The Powers of Persuasion
Persuasion is the single most important skill for a person to master both professionally and
personally. Without this skill leaders would be unable to lead, and salespeople would be unable to sell. Persuasion is the key to success in every facet of life. Most people don’t understand the key elements of persuasion and fewer still apply the process.
Current neurological brain research shows how the mind reacts to logic and emotion. By integrating age-old knowledge with modern science we can help people make quick, non-analytical decisions using their own built-in shortcuts to making decisions.
The more skilled leaders are at the art and science of persuasion, the more likely it is that the goals of the organization will be met successfully without frustration or resistance.
Building Blocks of Persuasion
Leading through persuasion is a skill that can be learned. It’s not about swaying people against their will; persuasion is offering others a chance to see things from a different perspective. As the initiator, you must find a delivery system that allows you to communicate your conviction in a compelling way. Taking part in the act of persuading others and sweeping them up into a mutual vision can be a wonderful experience.
Persuasion is defined as a process that changes attitudes, beliefs, opinions or behaviors. It’s the single most powerful skill a leader can possess. Persuasion provides the ability to shift and transform employees and ultimately the culture of an organization. Leaders who practice the skill of persuasion are more engaged and trusted by their employees than those who adhere to the old “command and control” way of management.
There are three building blocks that support the persuasion process. Plato and Aristotle defined the process thousands of years ago, but they still remain valid today.
The three building blocks are:
Every persuasion process involves one or more of these building blocks. To decide which tool to use, logic or emotion, it’s essential to understand whether an individual responds in an analytical way or an automatic way.
The Secret Life of the Brain
The analytical thinker is thinking logically, systematically working out the decision with analysis, judgment, evaluation, and concentration.
The automatic thinker operates on “gut feelings”, basing decisions on their automatic, built in psychological reactions. Our brains are hard wired to respond to stimuli that help us make easy, quick, correct decisions. We respond to these powers of non-analytical compliance with what feels like gut reactions. These reactions are a composite of prior situations and experiences that we draw on. They are our built in navigational aids. They are essential parts of our very being. Leaders who learn to help others make quick, automatic, non analytical decisions using their own inborn powers have incredible power over others.
The Powers of Persuasion
The friendship power – this power encompasses all elements that create the feelings of positive relations. The goal of the friendship power is to bond with others by finding common ground, common interests and common goals. The strongest element in the friendship equation is similarity.
The authority power – authority is a critical emotional power, a prerequisite for other powers. Authority is usually defined as a position such as a lawyer, manager, teacher or policeman. The authority power uses the “rightness” of the request based on association of the role.
The consistency power – consistency is important because it makes us feel comfortable, gut level confident that we are making the right decisions. Leaders persuade by making people comfortable. The consistency power forms the bedrock of our internal self-guidance system. People are slaves to consistency and conformity. We use past performance data as a safe, easy comfortable, non-thinking guide to make current decisions and to generate action.
The secret to benefiting from the consistency power is to learn what the person you are trying to persuade will be comfortable with. By learning about the person and how they acted in the past about issues being discussed, frame your request so that a positive decision will be consistent with past actions. Set up a safe “consistency zone” for each person to make relatively risk free, comfortable decisions
The reciprocity power – reciprocity is the well documented, universal psychological requirement to have the recipient of a gift give something back in return. You create indebtedness, and IOU that must be repaid in some way at some point in time.
The hope power – this drives all human motivation. It’s the foundation for all human decision and action. Decisions and actions to achieve hopes, needs, wants and dreams always trump logic, reason and cognitive thought. This wonderful power is easy to activate. Adding the right powers to the hope power, you will have a formidable multi-pronged arsenal for success.
Persuasion is based on giving, receiving and understanding information. To persuade effectively, you must be able to understand an individual’s needs, wants, and desires and be understood when proposing the idea or solution. Effective communication is more important now than ever, especially as employees are encouraged to ask the question “why?” True communication only occurs when the message is received and understood as intended. Communication is the basis for all interaction and is the process of understanding and being understood.
