Persuasion & Communication

You may be concerned with the idea of learning how to improve your persuasion and influencing skills in a program designed for people who are wary about sales and marketing and want to avoid tacky and underhand tricks.

First as a buyer and seller, there are two sides to understanding persuasion skills:

  1. How to use persuasion when you are selling to get people to buy
  2. How to make sure you don’t become a victim of dodgy tactics used against you when you are buying.

How far you want to go with these ideas is up to you although if you have a great product or service which helps people, then I’d argue you have a duty to do whatever you can to encourage people to end their suffering.

First a few definitions:


  • Cause somebody to adopt a certain position, belief, or course of action (Wordnet)
  • The act of influencing the mind by arguments or reasons offered, or by anything that moves the mind or passions, or inclines the will to a determination (BrainyQuote)


  • The power to affect, control or manipulate something or someone ; the ability to change the development of fluctuating things such as conduct, thoughts or decisions; An action exerted by a person or thing with such power on another to cause change;  (Wiktionary)


  • Two-way process of reaching mutual understanding, in which participants not only exchange (encode-decode) information but also create and share meaning (BusinessDictionary)

Manipulation / manipulative

  • Exerting shrewd or devious influence especially for one’s own advantage (Wordnet)
  • Describing one who obtains own goals at the expense of other people by using them (Wikionary)

What I’m going to share is powerful and can be used for good or bad.

It’s not the tactics themselves that matter but the intention behind their use.

If you follow the values of this program and your intention is to create a long term relationship based on mutual gain because you know you help your customers, then you can use these techniques with a clean conscience.

If you’re planning to rip people off with worthless scams, then unless you renounce your wicked ways, I hope you get what’s coming to you.

We’re about to delver into lessons from psychology, direct marketing and NLP as we increase your ability to communicate with the power to persuade.

Our aim is to help people to decide to take action to get what they want and need.

Show Me The Money

If you improve your persuasion skills, you can expect to see the following happen:

  1. More lead generated – your marketing will create more action as prospects raise their hands and say “I’m interested. Tell me more.”
  2. More leads converted – you’ll be able to gently tip a bigger percentage of your leads off the fence and into your lap as paying customers
  3. More revenue regeneration – every time you ask for more business, you stand a greater chance of success and you should have more people responding to your request for referrals too.

You will also get an indirect benefit by finding it easy to persuade your employees and suppliers to see things the same way you do. While you are often the decision maker with these two groups and you have power, the relationship will be better if people do things because they want to and not because they have to.

You’ll also find that you can practice your skills of persuasion in your private life with your husband, wife or partner and with your children.

Robert Cialdini: Influence

If you want to go deeper into influence and persuasion then this book is superb – informative and fascinating.

It is based around six principles of influence

  • Reciprocation – if you feel indebted to some one else you believe you have an obligation to return a favour.
  • Consistency – we like to see ourselves as consistent so we will look to act in ways that are consistent with our previous actions and stated beliefs.
  • Social proof – if other people are doing something, we are more easily persuaded to do it as well.
  • Liking – we are influenced by people we like
  • Authority – we follow instructions and guidance from people in authority
  • Scarcity – we value something that is scarce and want to possess it

If you’d like to listen to an interview of Rich Schefren interviewing Robert Cialdini, then he posted this mp3 on his blog.

I’ll be back to expand this section on Robert Cialdini’s work later.

See 6 Factors of Influence

Joe Sugarman: Triggers

This is one of my favourite marketing books written by a direct response marketing legend behind the BluBlocker sunglasses and many more products.

The sub-title is “30 Sales Tools You Can Use To Control The Mind of Your Prospect to Motivate, Influence and Persuade”. Unfortunately it’s out of print at the moment but I heard from Joe that he hopes to bring it out again.

Another of your bonuses for joining Your Profit Club as a silver member is a copy of the interview between Joe Sugarman and Joe Polish on Triggers which they were kind enough to authorise me to give you.

1. Consistency – once a decision is made, a person will want to continue to act in a way that is consistent with that decision or action. In a buying situation, the buyer has gone from sceptic to believer and may be eager to buy an upsell or cross-sell.

2. Product Nature – look for your product’s unique personality which can make a connection with your prospective customer, either emotionally or logically. Then cover these in your sales presentation.

3. Prospect Nature – find common emotional and logical reasons why your prospect wants to buy your product or service. Go back to customers who bought and find out why – their reasons may surprise you. Ask your prospects and find out what is important to them.

