Knowing how to sell is an art. And as such it thrives on principles to be followed and techniques to be refined and put into practice to achieve perfection. Relying on improvisation will never lead to concrete successes: in marketing as in any other profession what makes the difference is personal growth, continuous training, experience, the ability to adapt with ease and speed to situations to overcome any obstacle. , any inconvenience.
One of the most important techniques to be assimilated in the field of sales , especially in the context of direct selling, is that of persuasion .
Persuasion is constantly observed in a critical way because it is understood as a synonym for manipulation and, therefore, in a negative sense. Very often, in fact, we tend to consider the ability to influence others as an almost perverse ability, as well as absolutely innate and impossible to learn. Well: sure there is a lot of innate talent behind a skilled persuader, but what we ignore is that for most of our existence we apply it unknowingly .
It all lies in understanding when, on a daily basis, we influence others or are persuaded, so as to replicate those mechanisms and apply them to our work to achieve a specific purpose .
Certainly there is no “magic” text to become influential persuaders, but it is nevertheless of great use to know the psychological processes and conditioning that are established in relationships with others and, certainly, in that between seller and buyer .
# 1 RECIPROCITY
Reciprocity is an instinctive and common behavior more or less to all human societies, in every age. It implies the need to return a favor , behavior or attitude. It is an unconscious psychological reaction that is based on the assumption that automatic, often culturally absorbed, responses are given to a certain input. Returning a favor is seen as a logical consequence, while not doing it puts us in a bad light : for this reason we are used to reciprocating.
If, therefore, by giving an input you will have certain answers that are automatic, this means that, as regards the role of the seller, expressing trust will lead to the “need” to grant it in turn:take the first step and your interlocutor will feel “indebted” to you.
For example, you can submit an excessive request, which will certainly be rejected, and have it followed by a more convenient one: the chances of it being accepted will be much higher.
# 2 EMPATHY AND SYMPATHY
The reduction of the distance between you and your partner is the second principle to keep in mind. The ability to concretely establish a relationship of trust presupposes the ability to create an interpersonal connection based on mutual respect , on the sharing of values and points of view, on the knowledge of the other . To do this, one cannot ignore a marked propensity to listen: knowing who is in front of you allows you to extrapolate the right information and actively translate it into behaviors aimed at establishing an empathic bond . Similarly, being nice to someone, being on the same “wavelength”it is in itself a guarantee of high probability of success. How to do? It is necessary to be authentic, speak clearly and directly without too many words, without insecurities or ambiguities: in short, it is necessary to know how to relate on the same emotional and linguistic level as the interlocutor and arouse feelings of instinctive approval.
# 3 CONSISTENCY
As in the case of reciprocity, coherence is also a culturally produced value which we often obey unconsciously more or less every day. The tendency to remain on one’s own positions and to keep the commitments made derives from the need not to betray the image we give of ourselves to the outside, thus subjecting ourselves to personal and relational pressure.
Consequently, combined with the principle of reciprocity, it is difficult not to keep a commitmenttaken earlier. And by “commitment” does not necessarily mean the stipulation of a contract: respecting a commitment and being consistent with one’s image also means being “forced” to behave politely if the person in front of us has approached flawlessly. On the other hand, how difficult is it to remove someone in an unpleasant way, perhaps belonging to charities, if they “catch” us by presenting themselves in a particularly polite way?
It is therefore clear how this unthinking mechanism of our psychology can be used in the context of sales, to get the buyer out of his comfort zone and establish a prolonged dialogue with him: being able to make someone make a commitment will push him to be consistentwith itself positioning itself in a condition of greater openness through a more automatic and intuitive conduct .
# 4 SCARCITY
What you are selling is not a product: it is an opportunity . Learn to present what you propose as something unique, not to be missed, perhaps available for a short time or for a few buyers. As human beings, we naturally deem desirable something whose availability appears limited to us and we see the risk of losing it growing: it is a basic principle not only of persuasion but of the economy itself. The fear of missing an opportunity that we would like to exploit, especially when we are in competition with others, makes us want to seize it.
Obviously, in the case of the sale, basing a strategy on the stimulation of the feeling of scarcity implies acting wisely and not falling into ridicule. risking losing authority (we will see it below), for example by proposing something extremely common or poor at a decidedly excessive price.
# 5 AUTHORITY AND “SOCIAL PROOF”
Thus we arrive at the most complex point to put into practice, that is to propose to the buyer in an authoritative way, resulting credible through effective personal branding that reveals professionalism and preparation.
Each of us is raised under the sign of a more or less strong respect for authority. Whether it is embodied by the parent, the teacher, the boss or a public official, our more or less marked, more or less conscious, willingly accepted or not accepted propensity is to give him trust and / or respect. L ‘ standardizing the rules of conduct and compliance with lawsare the most intuitive and trivial examples. Consequently, it is evident that being able to be authoritative and arousing the so-called social proof , or social proof, is the key to achieving an optimal level of persuasion .
The need to feel part of a group comes from the need to have someone to trust and be accepted. It follows that a respected person, whom everyone trusts and with numerous successes behind him is more influential and able to motivate others: the perception of your seriousness and your competence will make you a reliable interlocutor . However, similar to what was said about scarcity,bluffing or exaggerating is likely to put you in a bad light and have the opposite effect.
Be polite and respectful, instill tranquility and perceive a low level of risk in granting you trust, show yourself competent and, if you yourself do not yet have the authority necessary to feed your social proof , cling to sources and / or data that can support your speech .
There is no way to immediately gain authority status, but it is possible to build it over time by showing competence and self-confidence .