Sales Techniques: Key Principles Behind the Science of Persuasion

2 min read

Think for a second about the day-to-day work of your sales team… Which words spring to mind? Challenging? Problematic? Gratifying? And what are the universal principles behind the science of persuasion?

The following two animated explainer videos reveal the rules that guide decision-making when it comes to selling – and explain how you can apply them in a totally ethical, cost-free way.

Is selling hard work?

Opinions on social networks, debates in forums, a multitude of blogs, recommendations from friends, TV ads… In the face of today’s information overload we increasingly need shortcuts or rules of thumb to guide our decision-making. People have been researching the science of persuasion for more than 60 years. Here, the video Influence at work explains the 6 principles that make us say “yes”.

Reciprocity: people naturally feel the need to give back to others. If you want to increase the chances of someone being convinced by your offer, make sure it’s personalized and unexpected.

Scarcity: if something becomes a scarce resource, both its value and the demand for it increase. It’s not enough to tell your customers of the benefits of your product or service. You also need to make it clear that it’s a unique, one-off proposal – and show them what they stand to lose if they don’t consider it.

Authority: we naturally tend to follow what experts say. It’s important to let people know what makes you a credible, knowledgeable expert. Remind people whenever you can of how many years experience you – and your sales team – have in your industry. It’s an ethical and costless detail that can result in a 20% rise in appointments with new customers.

Consistency: people like to be consistent with what they have previously said and done. Consistency is activated by looking for small, realistic commitments.

Liking: we’re more likely to accept a proposal from someone with whom we feel a connection. But what makes you like one person more than other? We tend to like people who are similar to us, people who pay us compliments and who work with us towards common goals.

As an increasing number of our interactions take place online, try to take concrete measures to cultivate this type of behavior. Before starting to negotiate with a prospect, exchange some personal information so they get to know you a bit better. If you can identify shared interests the negotiation process will be that much easier and more effective.

Consensus: when we don’t feel 100% sure of ourselves, we look to the actions or behavior of others to determine our own way of doing things. Base your own ability to persuade on what many other people are already doing, especially when they are similar to you.

Can you identify with the depiction of the day-to-day work of a salesperson? Do you agree with the 6 factors of ethical persuasion? Let us know in the comments below.