Monthly Archives: September 2009

What Gets Buyers to Say “Yes, I’ll Buy?”

When we agree to an idea or proposal, it’s because there’s something in it for us. It’s hard to influence people who can’t see what’s in it for them. Sounds one-sided, but it is true. Call it self-interest, selfishness or whatever. It is only human nature to ask, “What am I getting from this?”

People will say yes to your ideas if they meet their needs or match their view of life in the following areas:

  • Principles and values
  • Beliefs and opinions
  • Needs and wants

So Give People What They Want & Need

People agree to ideas and suggestions that match their needs or views of life. Underpinning all our lives are certain principles and values that we hold to be true. These become guidance for how we conduct our lives. They influence and mould our behavior. They can differ greatly from person to person and successful influencers always take principles and values into account.

But how?

Notice what principles and values drive other people

Ask questions and invite comment and reaction

Check with those who know them well

Some examples of principles:

  • Integrity and fairness are an integral part of business dealings.’
  • I think that older people deserve courtesy and consideration.’
  • Moral behavior is part of the fabric of daily life.

It would be unproductive to spend time attempting to dislodge these deep-seated principles. Instead, harness them to add leverage to your suggestions

Beliefs & Opinions

Beliefs and opinions can be transient or short-term. Remember when you used to believe in Father Christmas, the Tooth Fairy, giants, and witches? Proof can easily dislodge a belief. So too can time.

An early step on the road to influencing others may include having to change lingering beliefs or convictions before you can proceed further.

  • I think that BubbleClean washing machines break down more often than the Tumbling system range.’
  • I think that all politicians are corrupt.’
  • I never make decisions on the 13th.’

Each of these beliefs can be dealt with by logical questioning or providing proof or data.

Needs & Necessities

These are fundamental requirements they have to be met if you are to influence others. Typical needs include: reliability, security, achieving a deadline, meeting a budget, keeping up to date.

  • Because of increasing competition, it is essential that we maintain an image and at the same time keep up to date.’
  • My team members are under great pressure, so it important to maintain their morale.’
  • The system must not only be reliable but secure, as well.’

Having uncovered needs, you may have to mould or reshape your ideas to dovetail with the requirements of others. Often, people have a hierarchy of needs, so it may be important to discover and use this:

Which is most important to you reliability or security?

Wants & Wishes

Wants and wishes are not essentials, just a wish list: Wouldn’t it be lovely … if only’. But their fulfillment can be the cherry on your influencing trifle, placed on top with a flourish, after the other person has agreed to your proposal.

Depends What’s on Offer

Question: How will your suggestions benefit the other person?

The person or people you are influencing will interpret the benefits of your suggestions in different ways. Some will be interested in the features the fine details, the nitty gritty of ideas. Others will say how will I benefit?’ Others will seek out the advantages of proposals how the benefits are different.

Features, Benefits & Advantages

No doubt you are familiar with the differences between features, benefits and advantages, but it is worth re-iterating.


These are built-in aspects of your idea or suggestion timing, costs, resources etc. They will remain locked up in your idea whether the other person agrees or not.


These are far more important than the features of your proposal. They translate boring old features into exciting statements which show clearly how others will gain.

This new hardware is made in Germany (feature) which means that we will save time and money on spare parts (benefit).’


These are comparative benefits e.g.  Increased revenue, greater savings, and faster turn-around.

In Summary: The Benefit Balance Sheet

Most people do not agree whole-heartedly to an idea. There is usually something that niggles, however well you’ve addressed their concerns.

In the end, when we finally say yes to a proposal, it is because the benefits outweigh any disadvantages.

As you plan and prepare your influencing case, list all the benefits and advantages of your suggestions. Use them to tip the balance in favor of yes.

About the Author: Jonathan Farrington is Chairman of The Sales Corporation, CEO of Top Sales Associates, and Senior Partner at The JF Consultancy, based in London and Paris. He is also the Chairman of the Executive Board over at Top Sales Experts. His popular daily blog is read by thousand of dedicated business professionals

The Art of Spinning a Conversation

One of the most challenging professions you can get into is the industry of Public Relations. The challenge isn’t necessarily a physical difficulty, but a psychological one. PR people, sometimes referred to as “Spin Doctors”, are responsible for preventing any type of damage to their client’s reputation. They possess the linguistical talent to sway you to believe whether something is right or wrong, powerful isn’t it.

For example, if a celebrity was arrested for drinking and driving, then it would be up to the spin doctor to persuade the public that it wasn’t the celebrity’s fault, it was because of all the pressure from the paparazzi that influenced this celebrity to alcohol addiction. The celebrity goes to a rehabilitation center and the blame is now turned around to the paparazzi, even though it was the celebrity who was drinking and driving in the first place. Just recently, after Kanye West’s little blunder, his “Spin Doctors” probably advised him to put the blame on his mother’s passing. It didn’t do that well, but it did take some heat off of his stupidity. Wait a few months and everyone will love him again.

Kanye West Spoof

Another great example is from the movie Thank You for Smoking. This is an awesome movie about a guy whose job is to defend the tobacco company’s reputation. Not an easy task, but he manages to do it.

Most of you reading this have no use to hire your own Spin Doctor, but learning how they do it can take you out of the most difficult of scenarios.