The most persuasive arguments come from leaders who exhibit high ethos, and appeal to both logic and emotion. All of these require listening to, understanding and empathizing with your employees. By listening and understanding, leaders build trust within the organization. Listening also helps one base persuasive arguments on the facts or logic that others find compelling. It is essential to listen and understand to the employees of your organization. Leaders who do not exhibit these qualities have a difficult time persuading and rely on coercive power, rather than leadership.
This is the best sales tip I ever got.
Introducing: The 3 i’s
…even after experiencing “NO”.
The 3 i’s stand for:
Information – Introduction – Invitation
The 3 i’s put you or your sales team in a position of value and expertise in the eyes and minds of your prospects. They make it easier to approach a prospect and carve a path for follow up.They make it more likely each contact made with a prospect will get attention and move the relationship forward. You and your company will stand out when you use the 3 i’s.
“Hello, I’m Andrew Mazer and I’m calling to invite Mr. White to a lunch meeting with me and a couple of other business owners. May I speak with him, please?”
Or, “…Our company is donating turkeys to a local charity and we’re pulling together some other business people for this good cause. I’m calling to invite Mr. White into a small group who will get some public recognition for a tiny investment.”
Think about events or meetings you could invite a person to which would be a benefit for them. Keep an eye out for events which would be conducive for this kind of invitation strategy. This is not about inviting someone to lunch (although you can) but it’s more like telling someone, “I was thinking about you and your company and I think this could be a good investment of your time.”
Sharing quality information is an excellent positioning tool. I’m not talking about the information which describes your business or your products & services. I’m talking about useful information which pertains to interesting business matters, business-related news, or to a specific niche or industry your prospect is in.
Sharing information shows your prospect:
Sharing information could come in the form of an article clipped from a newspaper, magazine, or a blog post printed out and mailed or a link sent via email. It could be as simple as recommending an event, a website or a video. Even if you have not yet met or spoken with your prospect, submitting information through a gatekeeper will often get through.
I launched my internet marketing business this way. I created an information-rich presentation which I delivered to a room full of business owners about how to increase their visibility online. Breakfast, the least expensive meal you can serve at an event was provided. First I created the presentation, then I got to work on inviting people to come take in the information. It generated clients and referrals.
What if you could refer a new customer to a prospective client before you ever asked for an appointment for yourself? Wow…talk about a foot in the door! Not only you could introduce your prospect to a new customer, you could also introduce him or her to one of your other satisfied clients who may be of synergistic value. In networking, we call these power partners.
An example of a power partner relationship could be a personal injury lawyer and a financial adviser. A good prospect for a financial adviser is someone who may have recently been awarded a large sum of money in a lawsuit or settlement. The lawyer would be an excellent referral source for the adviser. Facilitating an introduction between these 2 professionals would put you squarely in a good position to get yourself a meeting with either party any time in the future.
The 3 i’s. Surefire ways to get your foot in the door and look like a pro.
Target audience. Ideal client. Target market. Niche. You’ve heard the terms, and if you’ve been in business for any length of time, I’m sure you’ve given a lot of thought about whom you should be marketing to. My background is in public relations, and in PR school it was all about defining your primary audience, your secondary audience and your tertiary audience, then speaking to those audiences through the appropriate medium with the right messaging.
But the way we do business has changed, which means our marketing has changed. Unless you’re a giant conglomerate or a mega movie studio, you’re target probably isn’t that large. If you’re a small business owner, your target audience is probably very narrow, and most likely you’d get better results if you narrowed it even further.
In the Sizzle System of Personal Branding, I have my clients describe their Dream Client. They define demographics and psychographics, and characteristics down to hair and eye color, and even the car they drive. This can be a real live client or a conglomerate of several different people.
Why just one Dream Client? Because our marketing copy needs to be directed at a real live person who needs what we have to offer.
My dream client is a forward-thinking, opportunity-seeking entrepreneur with brown hair and blue eyes. She drives a Lexus and buys her clothes at Nordstrom. She’s kind of edgy.
When I write my marketing copy I speak directly to her. I know she can afford to pay me for my services because she’s been in business for a while and knows how to bring in money. I know she cares about how she shows up for the world – for God’s sake, she drives a Lexus! She believes in quality and her clothes reflect that. I know her type, so when I write copy that speaks to her, it’s going to speak to others like her.
