Causation: A powerful technique for sales persuasion

Has your prospect ever asked you: “so, how will this work?”

If so, they have just invited you to persuade them because causation equals persuasion.

Research (Slusher & Anderson 1996) shows that delivering a causal argument, one that shows exactly how  one thing leads to another, is more persuasive than providing statistics.

In other words you can tell your prospect that by implementing your e-commerce tool you can increase the efficiency of their process by 33% (and you should because statistics are persuasive) – but what is far more persuasive is to walk them through an example of exactly how  your system will lead to an improved process.

This goes back to one of the pillars of persuasion – a real life example or story is the most powerful and impactful tool a presenter can use. So let’s combine these two techniques; causation, a step by step explanation of how something will work, in the form of a real life example.

Let’s say I want to persuade my prospect that I can improve their process for managing the internal distribution of their widgets. Today their process is manual and every order is touched by multiple employees and departments. That portion of my presentation or conversation might look like this:

Our system will dramatically improve your process and here’s how it will work: your end users will go to our e-commerce platform, see their product and place their order which will be far more streamlined than the manual process you use today. Next, instead of  the Facilities department reviewing the order manually and then sending it to the storeroom for fulfillment, they will simply approve the order on line and then, because the product is in our warehouse rather than your storeroom, our personnel will pull the product and ship it via UPS directly to the end user. The process will be automated and trackable, we’ll reduce order cycles by two days and we’ll get you out of the business of managing inventory and distributing widgets.         

Walking the prospect through this example step by step shows them exactly how  having this system in place will make distributing their widgets more efficient. The example is causal in nature because I am explaining to them what will happen as a result of having my system in place.

And causation equals persuasion.


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