Sometimes people don’t know they need something unless someone tells them they do. Even if the buyer already knows the product being offered is the best choice, they might still need a little nudge to actually make the purchase. This is where persuasion comes in.

The thing about persuasion is that customers often take it with a grain of salt. No matter how genuine your product or service is, some customers would doubt its authenticity and value. It’s a typical reaction that people learn from one too many encounters with annoying sales practices.

Fortunately, there are techniques to make you more convincing, without coming across as desperate or too salesy.

Boost your self-confidence

People trust people who are knowledgeable in their business or industry. When you know what you are talking about, you come across as confident and credible. And people want an authoritative person to guide them through a confusing purchasing process.

Sometimes all it takes to boost your confidence are a few improvements in your body language. Your posture and the way you speak with your prospects can make all the difference. Making the right amount of eye contact, for instance, provokes a subconscious sense of connection. Even as simple as smiling or calling your prospect by their name makes you seem more engaged, thus making a customer happier to talk to you.

Create a sense of urgency

It’s simple – people want things that are scarce. Of course, your product doesn’t necessarily have to be limited in number. But you can ramp up the urgency by offering it, or a discount on it, for a limited time. This tactic also works great when testing a new product.

Take note though that people tend to block out urgent messages if they are not given information on how to follow-up. So in your sales pitch, let buyers know how they can avail your offer and what they stand to lose if they don’t act soon.

Talk less, listen more

Customers don’t like being sold to. If you push too hard, you would most likely push off the chance of sale as well. So rather than placing yourself at the centre of the purchasing decision, make the conversation about them to give them a sense of empowerment.

The less you sell, the more you will command their attention. Use subtle persuasion and allow them to come to their own conclusion. When your prospect asks for clarification or raises and objection, assure them that they are being heard and their ideas are respected. Use affirmative language like “That’s a good question” and “I understand your concern”.

Hook them little by little

People often hesitate to buy if the purchase involves a huge commitment. So if possible, ask for a small initial commitment before convincing them to buy big. Take it from tech companies that offer free trials. They know that once they get a customer to say “yes”, they are more likely to say “yes” again.

Every small ask moves the customer closer to the big purchase. Again, it is crucial to make the big decision seem like a natural conclusion, so save the sales speak.

Express your ideas with a bit of theatre

There’s nothing sexy about asking people’s money in exchange for a product or service. So if you are to make a business case, don’t focus on the dollars.

Persuasion in sales is about making your prospect see how your product can make their life better or more convenient. It’s the promise of a better outcome that hooks the customer in. But if you simply talk about the benefits of your product or service, you won’t get very far. Instead, step inside your prospect’s world and figure out their motivations, then paint a picture of how your product or service can help them get there.

Ultimately, the most important thing about persuasion is that both you and the buyer should able to reach a mutually beneficial goal. If the sale only benefits the salesperson, then that would be lying. And you know well enough not to cross the line.