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Your Prospect's Particulars: Persuasion Continuums

Dec 1, 2007
I heard a joke recently that I thought was pretty funny. 'I have the idea that one person's dream is another person's nightmare. For example, it's my dream to sleep with Cindy Crawford. I'll bet you anything that would be her nightmare.'

We're all different: some of us like to do crossword puzzles, others love math, some of us like to take tests or read maps, others enjoy cleaning. Our differences make us unique and our prospect's differences are what can make persuasion extra powerful.

When we figure out the key to unlocking our prospects particulars, we can decipher their messages and understand how uniquely we're all configured.

Here is a strategy that will make it easier to understand and take advantage and make the most of your prospect or client's particular criteria and values.

A persuasion continuum is an interesting phenomenon. If you were to draw a straight line on a piece of paper and if you were to put one of the directions of the continuum on the right side and the opposite on the left side, then you'll know what I'm talking about when I say 'continuum'. These are patterns that exist in the minds of people and they exist in particular contexts. As the context changes, so too can a continuum. They won't always hold the same across all contexts.

I will explore these types of persuasion continuums more specifically in future articles. A few of them that we'll be working with are 'towards and away', 'sameness and difference', 'internal and external' and 'options and procedures'.

Many of these are intricately intertwined and dependent upon their criteria or your understanding of their criteria. We define criteria as that which points our prospects and clients to what is relevant for them.

You've heard of a 'what's in it for me' mentality? Well, that's the concept of criteria and values at its essence. Is there something here for me? Or is this not for me at all? Everybody has this one big question when they come to talk to you.

Continuums are free of content. This means they don't depend on what you're going to say at all, but depend on the context in which you're talking.

If you are a financial adviser then you talk to people about their finances. That is the context with which contiuums hold. They will remain a constant within that particular context.

What is it that we're doing here? What's the point of a continuum? A continuum increases rapport, persuasion skills and creates incredible changes in your ability to get your message or information about your product or service and how it can benefit this client or prospect.

These continuums which I've mentioned are ones we can spot and find within each and every person. Some are more significant in some people than others. And in some future articles I'll be focusing on these four.

This is some deep, powerful persuasion and if you're feeling a little overwhelmed, it's perfectly natural. Stay tuned for more in depth information.
About the Author
Kenrick Cleveland teaches techniques to earn the business of affluent clients using persuasion. He runs public and private seminars and offers home study courses and coaching programs in persuasion techniques.
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