Kevin Hogan

International Speaker

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Most Effective Persuasion Techniques in Selling

The three most common questions I get are these:

  1. How do you know what techniques to apply and when?
  2. How can I tell who will be the best salespeople? (From managers)
  3. If you had to rank all the laws of persuasion and techniques you teach what would the order be?

 How to be the Best Salesperson, Kevin HoganDedicate yourself to studying this entire article and I promise you will never have learned more about persuasion and influence in selling in one sitting…in your life!

The research that went into this article is detailed in the Science of Influence 37-48. Here is the beginning of the actual results. I’ll answer, at least in part, all three of these questions today for you. As if that isn’t enough, here are four other secrets from current research in selling with influence techniques that I want to share with you.

  • In this article I want to show you what the number ONE best selling persuasion technique is. I’m not saving it for later work.
  • I also want to show you the 8 valences people fall into when selling and then show you WHO WILL SELL THE MOST.
  • You’ll also discover what sales approach is FAR AND AWAY the most profitable…and yet less than 4% of all salespeople utilize it!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • I’ve also got a couple of secrets for you….Read on.

There are a number of specific factors we study and have found out what works and what doesn’t. First the selling environment needs to be considered.

a) Live Encounters/Retail Environments. This is anything from a Bank to a Barber Shop…when you are face to face with someone and money will ultimately be moved from account A to account B.

Your home is a retail environment when someone is invited in the front door who could do business with you. Lunch with your insurance agent is a retail environment.

b) Media. This includes an environment like a magazine, newspaper, TV, catalog or website. Anything where a human being is NOT talking to another human being.

Each of the above has several subsets as you can see but these are the fundamental two points of purchase.

For the purpose of this article we will look at the retail environment. Media is entirely different.Proven Sales Techniques for Men and Women

Next you want to break your research into whether the buyer is a man or a woman.

Then you need to look at why the person is shopping. (Just out and about? Specific Purpose?)

Finally you want to look at the style of the salesperson. (Ingratiating, Passive, client centered, etc.)

We’ll begin with the last element first: (Forgive the “note taking” of this article, it is indeed culled from my notes for the CD program and not the other way around!)

8 Most Common Self Presentation Valences in Selling

(You might want to pick out which you are, so you get an idea how this works.)

  • Ingratiator: Wants to be liked. Is friendly, praises buyer, is helpful, is kind and positive.
  • Task Oriented: Control the customer. Get the job done and move on.
  • Client Centered: Understand customer, ask questions, diagnose, respond accordingly.
  • Passive: Leave customers alone, don’t engage.
  • Intimidator: Is seen as tough. Might use displays of anger or threats.
  • Self promoter: Wants to be seen as competent, effective, successful…will try and boost credibility by trying to appear smart or talented.
  • Exemplifier: Appears dedicated, committed, self sacrificing.
  • Supplicator: Appears needy, helpless, in need of nurturing.

If you had to pick one or two of those that might define you best, which would they be?

Now hold onto that and let’s look at some of the key PROVEN ways to generate increased revenues in selling with persuasion techniques.

7 Common Goals/Strategies of the Selling Process

  • Appear credible. (Trustworthy, dependable, competent)
  • Appear likable. (Engage in proven sales success behaviors of nodding, open posture, greater eye contact, genuine smile, friendly, favors)
  • Appear similar. (Customers buy from people who are perceived as like themselves)
  • Ingratiation (Really works? YES. Praise)
  • The customer/salesperson relationship SELLS…in fact…overall, little is more important.Top Sales Strategies, Kevin Hogan

Legend Point: ****Buyers are more satisfied with salespeople who are more persistent, whom they have known for longer period of time, intensity, enthusiasm, good interpersonal skills

Final Successful Goal that causes additional revenue generation in Selling Process:

  • Self disclosure, frequent interaction increase sales.

Those are seven factors that have been proven in study after study to generate additional revenues. Next let’s look at Laws of Persuasion that will be discussed.

Laws of Persuasion Under Consideration

  • Liking (ingratiation, praise, friendly, favors)
  • Scarcity
  • Conformity
  • Contrast
  • Consistency
  • Reciprocity

I assume you are familiar with this. If not, see The Science of Influence, or Psychology of Persuasion books for detailed information and applications.

Now I want to tell you a secret. You know what the best sales “technique” is?

Best Sales Techniques, Kevin Hogan

Secret: Salespeople who can rapidly adapt from customer to customer and situation to situation are the most profitable. The individual who can most quickly move into the world of the next customer or client is going to be the most successful on average.

Men and women buy when exposed to different kinds of techniques.

What sells men?

  • $$$ Praise
  • $$ 1/2 Consistency
  • $$ Reciprocity
  • $$ Ingratiation

All others were helpful but not statistically differentiated from EACH OTHER as tactics. In other words, using the Law of Contrast is almost always better than not using it, but it is not as effective in selling men as Reciprocity is. Make sense?

Praising the client is SIGNIFICANTLY more powerful than Consistency, which is significantly more persuasive in generating sales contrasted to reciprocity and ingratiation. And all of these are statistically significantly greater than all of the other techniques and laws listed earlier in the article. (See studies and citations in CD 38)

What about women?

Women are different in some crucial ways. Where nothing persuades women as much as praise persuades men to spend more money, women are influenced by MORE TECHNIQUES and LAWS SIGNIFICANTLY than men are.

So, what sells women?

  • Consistency,
  • Praise,
  • Ingratiation,
  • Credibility

All were the most effective at $$ 1/2

ALL techniques used were discovered to be statistically significant compared to the 55% of those found significant with men.

Secrets of Sales Success, Kevin Hogan

SECRET: The Recreational Shopper will buy more by use of ANY technique.

SECRET: The Focused Customer will buy more with:

$$ 1/2 Consistency

$$ 1/2 Praise

DISCOVERY: The Focused Customer will not respond significantly to:

  • Conformity
  • Similarity
  • Contrast
  • Scarcity

Want to know which of the four basic types of salespeople make almost all the money for the company?

In other words, you can use scarcity all you want with the customer who is very focused about what he wants to buy and that technique will be no more effective than any other technique.

Now, I want to conclude with what is perhaps the most blindingly incredible finding.

When categorizing salespeople into four categories by actual behavioral traits :

81% of salespeople were not profitable and 19% of all salespeople styles sold 2-11 times more than the other salespeople.

For each $1000 a passive salesperson generated, the ingratiators generated $7,000 of sales and the Client Centered Approach generated $10,500.

I will let you pause as you see what that means to you and then allow YOU whether you want to learn more about the Science of Influence for selling!

Salespeople Revenue Generation Results

Passive (40% of salespeople studied) 1 Unit

Task Oriented (41% of salespeople studied) 4.5 Units

Ingratiator (15% of salespeople studied) 7 Units

Client Oriented (4% of salespeople studied) 10.5 Units

This is immediately applicable information for your business – today! Thanks for joining me!

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Author of The Psychology of Persuasion, Irresistible Attraction, and The Science of Influence, Dr. Kevin Hogan is trusted by organizations, both large and small, to help them help their people reach their personal peak performance and maximize influence in selling and marketing. Kevin is an internationally admired keynote speaker and corporate thought leader. In Coffee with Kevin Hogan, he shares his research, observations, and how you can apply them in your life – both in business and at home.

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