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While I do NOT condone doomsday cults or what they represent if you keep an open mind there is a lot that we can learn from them in regards to persuasion. Take a look at the likes of Jim Jones, David Koresh, Hitler or a number of others and you will find masters of persuasion. Some would use the word manipulation instead of the word persuasion but in reality they mean the same thing, one just has an uglier sound to it. Keep in mind that neither persuasion nor manipulation is bad no more than guns kill people, remember it’s people that kill people.
It has been said numerous times that “power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely,” and that holds true for master persuaders. A great American once said, “with great power comes great responsibility” (Uncle Ben, no not the rice guy!) so use what you are about to learn wisely, don’t persuade for the wrong reasons and always remember that morality above all else is what sets us apart from the fore mentioned cult leaders.
Have you ever wondered what these cult leaders had over their followers that would make them murder, steal and commit suicide? No, it’s not that their followers were stupid or even crazy, most of them are just like you and me. These followers were given something of tremendous value, a gift paralleled by no other, a gift more valuable than even life itself. Do you want to know what this gift was, it’s the gift of hope.
Now that does sound crazy doesn’t it? Hope. It’s a powerful motivator, it’s a release from the day to day, it’s a way out of almost any circumstance and it can be used to motivate almost anybody to do almost anything. Hope can be used to sell more cars and as you’re sitting there reading every word of what I’m about to say you’re going to learn how to do just that.
Car shopping isn’t fun for most people, it’s downright frightening. It’s like preparing to jump into chummed waters when sharks are present, it’s not something most people would want to do. It’s a situation that most people would rather not have to go through, but something we know we must.
It’s in our nature to look for the easier way out, we don’t like to go against the stream and if something looks in the least bit difficult we don’t even want to do it. Having said that, each time we get ourselves in a predicament that we don’t want to be in we tend to lose hope, if only somebody would come along and find it for us…
There’s Persuasion in Hope
Do you know what it’s like to find hope after living without it? It’s as if a veil has been lifted and you will do anything, ANYTHING not to lose hope again. That’s where your power of persuasion will come from and that’s what I’m about to teach you.
Three steps to building hope are:
Step 1: Begin with an Incongruity If you can show a prospect that you are different without saying that you are different your prospect starts believe that you are different. Remember that people will sometimes believe what they are told buy will always believe what they conclude.
Try saying something different to bring them to the conclusion that you are different, something like: “I like to be as up front as possible and I want you to know that my goal is NOT to sell you a car today, I’m not even going to try. My goal is to answer all of your questions, show you a few cars and if you want to buy, then see to it that it’s the one you want, that it’s affordable, but most of all that your happy with your decision.”
Can you imagine the look on their face when you say something like that! That is the absolute last thing anybody would ever expect a car salesman to say. You’re now that much closer to your prospect hoping that this time will be different.
Step 2: Bring Their Fears Out into the Open People want answers, no they need answers and they will do anything to gain a sense of hope. Frustration causes stress and stress makes people do crazy things so it’s your job to confront those frustration and push them aside. Here is an example of what can be said:
“Owning a new car is one of the most exciting moments in anybody’s life but the whole car shopping process can be a bit tedious and frustrating. If it wasn’t such a necessity most people wouldn’t even want to go through it, just so they wouldn’t have to deal with pushy sale people looking for a commission check, I know firsthand because I bought cars long before I sold them.”
"People will sometimes believe what they are told buy will always believe what they conclude"
What? Did a car sales person just say that to me? If you can voice what they are thinking then they are going to conclude that you are different, especially if it’s something that could potentially paint you in a bad light. I purposefully didn’t put in there to say, “I’m different, I’m not like that,” because if you did they wouldn’t believe you.
Step 3: Paint a Picture of Understanding People like to be understood, they like to know that they aren’t alone and that their feelings do matter. Don’t discount anything that they say let them know that you understand what they are feeling and they are right to feel the way they do. While anything is rarely as easy as it is to write I want you to take the time to really dive into building hope with your prospects, they will follow you to the end, just make sure that you don't give them false hope and always follow through.
A Few More Idea
- Support Their Dreams People like to feel supported, they like to be told that they are doing the right things and that they should pursue their dreams.
- Failures Are Okay--Let Them Know Nothing makes a person feel as vulnerable as failure. Support their failures, let them know that they did their best and to try, try again.
- Ease Their Fears If you can make somebodies fear go away or at least make them easier to face you have built a relationship for life.
These are just a few more ideas to build trust, use the power wisely and happy persuading.
If you would like to learn more about persuasion I highly recommend Blair Warren.
David Johnson is the Digital Marketing Strategist for PersuasiveConcepts.com and Next Generation Dealer Services.