By Simon Hazeldine
Master salespeople are adept at utilising powerful psychological strategies to influence people. Here are three from my personal top ten:
People will buy from people they like
Extensive psychological research demonstrates the importance of ‘liking’ in persuading people. Master salesman Joe Girrard (In the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s “greatest car salesman”) credits liking as one of the most important factors in closing sales. The fastest and most effective way to encourage people to like you is to use the rapport building strategies from Neuro Linguistic Programming. People like people who are like them. Matching the behaviour of your customers will enable you to establish deep levels of liking.
People will buy if other people are buying
The impact of other people’s behaviour on our own is powerful. We will view a specific behaviour as correct to the degree that we see other people doing it. It is possible to encourage someone to take a specific action by demonstrating how other people are taking that action. Utilise this persuasion strategy by making frequent use of testimonials from existing customers, and by using stories about how existing customers made the decisions you want your prospective customer to make. This strategy is particularly effective when people are feeling uncertain. When people are feeling uncertain they are more likely to use the actions of others as guidance.
People will buy if the decision is consistent with previous commitments
The drive to be and look consistent is a powerful motivator of human behaviour. Utilise this strategy by getting your prospect to commit to something early in the selling process and then use it to leverage a decision later in the sale. Far too many salespeople have far too many customers “thinking it over”. Early in the selling process I get a customer to commit to “taking a look at what I have to offer and then deciding ‘yes’ or ‘no’ if you want to go ahead”. At an appropriate time in the sale I remind them of their earlier commitment and ask them for a decision. This bold approach results in far more closed sales. It filters out timewasters, which maximises my selling time with people who are actually going to spend money. This approach is not for wimps. If you feel more comfortable wasting your time re-contacting all of the people who are allegedly “thinking it over”, then please don’t use it!
Simon Hazeldine is the bestselling author of four business books that have been endorsed by famous business leaders including Duncan Bannatyne from BBC TV’s ‘Dragon’s Den’ and multi-billionaire founder and CEO of Dell Computers, Michael Dell.
Simon is in demand as a keynote speaker; performance consultant and facilitator in the areas of leadership, organisational performance and sales force effectiveness. He has a Masters Degree in the Psychology of Performance and extensive international business experience.
For more valuable information on leadership, sales, negotiation and persuasion including sample chapters from Simon Hazeldine’s bestselling books please visit http://www.simonhazeldine.com
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+