If you would persuade, you must appeal to interest rather than intellect
– Benjamin Franklin
Modern marketers require sophisticated skills to thrive in the market. Two of the most fundamental skills for marketers are selling and persuasion. Both selling and persuasion remain entwined in exciting ways and have become increasingly sophisticated. In recent decades, this change in selling and persuasion has come about because of the onset of new media technologies and the enhanced pace of globalization.
Selling is a consequence of persuasion, and therefore you must understand the phenomenon of persuasion. Persuasion is the ability to influence others’ thoughts and opinions by using convincing arguments and facts. When we use persuasion skills, we help individuals appreciate alternate points of view. This comes in handy in many job roles, such as marketing.
Marketers have countless situations where they may need selling and persuasion skills. They may need to convince the marketing team members and people across other functions about a certain transformational idea within the organization. They may also need to sell the idea to the members of the management and persuade them to see your perspective or vision.
Selling and persuasion are elements that are ingrained within the marketer’s role. Without these, the marketer will not sell their ideas to internal and external stakeholders. The art of persuasion also becomes significant for marketing because, as a function, marketers are expected to transform beliefs and mindsets through subtle ways of persuasion.
Let’s look at some crucial features of the concept of selling and persuasion:
- For external stakeholders like your customers, selling and persuasion skills help marketers undertake brand marketing successfully.
- Marketers can use diverse forms of persuasion to drive home the brand’s value.
- Prospective customers who are not yet convinced with the brand may require persuasion and selling skills to make a conscious decision about trying the brand.
- Converting new customers will require a lot more persuasion than they may need for someone already a customer.
- Marketers require a solid argument to first sell the concept before the internal audience – the employees and different members of the management.
- Persuading the internal public is essential because internal stakeholders send strong vibes to the market through their community, family, or network associations. When the internal public is convinced and persuaded, they can lend a supportive hand to brand marketing and digital marketing.
One of the areas in which modern marketers need selling and persuasion skills the most is brand marketing. In brand marketing, marketers have to confront a continuously changing environment. Persuasion also requires a considerable degree of ingenuity to transform strongly-held beliefs. The art of persuasion needs the marketer to be genuine and honest as only then will they be able to dislodge the notions held by the target public. Preconceived notions are held very strongly, requiring potent ideas and content to be challenged. Being a good seller and persuader also requires marketers to be content with the products and services first. If marketers are themselves not convinced about the arguments in their heads, they are likely to appear shaky and will not be able to convince others. Consumers today are critical, and they can easily see through things.
As a marketer, you must adhere to specific rules while persuading others. First, you must never badmouth competitors as your target audience may only appreciate the healthy competition. Second, you must be presentable and appealing. Working on appearance and how marketers present themselves before others is a crucial first step that will set the tone for a positive and desirable change in your customers.
One of the best ways to enhance selling and persuasion skills for marketers is to learn from past experiences. Every individual has some experience in the field, and these provide the best learning opportunities. The skills of selling and persuasion are acquired through experience, and nothing comes close to the wisdom gathered through first-hand, learn-by-doing experience.
By being persuasive, the marketer can enable group decision-making. Persuasion is also very handy for employee relations, customer relations, and community relations. It can influence and open doors to increased sales, collaboration with influential groups, and improved self-expression. If the arguments are compelling, it can help marketers to undertake promotions and build power and influence.
Resistance to buying is the most significant buyer habit. It can be countered by using effective persuasion to feel more comfortable with their purchases. Buyer resistance can be overcome by empathizing with the buyer, and offering them a certain degree of comfort. The arguments you present, the marketer, should be logically based on facts and not opinions.
Finally, transparency and honesty are two crucial elements that remain central to effective persuasion. In persuasion, the consumer should not be tricked into taking action but convinced using factual information. Quite often, the accurate information you provide helps you gather the attention of consumers. Modern marketing styles also include persuasion marketing, where a concoction of structured communication, neuro-marketing, and storytelling comes together to create a robust model of consumer communication.
~ Dr Asim Chowdhury, Consultant for Global Enterprises
Marketing is an art, an evolving one. It is also a team effort, and the marketing and sales teams must always work in tandem. Statistics show that well-aligned sales and marketing teams drive more than 200% revenue growth from marketing tactics (Invoca). Emeritus offers a range of courses in sales and marketing from top-rated universities to help you stay up-to-date with the latest in this field. Click here to know how you can enrol.