Life, Death, and the Pursuit of Persuasion by Russ McNeil

Russ McNeilBy incorporating these 3 specific aspects throughout your prospecting conversations, you will transfer more belief, persuade more prospects, and build a bigger business. There are many facets to our industry: products, customers, training, sponsoring, promoting, and prospecting just to name a few. These facets are very different from each other and they serve very different purposes. There is however, one common thread that winds through every one of them – the common thread of persuasion. What exactly is persuasion? Many of the typical dictionary definitions don’t apply to our context. For example, depending where you look, you’ll see persuasion defined with terms such as “convince”, “urge”, “to prevail upon”, and even “to argue”. None of these have a place in our industry.

Here’s a definition that does apply to our business efforts: “Causing someone to believe something.” Yes, that definition works nicely.

 NULL You cause a potential customer to believe that your product will enhance her life. You cause your new rep to believe that attending the next convention will propel his business forward. Indeed, every aspect of our industry is hinged on causing others to believe. The better you are at causing belief, the more success you will enjoy. Persuasion is especially important to the prospecting process. After all, that’s where your business starts. No prospecting, no customers. No prospecting, no reps. No prospecting, no business. The better you are at persuading prospects, the more success you can realize. It’s as simple as that. In other words, the better you are at causing your prospects to believe in your product and opportunity, the more income you can make. Zig Ziglar says, “Sales is nothing more than the transfer of belief.” ‘Nuff said. Understanding the importance of persuading prospects is one thing. Knowing how to go about it is another thing altogether. It takes practice to master the skill, but the key concepts are pretty straightforward.

There are three aspects to prospecting persuasion: motivation, orientation, and presentation. As you will see, these three go hand -in-hand with each other.

Motivation speaks to the motive behind your prospecting efforts. It goes without saying that you prospect in order to grow your business which, in turn, makes more money. If that is your only motive though, your successes will be short-lived. Bear in mind that for your opportunity to work, it must fill a need. So, focus not on what the prospect can do for you, but rather on what you can do for the prospect.

Don’t prospect someone to sell a product or to sponsor him. Prospect him because your product and opportunity can improve his life in some way.

And remember: your motivation exists in your attitude and thoughts. The last thing you want to do is go around approaching total strangers blabbing on and on about how great your opportunity is. Every prospecting conversation presents you with a choice. You must choose what or who to focus the conversation on.

Master prospectors always focus the conversation on the prospect. When you orient the conversation toward the prospect, you stay focused on the prospect’s favorite subject, himself. When done correctly, this takes the focus off of your offer, shows respect for the prospect, shows interest in the prospect, and keeps the prospect engaged.

How many reasons do you need? Keep the conversation oriented toward the prospect. The final aspect of prospecting persuasion, presentation, is where the rubber meets the road.

Presentation has to do with the words you use to present your offer. Master prospectors make sure that their words are consistent with their motive. They also choose words that keep the conversation oriented toward the prospect.

King Solomon wrote, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Prov. 18:21) Now I’ve never heard of anyone falling dead because of a botched prospecting attempt, but I can assure you that plenty of conversations have been slain from a poor choice of words. Our words really do have that much power. When we choose our words carefully, not only is the resulting presentation appealing to the prospect, but it also conveys the proper motivation and orientation. I’ll share a simple example to illustrate. Bear in mind, that this isn’t how I start prospecting conversations nor is it how I end them. Imagine that you just met a complete stranger, perhaps while waiting at a car wash, and you have a minute or two to chat so you decide to prospect the person. At some point you will probably want to ask about what the prospect does for a living. How you do go about asking? How do you phrase the question? In the past, I would ask something like this: “I’m an engineer. What do you do?” Here’s a much better way to ask: “So, what do you do, professionally?” With this one simple question, you satisfy every aspect of prospecting persuasion – motivation, orientation, and presentation. It doesn’t matter what the prospect’s occupation is. Calling him a professional is a compliment. Compliments demonstrate goodwill which, in turn communicate the proper motivation. Notice that the question is all about the prospect. It includes the word “you” and not the word “I”. This demonstrates the proper orientation. When you ask questions, instead of making statements, your conversations naturally end up oriented toward the prospect. The illustration above is just one example. Imagine how persuasive you’d be if your entire conversation conveyed the same level of motivation, orientation, and presentation!

As you can see, motivation, orientation, and presentation all go hand-in-hand. By incorporating them throughout your prospecting conversations, you will transfer more belief, persuade more prospects, and build a bigger business.

The prospecting tongue really does contain the power of life and death and the life of your business depends on it. Knock ‘em alive, Russ McNeil


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