And yes, maybe some guy with a ponytail and beard who drives a Harley and wears leather will hear my message and resonate with it, and that’s fine, but those types are far and few between. It’s the 80/20 rule — again.
Then there’s the second part of the formula and the most important: Be the answer to your Dream Client’s dreams. What does your Dream Client need that you can provide — easily? That is the real key to defining your Dream Client.
My Dream Client is one smart cookie, but she’s not getting the clients she needs. Something is falling flat and she can’t figure out what that is. She’s gone through some changes and she’s starting to question her why. She’s feeling the need to reinvent herself or give her business a facelift, but she doesn’t know where to start. She’s tossing and turning at night wondering how she’s going to get these issues resolved.
Meanwhile I’m miles away tucked snuggly in my bed, sound asleep, with visions of my Dream Client frolicking in my subconscious like a sheep leaping over clouds. I’m smiling, because I know that she’s just waiting for me to come along and solve her problems. All I have to do is make sure she hears my message and make it easy for her to find me.
Once that happens, she’ll be happy to pay me for my services because I’m saving her time and money in the long run, and she knows that, pretty soon, she’ll be back to business stronger than ever. The clients will start rolling in, so whatever she paid for my services she’ll earn many times over.
My Dream Client is now sleeping soundly thanks to me, and I’m sleeping sounder than usual, satisfied that I could help her.
The moral of this story: Defining your Dream Client is based on the problems you solve, not the problems they have. Make sure you communicate the value that you bring to others so your Dream Client can find you. You’ll sleep sounder at night knowing you’re putting yourself out there, and she will too, knowing she can find the answer to her prayers.
by Carol Ann DeSimine, TheSizzleSystem.com
Sales expert, author, trainer and consultant, Rich Lucia is presenting at The Small Business University Back-To-School event Monday, September 8th. His topic: The 180 Rule for Selling.
Here, Rich shares a recent article he posted on his blog, which is deep with content (or shall I say a “rich” resource for sales advice).
Rich has promised to give away a hard copy of his new ebook to everyone in attendance at the event 9/8 called The 180 Rule for Integrated Social Selling.
Here, Rich shares an article called
I often travel throughout the country to work with sales organizations and a common theme seems to be in play. Everyone appears to be looking for that one thing that is going to lift revenue to new heights. People are looking for the Holy Grail of sales tools that is the answer to prayers.
It appears the world of business development has spilled into two camps. On one side of the great divide, we have the traditionalists who seek age-old sales training and selling techniques. Their thinking is that it has always worked so why reinvent the wheel. They seem to be more content with following past processes over getting results. They forget that buyers have changed and how these buyers get their information has changed, locking many of the doors that once had a welcome mat. These die-hard traditionalists have an answer to cold calls that don’t generate results – make more of them. Of course, when the strategy does not work, they seek training from 20-year-old sales manuals to polish their cold calling skills.
On the other side of the great divide, we have the early adopters with their answer to business development. They throw out all of the old selling techniques and believe that social media is the only true modern path to business development. They have even engraved, “Social Selling” on their Holy Grail, as they chase the latest social media platform and abandon the one before. Their battle cry is, “it has to be good – it is new.”
So, who is correct? The answer begins with an understanding that there is no Holy Grail, and as difficult as it is to accept, there is no magic pill and no one silver bullet to effective business development strategy. It is going to take a combination of the correct selling tools to get the job done today. Having an understanding of buyers today and selecting selling tools that are effective with those buyers is one half of the mission. The second half of the mission, an even more important one, is realizing the tools you select are supposed to compliment each other. Selling tools and your processes have to be integrated. You can create and deliver the best presentation of your life, but giving it to a person who has no need for it will result in no sale. Don’t use a great tool to drive an interested party to your website, only to find when they get there it has extinguished their interest because it was designed for your company’s bragging rights instead of being customer-centric.
It’s going to take a holistic approach to business development today and therefore the need for Integrated Social Selling. By social selling I am not talking about the new branding of social media but instead how do we become closer or more social with our prospects and customers. In this age of point and click, are we really working harder to know our prospects and customers and how they buy? Are we working all stages of the sale cycle with the laser focus of purpose and making sure we aren’t unconsciously sabotaging our efforts by ignoring the power of integration? Have we become content in accepting a sales funnel with its 85 percent effort and wasted resources or are we working to widen it into more or a cylinder shape?
Replace your search for the Holy Grail with the knowledge that a holistic, integrated plan is needed. A plan that insures that you have correctly identified your target, selected the correct tools and they are working with each other and not against each other. Do these things and keep a Social Selling Playbook and you will achieve successful business development today using Integrated Social Selling.
Don’t Let Fear of Failure Slow You Down
The great inventor, Thomas Edison said, “If you are not successful, fail more”.
If you want to be more successful, then you have to fail more, plain and simple.Too many people out there look at opportunities and push them away. “Well I tried that, and it didn’t work”.
Yeah, I have tried a lot of things and they didn’t work. But I did not go and find
a place to hide my head in the sand afterward.
How Hard You Try is in Direct Proportion to How Much You Want it.
If you want to do something, ask yourself, “How bad do I want this?” What are you willing to do to get it?
I have listened as people have told stories such as: “I tried to get a job there once, but they didn’t hire me”.
OK – so try again and again and again. If you really want to work some place, keep trying to find a way in.
If you keep trying you might just get there, if you stop, you are assured of failure.
If you are trying to get into an account and not having success, then take all you have learned and try another way. I use to sell computer services to Fortune 1000 companies. It is a long sales cycle.
But the key is, you do not stop because one thing didn’t work. You keep looking, driving, trying, failing and learning. Time after time when I got in I heard the same comment, “you have been so persistent, I just had to give you a shot.”
Or, how many have heard this one, “I tried to get a book published once, even sent it to 3 publishers, but nothing”.
Yea, so how many publishers are out there?
Do you now how many best sellers were turned down time and time and time again before they got picked up?
I love the Rocky, Sylvester Stallone story.
Down on his luck, almost no money left, Sylvester got an offer to sell his screen play for Rocky for $125,000. He turned it down because they would not let him play Rocky.
You are Your Greatest Asset
Now, here is a person with almost nothing left, but self-confidence.
He held out and did finally get a deal, less money in the short term, but the star role and a long and successful career.
Stick to what you want and go for it. Then watch what happens.
You have to be willing to fail. Life is full of opportunities. Stop giving up before you get to your goals.
This article contributed by Many Nowak.
Manny Nowak is America’s Number One Expert in Taking 6 Figure Businesses to 7 Figures and is speaking at the September 8th, 2014 Small Business University event. Learn more about this even and Small Business U
Referrals are The best way to grow your business, we all know that. Referrals produce the highest return on your time, energy and budget. Think about it, don’t you ask your friends and family for the name of someone that they have used?
Step 1: Be sure you running your business in a fashion that encourages your clients/customers to want to refer you to their friends, family and business contacts. Did you know that the average person knows 1100 people? Imagine what it would do for the growth of your company if just half of your customers referred you to just 10% of their contacts, think about it, the results are mind boggling! So, what makes you better or different than your competition? If you can not come up with an answer to that question, then that is your first goal…what can I do to make everyone who needs my services (or product) want to deal with me instead of my competition?
Ask and You Shall Receive Referrals
Step2: ASK for referrals. Learn how to ask for those referrals in a professional, easy, matter of fact method. You do not have to be a “sales person” to get referrals; you just need to be confident that you are the BEST. If you are already asking for referrals and not getting them or you are sensing hesitation when you do ask, then you need to step back and take a good hard, HONEST look at the way you are conducting business and how you handle customer service and satisfaction. Secret shoppers and follow up calls are the best way to determine where the problem areas are.
Step 3: Act on those referrals in a timely fashion. A hot lead is one where the referring person (your customer or client) says that they already told their friend about you and they are awaiting your call. That lead needs to be contacted IMMEDIATELY, right there from your client’s home or business if that is appropriate. A warm lead is when the referring person says that they have mentioned you to their friend and the friend indicated that you could contact them. This call should be made with in 48 hours. A cool lead is when the referring person says that they have a few people (or a person) in mind that they think would benefit from meeting you.
This informative article was contributed by Merle Margolese. Merle is a professional speaker, trainer and coach.
