If you are vigilant, you can observe persuasion techniques being used consistently in all aspects of life. Whether you are watching television, reading the newspaper or shopping, you will see these three persuasion techniques in action. Noticing them is one thing, but when you can implement them in your business you can reap the rewards in increased sales.
The first persuasion technique is scarcity, and this is something we live with from a very young age. We can all remember a toy or a gadget that was the essential purchase during the holiday season, but not everyone could have. No matter where you looked it was sold out.
If you have ever purchased items online you may have noticed a stock inventory list next to the item. This is often fairly subtle but is a good example of scarcity in action.
These are just two simple examples of the kind of scarcity we can witness frequently, but they are far more powerful than they first appear. This is because scarcity takes some of the control away from the potential buyer and adds the extra element of competition.
Something that might, previously, have been an inessential purchase becomes far more important. The potential buyer knows that there are limited quantities and that many people are eager to get their hands on the product or service in question.
You might think that scarcity is disreputable or only suited to certain types of businesses, and this can be true. Of course, scarcity can be used in deceptive ways that should be avoided, but there are probably a number of areas of your sales process that could benefit from legitimate scarcity.
Experiment with limited quantities of certain items, sales deadlines where the clock is ticking and stock inventory information. Observe how customers start to make emotional decisions when purchasing instead of relying on logic alone.
When you help someone they will typically feel a responsibility to help you in return. This is reciprocity in action. When used effectively, it can result in your customer performing the action you desire while still being very grateful to you for your side of the bargain.
A common way this is used can be seen on various websites and in all manner of niches. A visitor to a website is offered a free report or video which will explain something of value to them, often requiring the joining of an email newsletter. When used effectively, the visitor will then receive more free content over a period of time, developing the bond between the two parties. The inevitable time will come, and an offer will be presented to the prospect who now feels some commitment to the relationship. The chance of the prospect becoming a customer is now far greater.
Reciprocity is so successful because we become so aware of the mutual arrangement from a young age. If you do not reciprocate with other people you will get a reputation for begin selfish and find it difficult to develop close relationships. Most people like approval from others and this even takes place in arrangements with businesses.
When implementing reciprocity in your business you should be acutely aware that you must provide something of real value if you expect anything in return. You greatly diminish your chances of a sale if you don’t provide value, and this will be clear to any astute customer. If you can help them to make a tangible improvement to their health, wealth or lifestyle you can attain a customer for life.
The ability to tell a good story is integral to persuasion in business and could be one of the best skills you can learn. Whether you are speaking in person or through sales copy, if you can tell an enticing story then you can be a good communicator.
There are two important benefits of good storytelling that can help with your sales. You can use a story to build up strong rapport, and you can explain clearly what the potential customer will be purchasing. If someone does not trust you, or does not fully understand what you are selling, then they are not very likely to buy from you. Using clear communication can overcome these objections very effectively.
It is well known that promoting the benefits of a product or service will typically get better results than promoting the features. This is because people are thinking about what they will get out of it. We all tend to make buying decisions in this way. Therefore, spending less times on the features and the extraneous details is paramount. Instead, pinpointing the benefits, using the craft of telling a story, can do the selling for you without it feeling like a sales pitch.
If you want to tell a good story you should try to be as descriptive as possible, use a conversational style, vivid language and choose reference points that everyone can relate to. Also, aim to take people on a journey from beginning to end, always implying the benefits of using your product or service as the overarching message.
In conclusion, the three persuasion techniques of scarcity, reciprocity and storytelling are proven methods that have been used countless times by successful businesses to increase revenue. If implemented in the right way, they can transform your sales processes and give your customers a far better buying experience. Going forward, you will benefit from introducing them gradually and tracking the results.