Add This To Your Marketing Arsenal - The Power To Influence And Persuade

Add This To Your Marketing Arsenal - The Power To Influence And Persuade
Add This To Your Marketing Arsenal - The Power To Influence And Persuade In the last 100 years marketing has gone from a very simple notion of filling customers’ needs, to a battlefield requiring a complex and sophisticated arsenal. Now, as competition continues to intensify and organisations make extreme demands on their people, a marketer needs more skills than ever before. A skill which is becoming increasingly vital for marketers is the ability to influence and persuade.

This is essentially the skill and ability to have someone act the way you want them to. In a marketing context it may be to get them to make a purchase, recommend a friend or hand over their contact details. Whilst influence and persuasion can and is used to con unsuspecting consumers, it can also be used for good and become a marketer’s most powerful ally in getting a specific message heard.

Influence and persuasion offer several powerful tools for radically improving the effectiveness of your communications and sales people. However, very few marketers have actually been trained in the art. As such I have written this article to dip your toes into this world, and examine one particular influence and persuasion tool known as social proof.

Social Proof

A major influencer on the human psyche is the desire to belong. Many of us strive to “fit in”. We often do this by buying products or services that many others buy, such as certain car brands, wearing certain fashions or reading certain books i.e. The Da Vinci Code.

In particular, many of us are influenced by what “celebrities” or people we aspire towards, do, wear or buy. This is why brands like Adidas showcase major sporting stars in their promotions. They know people want to dress just like their favourite soccer star. “If it’s good enough for David Beckham is good enough for me!”.

You would have also seen many times over, products being used by your favourite TV stars. Most Seinfeld fans would remember the drink “Snapple” being mentioned on the show. This was huge publicity for Snapple and greatly increased their sales. And the episode where George buys a car because he thought it was owned by the actor Jon Voight. And who can forget Miranda in ‘Sex and the City’ casually promoting her TIVO (digital recording set top box). In many cases this is known as product placement and it is used because we like to do what others do and more importantly we like to do what people we like do!

So given you may not have the budgets to hire Jerry Seinfeld to endorse your latest product, what can you do?

The first thing is to understand that you can influence using social proof without a celebrity. Ask yourself, “who uses or who has used my offerings?” Do Doctors? School Principles? CEOs? Politicians? Authors? Scientists? Experts? Large Companies? TV or Newspaper Reporters? Athletes?

For example you might find a new accountant who claims he is also the accountant for James Packer. Would you use such an accountant?

If you stop to think about it, there is a very high chance at least one of your customers could endorse your offering. Once you think of this customer, simply tell your prospects that this person buys either your products or the same products (not necessarily from you). You can even get your “endorser” to write a letter of endorsement for you to show prospects. Before you start shouting this persons name from the rafters it is probably best to ask their permission first.

Alternatively you may use strength of numbers to influence. You can tell prospects that hundreds of people buy this product “It’s the most popular!” Again people are influenced by what others are doing (or not doing).

Have a think about who uses your offerings, and don’t hold it back. Tell your prospects and existing customers so they buy more! You can communicate this in your advertisements, on your emails, business cards, through your sales reps, basically on all of your marketing material.

Author: Daniel Rechnitzer, founder of ChildsPlay Marketing – Simple Ways To Succeed in Business. See