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Selling seems to be all about putting your best foot forward, right?

Well, that might not be the case. In certain circumstances, it turns out that admitting your flaws can be highly influential!Tweet This

Some studies imply that when you make a concession about the thing your are selling – or the idea that you’re trying to convey – you are perceived to be more trustworthy.

When you think about it, this makes perfect sense.

Everyone is suspicious of something that looks “too good too be true.” Once that suspicious mindset is triggered, trust is automatically diminished.

You can circumvent/short-circuit that suspicious frame by proactively pointing out a potential flaw upfront. Then, your mark – the person you want to influence – will then view you as being a much more trustworthy person because you have clearly been honest and upfront with your pitch. Their suspicions dissolve and they are more likely to trust the rest of what you have to say.

So, let’s take a look at how this can play out and how you can use it…

Let’s say you’re selling a car. (I know. It’s a sales stereotype, but let’s just roll with it. …. Get it? Roll with it? … I crack myself up.)

The natural inclination for selling any product is to talk about all of the features and benefits of the product. But, if you do only that, you just sound like someone who really wants to sell something – in this case, a car.

Let’s see how the sales conversation can improve when a strategic concession is made.

“With this model, you’ll get all the luxury you’re looking for. There are TV screens in the back seats, fantastic sound system, and easy touchpad for navigation, music, and more. The seats are adjustable in 7 different ways and the whole vehicle is has personal climate control. Of course, you’re not going to get great speed from this car. That’s not really what it was build for. But if you’re looking for a smooth ride, then this is what you want.”

With that single concession – this isn’t a fast car – your prospect no longer feels like you’re just a salesman. They feel like you’re someone who is giving them a full and honest review. It feels like you’re on their team when you share all the pluses and minuses.

Now let’s say that you’re selling coaching or consulting services. You likely have a handful of ways that people can work with you – certain packages that you offer. For each offering, you should have a concession ready for when you describe them. Instead of only highlighting what they will get with each package, make sure to share what each package is missing.

Here’s an example:

“With the Bronze experience, you get monthly check-ins and strategic planning. This way, you and your team will always be on the same page. Each month you will know what needs to get done and who is responsible for what. Of course, this package doesn’t offer much in the way of course correction in between the monthly check-ins if anything gets you off track.

The Silver Package offers support for exactly that. With this option you have 2 additional check in calls each month along with weekly email support. Together we can stave off any problems or issues that come up. This offers a bit more management support. But some of our clients prefer the much more hands on approach.

That’s when the Gold package is the best option. With this we have weekly calls with the entire team. We will send weekly status reports, which always include some additional motivational and educational content. We offer up to 6 personal coaching calls each month for individuals. This obviously for the type of client who wants to get things done as quickly and efficiently as possible, while still providing personal and professional growth for the team members. For some clients this is perfect, for others they might not need as much support if their current company culture already includes those things.

So, which one are you leaning towards?”

Did it surprise you that I still gave a concession for the Gold package? It’s obviously the package with the higher price point and anyone would naturally want to push harder to close the sale on that option. But that’s exactly what your prospect would expect as well! They are ready for you to say that your biggest offering is THE PERFECT offering … and therefore, they are more likely to be suspicious of it. With your concession, you’ve negated that suspicion.

Your prospect is less likely to look for flaws if you are already presenting flaws.

You might be thinking, “But what flaws should I bring up?” Let me help you by framing the question differently. Ask yourself

  • Who is this not a fit for?
  • What does this offering not provide?

No service is a perfect fit for everyone. No service can provide everything.

There is an added bonus to this influential technique!

By using this simple step, you are also selling to clients who are a better fit for your service AND you’re setting the best expectations for working with you. Which means, that those who do hire you will be more enjoyable to work with!

One persuasive technique can really pack an influential wallop!

If you don’t want to miss out on any more easy-to-use influential techniques that will make you a more persuasive person, then sign up for our newsletter. I only send content-rich email, all centered around building personal and professional influence.

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