Power of Persuasion: Persuasive Selling

July 2nd, 2009 by Frank Damelio

Buy Audio CD or Instant Download on Persuasion
In a nut shell, research shows that people are more motivated by the fear of losing than by the prospect of gaining. In sales, we tend to sell value – as we should.  Use this persuasive selling technique to motivate your prospect to invest in the value you offer. The secret is to show what they could LOSE by not purchasing your goods or service.

Here are some examples:

Copy machine sales:

Good: Our solution will save you time and money because our machine has a faster output and uses less resources like electricity and toner.

Better:  Right now you are wasting electricity and toner, plus your employees are losing valuable time because your current machine is slower and less efficient.  Our solution addresses that.

Selling a maintenance plan:

Good: With our plan you will have complete peace of mind knowing that we will keep you up-and-running and cover all problems associated with operations.

Better:  You understand the lost time and employee frustration when operations are down.  We ensure that you don’t lose that valuable labor and money associated with downtime and repairs.

Selling a hybrid automobile:

Good:  This car will save you approximately 20% on your gas consumption. During the life of this car you will save hundreds of dollars.

Better: Right now you are burning through an estimated 20% more gasoline than you would with our hybrid. Investing in his car will put a stop to that.

Selling optical fiber:

Good:  Our fiber is manufactured with tighter standards so it transmits data more efficiently.

Better:  Our fiber is manufactured with tighter standards; so it has less loss.

Selling a generic brand:

Good:  You can have the same high quality and save 12% off the name brand.

Better:  You’re wasting 12% on every dollar you spend on the name brand because we provide the same quality for less.

Will you share with us an example for your market?

This selling nuance makes a notable difference in the buyer’s mind. Research proves it, but the underlying reason is debatable. My view is that most people would agree that while it is good to save money, it is almost a sin to waste it. Therefore, it is far more persuasive to appeal to your prospect’s fear of losing or wasting something.

As with all persuasive selling tips, these are only guidelines and not rules.  Use each technique in context.

Have fun selling persuasively!

» Share this entry: bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

22 Responses to “Power of Persuasion: Persuasive Selling”

  1. Nick Allain Says:

    Great video. Can you apply this concept to selling yourself (like in an interview or at a networking event)? If so, how would you go about it?

  2. Chris Tremblay Says:

    Awesome! Frank this was great

  3. Peter Caputa Says:


    Are you concerned that your machine is wasting electricity and toner?

    Do you know how much that is costing you?

    What happens if you don’t fix this problem?

    What happens if you do fix this problem?

    Is that a priority?

    Don’t pitch until you know they know, care, understand the conequences, quantified the consequence, know the upside, quantified the upside, understand the reaon for inaction and what their ideal solution is.

  4. Frank Damelio Says:

    Nick Allain – you are fast! I just uploaded this!!

    Indeed you can apply this to interviewing.

    For example, an accountant can point out her track record of accuracy, and then mention the liability she avoids by being so.

    A buyer can illustrate how, at his past job, they had been throwing away $X each year by paying too much for office supplies, until he put in a cost control system that addressed it.

    Even applying at a fast-food chain, an applicant can appeal to the manager by pointing out his high attendance record at his former job, and how that is important because managers lose a great deal of valuable time juggling schedules.

    The possibilities are limitless. If you are in a specific situation, you know you can call me!



  5. Frank Damelio Says:

    Peter Caputa,

    Thanks so much for your comment. You’ve always had excellent insight into sales, and I appreciate your input. Agreed about the questions. I should do a vid about that sometime.

  6. Frank Damelio Says:


    Thx for the kind words and I hope this helps in the mortgage market!

  7. Frank Aubuchon Says:

    There are two sides to every coin (ok for you magicians maybe there are more than two!!). In most cases we want to see “heads up” on that coin because we somehow relate that more to winning. So, if you can show me how to avoid or decrease “tails up” then I’m listening………..

  8. Rita Schiano Says:

    Thought-provoking presentation, Frank. So what is the cost of your 2-hour CD? $496?

  9. Mary Says:

    Great visuals Frank! Definitely gets the point across.

  10. Nick Allain Says:

    Excellent ideas on how to sell yourself. I have an interview and a networking meeting this week so those pointers really help get me in the right mindset.

    P.S. – I like catching your posts in my facebook feed the following the link over. That’s how I get here so fast 😉

  11. Frank Damelio Says:

    Nickallain – An I thought you were a magician!

  12. Frank Damelio Says:


    I’d love to collect $496 for my CD… and even though it is worth it….I’m selling the double CD set for $40 and the instant download for $35.

  13. Target Intellect Blog » NOT persuasive selling Says:

    […] Master Public SpeakingPower of PersuasionInterviewingProjecting the Executive PersonaAchieve SuccessTrade Show StrategyCreating a Winning TeamSales Success Share & Learn « Persuasive Selling […]

  14. MagicCleaners916 Says:

    How would you incorporate this same idea into selling your company’s service to someone?

  15. Frank Damelio Says:

    RE MagicCleaners916

    First, please tell me about your company. What do you clean and what problem do you solve? Hope to hear back from you!

  16. Roofer Says:

    I sell roofs door to door in storm damage areas… everybody needs one, everybody will get one, insurance pays, but I am have a problem getting them to commit to me. The storm areas are highly competitive but lately even if I try to force a close by saying we offer deductable assistance I get a response of “well we will have to get a few more bids”. I even offered one lady full deductable help and she still had the same response. What gives?

