How NOT to convince people to buy from you
There’s something I often hear from people who are looking for help with their sales:
“I can’t convince people to buy from me” or “I can’t persuade people to pay for my services”. What am I doing wrong?
Traditional sales methods would have us think that trying to convince or persuade someone is the goal of the sales conversation. However, this is precisely the thing that will get in the way of your sale. That’s because it’s extremely difficult to “persuade” someone to buy if they haven’t already come to the decision themselves on some level – after all, nobody likes to be told what to do.
Watch my video to find out what to to do instead or keep reading below.
That’s why I so often talk about the Internal Yes.
When your potential client has the “internal yes”, it means that they are already thinking that they like the idea of working with you and may even thinking to themselves “This sounds like exactly what I need. I wonder how much it costs to sign up?” Ideally, they should be at this stage before you’ve even got to the point of talking about your programme or offer.
However, when you’re trying to “persuade” or “convince” someone who hasn’t yet felt the “internal yes” for themselves it can come across as pushy or desperate, and instead of feeling a pull towards you, the potential clients instinct is to push away from you.
Working with you might well be in their best interest, but if you’re the one telling them so, they probably won’t like it.
So instead of pushing (or persuading, or convincing) them to work with you, you want to pull them gently in the direction of making their own decision, whatever that decision may be.
And when they make their own decision to work with you, rather than feeling pushed or manipulated into it, they will be more committed clients and get better results. Because it was their decision not yours.
Two things to watch out for
1. Don’t get tempted to tell people what to do, or what’s good for them.
For example, I was looking over an email for a client recently and at one point in the email she’d written “I believe that this will be the perfect solution for you.” The problem is that at this (relatively early) stage in the process it sounded a lot like she was telling the client what was best for her and it could have got her defences up (there is a place for more direct language, but only within the formal sales conversation – and even then you want to leave the client free to make up their own mind).
2. Don’t keep talking in the hope you’ll talk the client into it.
If you’re worried that a client isn’t “convinced” about working with you it can be easy to fall into the trap of talking more and more in the hope that the more you say the more likely you will be to convince them. But again, this just feels pushy to the client. The more you feel they are not convinced, the more (or faster or louder) you talk. And the more you talk the more they pull away.
So rather than “persuade” your clients, your job in the sales conversation is to help your potential client to come to a decision on their own.
Three ways you to make a “Yes” more possible without having to “convince” anyone.
1. Solve their Problem.
Present your offer in terms of its benefits to the potential client and in terms of how it solves the specific problem they might have. The more clearly you can communicate how your offer solves their problem, the more likely they are to be drawn towards working with you.
2. Use Possibility Language
Rather than definite language, particularly in early phases of sales conversation use possibility language. For example, words like maybe, might, or could can be very powerful: “Do you think this could be a great solution to your problem?” or “Do you think you might be interested in finding out more?” or “I really believe that this could really help you”. Rather than telling them what to do, you’re allowing the client to check in with themselves and think about the possibilities, asking themselves “Could this be a solution for me, yes actually might be… I want to know more!”. When they make the decision to find out more they are much more committed to the process, and any “Yes” is more likely to be a real yes, rather than a reluctant one soon followed by a bout of “buyers remorse” – and maybe a cancellation.
3. Allow Space
So often less is more in the sales process. By allowing some silence and processing time within the conversation your potential client has space to come to their own decision. And so be more likely to come to the decision “Yes, I’d like to do this!” rather than fall back on a “No” that they might not really feel, just because they are feeling under pressure to decide quickly.
So next time you are in conversation with a potential client, try letting go of the need to persuade or convince. Instead focus on clearly communicating how you can solve their problem, use lanuage that encourages them to reflect and come to their own conclusion – and definitely slow down to allow them time to process and I’m sure you’ll see a big difference – and it will be more enjoyable for you!
I’d love to hear what you think! Do you catch yourself trying to “convince” or “persuade” people to work with you without much success? Which of the above tips will you apply in your next sales conversation to help people come to their own decision? Do let me know in the comments below.
With Love & Gratitude,