Secrets of Power Persuasion for Salespeopleby Roger Dawson
Secrets of Power Persuasion for Salespeople, now available in paperback as well as hardcover, is a powerful, easy-to-read book that delivers scores of proven, effective methods and techniques you can use immediately to achieve the power and influence over buyers you desire. This book helps you master the art of persuasion, in turn helping your sales and/i>… See more details below
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Secrets of Power Persuasion for Salespeople, now available in paperback as well as hardcover, is a powerful, easy-to-read book that delivers scores of proven, effective methods and techniques you can use immediately to achieve the power and influence over buyers you desire. This book helps you master the art of persuasion, in turn helping your sales and profits grow.
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Secrets of Power Persuasion for Salespeople
By Roger Dawson, John J. O'Sullivan
Career PressCopyright © 2004 Roger Dawson
All rights reserved.
6 Magic Keys That Control Buyers
Selling is really a persuasion contest, isn't it? You're trying to persuade the buyer to buy. The buyer is trying to persuade you to buy his or her point of view that he or she:
1. Can't afford it.
2. Does not need it.
3. Can get it for less somewhere else.
One of you will succeed in your persuasion attempt. Will you end up as the persuader or the persuadee? What are the magic keys to persuading the buyer?
Do you know someone who has an incredible ability to influence people? Perhaps you're a salesperson in a competitive, price-conscious industry. You sweat buckets getting a new account to open up for you. However, the person who works the territory in the next state over never seems to have that kind of trouble. At every sales meeting, he's up there getting an award for the most new accounts. To rub salt into the wound, you bet that he doesn't work half as hard as you do.
Perhaps you're a salesperson who has become very good at prospecting for business and building rapport with the customer, but closing is your problem. You just can't get the buyer eager to "sign on the dotted line." Your sales manager can do it. Sometimes you've reluctantly called on your sales manager to help you close an account. She spends 20 minutes talking with the buyer. She doesn't appear to be selling hard, and she's certainly not closing hard. And she definitely doesn't tell the buyer anything that you haven't already told him. But the buyer suddenly says, "Okay then, how are we going to put this together? How is this going to work?"
What do these people know that you don't?
Probably, deep down in their subconscious mind, they have absorbed the following six magic control keys that influence buyers. If you asked them how they do it, they probably couldn't tell you. If you showed them this chapter, they would probably say, "Oh yes, I've been doing that for years, but I didn't understand the theory behind it."
So, let's start by examining the six magic keys that enable you to influence buyers.
Magic Control Key 1: Buyers can be sold, if you can reward them.
The first control key is obvious. Buyers can be persuaded to buy if they feel that they or their company will be rewarded. You can get a child to eat lima beans if you promise her ice cream afterward! Your young son strikes a deal with his mother that he'll go to bed if she lets him watch an additional half hour of television. As a salesperson, you probably work extra hard to win that Caribbean cruise.
Your first sales manager probably hammered into you, "Don't just explain the features. Translate those features into benefits for the buyer. Don't tell them that the car has power windows—that's only a feature. They pay money for benefits. With power windows you can cool the car must faster on a hot day. That's the benefit. That's what they'll pay for."
Superstar salespeople never take the approach that customers reward them by giving them an order. Superstars always think "win-win." "If I can give my buyers a win by solving their problem or serving them better, then they will be happy to give me the win of an improved income." Top salespeople in every industry project that they're so good at what they do that the buyer is rewarded by doing business with them.
Top attorneys can position themselves as being so valuable that they can pick and choose their clients. With good publicity, potential clients see them as so good at what they do, that the attorney is rewarding the client by being willing to represent them.
Top surgeons can pick and choose their patients because they have built a reputation for performing a specific operation better than anyone else.
Do you have that kind of reputation in your industry? Do buyers flock to do business with you because you're known as an expert in your field? Confidently projecting that you can reward your buyers is a powerful key to drawing buyers to you.
Neophyte salespeople believe that the buyer is rewarding them by giving them an order. If you think that way, you're probably communicating neediness to your prospects. Superstar salespeople project that the buyer is fortunate to have them there to solve their problems and serve them better. However, be careful how you get this across, because it could quickly turn to arrogance. You must still appreciate the business the buyer gives you.
How do you get away from projecting that the buyer is rewarding you by giving you an order? Here are five ways:
1. Understand that selling is a numbers game. If you're prospecting for new business as hard as you should be, there will always be a high percentage of people who will turn you down. There's no reason to feel rejection personally because they don't all buy.
