There you go, you’ve just got a call with a high-potential lead. Now you want to make sure you're in the best position to close a sale.
To do this, you might have already done your research and prepared a well-crafted sales pitch. But that's not enough. You also need to influence the mind of your lead, that is, be persuasive.
To help you do this, here are 10 persuasion-selling techniques.
These techniques are based on sales practices analyzed via our solution and persuasion principles taught by Robert Cialdini, Robert-Vincent Joule, and Jean-Léon Beauvois. They can work in :
- Cold calls.
- Discovery calls.
- Upsell customer call.
#1 Giving a reason for your call
A team of researchers led by Robert Cialdini found that giving a reason for a request - no matter how relevant - is 93% more likely to be accepted than asking without a reason.
When you call cold, you might therefore provide an explicit reason for your call:
"I'm calling you because our company can help you with..." "Because I wanted to talk to you about something that concerns you".
If you already know your customers, you can remind them of the purpose and goals of the call. This will give you more credit and better agree on the following conversation.
#2 Winning your customer's heart
We instinctively trust someone likable -one of Robert Cialdini's principles of persuasion. You may know the “mirroring technique”, which involves copying your customer's body language to sympathize with them. But it's hard to do the same thing over the phone.
Alternatively, in your customer call, you can start by smiling as you speak. When you smile on the phone, people can hear, and it signals positivity. You can also compliment your prospects on the good work done on their website, on their sales revenue...
Another way to elicit liking is to find and bring up a common thread in the conversation. By looking at their LinkedIn profile, you can for example find similar interests or shared connections.
You’ll make a stronger impression if they know you belong to the same social circle as them.
#3 Asking expert questions
This certainly happened to you: you've taken a newfound drug just because a doctor prescribed it to you. In that case, you’ve been influenced by what we call an authority figure.
And this principle of authority-another Cialdini principle-works everywhere, especially in sales.
In a phone conversation with a customer, you can demonstrate authority in the questioning phase. By asking very specific questions about their problem, you show that you are an expert in the subject and that you might know something they don't necessarily know.
Unlike a salesperson who asks general questions, you want to get to the heart of their operational issues, their work habits, and specific technical details. You want to get right to the heart of their business concerns.
Reassured by your knowledge of the subject, your prospect will be all the more inclined to use your service/product.
#4 Illustrate your pitch
Our mind feeds on concrete examples and pictures. An illustration helps your prospect imagine himself as the buyer.
During a sales call, you can't show your product or make a presentation. However, you can rely on several verbal elements that speak for themselves:
- Average numerical results brought by your solution: "on average, our customers have saved 50% of their time on their prospecting process and have increased their deal ratio by 10%".
- Customer success stories in your prospect’s close market: "While facing a talent shortage, your competitor managed to reduce its turnover by 30% thanks to our solution".
- You can also make a benefits estimation based on the data your client provides. It doesn't get more concrete than that!
#5 Get more yeses
To not lose face, we always ensure we’re consistent with our previous statements -another Cialdini persuasion principle. So, when your prospects give you signs of interest - no matter how small - they’re all the more inclined to close a sale with you.
This is called the "3 yeses" approach invented in the US. To get these yeses, you can ask questions that are increasingly engaging:
- "Do I understand your problem?"
- "Is this feature a good answer to your concerns? "
- "Have I answered all your questions or doubts?"
- "Does this price seem reasonable to you?"
Positive answers to these questions will get you much closer to a sales deal. As for negative answers, they will enable you to address the remaining doubts.
#6 Assume the sale
Similar to gradual sales commitment, another psychological trick is to assume your customer is interested and ready to buy.
Usually, as a salesperson, we might talk about the details of the sale at the end, after we've completed our pitch. We don't want to go too fast and put off our client!
With questions assuming their interests, we push our prospects to action much faster:
- "Is Thursday or Friday good for you for our next talk? "
- "How much is your budget for such a product?"
- "Would you rather buy this feature/service?"
- "Would you like to benefit from the latest discount?"
You might use this technique wisely. But having it in mind will help you close your calls better and build your confidence - since you’ll unconsciously figure that the deal is already won.
#7 Adding stakes
Generally, a prospect is not in a hurry to make a decision. If you want to get the edge over competitors, you'll need to raise the stakes of your conversation. You can rely on what Cialdini calls the “scarcity principle”.
Just like e-commerce marketing techniques, you can :
- Propose a customer-specific offer to show your customer's importance.
- Offer a time-limited discount.
- Negotiate a discounted price in exchange for immediate agreement (also known as "sharp angle close").
- Add options or additional services in a customized offer.
#8 Drawing up the pros and cons
At the end of the discussion, you can review your prospects’ situation.
You can list with them the pros and cons of choosing your solution. You can recall the problems, needs, and objections they mentioned, and remind them of your value proposition.
By making a detailed list, you play it straight with your prospects and get them a clear and precise summary of your benefits. In other words, you give them reasons to justify a future decision. And that's one more foot in the door for you!
#9 Giving time to think
If you feel that your prospects still need to figure out their choices, you can give them more time to think.
It’s in your best interest to spot their signs of indecision and put another meeting on the table. By taking the initiative, you show that you don't want to force things and that you are there to help them make a decision.
Suggest stopping the conversation there, and ask when they are available for the next call. Who knows, by giving them time, your prospect will think more about your offer!
#10 Refining your sales techniques with data
Sales have often been a matter of instinct. You learn to be a salesperson by refining and improving your natural ability to persuade a customer.
As sales intelligence tools emerge, this is no longer the case. Data now helps you objectively track the performance of your prospecting techniques. With voice analysis tools, in particular, you can analyze your phone and video call, and check for improvements.
Through the words, intonations, and feelings of your caller, you can know what worked best, and improve your sales techniques!
Increase the performance of your sales calls: Noota
Conversation intelligence experts, we have designed a tool that helps you coach yourself or your team in sales calls. It will make you more persuasive thanks to several key features:
- A transcription and automatic note-taking tool to keep track of your conversations and share reports.
- Real-time sentiment analysis to know your caller's level of interest, their sentiments, and how you’ve connected with them.
- A meeting guide to structure your pitch and questions during your meeting.
- Recommendations for optimizing the interaction, handling objections, and choosing the right words at the right time.
Do you want to better convince your clients on a call? Try Noota for free.