My name is John Gollum from sales pop online says magazine and pipeliner CRM, and today I’m joined by Lee Warren, who is in London, Lee correct. That’s correct, South London, excellent and yeah Lee is a professional speaker and it’s also a first for sales pub because he also was a professional magician for a long time as well. So we’ve we’ve had a number of people on the show from different professions.
We haven’t had a magician before so Lee is written, a number of books had to persuade anyone to do anything and grown-ups, don’t use PowerPoint and what Lee talks a lot about is the art of persuasion, and I know, through all the sales people listening in today. Persuasion is a big thing so again Lee waarom. Welcome, so tell me tell me your philosophy when it comes to persuasion. Well, there’s a very long answer and a very short answer, and the very short answer is that persuasion is a very ethical thing or I think a lot of people think persuade being persuasive quite a Machiavellian.
You know they think it’s about convincing people to do stuff. They wouldn’t do, and but actually persuasion is all about getting emotional engagement with with people. So if, if someone feels like you know what you’re saying they’re more presenting to them or what you’re pitching to them, if they feel like this is interesting to them – or this is far nor this is worth their time or this is going to make them look Good in front of someone else – or this is going to make them money or any sort of positive emotion, then then you’re, a more persuasive person.
That’s the short answer, that’s my fundamental view of persuasion, and so how can people learn to be more persuasive? You know in their part, there are some things that they can do to actually set themselves up to being more persuasive in their engagements with other people. Oh yeah, some fairly simple things straightaway. Actually I mean they aren’t they’re so simple. They almost shouldn’t need saying out loud, but I find with a lot of the work I do need saying so.
The first one is you: you’ve got to listen and understand other people’s worlds. More III would say hand on heart with every client I’ve ever had and myself most of us are very, very good, especially in sales. We’re really good at talking about. What’s interesting to us, we’re often very good at the spiel and you know, but nobody wants to be sold to really people push back against that, so learning how to really listen to people learning how to really understand what people’s real needs are and what’s really on Their mind at the moment you’re coming into contact with them.
Those are two very simple things, but they’re a bit like chest. I think you can. You can learn to do those things in a minute and then it takes a lifetime to to become good at them. I tell you what others fairly simple thing people can do is is really restructure, how they think about language when you, when you meet people who are genuinely really persuasive, very often what you’ll find is they talk in either very visual language, so there are some be Using images so they’ll say things like imagine: if, wouldn’t it be great, if we could don’t often talk very visually and and the other thing is they’re very, very good, and I think they do this very honestly, very ethically, I don’t think they’re being manipulative but they’re Very good at looking at what the future could be like for all of us.
Stick together. They really do want everyone to have a solution or everyone to win from whatever they’re proposing they’re sorta, like the opposite of the you know, the sleazy car salesperson ya know. I love those ideas and let me go just goodbye to listen for a moment. Okay, because I think this is becoming an increasing problem of not just listening but be present right, because we’re we’ve become so accustomed to be distracted and we say, oh you know we’re.
So busy nowadays, when reality is, you know we’re so distracted nowadays and I think it’s coming harder and harder for people to be present when they’re talking to somebody so be present and listen. I think those are challenging things whatwhat. Do you think people can do to actually maybe mitigate from remit again against you know these distractions are not being present. Well, III. Think there’s a couple of things.
So one is, it is a mindset shift and I think you I said that carefully, yep as a restless speaker, I’m always terrified of getting things wrong on stage you know, but I think there is. There is a shift in our mindset, which is you have to genuinely believe that what other people have got to say and what’s in other people’s minds is, is as valuable as what’s in your own mind, and I think, if we’re honest with ourselves a lot of Us that we’re not really listening to people we’re just waiting for our turn to speak, so I think that you’ve got to genuinely view other other people’s worlds as being as interesting as your own.