2. Move away from what your product will do for the customer, and emphasize what you will do for the customer. Joe Girard, listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's top car salesperson, says, "They don't buy Chevrolets. They buy me." The more you can convince customers how hard you're going to work for them, the less they can make the case that they're rewarding you by giving you the order.
3. Convince the buyer that what he is buying is scarce and he is lucky to get it. (There is more about this in Chapter 5: How Scarcity Motivates Buyers.)
4. Convince the buyer that you don't do business with everyone who asks to buy from you. Tell buyers that to become a customer of yours, they must meet your requirements. That may sound like a stretch, but it can be done. Do you think that you could call up Boeing Aircraft and order a jet from them? I doubt it, even if you were paying cash. They would want to know why you want the plane, who's going to fly it, and what it's going to be used for (especially after September 11th).
5. Convince your customers that they have to qualify to reach certain levels with you and your company. Explain that your company has silver, gold, and platinum customers. The higher their level, the more privileges they get from you. Then, they have to work to reach the higher level or convince you to make an exception and treat them as though they were at the higher level.
EXERCISE: In the space provided, write three ways in which your buyers would be rewarded by doing business with you, instead of with your competitor:
I wonder if you included this: "They will be rewarded because they get me!"
That should be the number one reason that buyers want to buy from you. You must be a value-added salesperson! Your buyers need to believe in your ability to reward them so much that they insist on having you sell to them.
Magic Control Key 2: Buyers can be sold if you can exercise punishment power.
Punishment power is very powerful, because it triggers the most primal of instincts: fear. You're persuaded to give that big account the discount they want, because you fear losing the account. That's an obvious emotional reaction. However, what's really going on? Are you really so afraid of losing that account? Not really. What's really going on is that your mind is racing ahead. Your mind races faster than the speed of light, through a sequence of compounding tragedies. "If I lose the account I might get fired. I might not find another job. If I can't find another job, I'll lose my house. I won't have money for food, so I might starve to death." The fear of dying is a primal fear. As human beings, we must survive. It's our most basic urge, we'll do almost anything to survive.
However, you don't have to be threatened with death to be motivated by fear. Many of our fears are far more subtle.
The fear of failure causes a salesperson to give away things that may not be necessary in order to get the sale. All across the country every day, this is costing corporations millions of dollars of bottom-line profits.
Because of the negative aspects, fear is not a very good motivator, but there's no denying what a powerful persuasion force it is.
Salespeople usually get very good at projecting "reward power." They learn how to explain the features and then to project those features as benefits. Salespeople are usually very uncomfortable telling the buyer about the penalties of not buying from them.
In the space that follows, write three ways in which your buyers would be punished by doing business with your competitor, instead of with you:
I wonder if you included this: "They would be punished because they don't get me!"
That should be the number one reason that buyers won't buy from your competitors. Because if they do, they don't get you. You must be a value-added salesperson! Your buyers need to believe in you so much that they are afraid to buy from your competitor because they wouldn't get you.
Magic Control Key 3: Combine reward and punishment.
Let's look at how Power Sales Persuaders make reward and punishment work together as a persuasion force. You should stress benefits to your customers to persuade them to buy and also try gently to imply the dangers of not investing. "Making this investment will do wonders for your bottom line. Do it now before the competition gets the jump on you."
In any persuasion situation, the elements of reward and punishment are always present. Let's say that you sell equipment, and part of the package is an extended service warranty. You project reward power by telling the buyer how the equipment will last longer if that buyer's equipment operators can call you for free service anytime they have a problem. Your service repair people will spot problems and take care of them before problems occur. The other side of this is to tell them the awful things that could happen to them if they don't invest in preventive maintenance. That's not so easy. You just convinced the buyer to invest a million dollars in your equipment because it's the best in the world, and now you're warning him that it may break down?
Power Persuaders know that the subtle application of both punishment and reward power is much more effective. They imply that things will get unpleasant if they don't get what they want. But then, when the other side looks as though they're going to give in, they quickly switch to reward power by showing their gratitude. "That's great, I really appreciate it. You're very nice."
Let's look at how reward and punishment power affect salespeople's attitude. New salespeople suffer because reward and punishment influence them too much. They think that every customer can reward them by giving them an order or punish them by turning them down—or worse yet, ridiculing them for what they've proposed.