4. Objection Raising – just about every product or service has a flaw which your prospect might see as a negative. Raise it yourself before your potential customer can mention it. This tactic gives credibility and believability to the positive benefits in your presentation.

5. Objection Resolution – having raised a concern, you need to deal with it either by

  • showing how the potential problem is an advantage:We are a small firm which is why you can be sure of our personal service and attention. Your business is important to us.
  • showing that this minor flaw is so overwhelmed by all the good features and benefits, it becomes insignificant

6. Involvement and Ownership – involve your prospect in the selling process by touching and using the product. This is why car dealers are so keen to get you to test drive a car. Help them imagine what it’s like to own the product and to be receiving the benefits.

7. Integrity – you want to be trusted when selling and that means building a reputation for telling the truth and doing what you say you will.

8. Storytelling – since childhood, we’ve been conditioned to listen to stories. A good story gets and keeps attention and creates a bond with your prospect. Stories can also contain messages which sneak under the hype detecting radar so things in stories will be believed when they would otherwise be dismissed. Interestingly the way Joe Sugarman wrote Triggers was through telling a story to illustrate each of these points.

9. Authority – a repeat of one of the Robert Cialdini factors as we believe experts and authority figures.

10. Proof of Value – everyone hates to be ripped off so stablish the financial case for buying. Show the money that can be made or saved. Make comparisons with similar products and do it honestly.

11. Emotion – take advantage of emotion to fire up wants and desires (these are emotional conditions). Use evocative words that excite and create passion or show your own passion for what you sell.

12. Justify with Logic – if using emotion makes your prospects want your product, use logic to help them rationally their purchase to themselves and justify it to others.

13. Greed – a huge basic driver of action. The bigger the gap between perceived value and the price, the stronger the motivation to buy.

14. Credibility – don’t exaggerate and make your promotion unbelievable. Be accurate. It’s even be shown that big claims can be more powerful if scaled back.

15. Satisfaction Conviction – show your belief in a product with such a strong guarantee, that your prospect believes if it wasn’t great, you’d have to be crazy eg a “double your money back” guarantee

16. Linking – make your product easy to understand by linking it to something the prospect already knows so you create a bridge in the mind from old to new.

17. Desire to Belong – people express who they are and who they want to be through their purchases. Prestige brands like Rolex because people want to be like the other people who own and wear Rolex watches.

18. Desire to Collect – some people collect stamps or coins, others like Jay Leno collect expensive cars. The desire to collect is strong and it keeps someone buying long after any rational need is met.

19. Sense of Urgency – another Robert Cialdini factor although he called it scarcity. It triggers a fear of loss of opportunity if you don’t take immediate action.

20. Exclusivity – again linked to scarcity, the power of the limited edition to enhance value, push up prices and to create action is well known.

21. Simplicity – keep your offer simple. Complexity scares customers away and creates uncertainty about which is the best way to go.

22. Guilt – this links back to Robert Cialdini’s reciprocation based on an uneasy feeling that you’ve had something of value and given nothing in return.

23. Specificity – general claims are easily dismissed but specific claims are believable – this new golf driver adds 52.3 yards to the drives of novice golfers has a much bigger impact than 50 yards.

24. Familiarity – people buy brands they know. Name recognition increases trust in your claims.

25. Patterning – look at how your successful competitors work and then use that pattern with a special twist.

26. Hope – people buy to solve problems and even being given hope can create its own positive rush of emotions. Link your product to something your prospect is hoping to do or have.

27. Curiosity – will hook a reader and get them to want to learn more. You can bait your hook and promises to reveal more details later to get more of your sales message read. make sure you deliver on your promise.

28. Harmonize – you want to create positive momentum in your marketing  and get your prospect saying or thinking Yes and nodding their heads. Beware of No’s and especially near the close.

29. Mental Engagement – get your prospect’s mind thinking and active. he has to reach his own conclusion that he wants to buy.

30. Honesty – be truthful. Any sense that what you say is untrue will kill the sale.

Dave Lakhani:Persuasion

This video is persuasion expert Dave Lakhani speaking at a T Harv Eker event.

Kevin Hogan: Words That Change Mind

One of the bonuses you received when you joined Your Profit Club as a silver member was Mark Joyner interviewing Kevin Hogan.

Here is Kevin in a video taking you through seven magic words.

1) because

2) now

3) please

4) thank you

5) imagine

6) a persons name

7) control

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