resonance. The most riveting of these are fear, shame, and guilt. These six motivators (and antimotivators) are what stir the emotions.
If you don’t activate the customer’s emotions when making your pitch, you will not make the sale.
If you don’t personalize your pitch for your customer, you will not make the sale.
Again, people don’t spend money to spend money, especially on externally triggered, grudge purchases like water heaters. If they’re calling you, trust me, there’s a void somewhere that needs to be filled.
Appeal to that gap of dissatisfaction rather than their logical ROI calculations.
They have underlying FELT needs. You have the solution to bring them back to happy. To calm. To less stress, anxiety, and frustration. You’re no longer the fast-talking salesman trying to make a quick buck. You’re approaching them as one human being trying to help another.
Attention to Detail
This goes back to being empathetic about your customer’s needs.
Listen to your customers when they tell you about their problem areas. If you know what your customers need, you know which chords to strike in your pitch.
“Beware a Flagging of Energy”
Being a good salesperson includes knowing when to say when.
By this, I don’t mean knowing when to give up. I mean knowing when to ease up. There’s a very distinct difference between the two.
Giving up means you refuse to continue trying when things don’t go your way. Easing up means properly reading your customer, knowing when you’re coming off too pushy, and adjusting your approach accordingly.
When you are certain you have identified the right solution, it is your duty to serve your customer at the highest level and CLOSE them. Having a conversations about your thing is not a service. Closing them on the right thing is.
Closers aren’t pushy, they are persistent. The only way to win the sales race is by training your salespeople to be closers, not posers. Wizard of Sales® can mold your team to be the closers they’re meant to be. Book a call.