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Forget Selling! Instant Influence for Powerful Persuasion
by Edie Raether, CSP

Throw away your old sales books and marked up manuals and face the facts. Most smooth and slick sales strategies no longer work in today's savvy marketplace. If you always do what you've always done, you will only get what you have always gotten, and that simply may not be enough - unless you like skinny kids! To be effective in today's competitive marketplace may I suggest a few of the 12 Power Principles in my forthcoming book to increase sales and avoid professional burnout.

The Power of the Common Denominator
People prefer to say yes to individuals they know, like and find attractive. Is it not more difficult to say "no" to a friend or someone with whom you have a close relationship? In fact, physical attractiveness creates a halo effect where people project other favorable impressions up you including intelligence, kindness and talents. They also say yes to those who are similar. Compliments tend to increase compliance, as do positive associations, which is why Nike pays millions to Michael Jordan to boast the footwear. How will you create a positive bond and establish those powerful common denominators with your clients? On the other hand, how can you create a distance to protect yourself and make more objective decisions when you are too enamored because of the common bond?

The Power of Incremental Commitment
Once you or your buyer has made some level of commitment to you or the sale, their behavior will be consistent to that commitment This principle is often 9 by those who structure our interactions so that our need for consistency leads to their benefit. This is NOT integrity selling and is simply not fair play. However, you should be aware of this principle for your own personal defense as well. If there is initial resistance, suggest small levels of commitment which lead to the larger commitments necessary to make the sale. A very successful triangle realtor told me that she always gets a commitment up front from her clients and thus rarely loses a client, by simply making it very clear that she expects their loyalty in exchange for her work and dedication to them. Consider the advice of Jack Stanko, a used-car sales manager in Albuquerque. "Put 'em on paper. Get the customer's OK on paper. Get the money up front. Control 'em. Control the deal. Ask 'em if they would buy the car right now if the price is right. Pin 'em down."

The Power of Instant Influence
Buying styles have been altered by our "auto-response" age of instant love and push-button success. People are busier than ever and their lives are on overload causing them to feel even more stressed out with one more decision in their lives. The spread-sheet approach to problem solving is quickly disappearing except for a number-crunching CPA. Your selling style must thus accommodate accordingly. The same brilliant mind that has created a fast paced, information overloaded world of complexity has also created the mental fatigue and stress which causes buyers to resort to a more instinctual, impulsive buying pattern. Thus, it is important for you to focus, simplify and create shortcuts for the buyer. While options and alternative can create flexibility, they also can add to the information overload. Three easy to understand choices will cut the deal. Confusion will lose it!

By developing a selling style that incorporates these three principles and the other nine described in my forthcoming book, Forget Selling, you will increase sales with integrity and the power of influence and persuasion.

©2004 Edie Raether. All Rights Reserved

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