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Posted: 2007-01-24 / Author: Kurt Mortensen

Involving Your Prospect In The Sale

The more you engage someone's five senses, involve them mentally and physically, and create the right atmosphere for persuasion, the more effective and persuasive you'll be. Listening can be a very passive act; you can listen to an entire speech and not feel or do a thing. As a persuader, you need to help your audience be one step closer to taking action. As a Master Persuader, your goal is to decrease the distance someone has to go to reach your objective.

When you get a prospect to start something, it is most likely they will follow through and complete your desired outcome. The more involved they become, the less psychological distance between the start and the finish. The desired outcome becomes more and more realistic instead of just an idea you are proposing. If you put on your shoes to go to the store, you are more likely to continue in that direction. If you sit down and turn on the TV, your goal of going to the store is more unlikely to be reached.

There are many ways to use involvement. We are going to give you a general overview of the following:

* Increasing Participation
* Creating Atmosphere
* Maintaining Attention
* Questioning, Stories
* Engaging the Five Senses

You can create involvement through increased participation. The more we take an active role and get involved, the more open to persuasion we become. When we take an active part in something, we feel more connected to and have stronger feelings for the issue at hand. We have a personal stake in what we are doing.

One of the keys to successful participation is making your problem their problem. This technique creates ownership and a willingness to help on the part of your prospects. Obviously, asking for help is much milder than telling someone what to do or think. You will have more success involving your prospects in the solution if you give them the option of participating. Feeling that it was their choice and their solution, your prospects will take ownership--they have persuaded themselves. It becomes their problem and their solution. By nature, people will support what they help create.

Another way to boost participation is with atmosphere. Atmosphere is really just a state of mind that you can create. Think about the following locations and the atmosphere they purposefully create:

Hardware stores, Bookstores, Malls, Casinos, Theme restaurants, Amusement parks, Hospitals, Law offices

Each establishment is vastly different but when you walk in, you know immediately the atmosphere or feeling that it evokes. In this way, the atmosphere moves you. Antique stores purposefully create an atmosphere of chaos. They appear to be unorganized with everything strewn around or disheveled. This is done so that customers believe they have stumbled upon a great find, a piece of buried treasure. Nike Town is a set of stores, each with an athletic theme. If the customer is successfully seduced by the excitement and energy of the athletic atmosphere, he will want to make himself just a little worthier of it. This means buying a new pair of Nikes.

It is common sense to realize you have to keep your audience's attention in order to persuade them. If you lose them, you lose your chance for them to understand and accept your proposal. We know from our own personal experience that we tend to let our minds naturally drift when we are listening to other people. We cannot focus on one item for too long unless we are forced to do so. Master Persuaders can make a person want to pay attention and stay focused. You may lose your audience’s attention from time to time but it is your job to bring them back to full attention status. You can help your prospect lose track of time.

Of all the tools in your persuasion toolbox, questioning is probably the one most often used by Master Persuaders. Questions gain immediate involvement. Questions are used in the persuasion process to create mental involvement, to guide the conversation, to set the pace of conversation, to clarify statements and objections, to determine beliefs, attitudes, and values, to force you to slow down, to find out what your prospect needs, and to show your sincerity.

When you get people involved in the process, you will get some objections. The way you handle objections will correlate with how mentally involved people become with your message. The better you become at handling objections, the more persuasive you will become.

When you become a Master Persuader, you will learn to love objections. You will come to understand that when people voice their objections, it actually indicates interest and shows that they are paying attention to what you are saying. The key to persuasion is anticipating all objections before you hear them. Fielding questions and handling objections can make or break you as a persuader. Such skills will help you in every aspect of your life.

Stories are powerful tools for persuaders. Compelling storytelling automatically creates involvement and attention with your audience. We can all think of a time when we were in an audience and not paying attention to the speaker. We were off in our own world when all of a sudden we perked up and started to listen because the speaker had begun to tell a story. We sat up, listened attentively, took note of what was being said, and wanted to know what would happen next. Whenever you sense your audience is starting to wander, you should have a relevant story ready.

Notice I said "relevant." You can capture attention by telling a story but you will lose long-term persuasiveness if your story does not relate to you or your topic. When your stories work well to underscore your main points, your presentation will hold greater impact. Remember, facts presented alone will not persuade as powerfully as they will when coupled with stories that strike a chord within your listeners. By tapping into inspiration, faith, and a person's innermost feelings, you will cause your prospects to be moved by your story.

Stories can be effectively used to do any or all of the following:

Grab attention and create involvement, Simplify complex ideas, Trigger emotions , Persuade without detection, Demonstrate who you are, Build interest, Encourage participation

We were all born with five senses, each helping us to make generalizations about the world. You should engage all five sensations when trying to persuade an audience. However, keep in mind that there are three dominant senses we gravitate toward. They are sight, hearing, and feeling, or, visual, auditory, and kinesthetic sensations. When we learn, 75 percent comes to us visually, 13 percent comes through hearing, and 12 percent comes through smell, taste and touch. Most people tend to favor one of these perceptions over the others. As a Master Persuader, you need to identify and use your prospect's dominant perspective on the world. Granted, we generally make use of all three senses, but the point is to find the dominant perception. As you determine the dominant mode, consider the size of your audience. If you are speaking to one person, for example, you would want to pinpoint the one perception that is dominant in that person. If you have an audience of one hundred, on the other hand, you need to use all three styles.

Successful people always have high levels of persistence, and don't give up until they have reached their objective. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not. Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not. The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence, determination and hard work make the difference.

Remember, you can have the best product and it might even be a perfect fit for the person you are trying to persuade. They might even feel it is a perfect fit and want it, but they will say no just because it's human nature. Good persuaders don’t take "no" for an answer. If they know their product is what the prospect needs and is looking for, they keep pursuing. Persuasion is getting the other person to want what you want and to like it.

About the Author: Learning to persuade and influence will make the difference between hoping for a better income and having a better income. Beware of the mistakes persuaders commit that cause them to lose the deal. Go to and explode your income!

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