But then, in practical terms, I think some of it’s a little bit about practice. Actually, and I mean, as you were, asking the question I was thinking of my own experience as a magician and a lot of people think magic is all about. You know the quickness of the hands, but actually that’s the easy bit of being a magician you just you just learn that and the hard stuff is really being present and understanding what’s happening, so I’m doing a magic trick.
I’ve got to practice what’s going on in my hands enough that I can forget about that eventually, because my awareness has to be all other canapes going to come and interrupt. What I’m doing is somebody trying to see behind me is somebody about to make a funny joke. That’s going to ruin my carefully repaired spirit. Yeah. I’ve got to be really aware of all those things, but I wouldn’t be able to be if I hadn’t practice the technical stuff.
So I think certainly a lot of people in sales should do a lot more roleplay. I think they should do a lot more getting their pitch down so that all of that stuff, which becomes some good, not subconscious, unconsciously works out. So they don’t really need to think about that they can actually have more attention free for what’s going on around them. Does that answer your question yeah? No, it does absolutely and I think, there’s and I think you’re a hundred percent correct.
That says people need to do more role-playing and more practice. I think if a lot of us are honest, we probably practice our hobbies more than we practice the thing that puts bread on the table right yeah and I also think does here’s an interesting exercise that I think some people should do, and it might be really Surprising is, you know, maybe do what your sales manager or somebody, but what somebody else is actually have a conversation, but instead of answering the other person immediately, you have to we repeat back what they said and showed that you understand it’s understood exactly what they said And you might be surprised how many people fail fail that exercise.
I I think that’s that’s a brilliant exercise. Actually, it reminds me, though there was a very famous acting tutor called Sanford, Meisner and, and he had exactly an acting exercise like that, which was where in pairs you’d, say the same phrase to each other about sort of 50 times. And you end up in this weird mental space, where you really do start listening to everything, except the words being used.
So now you see everything about someone’s body language and I think that’s great. I think the other thing about the other big benefit of role playing now. This is something it took me a little while to learn, because I quite often get clients to do this is that when you’re doing the role play? Actually, it’s not the person playing the role of the sales person who benefits alone. It’s the person pretending to be the buyer or the client, because they suddenly see their own behavior and they sit.
They hear a salesperson pitching to them and they think. Oh, my god, that’s you know, that’s ridiculous. Why would I ever do that, so they learn something even if they’re, not so active in the role play yeah. I agree with that because I think often for some reason we forget that we’re consumers and customers ourselves like when we’re in selling situations and then we suddenly start behaving differently or expecting the other person to behave differently than we would in that situation.
So let’s talk a little bit about language, because I like that idea what you said about people using a visual language, a different language. I don’t think we pay enough attention to what we say and how we say it yeah I couldn’t agree more and – and I think there’s a cop – I mean there’s a couple of caveats to that or a couple of pitfalls, which is, I think, sometimes some people Get too obsessed with their language and they sort of gone we’re training courses and they leap sounding like robots for a week, and you know that never works of quirky stuff well, so, in terms of language in terms of being authentic and having a really sort bulletproof Way of doing it, I I think one really great thing is to be obsessed with value and to really focus on the the value that your product or service brings, rather than the thing itself, and a lot of us get to get too wrapped up in all The processes and systems, and and so on – and I mean a sales conversation really and a persuasive sales conversation – is about an exchange of value.
You know I’ve got some value to give. You you’ve got some value to give me. How can we, as adults, exchange that and one one technique? I use a lot and it’s a great thing is to fill in the second half of a sentence, which is something like at the heart of. What I do is a simple idea, or at the heart of our service is a simple idea. Don’t know doc and what I get you to do is. Is it gets you to really focus really precisely on the value that you bring and that I think organically and naturally gets you to use a better kind of language or more, a language that matters more to cry onsen to the people we’re selling to and a Really fun example: I love to use when I was a full-time magician wedding couples would always say to me what kind of tricks you’re going to do at our wedding and if we think about that really in a sales context, there that’s a process, question they’re, not Really asking that question because they wouldn’t understand the answer.
