Influencing Skills - The Art of Getting What You Want

Influencing Skills

Traditional sales training has been broken for quite some time.

Buyers today want something more than slick talkers and hackneyed closing lines.

They don’t want to be put through a process that is designed to fit everyone, in fact, they are willing to vote with their dollars and long-term business if that is what you offer.

Relevant Information

What customers really want is access to relevant information from knowledgeable professionals who move them.

Persuasion, when done correctly, creates change at a physiological, psychological and biological level in the person you are persuading.

It allows them to check their internal map of what is true or not against a story that you’ve carefully crafted for them after eliciting their buying criteria, not a list of features, but a list of emotional criteria that allows them to say yes with total confidence.

How To Persuade

1. Open With A Powerful Persona

2. Elicit Information

3. Tell a Powerful Story to Lead Them to Their Own Most Logical Conclusion

Start With Persona

In order to persuade effectively, you start with your persona.

Much of a decision about whether or not to buy from you comes within seconds of meeting you and long before you have a chance to open your mouth and say your first words.

In order to create a powerful persona, you need to check several areas.


First, take a look at your clothes, go beyond the basics like freshly shined shoes and pressed clothes.

Ask yourself if your hairstyle is current (note, if it is over 3 years old, it is probably out of date whether you are a man or a woman).

If you’ve gained or lost more than 10 pounds in the past year and haven’t had your clothing altered or updated they will not give you a powerful first impression.

Are you dressed at the right level?

You should dress at least as well as the CEO of the company you are selling to, or one step better.

But dressing is just the first step, there are at least a dozen other areas that you must consider.

Good Presentation

Simply by making those small changes to your current presentation will increase your persuasive quotient instantly.

If people are going to judge you by what they see, be sure that they see your very best package first.

Craft a Powerful Story

In order to craft a powerful story that will draw people in and resonate with them in a way that makes them want to draw your conclusion, you must ask better questions.

The questions you want to ask to elicit not only product or service requirements but emotional requirements which will be the true criteria by which your offer is judged.

To elicit emotional buying criteria you have to ask very detailed and penetrating questions.

Here are a few examples of questions that will begin getting to the emotional buying criteria:

  • What specifically will successful implementation of this product or service mean to you personally?
  • How will you define success in relation to this product or service?
  • What was the final straw that made you decide to purchase this product or service?
  • Or to replace your existing product or service?
  • Other than you, who will be evaluating the success of this?
  • If you could wave a magic wand and get exactly what you want, what would it look like?
  • Why specifically would you want it to look like that?

Drilling Down To the Solution

When you begin to stop asking open-ended questions and start drilling down, you’ll find the pain and the requirements to successfully position your solution.

Stories lead people to draw their most logical conclusion, the one that the moral relates to.

We are deeply persuaded by powerful stories because they are the oldest form of communication we know.

Rather than rattling off a list of features and benefits, if you tell a story about how someone else used the products specific features and benefits or used the service to get a similar set of results and demonstrate it deeply by using metaphor, the person listening can draw only one conclusion, the one you want them to, but they’ll defend it as their own forever.

Persuasion is both an art and a science, but one that everyone must master. Your ability to earn is in direct proportion to your ability to persuade. Persuasion truly is the art of getting what you want.

This article was contributed by Dave Lakhani

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