  17. Frank Damelio Says:

    RE: Roofer

    I’m not familiar with the roofing industry, but I know a business owner in the flood restoration area. He ran into a similar problem to yours. He would approach the homeowner immediately after a flood to offer a highly competitive deal. He was frustrated by a meager closing rate.

    Then he learned that most homeowners were going with their INSURERS preferred vendors. Many insurance estimators were giving each homeowner a short list of vendors who could fix the problem. Homeowners felt far more comfortable going with them.

    This in mind, my fried built relationships with the insurance companies, got them to give him a try, and wowed them with lower prices and higher quality. That’s when the business came to him.

    I hope that helps.

  18. David R Says:

    I recently started working for the cable company in houston. Its door to door sales and i need some help with presenting myself at the door with our services. what are some openers that are effictive to get the consumers attention. thanks Frank and does the 2 cd apply to door to door sales

  19. Frank Damelio Says:

    Hi David,

    Thanks for reading the blog. When I was in college, I did door-to-door sales of cutlery, cookware and china. I probably learned more about sales in that capacity than any other position I’ve held. The secret is to build instant rapport and establish a comfort level right off the bat – because you are a stranger. The first tip is to make sure that after knocking or ringing the bell, you look away from the door. Nothing is more unsettling than seeing somebody staring through your door window. When they open the door, you should not be staring straight at them, but rather turning your head towards them. Of course give them a smile then go in to your intro. You need to establish instant credibility; so wearing a uniform or shirt with company logo is imperative. Have a small gift, and tell the prospect that XYZ Cable corp asked you to hand deliver this gift to them. Hand them the gift then ask a question. Here is the philosophy: a gift will create a situation of reciprocity, where the person will feel beholden to give you an answer to your question. Once you begin your questions, you have created inertia – which will then be harder for the person to reject. If you are already doing your sales, employ this strategy and you will be able to quantify the difference. The persuasion CD set is NOT specific to door to door, but many ideas like the gift can be easily applied.

    Best of Luck David.

  20. Jesse H. Says:

    Hi Frank. I’m an entertainer who does a comedy show at renaissance fairs and street festivals. Can you offer any advice on collecting tip $ at the end of the show? Tips are a LARGE part of my income.

  21. Frank Damelio Says:

    Hi Jesse,

    Forgive the delay in responding. Everyone wants something for free, so first, let’s take a look at what would motivate people to tip you:

    1) They feel beholden to give you something because you generously gave them the experience of laughter.
    2) They feel social pressure to do so in the sense that others would notice if they walked away without tipping.
    3) They feel as though YOU might particularly notice whether they tipped after enjoying the show.
    4) They feel good helping a true artist.

    So how can you capitalize on these motivations?

    I’m sure you have some great lines, and here are some subtleties to consider:

    1) At the end – REMIND them of how much they laughed and use the word generous, even if the use of the “generous” is slightly askew. Thank you for generously sharing your laughter with me. You are intimating that they are generous and setting an expectation.

    2) The best way to capitalize on peer-pressure to give is to have them packed shoulder to shoulder. Every inch of space between each person is diluting the peer pressure impact. Especially at the end, get them to move in. As a magican, I would have a small prop that they had to strain to see. Is there something you can do? Could you think of a comedic routine where you whisper something and they have to lean in? You could always use the Fairgrounds as an excuse and say, everyone pls step in one step bc I need to keep the aisle clear. The closer in you get them, the more they will laugh and the more they will tip.

    3) Making a personal connection: I’m confident that as a comedic performer you are good at this. One thing I’d like to stress is that many pros have a tendency to scan the audience. If you can stop and make eye contact for MORE than 6 second on one person, you’ve got them – you’ve made a connection. Involving people and using their names will greatly increase the probability of tipping. Remember that one extra person tipping can create the PEER PRESSURE that will result in others tipping as well.

    4) Of course reminding them that you are an artist (use that word as it has a positive emotional appeal) who dedicates his LIFE to making people laugh, and the only way to do so is through the GENEROSITY (call back of the word you used before) of your audience.

    I remember I saw a street performer in Quebec who was funny and used his humor to get great tips. First he reminded the audience of what other forms of entertainment would cost (movie for the family, theater, theme park, then he reminded them of what they just saw – the unique experience he provided, and he finally he said “I won’t put a price of admission on that”, while flashing both hands to indicate TEN. It was funny, the way it was delivered was light, and he did put his entertainment into perspective. I liked it and saw that he received some big bills. Of course you have to do what is comfortable within your style. But these are ideas to get you started. One caveat: subtle suggestions to help them feel beholden are golden, but never directly attempt to make them feel guilt, as that will cause resentment and result in lower tips. Keep a journal, trying various techniques and tallying your tips – this will highlight what works best and enable you to continually improve your return on investment.

    Best of Luck,


  22. Robert Fowler Says:


    Hello, I am a Realtor, and soon to be Real Estate Broker. I specialize with foreclosures, investment and rental properties. I am constantly online looking for new listing, price changes, and deals for my clients and future clients. I am lookin for a punch line/ slogan/verbal branding idea to add interest , ambuguity into what I am doing. like:

    An online real estate technology company focusing on providing information to home buyers

    saving home buyers time,money, and energy through the use of technology, information, and expertise

    We provide home buyers with information, technology, and expertise to enable them to save time, money and energy in real estate transactions

    we find you a home so that you dont have to

    I enable home owners to save time money and enegy

    then they ask how do you do that: through the use of information, tecchnology and expertise

    (or is that too general? not specific enough?)

Leave a Reply

Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).

Copyright © 2008 Target Intellect. All rights reserved.