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How to master the art of persuasion

Monday, April 15, 2019 - 06:00
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This month’s article was written with the help of ATI Coach Eric Twiggs.

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou

What’s possible if you become a master of persuasion? Let’s listen to ATI Coach Eric Twiggs explain how you can accomplish this in your shop:

As I ponder this question, I’m reminded of something that happened back when I was a shop manager in need of a new car. The shop was 45 minutes away from home, so I was looking for a reliable and dependable vehicle. The plan was to get a car that I could drive until the wheels fell off!

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My first stop was to the Honda dealer. The salesman told me all about the affordable price, and superior fuel economy, while I was test driving a blue Honda Accord Ex.

It made sense logically, but I left without buying and went to the Toyota dealer. At Toyota, the salesman and I looked at a black Toyota Camry LE and he told me all about the smooth riding long wearing tires, and how that model was ranked as the #1 mid-size car according to Consumer Reports.

The Camry seemed to be a logical choice, but I decided to keep looking. On my way home, I stopped by the local BMW dealer just to window-shop.

The salesman had me test drive a silver BMW 325I, and asked me to imagine the look on my friends’ faces as I drove by in my “Bimmer.” I threw up an objection by mentioning that my financial documents were at home. He responded by allowing me to drive the BMW home to get the necessary paperwork!

This may surprise you, but I decided to purchase the BMW! Later, whenever people asked me why, I would tell them about how well it handled on the highway, the ABS brake system, and its durability. In reality, I made an emotional decision that I used logic to justify. Your customers are just like me. When they make a purchase decision, emotion is the ultimate driving machine!

So, the key to mastering the art of persuasion is to focus on making emotional connections. Keep reading as I use logic to justify my previous statement!

What science says

By now you’re probably thinking, “Nice try Twiggs, but my customers are different!” Well, according to research conducted by Harvard University professor, Gerald Zaltman, they aren’t!

His study found that 95 percent of all purchase decisions take place unconsciously. In other words, we tend to arrive at purchase decisions based on an intuitive emotional response that we later explain using logic.

When it comes to automotive service, is your shop merely the logical choice? You’ve been in business for 30 years, you’re family owned and operated, you’re cheaper than the dealer, and you even have Wi-Fi in your waiting room! Yet in spite of these logical reasons, you have customers who leave your shop without buying, because they’ve decided to keep looking.

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