Companies now generate, gather, store and analyze more data than ever before. This has put sales and marketing leaders in the driver’s seat with respect to strategy, as they no longer have to rely on much guesswork when strategizing new campaigns and tactics. However, there are some intangibles involved in the sales process that cannot be necessarily executed through data, but instead must be carried out by aware, charismatic and personable sales people.
Famed author of the “Principles of Influence” professor Robert Cialdini recently released his latest work, “Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade,” which has been making waves in the marketing arena. Now, one neuromarketing specialist has analyzed the ways in which Cialdini connected the art of persuasion and influence within the sales cycle, rather than only when looking at advertising.
A rule to live by
Roger Dooley recently published a post on his neuromarketing blog regarding Cialdini’s proposed sales rule that is more important than all others that was released in the professor’s latest book. He began by saying that the idea is built off of Cialdini’s age-old rule of influence regarding liking, which essentially read as sales and marketing professionals need to first gain the admiration of a prospect before they can actually make a valuable connection.
According to Dooley, Cialdini’s No. 1 rule of sales works on the same thinking, but in reverse, as he argued that prospects need to truly believe that the individual pitching to them likes them. The idea here is that when a prospect believes the sales person earnestly likes them, they will inherently trust them more. This can quickly lead to not only a conversion, but also the establishment of a lasting, fruitful professional relationship between the business and the new customer.
Dooley went on to discuss some of the ways sales people can go about showing their prospects that they like them, such as using flattery, proper timing and common ground, but stressed that he and Cialdini both believe these methods need to be authentic. Today’s prospects are exceedingly skilled at identifying disingenuous traits and statements, and when they do, they will not be very likely to want to build a relationship with a given business.
Other tactics of note
By following this new rule from Cialdini, sales people will be setting themselves – and their companies – up for success. However, that is just the beginning, as businesses need to focus on establishing, strengthening and sustaining relationships with all customers. The Balance argued that the trick is to be more conversational than sales pitch-focused, and that sales professionals should avoid any sort of defensive verbiage if turned down on the first try. What’s more, the news provider stated that rather than only trying to blindly sell in those meetings, sales professionals should be working to identify whether or not the relationship would be a good one for both parties.
Make sure sales staff understand the modern demands of their responsibilities, and stick to tried-and-true measures to convert prospects and build strong relationships.