The process of persuasion
Persuasion feels like such a dirty word these days. A manipulation or someone else’s mind or will. It’s only 1 step removed from the dirtiest word of all… Sales. Selling something. People think used car salesman, snakeskin salesman, or more recently, The Wolf all WallStreet.
It’s not true, it’s just an important component of life. You sell yourself, your ideas, your beliefs, your point of view of the world 100 times a day. And the thing is, the process we need to make a sale and the process we use in our personal lives is exactly the same.
And what is more, it’s nothing new. Aristotle came up with the pillars of persuasion back in the day of the Greek philosophers. So let’s take a look at the pillars because they are not just about sales, they also play an important role in how we position our brand and products in marketing and PR.
Authority. People buy from experts, whether that’s a real expert or a perceived expert, it doesn’t matter. As long the potential clients sees you as a leader in your field, you’re likely to get the sale.
Think about it. If you had an issue with your heart, who would you want on your team, and general doctor or a cardiologist? Of course the specialist, the expert. You trust their opinion more and you know they’ve been there, done it and have got the t-shirt.
Trust. Have you ever heard the saying “people buy from people they like”?. It’s true but not completely true. People actually buy from people they trust. And, it so happens we trust the people we like, the people who are like us.
One of the first things you want to do is make a connection with your potential sale. Make them feel there is some similarity between them and yourself. Because, people like people who are similar or have similar views to themselves, and consequently people trust the people they like (who are similar to themselves).
Emotion. This is often a little controversial because no one likes to think they buy based on emotion. Sorry to disappoint but it’s true. To buy the object is normally an emotional decision. I want it, it’s going to make me happy in some way, it’s going to improve my life. The decision of whether to buy the product is always an emotional one.
Trust and authority help to decide who to buy it from. Which company is trusted and considered an expert. But the actual decision to buy it, is one based on a feeling, an emotion.
But, here’s the kicker. We all have situations where we buy on logic don’t we? Actually no. We make a decision to buy based on emotion, we want it, but we know that’s a really stupid way to make decisions, we feel bad, so we look for the logic behind it. It’s on sale, it’s limited, it’s better quality and I need that quality. Whatever the reason, we find it so we can look ourselves in the mirror.
You need to know this so you can understand what your customer needs to go through before they make a purchase. Make them want it. Make them think you’re the right person to buy from. And then give them a logical reason to do it. No manipulation, no vodoo just stuff you probably already knew, just never thought about in this way before.