Use Psychology to Persuade Prospects

Tue Mar 21, 2017

Jessica Helinski

meeting interviewIf you want to strengthen your sales, consider adding some psychology to your strategy. Research continues to show that many elements shape people’s decisions, and often, those elements are instinctual. As a salesperson, you can “tilt those instincts in your favor,” writes Kate Rockwood in a recent Inc. article. She discusses highlights from Robert Cialdini’s book “Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade,” which points out decision-making is often an instinctual process rather than deliberative.

Rockwood shares six ways to tap into the psyche of others’ to win them over. Below are a few of those tips:

Find common ground.

People like to do business with people who are like them, so it’s up to you to be relatable. When meeting with a prospect, keep an eye out for visual cues (such as a college ring or sports memorabilia in his or her office). These cues can help you find “on-the-fly commonalities” that can create an instant connection. For a deeper bond, check out LinkedIn and other social networks to learn more about potential common interests, as well as talking points.

Spotlight your greatest feature.

“You can influence how much import people give to quality, speed, service, or another feature through visual cues,” Rockwood writes. She points out that Cialdini’s research found visuals have a major impact on customers. And, customers may not even realize it. So, do what you can to spotlight a standout feature of your product or service, and in doing so, you drive their attention to it AND emphasize its significance.

Don’t mention the competition.

Research shows that no mention of competitors is best. “In fact,” Rockwood explains, “when you ask people to consider a particular product, their intention to purchase it naturally increases. But when they consider that product after a mention of what your competitor has to offer, the impulse to purchase yours plummets.”

The next time you approach a prospect, keep these tips in mind. As the article states, it’s not necessarily our message that first moves people to think or act. But rather the mindset we create for them can guide decisions.

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About Jessica Helinski

Jessica is a senior research analyst for SalesFuel focusing on the specialties of local account category research and audience trends. She reports on sales and presentation tips for Media Sales Today. Jessica is a graduate of Ohio University.

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