A word on the role of persuasion in sales

Ever since Xerox Corporation spun off its excellent internal sales group into a separate business peddling “needs satisfaction” sales training, it has been entirely de rigueur to talk up sales that somehow, magically, sell themselves. In fact I’ve written up this approach in this very blog, for example, with reference to what I take to be “broken down” purchase decision making in global businesses that can’t move on seemingly important acquisitions. I have advocated heavy use of information gathering and collaboration with prospects on crafting decisions when and how they “make sense” in an evolutionary manner. In other words, I’ve preached selling without a close, a prescription entirely consistent with my own selling roots in the above mentioned Xerox sales approach.

HOWEVER, there is today, nevertheless, an excellent role to be played by persuasion in sales. But where and how to implement persuasion in the sales process? Look to rhetorical argumentation for useful guidelines as to where and how to commence an effort to persuade sales prospects to move forward on a purchase. Any student of the English language and literature is familiar with rhetoric, rhetorical argument, and how to frame a position in an essay. For this reason, personnel with a background in the humanities and English, in particular, make very good candidates for sales roles. The caveat is that these individuals must also enjoy interacting with prospects–introverts just won’t cut it.

Specifically, it is the “argument from authority” that provides a very useful foundation for persuading prospects to move forware. This argument from authority can be summed up simply as “Well don’t you recognize that everyone else is doing it? therefore might it not be too presumptuous to go against the tide in this area” etc.
I have used this approach successfully to open conversations with prospects and, also, to facilitate successful closure on purchases by prospects. Fact is that some slow progress is disingenuous on the part of prospects, a purposeful retarding of the natural progression of discussion and inquiry into products or services. When I catch wind that things are slowing down without reason, I then put the petal to the metal, bringing an argument from authority to the attention of a prospect to keep the normal progress of discussion on track. Nothing whatsoever wrong about hastening sales along in this manner. In fact, this type of “wake up call” can do wonders for prospects who just can’t seem to move forward despite a rationale to buy that would otherwise be inescapable.

Call us for further information on the above points. IMB Enterprises, Inc. has considerable recent experience selling complex sales of IT products and services to global business. Please telephone us at +1 631-673-2929 to discuss your products and needs. We are particularly interested in technology products–software or hardware–as most of our experience has been garnered from working with software and computer hardware manufacturers.

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2012 All Rights Reserved

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