The Science of Persuasion and Influence in Software Sales




Animals respond to external stimuli based on instinct: they eat, fight, run, and procreate according to automatically triggered signal paths defined deep in their brains. Humans have instincts, too, but most of our "fight or flight" days are behind us. The daily tribulations we face are not so starkly defined as we decide where to concentrate our time and energy, what points of view to take, which professionals to listen to, and how to best set ourselves up for future success.

To handle these imprecise, no-right-answer situations we rely heavily on learned responses. Through millennia of social conditioning humans have developed rules for interaction that provide intellectual shortcuts to cut through the noise of modern life and guide our behavior in a myriad of situations. In Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert Cialdini identifies the "six levers of influence" to which we all respond - knowingly or not - to keep our society functioning smoothly.

As a sales professional, working within the framework of the "six levers of influence" will make you more persuasive and improve the reception of your message. In this article, we'll review the "six levers" and brainstorm ideas for using them in a sales context.

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3 Steps to Change Your Sales Habits Fast!


Sales is a tough, unpredictable business. Managers demand constant progress reports from their teams.

Sales professionals find ourselves explaining (or excusing) why a pursuit isn't further along, pipelines aren't growing more quickly, or new prospects haven't been approached. It's enough to make even the most confident people downright insecure.

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Your Manager Has Your Number: Sales Metrics and the 80/20 Rule


Most salespeople aren't successful. It's not that they don't generate enough revenue to pull their own weight (most do), but in the eyes of their management the majority aren't making the cut.

Only a handful of "stars" blow away their quotas and win an invitation to the company's sales club vacation year after year. Everyone else slaves away in the trenches unrecognized. Not exactly fair, right?

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