Never Directly Disagree

People will challenge your ideas, concepts, products, beliefs etc, but you should never directly tell them that they’re wrong. Here are some phrases to use when someone says something to you before you shift the conversation:

  • That’s a valid concern
  • That’s right
  • I agree
  • That’s true
  • I can appreciate that
  • you’re right
  • I understand
  • you’re absolutely right

Example 1:

Them: You have too little experience for me to give this job.
You: That’s a valid concern

So whatever it is the person is accusing you of, acknowledge it, repeat and then continue.

Starting your Spin

Here are phrases you need to use after you acknowledge them for what they said. These phrases will allow you to make a smooth transition from something pointed at you to persuading them to believe what you say is actually right:

  • So what I hear you saying is…
  • What I sense…
  • So if I understand correctly, you’re saying…
  • What I think your feeling is…
  • What I’m noticing you say is…
  • What it sounds like your saying is…
  • What it looks like your saying is…
  • I believe that you’re really trying to say…
  • Sounds like to me that you’re…
  • What I think you’re saying…

Example 2:

Them: You have too little experience for you to get this job.
You: That’s a valid concern and it sounds like to me that you’re looking for someone who will get the job done in the time you want it, aren’t you? Most of my clients feel that way too before they CHOOSE ME and give me the chance. If I can get this job done for you in X days, would that work for you?

In this example, you spun the conversation from them talking about you having little experience to getting the job they want done, faster.

Example 3:

Them: I’ve never heard of your company before
You: I understand and what I think your saying is that you’re looking to find the best deals possible right? As we talk about making this happen, I’m sure you starting to feel comfortable knowing that I’ll save you more money and the get the job done in less time, does that work for you?

In this example, you spun the conversation from them feeling insecure about your company’s reputation to feeling comfortable knowing that they will be saving money by choosing you.

Final Thoughts

You can’t control what other people say about you, your products, services, or company, but you can persuade them to change their mind.

Has there ever been a time when you needed to use this technique?

5 Steps to Reprogram Your Brain With NLP

Has there ever been a time in your life where someone said something to you that hurt you? Maybe it was someone really close, maybe not, but whatever was said still affects you today? Most people have had some kind of experience in their past that actually prevents them from getting the results they want now, in the present, which ultimately affects their life in the future. Fortunately, our minds are like VCR tapes, they can be recorded over on. You can literally replace an event that’s happened to you in the past with something different or modified.  Can you imagine how much less resistance you’ll have to move forward if that particular event didn’t affect you the way it did?

The following are the 5 steps that you need to go by to reprogram your brain. You can do this yourself, but it would much better if someone did it to you. I’ve written the steps like a script so you can just read it verbatim to yourself or when you do it to someone else.

Step 1

I want you to go back and experience the last 40 seconds of an event that has happened to you in the past that still negatively affects you today. I want you to see the person who is saying the things they are saying. I want you to hear the person who is saying the things that they are saying. I want you to feel the feeling that you felt when the person was saying those things. Close your eyes and begin…

  • What feelings did you get as you played the event in your head? Hurt? Sad? Angry?

Step 2

This time do the same as Step 1 with a few changes. I want you to think you are sitting in a movie theater and watching the event unfold on the movie screen. Change the following about the person who is saying the things that give you the negative feelings you get.

  • Change this person’s nose to a big red clown nose.
  • Change the voice of this person to sound like Mickey Mouse or the Chipmunks.
  • Picture this person picking their nose while talking.

When ready to play the movie, make sure that those three things are happening at the same time… Let’s play the movie!!

Step 3

Now let’s play the movie in slow motion. You see the big red clown’s nose and the person picking their nose. You also hear the Mickey Mouse or chipmunk voice as the person is saying the things this person said.

Step 4

I want you to float out of your movie seat and go sit by the projector. I want you to observe yourself sitting in the seat watching yourself on the big screen as the incident is playing. Everything is the same as step 2. The big red clown’s nose, Mickey Mouse or the Chipmunk’s voice and picking his or her nose while saying the things this person said. I want you to fast forward through the film.

Step 5

Now think of the same incident again. What feelings are you getting? Your sad, hurt, and angry feelings should be gone  and transformed into some kind of humor or amusement.

The 10 Most Persuasive Dudes in Movies

Sometimes it’s a persons looks that gets them ahead in life, sometimes it’s their money, and hey sometimes it’s their family. One skill a person can learn no matter how ugly, fat, stupid, or poor you are is the ability to persuasive. Imagine if you had the ability to be as smooth, charismatic, charming, and linguistically talented as some of the actors below:

Chris Gardner (Will Smith) in Pursuit of Happyness

Don Ready (Jeremy Piven) The Goods

Chris Varick (Vin Diesel) in Boiler Room

Tommy Callahan (Chris Farley) in Tommy Boy

Blake (Alec Baldwin) in Glenngarry Glen Ross

Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) in Jerry Maguire

Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckahart) in Thank You For Smoking

Joey O’Brien (Robin Williams) in Cadillac Man

Jim Young (Ben Affleck) in Boiler Room

Trent (Vince Vaughn) in Swingers

You can get used cars, stocks, or just  pick up on girls, but learn the art of persuasive communication you’ll be able to anything you want ;).