Posts Tagged ‘sales tip’

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: NOT Persuasive Selling

Monday, July 6th, 2009

salesmanIn my last vlog, I talked about persuasive selling. In this blog, I want to mention what is NOT persuasive selling.

I just read a sales blog that dealt with the objection, “I’d like some time to think about it”. The blogger suggested that the salesperson use this technique:

“It’s a fact that as time progresses you only retain about 20% of what you learned; so as you take time to ‘think about it’ you are actually becoming less informed. I’m sure you don’t want to make a less-informed decision, right?”  Then wait for the answer, and go for the close.

Is this clever? Maybe. But here is my problem with some of these types of “tricks” in sales.  To the educated buyer, they sound slick and manipulative. Once your prospect feels he is being manipulated, you completely lose your power of persuasion.

A few more examples of techniques that turn off many prospects:

1) “John, I’m going to be in your area on Tuesday morning and Wednesday afternoon.  Which works best for you?” (Nothing wrong with this when John has agreed he wants to meet with you, but if John never gave you that indication, he’s likely to recognize this false-choice cheesy sales technique.)

2) Ben Franklin Close: “Okay John, how about we fold this paper in half. Put the pros on one side and the cons on the other. Whichever is longer, that’s the decision we’ll go with today.”

3) This is a big one: OVERUSE of a prospect’s name. Research shows that you should use the name at the beginning and end. However, inserting the name often in your pitch actually works AGAINST you. Why? Because it sounds slick and salesy.

Prospects are more intuitive and educated than we may think.  Once a prospect starts seeing you less as a resource and more as a salesperson, you are losing your ability to persuade.

Keep in mind that there are great lines and techniques to help you move towards a solution.  Just remember, many of your prospects have read the same sales books as you have, so be careful that you don’t come off as an encyclopedia of slick sales techniques.  Your worst fate is that they see you marching towards that close without respect to the way they make buying decisions.

Enjoy the tip and learn more about persuasion here:

2 Audio CD’s on Power of Persuasion

Instant Download of Power of Persuasion

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Public Speaking: Verbal Branding

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

First, watch the video above: an eight-minute distillation of Stephen Melanson’s vast knowledge of verbal branding.  Stephen is the author of the seminal book:  Jaw BrandingTM

The main points to remember:

1) You have five seconds to pique interest

2) Two methods to do so: a) ambiguity b) differentiation

3) Pause after your five-second intro, and wait for a question

4) Avoid selling on category

5) Less is better – people only remember one or two things you said

6) When asked about your category, respond: “Of course we do that, but what makes us different and better is . . .”

Some of Stephen’s questions to help you discover your point of differentiation:

What negative assumptions exist in the marketplace about what you do?

You are the only one who . . . 

What happens to clients who use your services/goods?

If you started the business over, you would . . . 

What’s the one thing people should remember about you?

What would be a risky message?

What problems do you solve?

What are you most passionate about?

How are you recreating the market?

Where is there a gap in the market?

I commit to “X”; nobody else will.

What’s the personality of your organization?

What is working well now?

Want more?  

FREE 48-page section of Stephen Melanson’s book Jaw BrandingTM.

CLICK HERE  type “FREE” in comment box.

Want help with your five-second verbal branding?

Write yours here so that other subscribers can comment.


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