Is there such a thing as covert persuasion ?
In considering whether covert persuasion exists let me first repeat something I was told
many years ago,
“You cannot, not communicate”
Even if you do not say anything your appearance, your manner communicate something.
So, let’s look at this in relation to persuasion and sales.
You walk into a prospect’s office having made an appointment to see them a few weeks
before and confirmed the appointment two days before.
You walk in wearing shorts and a sweat shirt. What are you communicating by wearing
those clothes ? Do you think that will help you make a sale ?
OK. That’s an extreme example.
But what about if you are late ? What does that communicate to the buyer ?
Ever been into a retail store and been attended to by a young, new sales assistant ? They
are not quite sure about the products, not quite sure where everything is, fumble with
their words. How do you feel when that is happening ? My guess is that you either just
want to get out of there or you feel sorry for the young person. The important thing is do
you feel inclined to buy ? And I’ve had some people say they’d feel sorry for the young
sales person and help them out and maybe even buy from them. I guess that would all
depend on how important , complicated and critical the purchase was to you ?
What if you’ve had a disagreement with your spouse earlier in the morning. You are
fuming all the way to the customer call and you walk into the customer’s office without
having got rid of those underlying emotions. Do you think your prospect will notice
I think they will. They might not know what they are sensing. They’ll just get this feeling
that something is wrong. You’ll come across as incongruent which means to say that
something in your manner is not agreeing with what is coming from your lips. When
prospect’s get this uneasy feeling they are much less likely to buy.
So, and here’s the first lesson about covert persuasion. It all starts with you.
Since everything about you communicates you have to make sure that all your
communication, both verbal and non-verbal, is sending the same message, or at least a
congruent message. Otherwise your sales will suffer.