Pulling the levers: Emotional triggers to sell you services without being a slimy used car salesman

Emotional Triggers

For a month, I worked on a car lot. Fun times.

Being one of the new salespersons, I had to fend for myself. That meant as soon as someone came on the lot, we knew we guys had to run after them and get the “customer” to talk to us first.

There is a reason many car lots are going away from the haggle approach. Most buyers just don’t like it, and they will not shop your lot.

Buyers come on the lot, and sometimes, they know more than the salesperson does about the car and the prices. 

Used car salespeople are a different breed. Not all of them, of course. 

Used car salespeople come across slimy because they use hype and tricks to try to convince you to buy. There is a subtle difference between convincing and persuading.

Today we are going to talk about three different persuasion levers you can use to help persuade your potential customers to do business with you. 

Why we need persuasion levers

I like the term persuasion lever. I first heard the term this week from my friend Nikki. 

Most people will call them emotional triggers or psychological triggers. They are the same.

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In this instance, we are using a very psychological based technique to persuade buyers.

The problem in our industry is we think people will buy if we just tell them all of the great features. 

But not so, according to Conversion Rate Optimization expert Talia Wolf.

What really drives the way your prospects and customers make decisions?

While we may like to think of ourselves as rational, logical, data-driven people who make informed choices, there’s something else going on beneath the surface.

If we use logic for everything, she continues, we will use a lot of brainpower and be exhausted by the end of the day.

She continues, 

That’s why our brains have short-cuts that helps us decide fast.

And these short cuts – or cognitive biases – influence everything you do, from what car you drive and what you eat for breakfast, to what brands you buy from. Source: Getuplift

3 Persuasive Triggers you can use in your business

Install these persuasion levers in your business today.

1. Likeability or liking

I first heard Likeability used in the Principles of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini. There are six of the principles, or seven, depending on who you read. Likeability is one of those principles.

The principle is that your customer will relate to you better if they know more about you. 

The principle says,

“Liking: The more you like someone, the more you’ll be persuaded by them.”

Source: CXL

In an article at the CXL blog, Marc Schenker says,

This principle can be applied to conversions in the following way: A company that wants to boost conversion rates should create a great “About Us” page.

See, there is a use for your About Page.

You see this principle much more in local marketing. Think about the last time you bought something at a local store. Why did you go there?

Perhaps you like them like I love the owners of my favorite coffee shop, Kyle and Scott. I know their names and have even been to one of their weddings. I might have gone to the other’s wedding if it weren’t for COVID restrictions.

Principles of Persuasion

Photo by fauxels from Pexels


2. Authority

A potent persuasion lever is authority. You see this often in Influencer Marketing. 

How many of you follow Gary V? How about Matt Mullenweg?

Who is your influencer of choice?

We all follow someone and listen to them almost obsessively.

For me, of course, I have followed the teachings and writings of Joanna Wiebe from Copyhackers closely.

Many of us have a favorite developer we follow.

It is powerful. 

Why do you put logos of an established business that has used you on your website? It establishes credibility and, thereby, authority.

You can establish your authority by training and educating your potential customers. You can create podcasts, videos, and articles on your site to showcase your expertise.

3. Storytelling

Another powerful persuasion lever you can pull is storytelling. This goes hand in hand with establishing authority and likability. In fact, if you use all of those in one setting, you are compounding the persuasion.

Storytelling has the kind of impact that facts alone can never have. It can draw your prospect into the story, let him or her feel the setting, and see the results

This is why case studies are so powerful. If you are able to present a case study in a narrative form, telling the story of how someone gained so much from your service, it will add an incredible impact. 

Storytelling can help your prospect have hope that what you did for someone else you can do for him or her as well.

And hope, my friend, is a very powerful thing.

In the Harvard Business Review, Carolyn O’Hara writes,

In our information-saturated age, business leaders “won’t be heard unless they’re telling stories,” says Nick Morgan, author of Power Cues and president and founder of Public Words, a communications consulting firm. “Facts and figures and all the rational things that we think are important in the business world actually don’t stick in our minds at all,” he says. But stories create “sticky” memories by attaching emotions to things that happen. That means leaders who can create and share good stories have a powerful advantage over others. And fortunately, everyone has the ability to become a better storyteller.

Storytelling is a great equalizer. Use it in selling your services and see how it helps. 

Need help with storytelling? Check this out.

Wrapping it up

Look, there are many different persuasion levers. Consider bruising up on Robert Cialdini’s Principles of Persuasion. There are several articles available that will let you dive into these principles a little more.

You may consider also looking at Joseph Sugarman’s book “Triggers.” There is an excellent summary by Samual Davies on his website.

Finally, make sure you bookmark Talia Wolf’s Cheat Sheet for Psychological Triggers

What kinds of levers do you pull to help bring a prospect home? 

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