With all the advances in the professionalism of our profession, sadly today many people still believe sales is something you do to another rather than for another. We’re making strides in leaving that “used-car” persona behind, but there’s still a lot of work to do.
A lot of that work comes in the art of persuasion. Being a professional salesperson requires one to be skilled in the art of persuasion, but many are still confused as to what it actually means.
As Zig Ziglar so aptly noted, persuasion is not getting someone to do or take action on something they don’t want to do, that’s manipulation. In sales, persuasion is simply providing good, solid reasoning to assist someone in making a decision which benefits them. It’s just that simple.
The art of persuasion is built upon four main pillars: self confidence, belief in your product, enthusiasm and a true desire to help the other person.
Self Confidence: An essential element to persuasion is being confident enough in yourself to recommend a solution for your prospect. You must know deep down inside you can help the prospect and have the confidence to take a stance in support of yourself, your product and your company. When you exude that self confidence, your prospects gain confidence in you and are much more likely to give credence to your suggestions and solutions. At the same time, nothing will turn a prospect off like self doubt–and there’s no hiding it. It hangs on you like the scent of a skunk, unable to be covered or concealed.
Belief In Your Product: Second only to belief in yourself is belief in your product. Knowing and believing it will provide benefits to your prospect are critical. How passionately you believe is in direct correlation to your success ratio. Once you have that inner fire, so committed to your product, the art of persuasion becomes a natural step in the sales process.
Enthusiasm: Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm’ and for sales professionals that’s never more true. Are you enthusiastic about what your product or service can do for your prospect? Are you genuinely excited to share its benefits? When the enthusiasm is genuine and true it is obvious. It oozes out of every pore of your body and becomes an aura surrounding you. Conversely, false or faked enthusiasm can be seen from a mile away. You can’t fake it. You’ve either got it or you don’t.
Desire To Help Others: Finally, if you’re confident in yourself, believe in your product or service without a shadow of a doubt and just beam with enthusiasm, those three come together internally and fuel your fire and desire to help others. Once you look at the sales process through this lens, everything changes. You’re aligned perfectly with your beliefs and it will display itself in everything you say and do.
With these four pieces in place the art of persuasion almost becomes unnecessary. You really don’t have to persuade anyone to do anything. Because of how you conduct yourself, they want to follow instead of you asking to lead. They want to own instead of you asking them to buy and they want to belong without you asking them to join.
Work on each of these four and you’ll find your satisfaction rising with your sales.