How To Use The Art Of Persuasion In Live Software Demo
Some people are naturally born influencers who know how to talk people into taking action or believing in something. But even if you weren’t born with the superpower of persuasion, the good news is that it’s a skill that can be cultivated and made into a daily habit. Here’s how.
If you want to sell, you need to be persuasive. It’s that simple. If you don’t have the ability to convince and persuade people, selling will simply not be possible.
"The reality is that visionaries like Steve Jobs haven't been successful because they thought of something amazing and original out of thin air," said product manager Tyler Odean, who led teams at Google, Reddit, and Pinterest. "Rather, they were gifted at constantly persuading many people to follow them on their journey to something amazing and original."
Some people are naturally born influencers who know how to talk people into taking action or believing in something. But even if you weren’t born with the superpower of persuasion, the good news is that it’s a skill that can be cultivated and made into a daily habit.
1. Establish credibility
You may be a very good persuader, but if people don’t trust you, chances are they won’t be willing to buy what you’re selling.
To build trust between you and your buyer, start by gathering information about them so you can make them feel they are understood.
Empathy plays a big role in sales, and demonstrating you understand your buyers will allow you to build the foundation upon which you will be able to convince them you have their best interest at heart.
Empathy also means that during your live sales demo, you should make sure you listen carefully to your audience.
In addition, if at all possible, use colleagues or friends as introductions since people tend to believe strangers who were introduced to them by someone they already know and trust.
2. Adjust your message to their needs and wants
In one of her Psychology Today articles, Carlin Flora quotes a story told by Kevin Dutton, Ph.D. - the author of Split-Second Persuasion: The Ancient Art and New Science of Changing Minds.
"I once attended a New Year's Eve party, and the seven-year-old son of the hostess wanted to stay up late.
His mother said, 'You know what happens when you don't go to bed on time. You wake up late and cranky and irritable.'
The boy replied, 'Well, you don't want me running around early when you're lying in bed with a headache, do you?'
He framed his request in terms of her desires and was allowed to join the midnight reverie."
Instead of trying to convince your audience that your solution is generally a great solution, highlight the unique and specific benefits your potential buyers will experience when they use your product or service.
For that to work, as we mentioned earlier, you need to fully and deeply understand the challenges your potential buyers face and their needs. Then, tailor your message accordingly.
3. Provide emotional evidence
Naturally, people are more likely to be persuaded by seeing proof that your solution actually works. The type of evidence people tend to respond to the most is the combination of statistics or numbers and examples that resonate emotionally.
The effect emotions have on our decision-making process has been shown in more than one research. For example, recent research that analyzed the neuroanatomy of the brain has shown that emotions significantly influence our decision-making.
But how can you appeal to your buyer’s emotions? Storytelling is the key.
World-renowned screenwriter Robert McKee said in an interview to Havard Business Review, “If you can harness imagination and the principles of a well-told story, then you get people rising to their feet amid thunderous applause instead of yawning and ignoring you.”
When asked how to tell a good story, McKee said, “...as a storyteller; you want to position the problems in the foreground and then show how you’ve overcome them. When you tell the story of your struggles against real antagonists, your audience sees you as an exciting, dynamic person.”
So, instead of focusing on how great everything is, tell them a compelling story about the problems and challenges that are relevant to your buyers, and give your story a happy ending.
4. The loss factor
“People seem to be more motivated by the thought of losing something than by the thought of gaining something of equal value,” said Robert Cialdini, professor of psychology and marketing at Arizona State University.
As humans, we tend to break decisions down to a simple comparison of loss versus gain. What’s interesting is that the fear of losing something tends to be greater than the potential benefits.
When you want to persuade your audience, you need to understand what loss looks like to them. Then, ask the right questions and phrase them carefully, so that it doesn’t come off as an attack. For example:
- Would you agree that X?
- What would happen if this situation did not improve?
- Would it be out of line to say that your company could use X?
5. Remember the 6 principles of influence
In his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Cialdini explains that in this information-loaded world, there are 6 principles that can be used to persuade and influence people.
- Reciprocation. When you do something for someone, they feel they are obliged to return the favor. Small gestures can go a long way and lead your audience to buy.
- Consistency. People like to see themselves as consistent beings, so if you convince them to make a small commitment, you have a better chance of persuading them to follow that with a larger one.
- Social validation. Humans are more likely to buy something if we know that friends, colleagues, or like-minded people are buying it.
- Liking. We are all more likely to say “yes” if the offer comes from someone we like. Compliments can do the trick; humor works too.
- Authority. People tend to act when the offer comes from authority (think the most recommended toothpaste by dentists).
- Scarcity. People want things that are harder to find or less available.
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