A majority of our buying decisions are guided by persuasion. Most often than not, we go to a store and end up buying additional things or a desired product from an entirely different brand. Ever wondered how this need for a new product arises or what is it that drives us forsake our preferred brand and try out a new one? It is nothing but persuasion. So what is persuasion and why does this attribute define sales function globally?

Persuasion is a simple act of convincing someone to adopt something or positioning a new idea or a thought in minds of people. When it comes to business, persuasion is an important aspect of customer interfacing and sales. As per the Global Talent Trends Report 2019, persuasion has been recognized as the most coveted of all the desired soft skills.

Formula for Successful Sales Persuasion

With businesses operating in extremely dynamic ecosystem and catering to highly knowledgeable and aware customers, sales function just doesn’t remain a mere act of convincing and floating the newer products and services in the market. Sales and its allied act of persuasion are more geared towards relationship building with the customer through a mechanism of constant conversation and feedback acknowledgement. Persuasive techniques applied these days are backed by a lot of psychological and socio-cultural study. Some of these industry acknowledged techniques are:

  • Establishing a common ground for initiating fresh conversations
  • Highlighting major benefits of the pitched product or a service
  • Transforming criticism into opportunities for elaborating on the strengths of the product or a service
  • Applying the reciprocity principle wherein the salesperson appreciates the buying decision of a customer through a small token
  • Showing proof of people through testimonials to positively influence the buying decision
  • Creating a scenario of scarcity wherein if a customer doesn’t buy a particular product then he or she stands to miss out on a golden chance for availing a great product offering

Apart from the above mentioned techniques, a sales manager needs to be a keen observer. Many a times, striking a conversation in customer’s preferred language can create a magical impact. Over last decade innumerable theories have come up when it comes to the art of persuasion. At the end of day it all revolves around the AIDA model of:

  • Attracting attention towards a particular product or a service
  • Developing interest towards the product or service
  • Creating desire for the product or service
  • Encouraging customer to desired action

So, the persuasion is needed at every step and it has to be backed by market data, advertisement and testimonials. So, sales pitches are a very good opportunities for direct customer interfacing and understanding the pulse. Therefore, sales managers need to continuously polish their skills of persuasion, conversations and crafting smart captivating messages for target audience. Though the art of conversation might come naturally but crafting the content might call for executive programmes designed by top B schools in the country. One such is Executive Programme in Sales & Marketing offered by IIM Calcutta. Designed by industry veterans, this course aims to deep dive into the best practices of sales and marketing function thereby, giving an edge to the ‘millennial salesman’.