Mastering the Art of Persuasion
What I learned when selling Real Estate and Life Insurance taught plenty that I still find useful today. As a freelance business owner — and especially as a copywriter, sales are what drive our business. Without the confidence, ability to understand client needs, and direct the conversation towards solving problems AND creating agreements — you can’t stay in business.
Rapport, Source, Problem, Solution, ….and CLOSE
When I decided to master this art, it wasn’t out of a love for manipulating others. I really wanted to understand how I was so easily manipulated into doing things that were against my instincts. The ONLY regrets I have in life are from those where I ignored my intuition, my hunch, my gut feeling.
I’ve came to see this sales thing is not so readily learned. I grew up with sales professionals. I didn’t know then that it was something you learned. I thought I had a character flaw — until I took the time, the energy, and the failures to figure it out.
To survive, one must learn to sell. Most think of sales people as one of two things. Clerks who purely take your payment at the store — or manipulator who sell you whatever meets their commission quota. Right? You know them both. The clerk at the high-end fashion store, the clerk at the drug counter, or the insurance sales agent who really doesn’t have your best interests. Or the car sales guy who flirts, banters, lets you drive your dream car, but never hears you talk about your budget. They are clones in a system that forces them into role.
For many though — sales is an artful practice of communications and consulting. Years ago, a book called SPIN SELLING came out and supposedly taught about consultative selling. They made it too hard. For me at least. What I learned when I learned to sell with integrity met a lifetime success ticker – and allowed me to see right through the lines and manipulations of other sales folk. It was a huge win for me.
The ART of Closing the Deal
It’s not about manipulation — not for me. The highlight of my sales career was winning by selling with integrity. When the company who trained me so well did an about face, changed their basic organization and stopped providing the same quality service that went along with a little alpha numeric pager, I could no longer close sales. For me — it was always about helping people solve problems.
Lessons of a Lifetime
Yesterday, I conversed with my attorney whom I worked with in a Life Insurance sales office. The memory caused us both to talk about what we learned from it. For Michael, it gave him the idea of being willing to go to his clients. By getting out of his office and going to his clients, it made his private practice stand out and grow. For me, it was an essential lesson in understanding myself, being willing to do what was uncomfortable, and once again staying in integrity.
Today, some 25 years later, our personal lessons still guide us forward in current careers.Lessons are always there to be learned. We get to choose what we carry forward or toss out. The art of persuasion transfers easily to the art of persuasion in copywriting. If people want to sell, the same 5 steps of selling hold true no matter what you are selling.
5 Steps of Selling
The bottom line is this:
The 5 steps of a sale hold true whether it’s a little device like a pager or a big ticket item. Doesn’t matter if it is written as a sales letter or delivered as an in person presentation. Good copy is good selling craft — not manipulation, but connecting, consulting, and delivering solutions… that’s why I was drawn to copy writing — or call it direct marketing if you like.
Life is good when you let it in. And if you are looking for help with sales letters, calling scripts, guided presentations, or marketing strategy for your business, I offer writing services for web content, sales letters, email auto responders, white papers, case studies, and more… I’ve been writing for business sales to consumers and business to business for 25 years. I love crafting your message to meet your markets needs.
© 2015 Nancy Lamb, Integrated Health Coach and Copywriter