A birds-eye view of a busy desk full of open books, paper, pens, a few laptops, phones, and coffee cups. Two people are leaning over the desk to shake hands signifying a deal has been made.

The Science of Persuasion: How to Convince People in Sales

Salespeople often spend time finding new and creative ways to grab people’s attention. But when it comes to how to convince people in sales, an understanding of psychology can go a long way.

Useful knowledge in sales includes grasping the science behind:

  • how people think
  • what they respond to
  • how they react to external stimuli

In this article, we explore how salespeople can use psychology to be more persuasive.

Do Your Research

Although doing background research on your potential customers is technically not going to help you persuade them to purchase on its own, it will equip you with the information you need to make sales.

Your research should focus on discovering information about your client such as:

  • Their goals
  • Their pain points
  • The terminology they use
  • The alternatives they have to buying from you
  • Their budget

All of this information will help you personalize your approach and deliver a pitch that makes it perfectly clear that you are the right choice for them.

Two women in business clothing, researching through books and a laptop

Look Them in The Eye – Sometimes

Look your prospects in the eye, but not too much.

Although maintaining eye contact can be helpful when an individual already agrees with what you are saying, studies have shown that if someone isn’t fully convinced by what you are saying, then making too much eye contact could be counterproductive.

Of course, not making any eye contact is sure to make any situation needlessly awkward. Getting the right level takes practice, constantly assessing your prospect’s body language, and adjusting the level of eye contact accordingly.

Speak Their Language

Consumers are increasingly demanding a more personalized experience when dealing with businesses. No longer does a “one size fits all” approach work in selling. By understanding your customer you can speak to them in a language that both resonates and persuades them to take action.

One study showed that a huge 70% of those surveyed felt frustrated when their buying experience wasn’t personalized to their needs.

We have already discussed how doing your research can help you understand your customer’s goals and pain points. Listening to your customer and understanding how they frame these challenges will help you use the terminology which makes sense to them.

For example, a marketing consultant may use the following terms to describe the same solution to different customers based on their own terminology:

  • No-fluff marketing advice
  • Concise marketing advice
  • Direct marketing advice
  • To the point marketing advice

Understanding your customers’ language not only provides you with the best terms to use but can also help you set your tone in a way that is relatable and compelling.

The view of the back of a woman's head, whilst she talks to someone out of shot in a busy business setting

Listen and Connect Challenges with Solutions

Building trust with your customer is the number one way to persuade them to purchase from you. Rather than selling by pushing the features and benefits of your offering, taking a consultative approach will help you position yourself as the go-to person to help them solve their problems.

Some great ways to listen and connect with your customer’s challenges:

  • Asking questions and listening carefully to their answers
  • Repeating challenges back to them in different words to ensure that your understanding is correct
  • Connecting their challenges with potential solutions, even if those solutions aren’t related or profitable to your own business
  • Educating the customer on your specialization, helping them understand why your products and services are the best options to help meet their needs

Build Personal Connections

Another way you can generate trust with your potential customers is by building rapport. Taking a consultative approach will support your efforts to do this, but you can also go further to develop better personal connections with your customers.

Try the following methods for further building rapport with customers:

  • Share personal information
  • Ask questions about other aspects of their lives outside of work
  • Remember key dates such as birthdays

One study showed that a huge 82% of those surveyed regretted a purchase after they made it. Building high levels of trust makes it easier for salespeople to persuade people that what they are offering is the best option for them and will not be a regret in the future.

A telesales employee on the phone, using a headset. She is smiling during her conversation with the customer.

How to Convince People in Sales

Working on your ability to persuade people will help you convince your customers to make a purchase. Following the principles we have outlined in this article will enable you to develop trust and deliver your pitch in a way that prompts action from your customers.

Want to learn more about how to pursue your customers to purchase? Read these articles: