Convince Your Prospect

How does your prospect become convinced


Ever wondered how to convince your prospect or even wondered how your prospects become convinced ?

(This is from the YourSalesSuccess eZine, article #15)


Some years ago I read an article that said most successful salespeople in the USA get an order after the 5th “No!”.
Most people read that and get the message that the successful salespeople are most persistent.
And it does give that message.



What if we look at this data from the buyer’s perspective ?
What it also tells us is that most buyers in the USA need to imagine using your product or service 5 times before they actually purchase.
This is a psychological principle know as “ the convincer mode “.
It is used extensively in television advertising (“don’t buy yet because” or “ but wait there’s more “).

This is an example of a psychological trait know as a Metaprogram.
The word Meta means stand apart from or above. 
A program is a series of actions designed to generate an outcome.
These Metaprograms are an integral part of persuasion psychology.

As I’ve mentioned before we humans are learning machines and once we learn something we often assign that task to our unconscious mind.
For example we learn to drive a car consciously but after a while it is second nature, like breathing, and we can do it without conscious thought.
Our unconscious mind takes on board a strategy for generating an outcome. 
This strategy can be likened to a computer program.

A simple task like lifting your arm to scratch your nose seems easy but it actually involves many muscles firing in the correct sequence very much like a complicated accounting function running on a computer.

Not only do we assign physical tasks to our unconscious but we also assign mental processes.
During our formative years we learn ways of making decisions and relating to people and these programs or strategies can stay with us for life.



Metaprograms are ways of thinking that operates above many of the strategies that we run. 
They are unconscious filters on the way we perceive the world. 
They work at a higher level. 
The simplest example I can give you (and it’s not a true Metaprogram) is Optimism versus Pessimism.
Is the glass half empty or half full ? 
A Pessimist will make all sorts of decisions and judgments and take actions in a very different way to an Optimist.

The Convincer Mode is concerned with how people become convinced of something.
Or, more accurately, how many times someone has to be presented with information before they become convinced.



How can this be used in sales ?

Let me tell you a story.

An acquaintance of mine was to make a presentation to an out of town buyer for a major printing job.
The buyer was well known as a tough nut.
When he picked the buyer up from the airport the buyer asked for a few minutes to pick up some souvenirs for his children.
He waited while the buyer looked over the goods.
He noticed that the buyer went to a basket full of baseball caps.
Took one out, looked it over, put it back, took out another, put it back and then purchased the third cap he picked up.
He then watched as the buyer went through exactly the same process buying something for his daughter and then something for himself.

Now once is an incident, twice is a coincidence but three times is a pattern.
My friend knew of Metaprograms and concluded that the buyer had a three-time Convincer Mode.

He excused himself saying that he needed to go to the men’s room.
He then called his office and got them to arrange the print samples into three piles.

When he got the buyer to his office he examined the three stacks of placards with him.
He picked up a sample from the first pile and threw it on the floor saying it was not good enough.
He then looked at a sample from the second pile and proclaimed it better.
He then went to the third pile and said “Perfect ! “.

The buyer placed an order that day, provided the print quality was up to the standard from the third batch.
Of course, there had only been one print run and all the samples were identical but I’ll bet if you told the buyer that he would think you were crazy.

If you favour presenting two or three options to your client when making a proposal because it has worked well in the past, guess what Metaprogram you are dabbling with ?



People vary in the way they can be convinced of something and how long that process takes : 
Some people can be convinced immediately. 
Some need two or three exposures to a concept to be convinced.
Some need 60 – 90 days to go by 
Some will never be really convinced.

There are ways of handling all of the possible Convincer Modes to get the outcome you want without having to wait 90 days.

Believe me, you can increase your chances of selling to someone if you match your proposal to their Convincer Strategy and Convincer Mode.

Remember this is only one of about ten Metaprograms that you can use to enhance your sales success.

Here's to YourSalesSuccess.