“My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.” – Winston Churchill
If you could spend a day in the offices of today’s most successful businesspeople, you’d find that they rely on a few surprisingly simple secrets to make more sales than their competition. And you can use the same techniques yourself – not only, as you would expect, to grow your own business, but also to gain prestige, increased respect from family and friends, and lots more of the things you want out of life.
Today, I’m going to show you how.
When we learn techniques that help us become better marketers, most of us don’t think about using them outside the realm of “work.” But consider this…
When you want to talk a friend into eating at your favorite restaurant, your spouse into seeing the movie you want to see, or even a neighbor into pitching in on trimming the trees on your property line, you want that person to see things your way. Right? It’s a lot like the challenge a salesperson faces when trying to convince you to buy whatever it is that he’s selling, don’t you think? Well, just like a salesperson, when you use proven marketing techniques to persuade people to accept your ideas, you’ll hear that wonderful word “yes” far more frequently.
For example, Shawn M.’s neighborhood school marching band was invited to Washington, D.C. to participate in the National Memorial Day parade. As you can imagine, the kids, parents, and teachers were excited. After all, they were the only school in the whole state that got an invitation. But there was one big problem. Sending the band would cost $60,000 – and the school wasn’t about to foot the whole bill. Neither were most of the parents. It looked like the trip might not happen… until Shawn stepped in.
She knew that local corporations often sponsor community events and have a budget just for that purpose. So she decided she was going to get some of those funds for the band. While she could have just asked several companies for the money – and probably would have gotten some donations – she used two powerful marketing secrets and was far more successful.
Secret #1: Talk to the Heart, Not the Head
Every great marketer knows that people buy things for emotional rather than logical reasons. Most of the decisions people make are emotional too – including whether or not they will buy into someone else’s ideas. When you can tug at their heartstrings by figuring out how doing what you want them to do will make them feel good, they’ll follow you just about anywhere… and oftentimes give you exactly what you want.
In the letter Shawn wrote to solicit money for the trip, she didn’t say much about the National Memorial Day parade. Instead, she talked about the kids in the band. She wrote about their hard work. All the long hours they’d spent practicing just to win that coveted invitation. She also reminded the companies of the great publicity they’d get just for helping.
And thousands of dollars in corporate sponsorships came pouring in!
While Shawn won accolades from the band members, their parents, and staffers at the school, the companies that contributed money for the trip were just as thrilled with their decision to help out. They not only felt like heroes, they also enjoyed plenty of free publicity.
That’s another bonus of using this secret when you’re trying to convince someone to do something. Considering their point of view not only helps you get the “yes” you’re looking for – they get something out of giving you that “yes” Which means that everyone involved is happy.
Give this technique a try, and you’ll see how effective it is. Whether you’re talking to the other person or writing a letter, just remember to speak to the heart, not the head. Simply ask yourself three questions to get started:
1. What emotions is this person feeling about this topic?
2. What are this person’s emotional wants and needs?
3. How can I satisfy them?
Secret #2: Create a Picture
You probably already know that one of the most important aspects of selling is to show your customer the benefits of your product. And the best way to do that is to paint a dynamic picture for him with words. That’s what today’s leading marketers do all the time. Well, you can also use this technique to convince another person to “see” the benefit of doing something your way.
Let’s say you want to convince your spouse to head to Europe for the summer. To paint your picture, you might describe what it would be like to spend an afternoon sprawled out on a chaise next to the ocean in Cannes… or dining on freshly baked bread and homemade pasta at a candlelit dinner in a vineyard in Tuscany. Just like an artist, you would add layer after layer of colorful details.
Shawn did something similar in her letter. For example, instead of just saying, “Hey, you’ll get some super publicity if you sponsor the school’s band trip to Washington,” she showed the companies all the publicity they’d get. She described how, while the band marched on national television, they would be carrying a banner with the company’s name on it… for millions to see. And how, when the local newspaper reported the story, they would mention that it was the company’s generous sponsorship that made the experience possible for the kids.
Getting the – pardon the pun – picture?
Whether you’re writing a letter to a business or talking to a friend, neighbor, or relative, use the secret of creating a picture to show them – literally – what’s in it for them if they do what you want them to do. Start by asking yourself two questions:
1. What’s the benefit (or benefits) to this person of giving me what I’m asking for?
2. How can I best illustrate this in a verbal picture?
When you use both secrets together – talking to the heart and creating a picture – you’ll see how easy it is to motivate people to take the actions you want them to take… to accept your ideas… and, like Shawn, to support causes that are important to you.[Ed. Note: Katie Yeakle is Executive Director of American Writers & Artists Inc. Shawn M. is one of thousands of AWAI members who have learned these persuasion techniques (and more) through AWAI’s step-by-step program to help entrepreneurs work with their copywriters to improve response rates. To find out how you can start using them today to boost sales in your business – or to become a successful copywriter yourself – click here.]