How to convince people
A Method Used For 350 Years
Blaise Pascal, who lived in the 1600s, was a prominent French thinker. As a child, he began to show amazing abilities in mathematics and science. During his short 39-year life, he made significant contributions to philosophy, mathematics, fluid dynamics and physics. He even invented several computers that were centuries ahead of their time.
He also worked on decision theory, which ultimately helped lay the foundation for modern economics. Unsurprisingly, some of his work included research on how to persuade people. His ideas were unique at the time, as the first experimental psychologists to begin “officially” looking at persuasion did not appear until the 1800s.
Modern psychologists now agree with Pascal’s work, and his recommendations are applied in the fields of sales, marketing and business.
In his book Thoughts, Section 2, Part 1, Excerpt 9, Pascal writes:
“If you want to argue not in vain and to convince your interlocutor, first of all, understand for yourself which side he approaches the subject of the dispute, for he usually sees this side correctly. Admit he is right and immediately show that if you approach from the other side, he will be wrong. Your interlocutor will willingly agree with you – after all, he did not make any mistake, he simply did not see something, and people get angry not when they do not see everything, but when they make a mistake: perhaps this is due to the fact that a person by his very nature is not is able to see an object from all sides at once and at the same time, by its very nature, if it sees, then it sees correctly, for the evidence of our feelings is undeniable. “
He also adds:
“The arguments that a person thinks out on his own usually convince him more than those that came to mind of others.”
The first important point: show the client that you understand their position
Basically, Pascal says that if you want to start persuading a person, you must first show him that you partly share his position, and in some points he is really right. Otherwise, communication can escalate into conflict, which is probably the worst way to convince someone to buy your product.
For example, imagine that you are offering someone to purchase a service, and the person does not agree, because he is absolutely satisfied with the service in another company. What should be done? First of all, agree with him, tell him that his current supplier really offers excellent service and that you are pleased that quality is the most important thing for the client. This will not only disarm the potential buyer, but it will also show that you are really listening to them. You can then reformulate the client’s objection in a way that you can overcome it.
– I am very glad that you are satisfied with the quality of customer service in another company. Is that the only thing stopping you from buying?
– I understand, but I must say that our company is ahead of the one that you mentioned, because we received more points in the rating for assessing the quality of service. 95% of reviews about our work are positive. I know that our competitors provide good service, but I am confident that we can do for you what they cannot.
So what did you do in this case?
You have accepted the customer’s objection; agree that competitors do offer good service; have repeatedly provided information about your company in such a way as to show the benefits of cooperation; and finally overcame the objection.
If you answered only, “Well, our customer service is better than the competition,” it would make the person even more convinced that they shouldn’t do business with you; and you wouldn’t have a chance to change his mind.
Second important point: you are “planting the seeds” of ideas – the client is “harvesting”
The next feature that Pascal notes in his work is more difficult to apply in sales, but it is also extremely important. The thinker argued that if an idea comes into your head, you are more willing to start implementing it than if the idea originated in the head of another person.
Simply put, if you’re presenting a product to a potential customer, try to present it in such a way that the person can connect in their head the benefits of your product and their individual needs. Instead of saying, “I see that your hydraulic press is not working well enough. I suggest that you purchase our equipment, thanks to which it will run more smoothly, and you can avoid downtime “, try to say:” I faced a similar situation. A client of mine had problems with several machines in production, but after using our equipment, his company’s productivity increased by 30%. “
The buyer must connect the real story of third parties with his own similar situation. You planted the seeds, and the potential client “reaped”, that is, thought about the prospect of using your new equipment on old machines. The client will think that it was his own idea, therefore, with a high degree of probability, he will agree to your proposal.
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