Years ago, when I ran a large real-estate company, we had a terrible time getting people to farm. (Farming means to select an area of 500 homes and knock on doors in your farm regularly, until people get to know you as the real-estate expert for the area.) When I looked into the problem, I realized the salespeople weren't farming because they were afraid of people ridiculing them when they knocked on the door. Furthermore, their office managers weren't teaching them how to farm, because they were also afraid. And the regional managers weren't training the office managers to farm, because they were afraid of ridicule. So I went out with every one of our 28 office managers and three regional managers, one at a time, and knocked on doors with them. Once they found out that there was nothing to be afraid of, the whole company started farming, and the number of listings we were taking soared.
Magic Control Key 4: Buyers can be sold, if you bond with them.
Bonding is a term that psychologists use to describe the change that takes place when a mother first touches her newborn baby. A bond develops between the two that never goes away. If you can learn how to bond with your buyers you will be a far more successful salesperson.
You bond with a buyer by moving your relationship from a business relationship to a personal one. Here are some suggestions:
1. Try to move the conversation from business to what's going on in his personal life. Switch the conversation to her hobbies, her vacation, or her family. One of the people who sells speaking engagements for me, tells me, "If I can get meeting planners to talk about their families or their hobbies, I know that I can close the sale." You must be subtle about the way you do this, and you must be skilled at reading the buyer's reaction. If you do it before the buyer is comfortable talking about her personal life the buyer will see you as manipulative or as a time waster. So try it, and back off if you meet resistance. You might say, "Is that a golf trophy over there?" If the buyer says, "Yes, but it was a long time ago" without even turning to look at it, you need to back off. If the buyer passes the trophy over and tell you how he won it, you can continue bonding.
2. It's much easier to sell a friend than it is to sell a stranger, isn't it? One superstar salesperson told me, "I only sell to friends. I never sell to strangers." I asked him if that limits his list of prospects. And he told me, "Not really. If I meet a stranger I make friends with him. Then I sell him." How common sense can you get?
3. Try to move the meeting away from the office. As I taught in my book, Secrets of Power Negotiating for Salespeople, information flows much more freely away from the office. If you can get the buyer to go to lunch or dinner with you or play a round of golf, you will bond easily. Even if you can just get her down to her company coffee shop or across the street to McDonald's, information flows more freely and bonding can take place.
4. Let the buyer know that you "feel his pain." One of the things that made Bill Clinton so appealing when you met him was his ability to make you feel that he cared about you. You can project this by reacting to the buyer's emotions rather than what he is saying (more about this in Chapter 18, rule 11). If the buyer says, "The last time we did that we got sued," for example, you respond to the emotion, not the statement. "That must have made you really angry!" If the buyer says, "Our other supplier let us down," you respond with, "That must really have disappointed you."
5. Let the buyer know that you like her. I have the toughest time with this, perhaps because of my English upbringing. I didn't really learn it until I joined the Hacienda Golf Club, which is right next to my home in La Habra Heights, California. At first, I thought that the members weren't very friendly. Then I realized that I wasn't being friendly to them either. So, I made a point of letting people know that I liked them. I started going up to the members on the putting green or in the pro-shop and saying, "I really enjoyed playing with you the other day. You're great fun to be with!" Within a couple of weeks, I realized that I was a member at one of the friendliest golf clubs in America. Try letting your buyers know that you like them by saying, "You're the most organized buyer I have," or "I always look forward to coming here. You are so much fun," or "You know why I like you so much? It's because you obviously have fun doing what you're doing."
Excerpted from Secrets of Power Persuasion for Salespeople by Roger Dawson, John J. O'Sullivan. Copyright © 2004 Roger Dawson. Excerpted by permission of Career Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Roger Dawson, a top speaker and writer on negotiation and persuasion, has written, in fact, a very persuasive book. Solid research that identifies effective sales strategies and explains why they work sets Dawson¿s book apart from many other volumes on sales techniques ¿ even when his advice is repetitive. He warns you away from manipulation, though he doesn¿t hesitate to use some forms of it, along with psychological insight, time pressure, friendship, subliminal messages and outright emotion to persuade clients to buy. Dawson writes in an easy-to-read, breezy, yet authoritative style and includes tricks, techniques, clever anecdotes and chapter summaries. The book is as well organized as a speech in which Dawson tells you what he is going to say, says it and then tells you what he just said. We recommend this book to people who want to sell better, and who have the starch to use intense powers of persuasion.