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Why Persuasion Matters

Have you ever tried to sell the benefits of what you’re doing and were met with stony silence?

Your prospect didn’t give a whit about the benefits of your product or service.

Unknowingly, you entered the treacherous communications gap. You’re not talking with but at your prospect.

I was reminded of this recently when a client shared his frustration selling a quality plan to hospital administrators.

My client and his prospects might have been on two different planets.

The administrators thought short term: What can you do for me today?

Meanwhile, my client’s program took three years to prove its worth. To the administrators, that time frame was an eternity.

To right the ship, my client needed to sell the benefits he would deliver in days and months, not years.

Here’s the deal. To get a prospect to be all ears, meet the prospect where he or she is, not where you’d like them to be.

So What Can You Do to Be More Persuasive?

Research scientist Dr. Jay A. Conger boiled down persuasion into 4 steps.

Here they are:

  1. Establish credibility. People won’t buy what you’re selling unless they trust you. What can you share or do that will establish your expertise?
  2. Find common ground. What does your prospect care about? Worry about? Is challenged by? Ask yourself: How will your product or service help?
  3. Provide proof and frame it in a story. Use hard numbers if possible but weave them into a story. An anecdote makes what you’re selling memorable and personable.
  4. Connect emotionally. Show that you care and want the best for your prospect. Show your passion and enthusiasm. But avoid going over the top and being unbelievable and unstable.

Persuasion is an essential skill to be a successful salesperson and marketer. How are you persuading prospects to buy what you’re selling? Share in the comments.

Any time you’re writing for your audience, editing should be part of the process.

This post appeared in a slightly different format on LinkedIn.

I help small business owners, including coaches and consultants, nail their messaging, branding and marketing to grow their business. Schedule a free Power Positioning call with me.

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Wendy Marx

Wendy Marx

Wendy Marx, author, coach and marketing and branding authority is the founder of Thriving at 50 Plus, a coaching program that helps baby boomers find more purpose and meaning in life. Wendy over the last 30 years has helped many business owners and executives become well-known, going from Anonymity to Industry Icon™. Her business articles have appeared in The New York Times, InformationWeek, Inc., Advertising Age, & Fast Company, among other outlets.

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