Influence and Persuasion (Buyers Subconscious Shortcuts)-Part 3

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Today, I will cover another 2 principles from Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence, and explain how to apply them in your life and sales situations. 

In this episode, I will share my interpretation of the Forbidden Principle and explain how to get customers to stay true to their word in terms of identity.

People always tend to want what they cannot have and hate it when they cannot get it. 

Some examples of the Forbidden Principle are:

  • You had a crush on someone when you were young. But when you started dating them, you found it disappointing.
  • When you wanted something, like a particular car, but felt let down soon after getting it.

People find it hard to come to terms with not getting something they want, especially when they are on the B2B and buyer side. When you are selling higher ticket items or enterprise software, speed is vital. 

A great way to use the Forbidden Principle to close customers is to use the Reverse Close. That means telling your customers that they can have something, but they cannot get it right away. 

Use the Forbidden Principle in the murky middle phase towards the end of a sales process. Use it with customers you have already built a relationship with, those who are aligned with you, and those who are already on board with your solution. 

Tell your customers that due to all the demand, even though the resource needed to implement what they want is there, they might have to go to the back of the queue and wait several months to implement it if the deal does not get wrapped up quickly.

If you knock several months off a sales cycle, you could get 2-3 times more revenue with the same staff and resources. 

Another simple example of the Forbidden Principle is based on identity. A psychologist, Tom Moriarty, did a study on human behavior. He found that only 20% of people sitting on a beach would do anything if they saw someone stealing from someone else’s towel or bag. If, however, someone asked someone else to watch over their things while they went to the bathroom, 95% of people would take action if anyone tried to steal anything. In fact, those in his study (the 95%) felt so morally obliged and became so vigilant that they would physically tackle anyone who tried to steal something.  

When it comes to community, reciprocity is very prominent at the core of all humans. Identity and being true to our word are also very prominent with us as humans.  

If people commit, they feel obligated to follow through. So, towards the end of the sales process and just before you are about to close someone, do them a favor or help them out. That will plant the seed in their mind, or pre-frame them, to help you out in return. 

Ask your customers to commit to doing a testimonial for you after the deal gets signed. Explain to them that the testimonial will help you to help others like them. Also, once the deal is signed and you have successfully executed what you promised, ask them for three referrals. 

That element of persuasion is a great way to get your customers to pre-commit to doing some other things besides giving you testimonials and referrals and helping you out. It will help you expand in the next phase of the solution you have given them.

If you use these potentially game-changing elements in your business consistently, amazing things are bound to happen!

Links and resources:

Apply here for a Revenue Growth Consulting Session with me, Ryan Staley.

Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence