Business has often been referred to as a science and an art. Talking about it being a science, there are certain principles and codes that are universal, that apply to every business functioning in every market across the globe. Also, there are various theories that hold true for any business universally.
As an art, business is all about creating something out of nothing. The process of adding value to something and visualizing the final product/service is pretty artistic.
Also, the process of packaging, designing, marketing and selling are all various forms of art that are involved in the running of a business enterprise.
Persuasion in Business
I personally believe that business is more of an art than science, as majority of its activities deal with understanding the needs and psyche of the customers and selling a particular product to them.
Unless you are an extremely established brand and you have a chain of loyal customers, no one would come to you for making a purchase all by themselves. You need to persuade your potential customers in order to make them buy your products.
The art is of persuasion is probably the most important in running a business organisation. This is because you won’ earn any revenue to survive if you fail to persuade your potential and current customers.
Using The Principles Of Persuasion
In the brilliantly written book ‘Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”, Robert Cialdini charted out six major principles that serve as major influencers for persuading any potential customers and converting them into a purchasing customer.
These principles can be applied by any small or big enterprise located at any corner of the world. Though several critics think these principles to be manipulative, they are simple indicators that provide a useful insight into the human behaviour, the knowledge of which is extremely necessary for an entrepreneur.
Here are the six principles mentioned by Cialdini that are certain to help you in persuading your target market:
The Principle of Reciprocation
Majority of the people you come across are obliged to pay back the favour done to them. In this principle, you target this aspect of human psychology that deals with reciprocating gestures.
This principle can be best used during sales promotion when your cash flow finance is at a low. Give your customers free attractive discounts, exciting offers, free samples and many such incentives for using your product. In return, as a gesture of returning the favour, the customers are likely to make a solid purchase.
You can also use this persuasion principle in order to collect useful customer data in order to generate initial leads. All you have to do is offer them a few incentives and they’ll feel obliged to reciprocate.
The Principle Of Consensus
Have you ever gone to a restaurant you never normally visit on a weekend, just because you have heard praises about it from friends and acquaintances? Have you ever chosen a brand simply because of the mass following it has?
If you have, the principle of consensus has successfully worked on you. Consensus is nothing but a mass opinion. If a hundred people are purchasing something, it is assumed that it would be worth, which leads another hundred to buy the same product.
Therefore, always make sure there are enough people whenever you host an exhibition, sale or any other event promoting your brand. Call as many people as possible – old customers, suppliers and even close friends. This would indeed help you pull in more customers.
The Principle Of Authority
Whenever in doubt, people would always look up to someone having an authority and would do as they say. This is based on a simple assumption that people with authority know more than others and are wiser in making decisions.
You can use this principle in your business by calling famous bloggers and celebrities to endorse your brand. If you run a chain of restaurants and an influential food blogger praises it one of their blogs, you are sure to experience a hike in the number of customers.
The Principle Of Consistency
According to this persuasion principle, people are likely to be consistent and focused in a particular behaviour once they make a claim or take a stand. Once a decision is made, they are very less likely to waver, even if they start having doubts.
Use this principle in your business by making your potential customers say ‘yes’. Once they agree to be a part of your business or your sales process, it would be easier for you to lead them to final conversion. Also, consistency in your customers can help you build a strong base of loyal customers.
The Principle Of Scarcity
People always like to purchase something that is available to them only for a limited period of time. Therefore, whenever you are offering a sale or discount on your products, always keep the time frame really small.
This would increase the exclusiveness of your products, thereby making the potential customers want to make more purchases.
The Principle Of Liking
People have always wanted to make purchases on the basis of their likelihood. As it is obvious that your potential customers need to like your products at any cost, the place, the ambience and the seller also makes a lot of difference in the purchasing behaviour.
For you to use this persuasion principle, make sure that your store looks appealing. Secondly, hire sales staff that are extremely polite, persuasive and charming. If you succeed in impressing your potential customers and make them like your business before having a look at your products, there are very high chances of them going ahead and making a purchase.