How to persuade effectively?

Do you know how much Sales or Persuasion do we do daily? 40% of what we do is somehow related with sales or persuasion. But selling changed a lot in the last decade, the age of predatory selling is over. Selling must be now made more personal and purposeful. It is getting essential that the sale makes the buyer better off or the the world better off.

If you are working in a company, most meetings that happen are done for persuasion purpose. They are done to persuade people to do something. When you participate in meetings where the participants are new to you, are you able to identify who is the one with more power and who is the one that is struggling for influence? Be aware that people who talk a lot, are often the people who are struggling for influence. The person who stays relatively quiet but gets a disproportionate amount of attention, he is normally the one with more power. This situation is particularly true in sales meetings but you can also do this evaluation, with low error margin, in other kind of meetings, such as problem solving or even family meetings. There is a technique to easily do this evaluation, it is called “Discussion Map”.

For effective persuasion, you need first to find the common ground and, regarding the conflictual parts, you need to invite for collaboration and find together a compromised solution. This can be achieved by:

  • asking as many questions as possible,
  • being an active listening to their talks and
  • showing the characteristics of your product and service that you think that match with the information received to confirm if the intrinsic benefit is perceived or from interest to them.

“For effective persuasion you need first to find the common ground and, regarding the conflictual parts, you need to invite for collaboration and find together a compromised solution.”

— ProjectYourLife

Regarding your dialogue as a seller or persuader, don’t say “No” or “But”, any confrontation or opposition should really be avoided. Instead you can say “Yes, and…” or “Yes, I see what you mean, and what I would like you can consider also is…”. It is also important to highlight all good insights that you receive, anything that you do to elevate the other person is a step forward to turn the person a supporter. Of corse, that you should not exaggerate and flattering them simply for flattery’s sake, this would be perceived and you might loose the trust.

You need to prepare your pitch when you want to sell or persuade. A persuasive pitch comes from understanding that every human falls into cognitive bias and you need to understand them to use it as an advantage for you. Marketing is a lot about human cognitive bias. If you have bought something that you didn’t want, maybe you were a victim of cognitive bias. There are 3 major cognitive biases:

  • The Experience frame: it takes into consideration that people remember and give more value to the experience. When you are selling something, you should show the thing but also guide the person into a visualization journey and enhance all potential emotions of it so that the person can feel lively how it will be when he or she will be the owner of it. Example: if you want to go for a trip into a particular destination, you tell your companion about the beautiful beach, the points of interest that you can visit nearby, the great restaurants and the good and cheep house that you can rent with view to the beach, you tell also about the good moments that you can have their together.
  • The potential frame: it takes into consideration that potential is more persuasive then the current or needed performance. Example: if you are in a job interview, you should not tell that you are not capable of something, you should tell instead what you are motivated to learn, what is needed to become the person that you need to be for the job.
  • The loss frame: it takes into consideration that people react more easily to the fear of loosing something instead of a particular benefit of the product or service. Example: when our parents convinced us to study hard by saying that if we don’t study enough, if we don’t take good notes, then we might not be able to go to the university and have the profession and build the life that we dream of.

Take aways:

  • Practise active listening
  • Find common ground
  • Invite others to collaborate
  • Don’t disagree in a direct form, instead say “yes, and…” or “yes, I see what you mean, and I would like that you could also consider that…”
  • Make the other side feel good by acknowledging any good insights.
  • Show how their interests are served
  • The understanding of cognitive biases can lead you to powerful persuasive frames.

21-days challenge:

  • For the next family or business meetings, draw a discussion map and reflect about the result. How to draw a discussion map?
  • If above you have choose family meetings, then now choose business meetings (or vice versa) to practicise all the above take away steps.
  • Learn and prepare one of the several persuasive frames to use it in the next meeting that you need to persuade someone.

To learn more about how to perform a discussion map or know all cognitive biases or to learn the fundamentals to be a good seller or persuader, I suggest you to join the MasterClass | Sales & Persuasion from Daniel Pink .


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