The Psychology of Persuasion


Let me say up front that "The Psychology of Persuasion" by Kevin Hogan is an excellent sales book.

Kevin has actually included a diagrammatic representation of his sales process. I think sales students will find this model very useful.

The model has major parts of Foundation, Fundamentals, Preparation and Presentation. Following the sub sections in order I will make comments as I go.

Win/Win Philosophy

Kevin also believes the Zig Ziglar quote, "you can have everything you want in life if you help other people get what they want".
In my sales career my objective was always to help other people and because I had that at the forefront of my mind I never felt call reluctance or rejection. That is to say, I was never reluctant to call on people because my objective was to help them. Also, if someone rejected my offer it was their loss, not mine, because they were the ones missing out on the help..

Outcome Based Thinking

This is a good concept although I don't think it is very well explained in the book.

It's about always having an objective when you go on the sales call.

The author has his own special way of setting these outcomes to assure their achievement.
The method seems very useful.
He outlines the model better in another of his books.
I speak about something similar in the free articles section of this website. 
See Intention.

Mastering the Laws Of Persuasion.

This section of "The Psychology of Persuasion" covers Cialdini's influence principles as per the influence summary on my website.

Somehow the author manages to generate nine laws of influence from Cialdini's six without adding anything. 
See my page on Influence

Mastering Persuasion Techniques

This section covers questions and their importance and using them to elicit your prospect's values (criteria). It then goes on to talk about power words, credibility techniques and goes through four hypnotic language patterns
(I cover many more than this in my Sales Language Book).

It also introduces "the truth pattern" which is essentially a "yes set".

Understanding Non-Verbal Communication

The concept of proxemics is introduced (i.e. the best place to sit when meeting with a prospect for a communication result).

It is also stated that physical appearance and body language has a big influence on the success of your persuasion.

There is also mention of strategic movement which is a specific type of anchoring known as spatial anchoring.

Mention is also made about congruence in selling but I do not believe enough time is devoted to this as it is a very important part of communicating your message to the prospect.

Gathering Intelligence

Plainly gathering intelligence is an important aspect of preparation for a salesman however I did not find much useful information in this section. There seemed little about how to gather intelligence or what specific intelligence you looking for.

Coding Your Message

This is about how to modify what you say to conform to the way your prospect wants to hear communication.

It talks about using visual language or auditory language or kinaesthetic language.

It also introduces communication style based on a person's characteristics of introvert/extrovert and logical/emotional. It basically divides people into four communication styles. Once you know the styles you should modify your language to conform to them. I have never been particularly fond of pigeonholing people like this so although this section may be very useful to some, personally, I do not like it.

Turning Yourself ON!

This is the personal part of the psychology of persuasion.

It's about being at your best in terms of communication.
Being in a good frame of mind to get the sales result you desire.

It talks about positive self talk and maintaining the best physiology as well as utilising outcome based thinking.

Surprisingly it also seems to cover a number of topics that seem unrelated including rapport which is covered later on in the presentation section.

Instant Rapport

I have been a strong advocate of the need for Rapport in order to make sales. I think it’s one of the foundational elements of the psychology of persuasion. So much so that I have written a book called sales rapport. Kevin does a good job of explaining rapport in the book, how to gain rapport and how important is in selling. 

Powerful Presentation

The author of this book is a highly paid international speaker so obviously any reader of this book should pay particular attention to anything he writes in this section.

Ask Until

The concept of perseverance is well known to the best salespeople. Sometimes you just have to hang in there could you make the sale.
The concept of overcoming sales objections is also covered in this section.

Advanced Techniques

On the final pages ( 221 - 226) the author discusses Advanced Techniques.

It almost seems like these pages were added as an afterthought.

The techniques and concepts discussed in this section are very important, form a large part of the psychology of persuasion, and should have been incorporated within the sales model.

The problem with stating them separately is that people using the book may not follow how and where to incorporate these techniques within the model.

One of the techniques mentioned could easily be used instead of communication styles mentioned earlier in this book.
This concept is very similar to my book "Seven Steps To Responsive Customers"

Final Comments

All in all "The Psychology of Persuasion" is a very good sales book, there are a lot of important concepts and practices discussed within its pages and it would be a very useful addition to your sales education library. It certainly cover the psychology of persuasion very well.