How sweet is it when your prospect says “yes”...
Screen Shot 2018-02-06 at 3.28.49 PM.png

“Yesses” are the lifeblood of the sales profession, and we all want a lot more of them.

But it’s not just the quality of your offer that determines whether your prospect says “yes” or “no.” Often, seemingly small subconscious triggers can dramatically increase your the chances of a “yes.”

In fact, there are 6 proven psychological triggers that generate action, as described by Dr. Robert Cialdini in his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

The book was first published in 1984, but Dr. Cialdini’s “principles of persuasion” remain just as relevant and effective—and the most successful sales reps continue to use them to engage prospects and set appointments.

For an overview, watch this great whiteboard video:

Get all that? If not, here’s a cheat sheet on Cialdini’s 6 principles, along with some ideas for how you can use them to get your prospects to say “yes” more often (click on a trigger below to learn more, or scroll down to read through all six):

TRIGGER No. 1: Reciprocity

TRIGGER No. 2: Commitment & Consistency

TRIGGER No. 3: Social Proof

TRIGGER No. 4: Likeability & Familiarity

TRIGGER No. 5: Authority

TRIGGER No. 6: Scarcity

 

TRIGGER No. 1

Reciprocity

pexels-photo-360624.jpeg

People feel obliged to give back to others what they have received.

If a friend does something for you—invites you over for dinner, say—you feel indebted to them, and are more likely to reciprocate the generosity.

Screen Shot 2018-02-06 at 3.36.46 PM.png

Reciprocity in Action

A study showed that restaurant diners tipped more when their server brought a small gift (e.g., a piece of candy) along with the check at the end of the meal.

Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 10.06.04 AM.png

HOW YOU CAN USE IT: Use email marketing to give free knowledge and advice to your prospects in the form of white papers, blog posts, and other content that addresses a common problem your prospects have. When you follow up, they may be more likely to take your call or agree to a meeting.

Here are some other ways marketers and sales reps use reciprocity to persuade prospects to say "yes":

6 principles of persuasion slides 2018 (1).png
 

TRIGGER No. 2

Commitment & Consistency

sebastien-gabriel-108388(1).jpg

People like to be consistent with the things they’ve previously said or done.

Consistency means that small actions now can translate into much more significant actions in the future.

Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 10.16.15 AM.png

Commitment & Consistency in Action

As an example, a study showed that people were more likely to agree to put up a “Drive Safely” sign in their yard if they had previously agreed to put a small sticker in their window.

Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 10.16.28 AM.png

HOW YOU CAN USE IT: Having problems getting a certain prospect to keep their appointments? Next time, ask them to send the electronic meeting request. That small but overt statement of intent can increase the chance they’ll follow through.

Here are some other ways marketers and sales reps use commitment and consistency to persuade prospects to say "yes":

6 principles of persuasion slides 2018 (2).png
 

TRIGGER No. 3

Social Proof

social proof.jpeg

People look to the actions of others as a guide, especially when they’re uncertain about what to do.

Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 10.23.20 AM.png

Social Proof in Action

One study showed how powerful social proof can be when it’s more specific: while people are more likely to reuse hotel towels when there’s a note suggesting that the majority of other guests do so as well (makes sense)...

...the likelihood is even higher when the note references other guests who stayed in the same room.

Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 10.23.35 AM.png

HOW YOU CAN USE IT: Next time you reach a prospect’s voicemail, use the Boomerang Message—mention one of your prospect’s competitors in an effort to entice them to return your call.

Here are some other ways marketers and sales reps use commitment and consistency to persuade prospects to say "yes":

6 principles of persuasion slides 2018 (3).png
 

TRIGGER No. 4

Likeability & Familiarity

likeability.jpeg

People prefer to say yes to those they know and like—people who are similar, who flatter them, or who share common goals.

Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 10.28.49 AM.png

Likeability & Familiarity in Action

Students in a negotiation class were far more likely to reach agreement when they were instructed to get to know each other first, rather than prioritize speed.

Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 10.29.06 AM.png

HOW YOU CAN USE IT: Before you meet with a prospect, check out their LinkedIn profile to identify shared traits and interests, then use that knowledge to create a personal bond with your prospect. Even if it doesn’t lead directly to a sale, your prospect will be more receptive to what you have to say.

Here are some other ways marketers and sales reps use likeability and familiarity to persuade prospects to say "yes":

6 principles of persuasion slides 2018 (4).png
 

TRIGGER No. 5

Authority

pexels-photo-131018(1).jpeg

People follow the lead of credible, knowledgeable experts.

Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 10.28.49 AM.png

Authority in Action

This one’s not hard to understand—of course you’d rather take medical advice from a doctor or financial advice from Warren Buffett.

But authority can be conveyed in subtle ways, too: for example, physical therapists get more patients to follow recommended exercise programs when they display their diploma on their office wall.

Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 10.29.06 AM.png

HOW YOU CAN USE IT: Take every opportunity to mention your company’s and team’s experience and expertise when describing how you can help your prospects. They’ll be increasingly receptive when they perceive the source as authoritative.

Here are some other ways marketers and sales reps use authority to persuade prospects to say "yes":

6 principles of persuasion slides 2018 (5).png
 

TRIGGER No. 6

Scarcity

scarcity.jpeg

People want more of the things there are less of.

Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 11.00.57 AM.png

Scarcity in Action

Scarcity can refer to quantity (there’s only one left!) or time (sale ends at midnight!). In a illustration of the latter, the day after British Airways announced it would soon cancel its daily Concorde flights from London to Rome, sales skyrocketed.

Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 11.01.12 AM.png

HOW YOU CAN USE IT: Try putting a time limit on your email marketing offers. Your prospects may be more likely to take action to get something when they know it won’t be available indefinitely.

Here are some other ways marketers and sales reps use scarcity to persuade prospects to say "yes":

6 principles of persuasion slides 2018 (6).png

P.S. Don’t miss Cialdini’s new book, Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade with even more good advice!

Back to Top

 

Now that you have proven strategies for persuading prospects say "yes" to take your calls, click your emails, and set appointments, all you need is some prospects to connect with! Want to know the exact number of good, local prospects you could email with BWise?

Use our free Prospect Finder: