The "Hidden Persuaders" in Sales

Have you ever wondered why some people are more persuasive than others?

The ability to persuade and influence others to see our point of view, or to take some action, is a vital skill and can help us in all areas of our life. Indeed the ability to persuade is a common characteristic of all successful people. It also helps us to sell and negotiate more effectively in business.

Influencing is no accident today.

There has been a great deal of research done on the psychology of persuasion over the last 10 to 15 years by the advertising industry in particular. They now use these findings to influence us buy ideas, products and services, through radio, television, print media and the Internet.

So what makes some sales people and negotiators so persuasive?

I've discovered that some sales people use these same principles to be persuasive. As you may be aware I have written three books on negotiating, one on selling and one on sales management, and since 1991 I have made an on-going study of what it is that top business people, sales people, negotiators and managers do and say that make them so persuasive. I now now teach these techniques in our workshops.

In many cases the people I've studied have been unconsciously competent. That is, they do certain things which work for them, and they don't even realise that they are doing these things. Nor do they understand why the things they do work for them. The problem with being unconsciously competent, is a lack of consistency. The reason we conducted this study (using Neuro Linguistic Programming and behavioural Modeling Technology) was so we could help our clients and the people whom I do train in workshops to move from being.

In our workshop on "The Psychology Of Persuasion" in just a few hours I teach sales people how to move from being unconsciously competent to being consciously competent.

The results are amazing

They then produce the outcomes they desire on a more consistent basis. This is because they now understand what it is that they are doing to produce the outcomes that want, and more importantly why it works for them. You are probably unconsciously competent too in many of the things you do.

Tremendous power and dramatically better outcomes come with a shift to conscious competence.

I've identified ten powerful techniques that persuasive sales people use to influence others. I'd like to share some of these here with you now.

Space and time, prevents a detailed explanation of each here, but lets make a start shall we.

1. Persuasive sales people understand and use the "Law of Psychological Reciprocity"

This is a powerful "natural" law of human communication and basically it says, "What you put out, you get back"! While the concept is basic, it can be used in very sophisticated ways to influence others, if you know what you are doing.

2. Persuasive sales people understand and use the Law of Rapport

It's often said that with high rapport almost anything is possible, and without rapport, influencing others is almost impossible. Again at first this may see a very basic concept. Many people think that getting into rapport with someone is getting that person to like you. It can be, but rapport is much more than this. You can actually have someone in rapport with you even if they don't like you, even if they are angry with you.

The sophisticated application of rapport can exert a powerful influence and persuade others to do what we want them to do.

3. Persuasive sales people understand The Law of Context

This is a very sophisticated method of influencing others. In a nutshell, this law says, "The CONTEXT in which a request is made, is often more important and can influence the outcome much more, than the CONTENT of the request itself."

In others words, HOW we ask, and seek to influence others is often more important than WHAT we ask.

4. Persuasive sales people understand The Law of Contrast

This is a variation of the Law of Context. Again it has some powerful applications in selling, negotiating and managing people. For example, in my workshops I explain how to use a system of "Top Down Selling" and "The Power of Three" to influence buyers and those we negotiate with to select the option, which we most want them to choose. It's a sophisticated technique, but simple to use when you know how. However as I always stress in my workshops...

With great power, comes great responsibility

I heard this line again just last week when was watching the DVD movie of "Spiderman" with my 11 year old son. (Of course I was there doing research!!).

The power to influence and persuade others is an awesome power when it is fully developed. I do help people to develop this power, however how it is used is up to every individual to decide. It can be used with integrity to create win/win outcomes and strong long-term relationships.

Or it can be used to take advantage of people. Using it in this manner however is a very short-term view.

Today's most successful people take a long-term view and develop on-going relationships with integrity and genuine caring, where customers and people with whom they do business, are happy to do business with them over and over again.

Anyway until we speak again...

Have a great week this week. Make it a great week!

Wayne Berry CSP*


Wayne Berry CSP* is Australia's own TOP GUN Business Sales Coach and most in-demand speaker on sales, negotiating and Sales Management Training. He is ranked in the top 7% of professional speakers in the world by the USA based National Speakers Association. He is a best selling author and one of Australia's best...

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