7 Sales Persuasion Techniques Your Sales Materials Need
Want more conversions from your online sales material, emails, and landing pages?
In this article, we’ll go over seven of the most important persuasion techniques that will have an immediate, positive impact on sales material.
Adding even a few of these strategies to your sales process could increase close rates by driving prospects to take action.
Before we cover the best sales persuasion methods, let’s talk about why understanding persuasion is the key to closing more deals.
Why Understanding Persuasion Is Important
As any experienced salesperson knows, understanding psychology is key to a successful sales pitch. After all, the art of selling is about understanding what motivates people and using that in-depth knowledge to influence their behavior.
By understanding the psychology of buying, sales professionals can learn how to trigger the emotions that lead to a purchase. They can also learn how to overcome objections and create a feeling of urgency.
In short, understanding psychology gives sales teams a powerful edge in the sales process.
Furthermore, psychology can also help salespeople understand themselves better. By gaining insight into their own motivations and behavior, they can learn how to stay focused and avoid burnout.
There are many good reasons why salespeople should take the time to study psychology and principles of persuasion. Those who do so are likely to find that it pays off in both the short and long run.
Note: Persuasion Should Be Used Responsibly
The ability to influence another person's behavior is a powerful tool that should be used with care.
Sales psychology, or the study of how people make purchasing decisions, can be used to encourage people to buy products or services they may not need or want. While there are many ethical uses for sales psychology, it can also be abused.
Remember, selling is about finding a common ground between buyer and seller. That commonality is based on providing a product that solves a legitimate pain point effectively.
It is important to use sales psychology ethically and responsibly to avoid taking advantage of people. When used correctly, sales psychology can be a powerful tool for guiding people through a buyer’s journey and helping them make informed decisions.
The 7 Best Sales Persuasion Techniques
Below are the 7 most effective persuasion skills you can use in your sales material. That means anywhere from landing pages to LinkedIn or email pitches. Keep in mind, each person is different and what works for one person may not work for another.
As such, it is crucial to tailor each sales pitch to the individual customer in order to avoid using any unethical or manipulative tactics.
1. Authority Bias: Use Well-Known Experts Or Authorities To Back Up Your Argument
When you're trying to persuade someone, cite an authority figure who supports your position. After all, if a respected expert agrees with you, then your position must have merit, right?
Unfortunately, this line of thinking doesn’t always work. Just because someone is an authority on a particular subject doesn't mean that their opinion is always right.
However, it does work in sales to boost merit and trust.
In fact, research shows human beings are often willing to blindly accept the statements of an authority figure, even when those statements are clearly false. This phenomenon is known as "authority bias” and has been used as a sales strategy for years.
The next time you're tempted to use an authority figure to bolster your argument, take a step back and consider whether their opinion is really relevant to the issue at hand.
2. Reciprocity Bias: Offering Something Of Value to Encourage Readers to Reciprocate By Reading Your Content
Reciprocity is a powerful persuasion principle that helps increase the likelihood someone will perform a desired behavior by building personal connections.
In the context of content marketing, reciprocity bias refers to the use of freebies or other forms of value (like ebooks or checklists) to increase the likelihood that readers will engage with your content.
By offering something of value upfront, you create an implicit contract that increases the likelihood that readers feel obliged to reciprocate by reading your content.
While there are many different ways to create reciprocity bias, some common tactics include offering free ebooks, webinars, or other resources.
3. Scarcity Bias: Creating A Sense Of Urgency By Saying The Offer is Limited
Scarcity bias is a psychological phenomenon where people place a higher value on scarce or difficult items. This bias can be exploited by businesses to create a sense of urgency and encourage customers to make purchase decisions quickly.
For example, a retailer might advertise a "flash sale" with limited stock, or a hotel might release a limited number of rooms at a discounted rate. Woot, an ecommerce company, uses this strategy to encourage customers to make a purchase now:
By creating a sense of urgency, businesses can prompt customers to make impulse purchases that they might not otherwise make. This is used to great effect whether on product pages or within sales calls.
While scarcity bias can be an effective marketing tool, it is important to use it ethically and transparently. Otherwise, businesses risk alienating their customers and damaging their reputations.
4. Commitment Consistency Bias: Get The Reader To Agree With You By Asking Questions That Are An Easy “Yes.”
When it comes to persuasion, one of the most powerful tools in a writer's toolbox is consistency bias. This is the tendency for human beings to say "yes" to questions that are consistent with their existing beliefs.
For example, if someone believes that it's important to eat healthy foods, they're more likely to agree with the statement "Eating healthy is important."
Consistency bias can be a powerful tool for sales because it allows you to tap into your audience's actions.
By offering something that is easy to say yes to, like a freebie or by directly targeting a main pain point, you increase the likelihood that potential customers will continue saying yes to your brand and message all the way up to buying your premium product.
