Posts Tagged ‘sales tip for persuasive selling’

Power of Persuasion: NO

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

The Power of NO

Nothing is more empowering than the ability to say “no” and walk away. In a recent blog I discussed the most persuasive way to make a request. In this entry, I’ll share a strategy that relies on the power of NO.



In July I moved into a temporary apartment while awaiting the closing of my new home. I had basic cable and Internet through Charter. The fee was $41, and I asked that they waive the one-time fee for the representative to come out and connect me. Charter obliged.

When I moved in August, I called Charter and asked for the same deal. The rep said there would be a $50 charge for hook up. I told him that Charter had waived the fee the first time, and I requested the same. He denied my request, explaining, “the free install promotion just ended”. I politely asked to speak to his supervisor to see whether an exception could be made. He said he would connect me, but he guaranteed the request would be denied.

THE POWER OF NO: I thanked him for “trying” and said, “Cancel the order because I need to check out Verizon’s options, and if they can’t do better, I promise I’ll call back and give you my business.” His response? “Oh, wait, I just saw a promotion that will enable me to waive the fee.”

I had already done my research and was going to go with Charter irrespective of a hook up fee. But my trick worked. I knew that Charter trains their reps to open new accounts, and once I was walking out, the rep gave me the deal I requested.

Interestingly enough, I shared this story with a friend who is moving this week. When Charter wanted to charge her the install fee, she cited my case, and they explained, “promotion just ended.” She pushed and they “found” an offer to waive half of the fee. I am confident that if she had requested that they cancel the order she would have received a full-waiver.

Charter’s behavior is reflective of human nature. They want to profit the most from you, but they lose their power when the see that you are ready to walk away.

In many cases using the walk away factor works as long as you don’t back the other guy into a corner and give yourself an opportunity to come back. Be sure to be polite and explain that you need to examine your options.



From a seller’s perspective in a non-commodity market such as training, I use the power of no effectively. I provide custom public speaking training and power of persuasion courses to companies that need to get better results from their people. Some prospects ask for Nordstrom quality at Wal-Mart prices. I always respect that they ask, and I explain how they are getting Nordstrom quality at JC Penny prices.

Then, if they still balk, I don’t push. I tell them the truth, “this training is not for everyone, and I will be happy to pass a referral to another trainer who can work within your budget.” Many times the walk away will convert to a sale because they respect that I know my value. Other times, I will make the referral to another company, and I am okay with that. This system helps me work with the right type of client while passing on those who don’t fit to someone else who can help him or her.

Make a comment below on your experience employing the power of NO.

Ask me about professional development training in the power of persuasion and public speaking.

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Power of Persuasion: Persuasive Selling

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

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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!

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