Amazing, isn’t it?
How when you listen to one of the selling masters you say to yourself “Why didn’t I think of that? It seems so obvious…so easy.”
The masters always seem to come up with the perfect phrase…a few
words…sometimes even just one word…that grabs you by the lapels and drags you into their presentation.
The perfect words make you want to buy whatever they’re selling before they’ve even mentioned a product.
It’s the Art of Persuasion. Right?
But let me assure you right now that it’s less of an art and more of a
The Art of Persuasion is something you can learn. And the good news is the fundamental building block to any good persuasive presentation is simply building rapport.
As the motivational trainer Peter Lowe says, “The three keys to
persuasion are: Establish rapport, Establish rapport, Establish rapport.”
And to build that rapport, you need to cultivate behaviors that will make people trust you and make them feel it’s in their best interest to
follow your lead.
Here, are some ideas, big and small, for making yourself more persuasive:
1. Before a presentation, ask yourself “What do I really want?” Ask
soul-searching questions to understand your true motivation: family,
money, fame, power. You’re looking for what makes you tick, what
2. Develop the knack for making the other person feel like the center of the universe.
3. Be quick to compliment.
4. Train yourself to remember other people’s names. One of the best ways: when you shake hands with a new person, note the color of his or her eyes. That forces you to make eye contact and, after a while, will also send a signal to your brain to store that person’s name in your long-term memory. Also use the name soon afterwards, and you’ll have a lock on it.
5. Empower others. Follow the maxims of legendary 3M leader William McKnight: “Listen to anybody with an idea. Encourage experimental doodling. If you put fences around people, you get sheep; give people the room they need.”
6. Try to arouse positive emotion.
7. Take a clue from your audience–whether it’s a single seller or a family of buyers. Really make an effort to communicate in a manner that matches your message to the receiver.
8. Hone your sense of humor.
9. Practice being a better questioner. Follow up by asking, “How does that make you feel?” or “Have you ever experienced anything else like that?” or “How could that be handled differently in the future?” or “I wonder what lessons we can take from that?”
10. Keep your perspective. Remember: Even though you’re passionate about your point of view, lighten up. Tomorrow’s another day-and another opportunity to persuade.
Ralph Roberts reports that in order to survive the slump compete on quality service, reputation and know how–not price.
Stefan Swanepoel gives us a short history of the housing bubble, the effects of bubble trouble and asks the question: what lessons have or will you learn from this current market?
The National Association of Realtors expects home prices to recover in 2008 with existing-home sales picking up late this year and new-home sales rising early next year.
Here’s proof that everyone will eventually be able to search for listings by brand using Google. Joel Burlesom explains the findings he stumbled upon.
And if you haven’t heard, there is a new exist strategy for struggling homeowners–short selling. It may be difficult to convince a lender to go this route, but here are 7-steps on how to do a short sale if you want to give it a shot.
Closed deals and commissions…who wants more?
The number of excellent resources that have come out since the beginning of the 21st Century on sales advice steadily grows. Plus there are some timeless classics that are still very relevant today.
With that in mind, I think it makes sense to compile the very best in one handy location and share it.
But instead of giving you a list of links, I’ve broken the process down into seven stages, plus a General category.
That way you can go to resources that provide help in that particular stage right away.
I’d recommend if you are new to sales to systematically work through the each stage. But it’s your choice.
So, here’s your ultimate “how to” guide to mastering the art of closing the deal:
Do You Create or Control the Sale? | Allbusiness
Unlock the Game| Ari Galper
Question Based Selling | Thomas Frieze
Brian Tracy International | Brian Tracy
Stage 1: Trust
What Is Trust? | Wikipedia
Four Beliefs that Kill Trust | Management Consulting News
Is Your Sales Trust Factor Higher Than Your Competitors’? | Terrakon
Trust: The Social Virtues and The Creation of Prosperity | Francis Fukuyama
Stage 2: Find Need
Where and When to Begin Marketing | Jay Conrad Levinson
Find Your Niche in a Small Market | About.com
Proven Strategies for Increasing Profits | Brian Tracy
Stage 3: Build Value
Make Someone Happy: Your Customer | Lillian Vernon
The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First | strategy + business (You must register to read this article, but registration is free.)
Stage 4: Create Desire
To Make a Sale You Must Creat Desire | Adams-Hall Publishing
Selling Dreams: How to Make Any Product Irresistable | Kip Longinotti-Buitoni and
Gian Luigi Longinotti-Buitoni
Stage 5: Overcoming Objections
Overcoming Objections in Sales Part 1 | National Federation of Independent Business
Overcoming Objections in Sales Part 2 | National Federation of Independent Business
No Doesn’t Always Mean No | Tom Hopkins
Stage 6: Closing
Closing the Sale | Tom Hopkins
24 Techniques for Closing the Sale | Brian Tracy
Zig Ziglar’s Secrets to Closing the Sale | Zig Ziglar
Stage 7: Follow Up
The Importance of Sales Follow Ups | Allbusiness
If I missed your link and sales resource let me know and I’ll take a look.
First, what is copywriting?
In a nutshell, copywriting is nothing more than salesmanship in print. In fact, a good sales letter, website or mailer is just like having a salesperson on your team. But with one critical difference. Let me explain…
Salespeople are trained to sell or promote to one customer at a time. However, one well-written, highly-persuasive sales letter can sell to 1,000 people (or more)…at anytime of the day…in the time it takes a salesperson to sell to 10 people.
