Here’s another little tip to make you (and your sales pitch) more persuasive…
One of my most favorite marketing books of all time is the ground-breaking bestseller “Influence – the Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert Cialdini.
Written way back in 1984, Dr. Cialdini outlined six vital facts about human nature that can help any marketer (or any person, for that matter) be more influential, persuasive and successful.
- Reciprocity (If I do you a favor, you’ll feel compelled to do me a favor in return.)
- Commitment & Consistency (People will do things they don’t necessarily want to do in order to remain consistent with past habits or commitments.)
- Social Proof (If other people are doing it, it must be okay.)
- Authority (If I think you have authority on the subject, I will pay more attention and be more influenced by you.)
- Liking (We prefer to work with people who are similar to us and/or appear likable.)
- Scarcity (The original “fear of missing out,” a.k.a. “FOMO.” If it looks like there’s a shortage, people will act more quickly to get it.)
But that’s not what I want to talk about this morning.
Instead, I want to share one of several dozen marketing insights from Cialdini’s latest book – Pre-Suasion – How to Influence and Persuade BEFORE You Start Selling.
This new book is even more fascinating than his 1984 bestseller.
It talks about all the different things you can do in person, in signage, on a website, and just about anywhere else, to favorably influence and persuade someone in your favor BEFORE they actually hear your message.
Yes, you can “pre-suade” someone BEFORE they actually hear your message.
Hard to believe, but this has been proven over and over by Cialdini, who is renowned for his psychological research methodologies.
Sadly, Cialdini has WAY too many examples for me to cover in a single blog post, so I’ve chosen just one to share this morning – one of the easiest of all to implement.
This “pre-suasion” tactic is based on the power of “focus and attention.”
The concept is that whatever you focus on the most, that’s what your prospect will presume is most important.
To a fair degree, this is a direct result of the core human reaction that produces the so-called “self-fulfilling prophecy.” Translated, it means “whatever the brain focuses on, that’s where it will tend to go.”
Well, so what? How can we use this to help you sell?
It’s actually quite simple.First let’s start with whatever you consider to be your greatest advantage in the marketplace.
Honestly, it really doesn’t matter what it is; it just matters that you put somewhat outsized attention and focus on it, so that your prospect gives it outsized weight and importance.
For example, if you’re a big proponent of in-floor-cleaning, then you can put outsized emphasis on how big a deal this is, compared to all other aspects of a swimming pool.
When your prospect sees repeated mention of the importance of in-floor-cleaning (on your website, in your brochures, in your words, etc.), they will (1) perceive it as being important, and (2) recognize you as one of the leaders or experts in this area.
Selling fiberglass pools? Put outsized emphasis on speed of installation, and ease of maintenance.
Selling vinyl liner pools? Put outsized emphasis on the sensibility and affordability of a semi-custom inground pool.
Selling vanishing edge? Put outsized emphasis on the crucial intricacies to proper design, hydraulics and construction methods to produce a successful result.
Marketing 101 says you must find your own unique advantage, and communicate it in a way that is interesting, compelling and believable.
Marketing 201 (from Cialdini) says you should make your advantage(s) the focal point of your sales message, and give yourself an advantage over your competition.
Yes, today’s marketing tip is short and simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s not powerful.
Take a look at your current marketing – does it clearly put your unique advantages up on a pedestal?
If not, you’re at a disadvantage to your competition – especially those who read Cialdini’s latest book.
So I suggest you focus your attention on that!