How to Build Your Business Through the Art of Persuasion

You are a hard working entrepreneur constantly on the hunt for more clients and more income.

You may have tried several times to change up your pricing packages, offer other services, or simply take on more clients in order to bring in more money.

But what you probably never got taught at Business School was the art of persuasion, which is actually a science. And I bet no-one ever told you how powerful persuasion techniques can be, when used right, for convincing more people to buy from you and more clients to say yes to that proposal or contract.

So let’s dig into some key techniques you can start applying today:

The art or reciprocity

If you haven’t read the book Influence : The Art of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini, then you absolutely must. In it, he teaches one of the keys methods of persuasion –  the Law of Reciprocity.

This is when someone does something or gives something to a person, then it is natural that the person feels obliged to return the favour. In business, it is also the same and you need to start using this.

What can you give to your client for free that will make the client feel good but at the same time make them feel they should give you something back, or do something in return, like work with you?

It could be as simple a free one-page customized report on improvements they can make that you put together for them. Or you could gift them one of your services or products, for example a website check up or an eBook, DVD or training video.

It doesn’t have to be expensive or cost you much, but it should be of value. This technique creates goodwill and actually enhances the relationship between you and your client.

Start small but be consistent

This particular technique comes down to the fact that people act in a behavior which is consistent. So once your customer has made a decision, they tend to behave in manners which are consistent with their decision.

What this means is that if you can make a potential client engage in a small action at first, like buying your product or signing up to a lower priced service, after they’re committed, they’re likely to accept larger ideas or actions you may throw at them.

For example let’s say you got them to take up your monthly service for basic SEO, then when you next approach them you’ll have greater success in securing them for a longer-term service or higher priced product.

That’s because once they’ve got their feet wet with you and if you’ve delighted them with their first purchase, now they have more adequate information and some experience in dealing with you and what you deliver from which to make a judgement on investing further.

There’s a reason why businesses give away free samples, especially for consumer products. Once you’ve had the chance to try it out, it’s likely you will consciously make a point of looking for it next time you shop and buy it. The same applies to you and that client coming back to try you out further.

Social proof

If you’ve ever bought a product that you had no idea about before you landed on their sales page, ask yourself what was it that made you buy?

You might cite price or what was included in the offer, but I guarantee what really pushed you over the edge and convinced you to buy was the gushing testimonials from people that filled the page below the buy now button.

Most people tend to do or buy what everyone else is, especially if they have no prior experience on which to make their own decision. That’s why social proof in the way of testimonials, both written or video or reviews, is one of the most successful and used techniques in sales.

Displaying photos of customers and their rave reviews on the work you’ve done for them and the results you got them on your website, blog, LinkedIn profile and anywhere else that’s relevant, is a sure fire way to attract more customers to work with you.

The more influential or well known the person or company is, that is talking about you, the more powerful this technique is to actually bring you in new clients. These people act as amazing endorsements for you, in essence they’re saying “If it’s good enough for me, then it’s good enough for you to work with so and so” to your potential customer.

Bidsketch testimonials

Celebrity Status

You don’t have to be a celebrity to command a lot of attention, garner more trust and have more authority, but it helps! So you can achieve this status by becoming the go-to person in your market.

As you build up your expertise and work with bigger and better clients, use this to foster relationships with companies and clients you really want to work with by playing up to your status of authority in your niche or market.

This does come with time but you can help it along with the title you use, showcasing your professional credentials if you have them and any awards or special training you’ve done, in addition to those glowing testimonials. More people will naturally step up to want to work with you.

The Likeability Factor

If the above technique seems a little out of your reach right now, what about the good old likeability test. It’s been proven that customers are more likely to engage in business with people that they like.

Of course it helps if you’re attractive. Yes it’s a proven fact this plays an advantage in convincing others to work with you, or do something they normally wouldn’t – like take you up on that 6 month retainer contract.

But people also like engaging with people who have the same interests as them, have been on a similar path as them and done well for themselves, or have similar pasts they can relate to. In short people like people who are like them.

More importantly, people buy from people whom they like and trust (which is why social media is so powerful) as you can show your following, community and likeability online, which then convinces others to work with you.

Being proactive, fun, humorous and passionate are also great ways to be more likeable and easy to work with and do business with too…naturally.

Less is more

Most people want things they can’t have, and that applies to your products and services if you make them more scarce or elusive.

I’m not talking about making it hard to work with you or buy from you, but having a limited number of packages available or deadlines by when people can work with you and a limited number of spots available. This forces clients to act fast so they don’t miss out something great, which is working with you.

Putting your techniques to work

If you work through each of these techniques and actually apply them to your current way of working, you will definitely see a difference and improvement in your client dealings.

From current clients who you can entice to continue to work with you, to new clients and referrals you’ll attract as a result of using the art of persuasion.

Let me know in the comments which ones most appeal to you, and better yet go and apply at least one and tell me your results.

About Natalie Sisson

Natalie is a Suitcase Entrepreneur on a mission to inspire people to build online businesses they love and can run from anywhere using online tools, social media and outsourcing. Ultimately she wants you to create more freedom in business and adventure in life and that's why she wrote the No #1 Bestselling Suitcase Entrepreneur book to ensure you do.

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I’ve always thought about doing something like this in my spare time: Finding a very nasty-looking print design, using the exact same wording, but just laying it out in a more aesthetic manner, then mailing it to the business with a letter saying something to the effect of “Look at how much nicer this looks! You can purchase this layout for only $XX.XX. It’s already done, no waiting for design turnaround. You can simply email the purchased artwork to the printer of your choice, or you can print this lovely design through us [then list quantities and pricing]. Etc.” I have never done it because I’ve always been afraid they will take that artwork to their current designer or try to scan it and use it. Now I have a reason to believe that, not only will they choose to go with me, but may even decide to print with me as well… maybe I should throw some testimonials in there! Suddenly, my idea seems more legit than ever before. Thank you!

Tim Chan

Great piece!
Totally agree with the art of reciprocity – relationships start with being helpful and serving others first.

Natalie Sisson

Coral I know many people who have built really successful businesses by doing this. Either helping initially and showing them a trick or two they can apply or doing a quick mock up of what they could do better.

It really gets people’s attention and shows you care and can help.

Tim I think that’s where the root of all great relationships come from don’t they.

Dave Visaya

I’m going to start a website/campaign that will follow exactly all those above. I have heard about reciprocity. However, I am hesitant with asking testimonials from people. I wonder how others ask for those.

One of the best posts here!

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