No they’re really asking you know: can we trust you with the most important day of our lives? That’s really what they’re saying so I could say. Well, I do card tricks and coin tricks and mind-reading tricks, but but that doesn’t do anything about trust and value, or I could say instead well at the heart of my magic is a simple idea and I’ll make your wedding much better than your sister’s was that’s A bit tongue-in-cheek, I’ve never said that to a wedding couple, but but you get the idea, it’s fun, but there’s real value in and buyers.
You know wedding couples would respond to that straight away. They’d laugh and they’d get the joke, but they’d also see the value who doesn’t all the best wedding. They, you know anybody’s ever had yeah no exactly, and I think I think you touched on a great point there and does it there’s a there’s, a person, Lisa Magnuson who does presentations, training and – and she has a dis, great idea, and I think it’s perfect – that A lot of people start off for a presentation or a pitch, and they start to talk about the steps right.
How, instead of she says like if you’re going on a vacation to Hawaii? What are you thinking about? You’re thinking about lying on the beach in Hawaii you’re, not thinking about well, I got ta get the uber to the stage. Now you have to go through those steps, but you got to start with the and just like you said there with I’m going to make this the best wedding, whatever that’s what they want to hear.
You know they don’t want to hear immediately the steps you’re going to use to get there right. Oh, I couldn’t agree more and that actually speaks to what we talked about at the beginning of this. This chat, which is about getting the emotional engagement first you’re, not going to get emotional engagement with people or it’s really hard to. If you start talking about processes and steps and you I hav IE, and that just stands for hearts and minds.
So that’s the order in which you put your information. Can I get an emotional engagement first, followed by the mind stuff, the content and data and then pipe ie just stands for pictures you use loads of pictures. Loads of visual language is the interest you know. What’s the most interesting thing to the people you’re communicating with rather than to you and then e is enthusiasm. You know you’ve got to believe your own stuff and you’ve got do you’re.
The first person you’ve got to persuade it’s going to be a great yeah. I agree with you totally because I thought I don’t think number one I mean you can’t be authentic if you really don’t believe in what you’re selling and I think that comes across and I like the idea of what you said about the win-win. You know the future state is a win-win situation like and I think that’s become increasingly more important because you have savvy buyers and and as you say, you know, people don’t want the they don’t want to feel like they’re being sold to, but they want they want To feel like you’re invested in their success right and that’s the thing that you’ve got to get across.
Oh I I couldn’t agree more 100 % and I think certainly I mean the digital revolution. I mean it’s its revelry for the first time ever, there’s a lot of stuff in sales, which goes really deep. You know who we are as human beings but and there’s very little, that’s new, but what is new, I think, for the first time ever is we now live in a world where the buyer has at least as much information as a typical salesperson and anything they Don’t know is just a Google click away, so you know where you think of 30 years ago, if you walked up to buy something in a shop or showroom or something you you’d really be asking the salesperson guide me through the information tell me the stuff that That doesn’t happen anymore in b2b b2c.
I don’t think in any arena. People really they know their stuff when it when they come to buy from us and so they’re really asking ok, I know all the stuff, but now I need someone. I can trust to make sense of that for me and to guide me to actually finally part to my passion and you’re quite right and it’s a long-term thing in a digital world, we can’t we no one, can take cash of anybody and run away anymore.
You know we will read Twitter and Instagram and Facebook yeah yeah and I think the other part of it, though, is you know the win win. I mean it’s all for the salesperson and I think that if you’re going to engage with a customer, it’s an exchange and if you both come up with the solution together and it’s a new add value, and all of that you should expect it to be win-win. From your point of view, Oh a hundred percent and it’s win-win in many ways, it’s witty you, we win on that particular transaction.
You win in terms of the long term relationship, and then you also potentially win in this total goldmine for all of us, which is in terms of the referrals and the testimonials and the repeat. Business from people. You’ve never met him and would possibly never even meet with all the cold calling and prospecting in the world without those recommendations so yeah. I think it’s it’s right at the heart of mine, my business, that that thing of getting testimonials and referrals definitely so any other.