For example, if you send 1,000 postcards, 1,000 people will probably see it in a day. That’s why it’s important for you to have a persuasive message on your mailers or website. You will promote more in less time.
Now, I’ve shared one very good reason why copywriting is important. Here are seven more. And after reading each, you’ll get a better feel for copywriting. You’ll understand what it can do for you. And you’ll see why you or your team may want to invest time or money in copywriting to help your business grow to the next level.
1. Creates Selling Power. The most obvious reason why copywriting is important is this. It creates a force that will generate that lucrative, heart-pumping “I must have this or do this” buying response in customers. Result…leads triple, appointments double, commissions increase.
2. Creates a Conversation. Great copywriting is a conversation between you and your customers. And a good mailer is the perfect way to break that ice.
But it doesn’t start with you. It starts with your prospect. It speaks to him. Where he is. His hopes, dreams, fears and desires. It makes the customer feel like you have the right answer.
3. Melts Sales Resistance. Good copy will appear transparent to the reader. It will not draw attention to itself. In fact, great copy will lead the reader to think that it was his own idea to call you.
4. Boosts Response. Before launching into writing a mailer or ad, research the prospect. Probe potential and past customers. Perhaps spend some time studying human behavior in general. Your goal? Understand people’s deepest desires, fears, hopes and dreams. And when you can convince readers that you will be their answer to these desires, fears, hopes and dreams…response rises.
5. Builds Profits. A successful agent has a healthy dose of leads, transactions and profits constantly flowing. Copywriting can help you do that, too. Copywriting is the fastest and most economical (I’ll explain why it’s economical in a few paragraphs) way to propel profits in your business.
6. Improves Search Engine Rank: Great online copy does double duty. It not only knows exactly how to push a reader’s hot buttons. It not only knows how to trigger an emotional response like “Christ, my money is doomed if I don’t do something about it now!” Great copywriters know what search engines like Google are looking for. Which will help you open a floodgate of free traffic to your website.
7. Slashes Marketing Costs. It’s extremely easy to judge whether a direct response piece of copy is performing or not.
According to John Kennedy, legendary copywriter for Lord & Thomas (the world’s largest ad agency in the early 20th century), “Advertising should be judged only by the good it is conclusively known to sell, at a given cost.”
Copywriting is easy to measure. To judge. To replace if it’s way under-performing. To leave well alone if it’s pulling its weight. To test if you think it has untapped potential. And then you can strike oil in places you never expected.
Many young, inexperienced reps who are fearful of rejection, as well as older and experienced pros who get burned out or are too comfortable, tend to commit selling suicide.
To discover if you are pushing away your own sales success, take this quiz:
1. When you are touring a home of a prospective seller do you pretend the house has no flaws?
If so, you will suffer a Death by Perfection. This kills credibility. Don’t hide negatives. Like the legendary negotiator Herb Cohen says “Great salespeople expose the flaws and deal with the issues immediately.”
2. After a house sits on the market for 30 days, do you say to the seller “If this marketing strategy doesn’t work, well…we’ll just try something else”?
If so, expext to experience Death by Doubt. Confidence sells. Lack of confidence in the house, marketing approach or self kills deals cold. Sounding wishy-washy undermines peoples confidence in you.
3. When presenting the buyer’s counter offer to the seller do you tell them the counter offer first or last?
If you tell them the counter offer first, then you are likely to be a victim of Death by Information. In this case, if you believe in the counter offer, build value for the offer before you present it.
4. Do you abbreviate your full listing presentation when a seller says that he has only fifteen minutes?
If so, you will end up Dead by Deadline. Not telling or selling the whole story puts enormous pressure on you. And if the deal doesn’t die but you end up getting the listing, you may end up compromising a ton… like your commission. Always give a full presentation and allow enough time to respond to questions and negotiate.
I don’t know how you feel about approaching strangers, but I can tell you how I feel…
It’s uncomfortable, if not sometimes downright unnerving.
You’ve got eight seconds to grab your prospects attention. You hear the silence.
What do you say?
In situations like these, I like to use these three opening lines…or at least some variation of them.
And by the way, you have to memorize and practice these so they trigger automatically.
Good or bad, your opening line will immediately establish an impression. It sets the tone for the call.
If you open things up the right way prospects will love you. If you don’t…they will despise you.
So it needs to be automatic.
Here are three good openers for face-to-face cold calls. Plus one bonus tip:
1. “Can you help me?” or “I need your help.”
This is by far the best way to begin a conversation. People love to help and don’t feel on guard against a salesperson. Remember, the object is to get the prospect to listen.
“Can you help me?” almost commands the other person to pay attention.
2. “I would like to mail you a listing presentation/package. Who should I send it to?”
This is known as indirect qualification and puts the gatekeeper at ease. All you’re asking for is a name, and all you’re doing is leaving something—then you say good-bye.
3. An Introduction. Usually, when a prospect picks up a direct line, they say their name: “This is Robert Smith,” or “Robert Smith speaking.”
Your first step will be to repeat this person’s name. Keep things formal for now—use Mr. or Ms., then the contact’s last name.
Prospect: This is Robert Smith.
You: Mr. Smith?
You: It’s a pleasure to speak to you.
Get the idea? This pleasantry will do a far better job for you than simply volunteering your name and company affiliation at the outset of the conversation.
Bonus Tip: Once you’ve shared your hook, the other person knows the reason for your call—the cat’s out of the bag. This is the perfect time to identify yourself and, if you like, your organization.
So, which question are you going to use on your prospecting calls today?