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Influencers Invited Sales Blog

Selling for Results – Convince, Influence or Engage?

Traditional sales training has led us to believe that we need to convince prospects to buy our products or services. They have also used the word influence prospects into buying.

These two words are very negative and will bring you negative sales results. It is time for a non-traditional, results oriented, approach. That approach is engaging customers to buy.

Think about it, do you like to be convinced or influenced? I suspect, neither.

How do you feel after you have been convinced of a service or influenced by a sales approach or even sold on a product? Does buyer’s remorse set in? Did you make the right decision? Are you happy you made the purchase, or are you concerned about the decision you made?

Whenever we are convinced or influenced to do something, buyer’s remorse and regret will always follow. Is that something you want your prospect to experience with YOU? Sales is a relationship which is based on trust. When you convince or influence someone, it is your idea, not the prospects. You become an external influence and the trust is never lasting.

Once you have departed, the prospect may experience buyer’s remorse. The prospect will either cancel the sale, or seek alternate counsel from others. Either way, the trust will be diminished. The trustworthy relationship is at risk, and there won’t be any sales referrals.

When you engage a prospect in conversation, you are delving into their thoughts and ideas, but certainly not yours. The attention belongs on the prospect and their particular needs. It does not belong to the salesperson nor the organization, the products or the services. The relationship will be stronger and everlasting by focusing solely on the concerns and requirements of the prospect.

Engage a prospect by asking questions, and not by telling or selling them anything. You must begin by asking open ended questions on topics of interest to the prospect, which may simply be of themselves, their family, their job, etc.

The salesperson must encourage the prospect to open up, and talk. The more the prospect talks, the more you listen and the more you learn. The prospect will appreciate your sincere attention and will trust you. Delve deeply.

Introduce NLP mirroring and matching body language, tonality and words. You will quickly build a strong rapport. Trust will encourage the prospect to answer leading questions.

These are specific questions that are necessary to promote discussion about their problems or their desires referencing the sales solutions you provide.

When you receive the answers to your leading questions, demonstrate sincere concern and understanding. Continue to ask fact finding questions in order to qualify the prospect’s sales needs, financial capability and their hierarchy for decision making. Only then, can you summarize and determine if the prospect is qualified for your products or services.

If they are not, you honestly inform them that you are unable to help them at this time. However, if they are qualified, you must confidently assure them you have a solution to their problems or desires.

By engaging the prospect, you are facilitating their buying process. You are not selling. They are buying. When prospects buy, the trust is solid and so is the relationship. They will not back out of the sale nor will they experience buyer’s remorse or regret. They will also relate the experience to their friends and will likely provide you with sales referrals.

From this time forward, what method will you use to sell? Will you convince, influence or engage?

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