Of course, this technique should be used sparingly; too much consistency bias can lead to oversimplification and even alienate readers who don't share the writer's beliefs.
Used judiciously, however, consistency bias can be a powerful tool for persuasion.
5. Social Proof: Leverage Customer Testimonials and Case Studies to Encourage Purchases
Social proof can be a powerful tool. When customers see others have success with a product or service, they are more likely to give it a try themselves.
This effect is known as social proof, and it can be leveraged in a number of ways. Customer testimonials, case studies, and other forms of social proof can all be used to convince potential customers to give your product or service a try.
Of course, it's important to make sure that the social proof you use is genuine and relevant.
Customers can spot false claims and empty endorsements from a mile away, so make sure that the social proof you use is authentic. Used correctly, social proof can be a powerful weapon in your marketing arsenal.
Below is an example taken from andcards.com - Notice how they use multiple forms of social proof within one block.
6. Contrast Bias: Use Contrasting Images Or Stats To Highlight the Benefits of One Option
The before-and-after photo is a well-worn marketing strategy used by makeup, clothing, and weight loss companies. A slight adjustment of that strategy also works in sales.
For example you can share statistics that show your product outperforms the competition. The contrast effect is also often used before calling to action by reframing the price compared to something else. Instead of “Buy now for $9.95” it’s “Buy now for the price of 2 coffees.”
Of course, it is important to ensure the before-and-after images or statistics are genuine and not misleading in any way. Used responsibly, however, the contrast effect can be a powerful tool for persuading people to try your product.
7. The Compromise Effect: Offer Three Pricing Options and Contrast a Middle Option With A Free/Cheap Plan + Very Expensive Plan
The compromise effect is a cognitive bias that refers to the tendency to choose an option that is neither the best nor the worst, but rather somewhere in the middle.
This effect can lead to suboptimal decision-making in both personal and professional contexts.
For example, when choosing a vacation destination, people may be inclined to choose a destination that is not too far from home and not too close to home, rather than a destination that would maximize their enjoyment.
Similarly, in business negotiations, people may be inclined to reach a compromise rather than push for the best possible outcome. The compromise effect can be explained by a number of factors, including the aversion to extremes and the desire for social approval.
As a Saas company, this persuasion technique can be leveraged by offering multiple price points to direct customers to the option you prefer.
While this can be used unethically, there is nothing wrong with guiding a customer to the most valuable option for everyone involved.
Keep in mind, not all compromises are equal; sometimes, it is better to choose the best or worst option, rather than settling for something in the middle.
Other Effective Sales Persuasion Methodologies
There are a number of different copywriting methodologies that can be used in conjunction with cognitive bias triggers to create even more effective and persuasive content.
Two of the most popular methods are AIDA and PAS.
What is AIDA?
AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. The AIDA method is designed to grab the attention of the reader, build interest in the product or service, create a desire for that offering, and prompt the reader to take action.
Example Sales Persuasion:
Attention: Close CRM is the all-in-one customer relationship management platform that will help you take your business to the next level.
Interest: Our platform was designed with small businesses in mind, so we know how to help you manage your customers like a pro. From one central location, you can track all interactions, schedule follow-ups, and get insights into what’s working and what isn’t.
Desire: Close CRM makes it easy to keep your sales pipeline full by automating tasks and providing insights that help you close more deals. And our team is always available to answer any questions and help you get up and running quickly.
Action: Sign up for a free trial of Close CRM today!
What is PAS?
PAS stands for Problem, Approach, and Solution. The PAS method focuses on identifying pain points that someone may be facing, offering a solution to that problem, and then convincing the reader that your approach is the best way to solve it.
Example Sales Persuasion:
Problem: Managing customer and prospect relationships is hard. You need to keep track of all your interactions and remember who each customer is, and what they've bought from you.
Agitate: Juggling multiple customer relationships can be a daunting task. It's easy to lose track of what you've said to each customer, or when the last time you contacted them was, which can result in a loss of sales.
Solution: Close CRM is an all-in-one CRM platform that makes managing customer relationships simple and easy.
With Close CRM, you can keep track of every interaction with every customer, quickly find information about each customer, and see a history of everything each customer has ever bought from you.
Both AIDA and PAS are effective methods for copywriting, and which one you choose will depend on your specific goals and target audience.
Did you notice AIDA being used at the beginning of this article? Did it make you keep you reading?
Final Thoughts on Sales Persuasion
Whether you’re part of a corporate team or building your start up, these sales persuasion techniques will help you up your game. While understanding how the human brain works can be complex, the principles we’ve outlined are easy to understand and apply.
Also, the power of persuasion should be harnessed responsibly. Always take an ethical approach to avoid burning bridges or damaging your reputation.
Close is an all-in-one CRM built for (and by) sales teams. Watch our 10-minute demo to learn more.