Subtle persuasion in sales clinches deals

Be gentle even as you pursue that sought after sales deal. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Be gentle even as you pursue that sought after sales deal. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The power of subtle persuasion in selling is, unfortunately, underestimated. That you must be persistent to succeed in selling is given. This usually refers to insisting, persevering, and not taking no for an answer. And that’s all good; I refer though, to subtle persuasion. The kind, for instance, that got me to finally visit this new hotel, four months from when I was first invited to. The salesperson called, said he was referred to me, and thought I would like to visit their hotel for use in future trainings. I promised to though I was merely being polite.

The following week he sent me a reminder text; likewise two weeks later. I found a missed call from him a month in and I’m sure you get the drift. He was persisting in a non-intrusive way.

One morning, four months in I found my way to the hotel. Whether it was because I had an idle moment; or, because I was feeling guilty of having ignored his invitations; or, because it was convenient (I happened to be in the neighbourhood, so why not check it out?); or, even because the lure of a free lunch was enticing. It doesn’t matter, I went; the salesperson closed without badgering me.

The reasons why I visited are why subtle persuasion works. The buyer feels that he bought and was not sold to. He feels in charge of the sale whereas in truth he was made to do it. It’s like the ego-driven man who chest thumps himself to fellow men as to the plot of land he identified and bought, yet in truth, his wife is the one who gently and wisely nudged him in that direction.

Subtle persuasion yields a near perfect sale; it tends to be sustainable because the buyer cannot talk himself out of it; he believes his decision was the best. Short of the product or service becoming hopelessly disappointing, the buyer is in it for the long haul.

Subtle persuasion can also get you a sale you lost. My friend Moses manages his clients’ online presence. He once lost a contract on account of price. That didn’t stop him from managing the client presence for ‘free’. How? He wrote them an email explaining that the link shared in their advert wasn’t opening to the precise page the content they wished to share was but to their landing (first) page.

What this means is that your clients will be forced to search for the information on the website. And the average online reader is impatient. They will simply click their mouth at the minor irritation caused and move on to other things.

A voluntary correction here, a useful tip there and a suggestion in between, all in the course of the year and guess who got the contract when it came up for renewal? Moses did.

Subtle persuasion works best for the seller that is seeking a marital sales relationship, and not a fling. Try it. Let me know. [email protected]