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All guerrillas know that marketing is a fancy word that means selling, and selling is a fancy word that means persuasion. If you can't persuade, you can't sell. If you can't sell, you can't market. Persuasion is a crucial talent if you have a business and a fondness for the things that money can buy.
Many people who think they can't succeed at marketing because they can't persuade seem to do a dandy job of persuading their spouses to be on time, their kids to do their homework, and their associates to accept the idea they've just put on the table. The moral: there are a lot of closet persuader out there.
Guerrillas rev up their powers of persuasion with two kinds of insight: insight into their prospects and customers combined with insight into their own product or service. Without those insights, you're a dead duck. With them, you're a guerrilla, poised for victory and profitability.
What you must focus upon now is who to persuade. That may be the toughest question your business must answer. The right answer can lead to the attainment of your wildest dreams, and you don't have to tell me how wild those dreams are. When you know who to persuade, you are only part of the way home. You must also know what is important to them.
Here's a flash: persuasion can be straight-forward. Most business owners, and even those who create marketing for them, think that persuading has a lot to with pussyfooting around and playing needless games. To begin with, they haven't a clue as to the exact person they should be persuading. If they ever find out, they don't know the hot buttons that ignite that person. No wonder they're pussyfooting! There's not a lot to be candid about.
I'm the first to admit that not every persuasion attempt you make will work out the way you want. But I'm here on your computer monitor to remind you to realize why some attempts succeed, to realize why some fail, and to realize the difference between the two.
Within that difference resides your power of persuasion. If you become a better persuader, you become a better salesperson. If you become a better salesperson, you become a better marketer. You become a guerrilla -- one who achieves conventional goals with unconventional methods.
Guerrillas ask themselves questions after successful persuasions. "What was the critical insight that I used?" "How did I use it?" Of failures, they ask: "What insight should I have seen?" "How did my attempt miss it?" Frequently, failures are caused by persuaders failing to understand the person being persuaded. The deeper you amble into the head of your prospect, the more persuasive you will become because of the scope of your understanding.
The meaning of guerrilla persuasion: knowing your customers and prospects so well that it's a cinch to connect their goals with yours.
So now you know the truth. There is no magic in persuasion. There is simply research time and your own energy. Back in the l900's, ad great Claude Hopkins said, and I hope you'll excuse his sexism, "The advertising man studies the consumer. He tries to place himself in the position of the buyer. His success largely depends on doing that to the exclusion of everything else." The keys to persuasion are in shoes and eyes. Walk a mile in your customer's shoes and see things through his eyes
After all, you can't learn to be a first-rate bullfighter unless you've first learned to be a bull. Guerrilla persuading means connecting with consumers on the level of the mind. The connection begins in your own mind -- and it continues until a sale is made. Gentle persuasion can be as powerful as pressured persuasion. Slow motion persuasion works better than high speed persuasion. And all persuasion begins with connection.
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By Jay Conrad Levinson
About the Author: Jay Conrad Levinson
RSS for Jay's articles - Visit Jay's website
Jay Conrad Levinson is the author of the best-selling marketing series in history, "Guerrilla Marketing," plus 30 other books. His books have sold 14 million copies worldwide. His guerrilla concepts have influenced marketing so much that today his books appear in 41 languages and are required reading in many MBA programs worldwide.
Click here to visit Jay's website.
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