16 April 2007

Mastering The Art Of Persuasion: How To Get People Saying Yes..

Every conversation you make with someone is a sales act, it is a selling process. And just like with every process there are guidelines or rules that govern each activity which you must be aware if you are to win people over onto your side. You will find the following information helpful in your career or business as at the end of the day, success in such environments is about mastering the art of persuasion and getting people to say yes. For instance, in a situation where you might wish to sell a client a product/service or infact a discussion you are about to have with a colleague or subordinate, all comes down to how good you are with being able to convince people.

Being excellent at persuading people does not mean you have to be brutal or mean or callous, it is about alignment, sometimes agreeing to disagree and confronting the 2 emotions which are at the root of every person's action. I became more convinced from studying further and hearing from famous motivational speakers such as Anthony Robbins. It is so key that i believe it is vital to anyone in sales or indeed people in business. As i have said before, i believe we are all sales people, and so you must think of yourself as a sales person, i don't mean go round with a loudspeaker letting everyone know that you are a sales person, it is about how you think, not what you say, a concept for you to input into your mind, as this is the ultimate secret for success in business regardless of your position in the workplace.

So what are these 2 emotions to which i referred earlier? Well as i said, this has been concurred by heavy hitters in the personal development world, one of them being Anthony Robbins, in one of his audio tapes, he describes the ability to persuade people to your way of thinking comes down to realising that man is governed by emotions to avoid pain and the other, the pursuit for pleasure. For instance, if you are in sales trying to convince a client, in order to get a sale, what you need to do is to focus on the emotion of avoidance of pain, this is perhaps greater than the desire for pleasure. As human beings we do things to either avoid pain or gain pleasure, think about it for a moment, whenever you have made a purchase, what was the core reason behind it, it is often down to one of the 2 emotional reasons mentioned above. For example, a wealthy person will make a purchase to buy a luxurious automobile not because they actually need it but because the emotion to seek pleasure, we are emotive beings, we use emotions to make our decisions and then back them up with logic.

So if are trying to sell an idea to someone and you are having to convince the person with some effort, you need to focus on the consequences, you need to ask questions that deal with the pain elements for that person not going ahead with your idea/product/service, you get the idea. I remember when i was working for an insurance company, i use to sell life and critical illness insurance policies to people, and our sales trainer would say in order to convince the client you need to paint a picture of where there are at now, and the consequences if they did not take any action now, it might sound like deceiving people, but it is not, as people we hate being sold to, and it is why even though i said we are all sales people no one is going to want to buy from you if you go round brandishing a message across your head with the slogan 'i'm a sales person' it just won't work, so we need to be more aware of how people think, we all want someone who cares for us and is simply not there only for their commission. If this can come across in your pitch then you will find yourself doing very well. As the saying goes: 'people don't care what you know, until they know that you care.' You might have heard of the story of the American insurance man who when asked about what he did for a living, replied: 'i buy the best insurance products for my clients.' Would you have been intrigued to know more from that sales person? I'm sure just like me you would, 'he buys insurance for his clients!.' He is not coming across as trying to sell you, he is showing he cares for his clients, someone you can trust, and that is one of the most important rules in being able to persuade people.

If people can trust you and have a feeling that you care about them then you are likely to find yourself getting more 'yesses', and surely that can only be good for you and your business.

Till next time.

Femi Yusoof


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