Marketing: How to Be As Persuasive As Possible

By Alexander Hiam

So you might have a problem with your marketing campaign: You need to make your communications persuasive, but you also need to admit that most people don’t like being persuaded. If you don’t like being harangued, then you should assume your customers don’t either

The solution? The very soft sell, in which you let people persuade themselves by giving them the information they need to make their own purchase decision.

Here are some favorite ways of making marketing communications persuasive without bugging people:

  • Avoid sales clichés. Never say, “Have we got a deal for you!” or tell people they “won’t believe their eyes!” Sounding like a charlatan or an old-fashioned, fast-talking, door-to-door salesman is all too easy. Take a thick black pen to your marketing communications and cross out every sales cliché you can find.

  • Steer clear of so-called “power words” from the books and seminars on how to be a super salesperson. Power words are terms the so-called experts tell marketers to use (they also date back to the 1950s — talk about being out of style).

    Some examples include incredible, guaranteed, amazing, unlimited, immediately, proven, limited time, and exclusive. Such power words are so incredibly overused that I positively guarantee you’ll receive amazingly poor results and be incredibly disappointed by them immediately.

  • Show the evidence through clear, simple language and illustrations. The way to be persuasive is to show that your product is a success rather than tell people that it is. Share the statistics that show how good it is.

    Provide a sample of what it can do. Quote a happy customer’s testimonial. Show and tell, with an emphasis on the “show” part, and your communications will be naturally persuasive. Just be sure to focus on the facts, not your opinions.

    YouTube videos demonstrating product use are a great way to show and tell. Embed them in your Facebook business page, your website, and a blog on the same topic to build awareness of the new video, and if they achieve popularity in social media, tweet about them to encourage more followers to find them.

  • Make your brand’s personality appealing. Give your brand a face that others will get to know, trust, and like. A sale always has an emotional component, and the best way to make people emotionally comfortable with their purchase is to build up a likeable, trusted brand personality through consistent presentation of that personality in all your marketing communications.

    Do so by first making a list of the things that contribute to your brand’s unique and appealing personality. Then pick colors, type styles, words and phrases, photographs, and/or music that reinforce that personality. Delete anything that clashes with the personality profile you’ve chosen for your brand.

If you do everything right, your communications will be naturally persuasive. Clear, concise, well-written copy is naturally compelling. Accurate, informative messages are persuasive. Professional, clean graphics and designs are convincing.

If you look, sound, and read like a top brand or a leading professional in your field, people will assume you are. You don’t have to tell them (nor should you). Let the professionalism of your presentation show how good you are. Consider this strategy as the quiet dignity strategy of communicating.

Some marketers are parading down the sidewalk in sandwich-board signs handing out cheap fliers and shouting their pitch to anyone who’ll listen. But the ones who wear neatly pressed business suits and make their presentations in conference rooms on the third floor of the office building above that sidewalk are the ones who go home with the most business. Be a pro, and people will find you naturally persuasive.