7 Steps to Selling: The Power of Influence and Persuasion
Verb: To have an influence on.
Noun: The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself: “the influence of television violence”
1. The action or fact of persuading someone or of being persuaded to do or believe something.
2. A means of persuading someone to do or believe something; an argument or inducement.
These two powerful words sum up why most humans do what they do. From the moment a person is born, they are constantly trying to draw attention to themselves. Not only do we try to get attention by nature, but we also try to persuade or influence people to act or take action in a desired direction. Most of us have been using the power of persuasion from birth, but very few people actually study techniques on influencing others.
The power of influence and persuasion is an art, and can be mastered with careful practice. Keep in mind that people are driven by instinct, emotions, needs, wants, desires, and beliefs.
This short article will go through the Influential Process, first looking at the Product, then looking at the Reasons Consumer’s Purchase. These tools and ideas are taken from experts and authorities on Influence and have been used by most of the Top Salesmen in the World. They work like magic, and can increase your sales 10 Fold if applied.
“To understand why people buy, we should know people and have a keen sense of human nature. We should know how people think… how people live, and be acquainted with the standards and customs affecting their everyday lives. We should fully know their needs and their wants and be able to distinguish between the two. An understanding of why people buy is gained by a willingness to acquire proved and tested principles of commercial psychology to selling.”
(1)THE CONTRAST PRINCIPLE
Minds Change Depending on our Proceeding Events.
- How does your product stand out?
- What do you have that others do not?
- How can you look better?
- How can you make your product/service better?
This might sound a little confusing, so let me explain. All of us are influenced by former events. For example, lets assume you meet a very attractive female at a party. She is stunning and gives you her number. Afterwards you meet another girl who is also pretty, but does not quite match up to your former catch. The second girl will strike us as less attractive than she actually is. If you had not met the first girl, the second girl could have been more attractive to you. This is known as THE CONTRAST PRINCIPLE, and it applies to all fields of living. Lets take a look on how we can use this to our advantage.
“Be assured that the nice little weapon of influence provided by the contrast principle does not go unexploited. The great advantage of this principle is not only that it works but also that it is virtually undetectable. Those who employ it can cash in on its influence without any appearance of having structured the situation in their favor. “ Robert B. Cialdini
Assume company “A” and company “B” are competing at the latest Expo Event. Company “A” does a plain presentation and has plain brochures and a booth that they have had for the last 10 years. Company “B” creates a unique video and uses the Power of Video Scribing to portray their message. Instead of talking about their product and claiming how they are the “best at what they do”, they simply tell a story that goes along with their product. The story defines the Problem, and delivers a Solution. It is engaging and captures the attention of the audience. Immediately after watching the video, the audience heads over to see what Company “B” is all about. What are they going to think about Company “A”? THE CONTRAST PRINCIPLE kicks in.
(2)THE POWER OF RECIPROCATION
The practice of giving things away.
- What is the rule of reciprocity?
- What are you giving away for FREE?
- What more can you give away?
Never underestimate the POWER OF RECIPROCATION. It works wonders, and should be used by all companies at all levels. It is the practice of giving things away. This rule requires that one person try to repay, in kind, what another person has provided. Give your clients and prospects something for free and they will feel indebt to you. When your audience accepts something for free, they are now more vulnerable to your influence. They feel a strong desire to be loyal to you and your product.
(3)GET IN THEIR HEADS
Join the conversation going on in your Client’s Head.
- What are your clients Pains, problems or predicaments.
- How can you solve them?
- What action do you tell them to take?
This can get a bit complicated, but you can ask yourself a couple of simple questions:
- What is your prospect’s pain, problem, or predicament?
- How can you solve their predicament?
Once you have these questions answered, you can then begin to create your pitch. More often than not, people tend to scan through products looking to solve their problems. Only about 15% of people on the web actually read every word written in articles. With a powerful pitch you can increase that statistic drastically. Your script or pitch has to hit their hot buttons quickly before they move onto something else. Once you get their attention and show you can solve their problem,s you need to tell them to take action.
