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Using The Persuasive Approach

Roger, young but talented, is using a different approach:

Paul: “I still don’t see the point in subscribing for 20 years.”

Roger. “I understand—20 years is quite a long time! The decision will be yours, and you absolutely could invest for a shorter time. As your advisor, I do not clearly see the benefits of a shorter investment time, but would love to double-check with you. Why don’t we go over the options again and you tell me which one you feel is better for you.”

Paul: “Sure, walk me through the different options and let’s see

together which one is best for me.”

Roger. “I am now changing the investment period on the simulation tables. How about trying 10, 15 and also 25-five years to compare with the 20 years we mentioned initially? Just to have a look.”

Paul: “Don’t tell me you are trying to up-sell me to a longer timescale of 25 years?”

Roger: “Oh no Mr. Morgan. It’s just to give you the full picture. Many of our clients go for 20, 25 and even longer. It really depends on the personal objectives and situation. No harm in checking, right? And that’s what I am here for, to help you to make the best decision.”

Paul: “Okay, show me the differences please.”

Given this example, are you able to spot the differences in terms of approaching the same situation?

Table 4.2.A Differences in convincing and persuasive approach

Convincing Approach

Persuasive Approach

You should take this decision!

This is the best option You cannot be wrong by taking this decision

You should decide now, not wait

The right decision belongs to you!

Do you see a better decision than this one? You know that you are taking the right decision.

You can decide any time, but why would you wait?

The first courtesy is to recognize that your customer is not an opponent, but a client. And as a client, he can tell you anything and freely give his view. Your client will always feel that he is right—never show a client that he is wrong: this is a key general rule of business. The 2nd and most important consideration is that your customer knows better than you do, what is very good for him. This is simply because he is the one who will take the final decision (Table 4.2.A).

These two acceptances are key in the persuasive approach:

  • - Your customer is always right, even you think or feel differently
  • - Your customer knows better than you do, what is right for him

Because your customer is always the one who will make the final decision, as a sales advisor you can only influence the decision making process.

To achieve this, the sales advisor must adopt a more neutral position, rather than focus solely on the sale: advisors, consultants, ambassadors, personal finance experts all need to be able to adopt the neutral position. This will generate a sentiment of partnership in your customer. It also means a nonconflict position. Instead of giving arguments, the sales advisor will provide information, studies, proposals, options and possibilities. Instead of pushing to the decision, the approach is to have the customer agree to further examine the proposal together.

Let us go back to Lisa and her handbag (Table 4.2.B).

Persuasion is about accepting that the decision comes only from your customer. And your customer will take a decision more easily if they are convinced, by their own thinking, that they are taking the right decision. In using the persuasive approach, you need to give the reins to the customer. The customer is the center of your focus, and must never be seen as an opponent.

Table 4.2.B Different approaches, handbag example Convincing Approach Persuasive Approach

Convincing Approach

Persuasive Approach

The handbag is a very good size—just right—not too big or too small!

The color is very trendy, I am sure you will like it

It is a very nice design and is high quality. It is not expensive at all!

You can trust me, it is a very good buy and you look very nice with this handbag

You have many, many handbags I am sure and you know better than I do that this handbag is just the right size for everyday use.

I believe that this color goes very well with the design—don't you think so?

A handbag that reaches this level of quality is necessarily at this price, or even much higher, and you might even know this better than I do!

Why don't you trust yourself? It is a very good buy and you look very nice with this handbag. Just look yourself in the mirror!

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