Merle is presenting at the Small Business University, Back-To-School event September 8th, 2014 on the subject of time management. Learn more about this event and the 2 other presenters here.
Business-to-business sales and advertising should be treated no differently than business-to-consumer. Why?
The products and services we sell to businesses as compared to consumers are not the
issue here. The issue is the common denominator: the decision maker. The decision makers in all matters of buying are people.
Effective presentations must use benefit-rich words in written copy and speech
Benefit-rich presentations, whether with the written word or spoken is the #1 most important emotional trigger to keep in mind when crafting and delivering a sales message. For B-to-B sales, the motivating factors generally revolve around generating more sales, increasing profit margins, or becoming more efficient.
Features are important but pale in comparison to the importance of benefits. Benefits touch the imagination, the emotions and create motivation.
Remember this when crafting a sales message: “Features tell, benefits SELL”. Resist a bullet list of features until you have brainstormed a list of benefits.
Here’s a good idea for how to find more benefits within the benefits of your product: list the benefits of your benefits! What’s that mean? Here’s an example: Instead of saying, “I sell search engine optimization services which helps websites become more visible to people who are looking for a business like yours.”, I should say, “I make your website better so more website visitors become customers.” That was a benefit-statement. “…and more customers from coming in for your website reduces your client acquisition costs to almost zero.” That’s the benefit of the benefit. “…and the money you will save on commissions will pay for your kids’ college tuition.” That’s the benefit of the benefit of the benefit!
Buyers are motivated by fear-avoiding danger is a benefit
Buyers for businesses are motivated by fear. Steering them away from danger is another benefit. It’s generally not the first point to leverage in your pitch but it can be. IBM, for example used this strategy effectively for many years back when they were the dominant player in computers and business equipment. “No one ever got fired for specifying IBM.”
This was an effective sales message back in the 1970’s, way before consumers were buying anything stamped with the IBM label. This is a clear example of how an advertising message was delivered on an emotional level to a buyer or purchasing department. In addition to delivering a message to job security, it also delivered another message: “Our price is higher but don’t let that bother you”.
Purchasing agents are people. Purchasing departments are made up of people. People are motivated by the same things: WIIFM, “What’s in it for me?” Approach all sales and marketing from the standpoint of emphasizing the benefits from every angle you possibly can in every sales.
Features tell-Benefits sell!
Have something to brag about? Want to get it out there but you don’t want to appear conceited? I pulled it off a couple days ago and ended up with a hot lead for a new client.
Many of us don’t have Facebook Fan pages, we ONLY have personal pages so this is relevant to business owners and professionals alike. Even though I have a Facebook Fan page for my business, there was a story about a business victory of mine I wanted my friends to see, not just my clients.
I got an email from a client who I helped with their search engine optimization. In case you don’t know the definition of SEO, it’s the process of making a website more likely to appear (than competing websites) when someone searches for a given topic. The content of the email was an image of website traffic statistics. Very impressive statistics, I might add. I’d delivered awesome results the client was obviously happy about and so was I.
Images capture attention online and especially on social media
Everyone with a website wants to become more visible online and this was both visual and social proof tied in with a sort of testimonial all wrapped up in one report which I captured as an image on my computer screen.
“I took the image and posted it on the Facebook news feed and wrote: Some shameless self promotion (it’s like a selfie if sorts). My SEO work took this Atlantic City hotel’s website from under 4000 hits per month to over 21,000. Know anyone who needs results?”
This generated an instant message and ultimately a request for a quote for my services and and then a phone call which sealed a deal.
Notice how the post openly admits “Some shameless self-promotion” which actually serves to add a little humor and diffuse the boastfulness a little bit. Even so….if 300 people think I’m pompous, so what!…I just landed a new client.
The big takeaway here? I guess there are 2:
At Small Business University , we deliver value by bringing together like-minded business people to network, learn and share. Check out our event schedule and register to attend.
If you have a message about business, personal development, motivation or inspiration you think is good for our audience, apply to speak at a future event. We also invite guest blogging so if you have any content you feel would be valuable for our audience and you want to promote yourself and your website at the same time, submit original content only to: email@example.com