Whether you want to get more eyes on your products and services, be a successful entrepreneur, better parent or build more meaningful relationships, the underlying factor that leads to success in all of these pursuits is being a good communicator.
And a big part of being a good communicator is the ability to motivate others to take action.
For many, the goal of persuasion is to move people to “yes” and view “no” as the enemy.
However, for the people that have the most success, it is not the “no’s” that keep them up at night, it is the “I don’t know’s.”
Below are 10 phrases you can begin to say today to get people to commit — so you can either move forward together or move on to the next person.
1. On a scale from 1 to 10 how close are you to going on a date with me?:
I know that this is a bit basic, but just hear me out. Most likely when asking someone you just met to go out with you, you will get an answer someone on the south side of 5 and your initial instinct may be to ask, “What will it take to make it an 10?”
But instead, flip the script and ask them why they did not say a lower number.
According to New York Times Best Selling author on motivation, Daniel Pink, this opens the conversation up for the reasons why they should do something — “Well you do seem nice. “Well, you have asked me a lot of good questions.” “Well you do have honest eyes.”
And by forcing them to say the positive things out loud they will begin to focus on, and justify why they should indeed go out with you — which is much more powerful than why you think they should go out with you.
PS — This works wonders for kids and in sales.
2. On a scale from 1 to 10 how close are you to going forward with the purchase, BUT you can’t say 7?:
I recently came across this one when listening to Tim Ferriss speak to Gary Vaynerchuk about some of his favorite lessons he learned while writing “Tools of Titans” and I have been using it ever since with great success.
7 signifies undecided and in the world of persuasion, “let me think about it” 99% of the time, is just a polite way of saying “no.”
Force people to give you an 8 and then ask them what needs to happen for it to be a 10.
Force people to give you a 6 and then steal a line from Daniel Pink and ask them why it was not a lower number.
Both of these ways will get people focusing on the positive things, while also getting them to think about what they would miss out on if they passed on the opportunity — which according to Team Robert Cialdini, author of “Influence” and “Pre-Suasion,” motivates people much more than simply listing what they will gain.
Nothing holds back progress more than indecision, so get people to make a commitment.
3. Can I help you to find someone cheaper?:
Whether we like to admit it or not, price matters, but it is rarely what is holding someone back from buying from you.
By asking someone who is not comfortable paying your asking price if you can help them to find someone cheaper you speed up the process as to whether or not they are a serious buyer or not — and will also show you how creative they are in finding a solution that benefits both parties (aka traffic to your blog or youtube channel).
If they say yes, stick to your word and give them the names of a few up-and-comers who would be a good fit. (But be patient — they may still call).
If they say no, ask them what the real issue is that is holding them back so you can help them to solve it.
I cannot thank Conor Neill for passing these words of wisdom onto me last year as they have greatly helped me to move people out of “Let me think about it” land.
You want commitments. So stick to yours and let them move the stick.
4. If I can do A, B and C — Will you move forward?:
This is a simple way to measure interest and better identify exactly what the person you are speaking with wants. I used this line everyday for 5 years in my first sales job and it worked like magic.
After identifying what someone wants, end your conversation with the words, “From the little time we have spent together, I can tell that A, B and C matter to you a great deal. If tomorrow when I call back we can accomplish these things will you move forward?” And then I would find a D, but save it for dessert.
Most people are going to say “yes,” and since most people do not want to break their word, you can use this to hold them accountable.
5. Here is what “most people” do next:
No matter how much you may want to say to someone, “THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO DO” in order to move people to action, you can’t.
However, the words, “most people,” serves the same purpose, but is much softer language. Saying, “Here is what most people do next” gently guides them into taking the next step while simultaneously providing them with the feeling of safety in numbers because it shows that other people have made the same decision in the past and it worked out just fine for them.
6. How open minded are you to……?:
The beauty of using the words “open-minded” and “close-minded” is that 99% of people will say that they are opened-minded.
So when gauging the interest of someone use this to your advantage. Ask the people that you want to persuade, “How open-minded are you to trying new things?” Ask them, “How open-minded are you to getting started today?”
If they say they are, shut up and break out the paperwork.
If they say they are not, ask them the following question that everyone wants to know the answer to, but few actually ask…..
7. What is it that is stopping you from moving forward?:
Hands down the biggest impediment to getting things done is not knowing exactly why someone is not moving forward, so to save yourself the headache, just ask.
8. I bet you are a bit like me……….:
I bet you are a bit like me and you like to try new things before making a decision.
I bet you are a bit like me and have little time to waste and jump at the opportunity to try out a new process to speed things up.
I bet you are a bit like me and value time over all else and would love to have more of it.
I bet you are a bit like me and love to see the looks of your loved one’s faces when you give them a gift.
I bet you are a bit like me and value experiences over things and I cannot wait for you to try this.
9. Take a second and IMAGINE:
People never do things without first imagining themselves doing it. So use this to your advantage and use the power of storytelling to help them envision their life with or without your product or service.
Just imagine the smile of your wife’s face when she opens this gift.
Just imagine how happy your boss will be when he/she saw that you took the initiative.
10. I am not sure this is for you, but:
These word immediately put people at ease because they take the pressure off from making an immediate decision. However, by suggesting that they may not be interested, immediately they become more curious as to what it is that they may or may not be missing out on.
“I am not sure if this is for you, but do you know anyone that may be interested in learning more about the benefits of our product?” Is usually followed by the words, “Well tell me more.”