What are values? Values are filters that everyone uses to help
make sense of all the information we must process before we make
a decision. When you appeal to a person's values you speak
directly to their decision-making criteria.
In simple terms, values are what is most important to us. If you
ask yourself: what is most important to me about having a new
car? You will discover the key issues that you consider when
buying a car. Your prospects will also pay attention to their
values when you present your offering.
Ask your prospects what is most important to them and they will
tell you their values, it is then up to you to structure your
conversation around what matters to them.
So if they value ease of use and simplicity - don't waste their
time talking about advanced functions. Instead spend extra time
and go into great detail explaining all there is to know about
how easy it is to use the product.
By talking about what your prospect considers most important you
will grab their attention and quickly find out if your offering
is for them. And this is as far as most people get with their
persuasion skills. There is a further step however.
When you also discover and appeal to what your client wants to
avoid, you become an especially valuable advisor. Everyone has
avoidance values i.e. what is important to avoid. In the example
of buying a car, it could be wanting to avoid costly maintenance,
high insurance premiums and the disapproval of the neighbors.
Your only challenge is that people often won't tell you what
their avoidance values are because they don't always know
themselves. Only when you ask the right questions will you be
able to help them discover what these values are. Give them an
example of what you mean by avoidance values and then ask them:
What must you absolutely not have when driving a car?
What do you not want in a car?
What do you want to avoid at all costs by using this product?
Which factors are the most important to avoid?
Typical answers might include - poor visibility, limited leg
room, a noisy engine. Let's say you were selling software, the
answers might be data loss, system crashes, limited upgrades.
Show your prospect how your product satisfies her values and
protects her from her avoidance values and your powers of
persuasion will be irresistible.
Give yourself time to get used to asking probing questions that
elicit avoidance values. Although it seems unusual at first it
does get easier with practice.
Peter Murphy is a freelance business writer. He publishes a free
weekly ezine full of practical tips for communicating at your
best under pressure. All new subscribers receive a free e-book
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