You have four seconds to convince a prospect. We are human beings who constantly scan our environment. Many of our decisions are made inopportunely based on our fears. Everything is based on our perception.
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Therefore, you can ask yourself the following questions :
- Am I safe ?
- Is there danger nearby ?
- Do I need to be alert to a particular risk ?
Nobody is really reassured and does not want to work with a “beginner“. Remember all those times when you wanted to buy a computer, stocks, a house, etc… During the buying process, do you prefer the expert or the beginner ? The answer is surely the expert 😉 For good reason, a beginner will tend to be less precise in the choice of words. His knowledge of the sector and the product will be more limited. To compensate, he will have no other choice and as the interview goes on, with his prospect, to embroider to try to raise his threshold of certainty.
Your prospect’s initial perception will follow you throughout the interview. Everything will play out for the first 4 seconds. Without being able to make a good impression on your prospect, you have practically no chance of closing a sale. If you make a bad impression on your prospect during your interview, then he will probably take you for :
- A perfect beginner
- Some dumb guy
- A pretty sad guy
From then on, your prospect will not hesitate to take control of the interview. In order to make the sale, either it passes or it breaks. However, you must not become a chatterbox where your prospect is reduced to doing just one thing and listening to you. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment, you’ll probably hate having to listen to someone who never lets you talk and you’ll want to run away quickly.
How can you convince a prospect that :
- You’re a smart, clever person
- Are you overwhelmed with enthusiasm
- Are you the expert in your field
Regardless of all the existing means of communication, there is really no such thing as a combination of words to fool the vigilance of logical brain analysis in your prospect. You have to create an emotional response to get him or her to take it in the gut. It will all come down to the first 4 seconds to convince a prospect. A good impression will allow you to influence his decisions to prove him wrong.
Your body language and intonation to successfully convince a prospect
We’re used to making decisions in the face of the unexpected. Anchored in our reptilian brain, since the caveman days, as soon as something entered your field of vision, you had to make quick, untimely decisions. Our choice was :
- Stay to fight or don’t move to avoid being noticed.
- Make a quick getaway
Our instinct to make untimely decisions is always present, even if the risk is lower than in the cave age. In less than 4 seconds on the phone or in less than a quarter of a second with a person, our brain is ready to react.
We know from science, and neuroscience in particular, that it takes a quarter of a second for a prospect to make an initial decision about yourself. If you show a picture of a person, the visual cortex will be triggered almost instantaneously, relegating the decision a quarter of a second later to the prefrontal lobe.
You have 4 seconds before your interlocutor dissects you to place you in a category according to the perception of each one
Since our childhood, we have been conditioned to consult experts to help us solve our problems. We all want to deal with experts. That is to say, people who are happy, intelligent and passionate about what they do. Experts inspire respect and have a special way of expressing themselves.
Even if science has been able to prove that it takes 8 more chances to make up for a good impression, it’s almost mission impossible. You understand that it is of utmost importance for you to succeed in convincing your prospect. You must produce, almost immediately, the following 3 impressions in your prospect’s head: that you are a smart and clever person, that you are full of enthusiasm and that you are an expert in your field. From then on, your prospect will perceive you as someone :
- that won’t waste his time
- straight to the point
- who will find a solution to his problem
- which will be an asset in the long run
In this positive thought, your prospect will think :
- You’re gonna help him get what he wants out of life…
- You can help him achieve his goals
If you can’t rely solely on your words, you’re going to have to use the intonations of your voice. The way you say things will have an influence on the perception of your speech by your interviewer for the duration of your interview. The human ear, after millions of years of evolution, is capable of recognizing even the most subtle changes in intonation. It can radically change the meaning of a sentence or a word.
The way you move your body, the intonations of your voice, your facial expressions and the smile you display are elements of communication that have an enormous influence on the way your interlocutors will perceive you. Body language and your intonations make up 90% of your overall communication. The remaining 10% are the words we can use. Specifically :
Body language 45%
Words = 10%
Of the 29 intonations we have at our disposal, only 10 have the potential to influence your contact person. You can use them to persuade and influence your interlocutors in everyday life. You have probably used all these intonations in the past without even realizing it, completely unconsciously.
Your prospect, in his or her mind, will constantly try to find out if you are a person worth listening to. He will ask himself the following questions :
- Can he help me achieve my goals ?
- Can it make my frustration points disappear ?
The unconscious is much more powerful than the conscious :
- Its storage capacity is unlimited
- It keeps us alive without the sensation of exertion (blood pressure, heartbeat, hormonal secretions, breathing, digestion, etc…)
Your conscious mind will obey your “instincts” until something proves to it that it is being tricked.
4 seconds to convince a prospect with your intelligence, enthusiasm and expertise
You now know that you have 4 seconds to convince a prospect. Whether it’s over the phone or face to face, you must convince a prospect of 3 things :
- You’re smart and clever
- You’re overwhelmed with enthusiasm
- You are an expert in your field
In fact, if you haven’t been convincing enough, you get an extra 10 seconds to try to make up for it. After that time, the verdict is that it’s pointless to try to convince a prospect
- Appear intelligent and clever : Your prospect should perceive you as someone who deserves to be listened to because you are capable of solving his problem. You must demonstrate :
- excellent elocution
- make quick decisions
The effect will be to inspire confidence and your prospect will be immediately impressed.
- Be enthusiastic : You will send a message that you have something great to offer your prospect. You need to appear :
- power off
You must have a positive influence on the lives of your prospects.
With great power comes great responsibility because you must agree to sell products or services in which you have complete confidence and are convinced of their value
- You are an expert in your field : To achieve “lasting success“, you must be a shoe in your field. In this way, you will gain the respect of your prospect and he will leave you in control of the interview. To work towards this, you will :
- Translate the characteristics of your product or service
- Describe its advantages in simple jargon
- Adapt your presentation to the needs of your prospect
- Demonstrate your in-depth knowledge of the market, the product or service, the sector of activity and the products or services of competitors
- We call “unconscious communication” the way to get your message across or it’s all going to come down to :
- Your intonations
- Body language
This broad spectrum of communication will be useful to you in everyday life, whether you are listening or speaking. This type of communication represents 90% of your time where you do not pronounce words.
To go further…
Jordan Belfort In : Way of the Wolf : Straight line selling: Master the art of persuasion, influence, and success [Online] Paper book format available in French on : < https://amzn.to/2ZDcSAZ >