Persuasion is one of the most fundamental skills one needs to master throughout their lives in order to achieve success. Many think that is only applicable to sales, but it doesn’t matter what you do, regardless whether it is business or personal life.
Persuading is helping people to overcome the internal obstacles that prevent them from taking action. The art of persuading is to master tonality, rapport and control of the sale. It is a method of communication that aims to influence the attitudes, beliefs, or behaviours of others. In the context of sales, persuasion typically takes place when a sales rep is trying to convince a prospect that their product or service is the best solution for their problem.
Everyone is susceptible to being persuaded; persuasion is a process whose objective is to change a person’s attitude and behaviour towards an idea, event, person or an object. An understanding of various effective persuasion techniques will not only help sales people to make sales and meet their targets but it will also allow them to have an edge over competitors in the market.
To break down the art of straight persuasion method sales was Wayne Lim, the top sales person in IQI Eliteone. Wayne was one of the very first members to join IQI in its journey to achieve its mission of mission of bringing change and influence real estate through educating and empowering. Despite only working part time, Wayne left a lasting impression by being one of the most determined employees.
Dubbed as the ‘wolf’ of IQI, Wayne led the pack in internet marketing strategies, introducing Facebook marketing as an alternative instead of the traditional SMS blasting. Wayne’s focus to go the extra mile in his initiative secured the company many deals thereof.
This marked the beginning of his journey in real estate and allowed him to climb his way to the top in sales for few consecutive years, closing almost RM30 million in sales as a milestone in his personal track record – the top in IQI.
Straight Line Persuasion Method
Wayne shared his knowledge on this straight line persuasion method, describing it as a versatile sales method which can be applied to the sales of a RM1 pen to a RM1 million deal.
This method originated from Jordan Belfort’s Straight Line Persuasion System, which can literally be applied to everyday life. Probably most people have seen or at least heard about The Wolf of Wall Street movie with Leonardo DiCaprio, and many of you know that this movie is based on the true story about US brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont and its founder, Jordan Belfort.
As one may know from the movie, Jordan was arrested for the violation of securities laws and spent 2 years in prison. In prison, Jordan wrote a book Wolf of Wall Street which shortly was followed by a movie that became a great success.
Jordan Belfort also became a motivational speaker and sales trainer and what he is teaching is a so-called Straight Line Persuasion System, a system that he was teaching his guys at the brokerage firm and that turned all every one of them into millionaires.
Jordan Belfort admits that the Straight Line Persuasion System is so powerful that it can be easily used to manipulate people and trick them into decisions that are not in their best interest.
“With great power come great responsibility”, and Jordan Belfort urges everyone to use the power of the Straight Line Persuasion System ethically and with high standards.
To begin, Wayne broke down Jordan’s take on supply and demand by creating urgency in a sale. Supply and demand of real estate is most prominent in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, in Malaysia, due to greater job opportunities, more established multinational companies (MNC) and universities/colleges, as well as better infrastructure.
In the straight line persuasion method, Wayne presented the five steps introduced by Jordan Belfort in his system of persuasion.
Should Not Sell Too Early
Firstly, Wayne clarified that marketers should not sell too early. He believes that people in general do not like to be sold things, but rather enjoy making the purchase itself. A salesperson would most likely focus on telling their customers how good the product is, rather than focusing on attracting the customer’s desire to purchase the product.
To ensure that one does not try to sell too early, marketers should also work to establish a common ground with their clients. Many people buy products from the people they like, therefore a salesperson should establish rapport with potential customers.
FInd Out Your Client Needs
Wayne stressed that it is imperative to find out exactly what the client desires before trying to sell them anything. He often uses the ‘WIIFM’ approach, which is the acronym for “What Is In For Me?”.
WIIFM focuses on what the client can gain from a purchase of a certain product. In real estate, properties can have many selling points, however all these selling points may not be what the client wants or needs. Therefore, it is important to identify and fact find the client’s desires.
Sales reps must establish an instant, massive rapport. People want to deal with people they like and establishing strong rapport is pivotal in this process.
In the formula for establishing rapport, the art of tonality is crucial. While actual words and body language are important, tonality is what seals the deal. Same words said with different tonalities can mean different things and that is the tonality that we feel at the subconscious level. Belfort says that tonality develops rapport at an unconscious level.
By mastering tonality is where the Straight Line Persuasions start hitting its stride. One can learn the main tonal patterns such as scarcity, “reasonable man” tone, absolute certainty, presupposing tone and many others.
It is safe to assume that tonality is one of the most underestimated elements in the skill of persuasion.
Start with a Good Question
Next, marketers must be able to start with a good question. One should establish areas of commonality and if you do not know what you have in common, then you should ask questions about their criteria and be genuinely attentive to the prospective client.
Wayne detailed that the most important objective here is to find out why the client is purchasing the property, be it for investment or own stay. These details will allow sales reps to fully understand the client’s purchasing criteria.
Find the Right Market
Next, under this straight line persuasion technique, a salesperson must find the right target market to sell. Wayne advised that trying to sell something to everyone is highly ineffective and the biggest mistake a marketer could do. There is no one product which can be targeted to everybody; there must always be a specific target market.
Start to Sell
All these previous steps are just a warm up before finishing off by actually starting to sell once you have gathered enough intelligence and know exactly what they want or need.
These are the three tenets of Jordan Belfort’s Straight Line Persuasion; developing rapport, gathering intelligence, and controlling the interaction. Controlling the interaction means that, without breaking rapport or pushing, you gently nudge the prospect back towards the straight line towards the sale. After all, the act of persuading is to empower people.
Based on all the intel you have collected through the previous steps, sales reps can now propose the best property suited to the client. You may go ahead and highlight the major benefits of property to the client.
One should try to show how it is a good idea to buy the property by aligning it’s perks with their personal goals and criteria and showing them how it is beneficial to purchase said property.
Wayne guided through the ‘CCISC’ skillset. Firstly, marketers must have the closing mind set. In order to achieve success, we need to have the right motivation. People like to deal with successful people. If we are trying to persuade someone to deal with us, they need to feel that they are dealing with an expert in their field. You must look good and radiate confidence.
Additionally, enthusiasm is contagious and if we are really excited about something, if every cell of our body believes in what we are doing, the other person will get this feeling too. One must also exude an aura of confidence and be a figure of authority.
Moving on to the second ‘C’, creating relationships. As mentioned previously, building rapport is imperative in the process and one can apply the tips stated in the theory of the persuasion method.
Next is ‘I’, identifying their needs. Also stated in the theory, knowing the client’s purchasing criteria is a dealmaker. If we are selling a product, service or just trying to get someone on our side, we need to qualify them through intelligence gathering.
“Does the prospect really need this particular property? Does the person have money to buy from us?” are questions that marketers need answers to before doing a sale.
And it is important to remember that we should not be using the power of Straight Line Persuasion System to manipulate someone into the purchase of property that he or she does not really need or cannot afford.
In the fourth step, ‘S’ for solution, here is where the real selling begins by offering clients a solution to their wants and needs.
Finally, the ‘C’ for confirming and closing a deal. During the closing process, the three most vital tonalities are certainty, calmness, and reasonableness.
After all these, if a client reject you, you should not give up and practice the three loop closing technique whereby you attempt to persuade the client thereafter in three separate occasions, each time proposing a better and more suitable deal for them.
Ideally, the Straight Line Persuasion method in sales dips into the self-help literature with mind sets, beliefs, and internal locus of control.
Moving on a straight line is the most efficient way of selling. The slower you go, the more room for mistakes and second thoughts you have. That’s true for most things in life, and certainly is true for sales.
The beauty of the Straight Line Persuasion System is that is actually a methodology, a step by step guide that you can use in any aspect of your life. It is not an abstract collection of techniques but a goal-oriented system that helps you to get from A to B in the shortest distance.