At some point in the beginning of our business journey, we all felt a little lost, and wondered when we were going to go from up-and-coming to thriving. Eventually, we figured out the key to selling and growing our business was actually persuasion.
For those of you who haven’t yet mastered the art of persuasion, marketing expert, Robert Cialdini, literally wrote a book about it. Cialdini asserts that there are six Principles of Persuasion that will make your business practice more effective. These principles, reciprocity, scarcity, authority, consistency, liking, and consensus.
Here’s how to use the six principles to persuade like a boss.
Don’t take more than you give. When your audience comments on your latest product post on social media, reply back – address the feedback and be openly thankful for the positive remarks!
You might find it frustrating as a small business to not be able to meet everyone’s demands, but you should take advantage of the moments where your product is rare or in low supply, because scarcity creates appeal. If people aren’t able to get a hold of your product in its latest release, they will continue to follow you for the chance to snag it in the next sale.
When I announced on social media a brief hiatus from selling baked goods, I suddenly had an influx of inquiries to place an order for the future. I had to create a waiting list, and soon, I was pre-booked for the entire year. Scarcity persuaded customers that they wanted a product that they couldn’t have.
“Word of Mouth Marketing is not only a powerful marketing tool, but reinforces the idea that if others believed your product and business to be good, it must be true.”
Establish yourself as an expert in your field or business category to build authority. For instance, if you make and sell pastries and display your culinary arts degree in your bakery, people will be more inclined to believe you are selling a quality product. Look the part. Wear an apron or a chef’s coat to appear professional.
Another way to establish authority is through word of mouth. Word of Mouth Marketing is not only a powerful marketing tool, but reinforces the idea that if others believed your product and business to be good, it must be true.
Consistency can be equated to commitment. Not only does your business involve you to show up and commit to your clients and audience every day, but it prompts you to seek out a consistent consumer base that you can rely on. Building relationships ensures that my customer who purchases a birthday cake from me reaches out during the next special occasion in their life. My best customers are those that I know I can count on to purchase time and time again.
Likability requires of you to be genuine and personable with your audience. Targeting is very important in this principle because it involves attracting the ideal client and adapting your messaging to ensure your audience represents you and your product. Liking coalesces with the principle of reciprocity as it requires you to engage an audience in hopes that it will pay you compliments in return.
Consensus dictates that people are likely to do something if others have done it as well. To be effectively persuasive, you need to convince your customers that other customers have similar habits surrounding your product – and so should they.
I find it an effective practice to conduct flash sales of the same product – in this case, cookies – in a pre-determined quantity. As part of my promotional tactic, I announce on social media how many of my customers have purchased the product on sale. Not only does the limited amount tie into scarcity, but encourages potential buyers to be part of a select group of people who have developed consensus for this product.
Are you persuasive enough?
Now that you know some easy ways to persuade your customers, it’s time to put them to the test and have them say “YES” to your products. There is no one-size-fits all approach to persuasion in your business, but through trial and error, you will find which tactics work best for you and your potential buyers.