“First step in selling things to people is to figure out exactly who we are talking to and what it is they may be thinking about a large portion of the their day…or in other words, what conversation do they have going on over and over and over again inside their heads.”
Why should we tell/use stories?
- What is your story?
- Is your story/message clear?
- Is it authentic? Engaging?
- Does it have drama or tension?
STORIES JUST WORK! Society craves entertainment and has for thousands of years. Stories have a way of connecting with people’s emotions and keeping them engaged. When people listen to stories, they actually simulate the story within their own minds, which allows them to connect on an intimate level to what is being said. This connection can influence their behavior in numerous ways.
The real power and influence comes when someone can tell stories in such a way that they create events in reader’s minds that influence them to make directed decisions. STORYTELLING is one of the most powerful tools for presenting your product, brand, benefits and services. Instead of telling people how your company provides a service, tell them a story about a customer who had a life-altering experience because of their recent purchase of your service.
Why are stories so powerful?
We are drowning in dull information, good stories can cut through the noise
Personal stories feel ‘real’ vs abstract concepts, statistics, or logical arguments.
Stories capture people on an emotional level, creating a deeper, intimate bond.
Stories are memorable. People forget facts but remember stories.
(5)THE PRINCIPLE OF SOCIAL PROOF
People will act and do as others are doing. (Testimonials)
- What is the social Proof of your product?
- Do you have testimonials?
You need the power of the crowd. THE PRINCIPLE OF SOCIAL PROOF states that people will act and do as others are doing. When people see that others are buying one product or service, their uncertainty washes away. They relax knowing that they are not alone.
Testimonials are extremely important and should be used in all our marketing material.
(6)THE POWER OF AUTHORITY
Follow the Expert
- What kind of authority do you present with your product?
- Are you an expert? Why are you an expert?
- If you are not the expert, how can you become onet?
It is so often one hears that someone does something “just because the expert said so”. People are all inclined to follow experts, even if it does come to harm them in the end. Human nature loves to comply, listen, and follow authority. If there is a Doctor, Lawyer, MBA, or Ph. D. next to someone’s name, people immediately believe whatever they might say. There are countless examples on the POWER OF AUTHORITY, just believe me, I am an expert in this field.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fwI5jCASW8 Here is a link to a great video. Dave Yaho uses an exciting story to get his point across. But pay attention to how bad this car salesman is. He did not apply one principle. What could the salesman have done differently?
(7)THE PRINCIPLE OF SCARCITY
People assign more value to less availability
- How have you created more value and less availability to your product or service?
THE PRINCIPLE OF SCARCITY states that people will assign more value to opportunities when they are less available. People cannot stand missing out on a good thing, or that a deal might be lost forever. When scarcity of products or services are created, their value and demand will increase immediately. This is a well known Economic Theory. There is something within humans that just can stand missing out. Scarcity moves product from a logical, to an emotional buying decision, giving the market the control. Think of diamonds: diamonds are not scarce. The diamond industry creates a scarce environment by vaulting the majority of diamonds. They hold back supply so that people think they are scarce. The reality is, there are millions upon millions of diamonds sitting in bank vaults. DeBeers, who maintains 47% of the diamond industry is very concerned with the scarcity principle. Their cartel depends upon it.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
- THE CONTRAST PRINCIPLE: Minds Change Depending on our Proceeding Events.
- THE POWER OF RECIPROCATION: The practice of giving things away.
- GET IN THEIR HEADS: Join the conversation going on in your Client’s Head.
- STORYTELLING: Why should we tell/use stories?
- THE PRINCIPLE OF SOCIAL PROOF: People will act and do as others are doing.
- THE POWER OF AUTHORITY: Follow the Expert
- THE PRINCIPLE OF SCARCITY: People assign more value to less availability