Last turn things around persuasion because, obviously like when you were a professional magician right, I mean you’re, persuading people some degree to almost to suspend, suspend belief or whatever and and just buy into what you’re doing right. So I mean what you don’t: need techniques that came over from magic yeah there and they sort of in a way they’re sort of boringly, simple and but I think it’s the simplicity of them, that a lot of people miss.
I was talking to a personal trainer earlier this week actually, and I asked him what he thought. The best exercise in the gym was – and he said, the best exercise in the gym is what’s called a farmer’s walk, which is where you just pick up a heavyweight and you walk from one end of the gym to the other, and he says, but nobody ever Does it because it’s so simple everyone’s got people’s, I mean complicated and I think it’s similar in sales, so in terms of being a magician, it’s definitely about trust, it’s there and what good magicians learn is within seconds of meeting people within seconds of walking onstage.
You have to get people liking, you and trust in you. They don’t know anything about you yet, but if you can get a laugh, if you can get a smile, if you can get a nod of recognition, that is the single most persuasive thing you can do, because you know, as a magician you’re going to be asking People give me your wedding ring. Give me your wallet. You know I’m going to set that fire to a tempo note.
You’ve got to have a lot of trust there and I think, in terms of sales, bring you back to it to the real world. So some of that’s about how we relate to other people, but I think some of its some really simple stuff about. How do you dress? I mean you know, is your dress? It’s your dress on brand. Do you look good, but the number of sales people I’ve seen who turn up looking a bit sweaty, you know, and then they sort of fumble around in a bag for an old knackered brochure, and it’s so easy to get that stuff right.
But no well, not nobody, but hardly anybody does it. So if you do do that, you you really stand out, so I think it’s really really simple. I suppose the sorry to sum it up quickly. If you only have 60 seconds with somebody. What would you do in those 60 seconds to win their trust and then just behave like that? All the time yeah, I think that’s a great it’s one of my it’s one of myself boxes as well, is that the ideas that you’ll never be ducked points for looking too good like being well-dressed or whatever you won’t get tough points for being overdressed, but you Certainly get dark points for being underdressed and for being polite, graphically correct all those simple things.
You know that you know that people a lot of people, unfortunately, because we live in this pseudo casual culture today. They think that they can throw all of those out the window. Yeah, absolutely, and – and I do mean that thing about on brand by the way – because I think some businesses brand is a t-shirt and jeans. That’s but they’ve got to be really good jeans and a really good t-shirt. You know some businesses suit and tie, and so on or really smart business dress suit or something so it is about the brand I’m in a really good example, I think, is if you went to a tarot card, something if you went to someone and she said He said, oh, I haven’t got my tarot cards today, but I’m going to about yourself anyway, walk out, you wouldn’t pay the money.
No there’s nothing. I don’t wan na offend anybody, but there’s nothing cars that does any. But you expect that you know you want to see them and those mysterious images, because it’s all part of the trust and we’re exactly not that word sails with our brochures, our website, the way we dress it’s the same phenomena in the mind, that’s fun to have To listen daily, this has been a fascinating conversation.
I know we could talk for a lot longer hey before you go to things, I’m going to get you to tell people a little bit more about yourself, but I got ta. Ask you, who is your favorite magician going on so my favorite magician that everyone listening to this would know, and probably even including the states is Darren Brown, of course, who’s taken the world by storm for the last 15 years, or so. He is just what I mean: he doesn’t define himself entirely as a magician, but he is just the most wonderful thinker and performer and writer and artist.
He sort of irritatingly talented so he’s the best that everyone listening to this would would know and if you’ve never seen him live, go and see him. It’s a masterclass in how to hold and entertain and persuade an audience excellent minds. Tommy Cooper there you go [ Laughter, ], so Lee tell people a little bit more about yourself, your company and how they can find out more about you. Well. My company is me, I mean on the on the international headquarters of my business and my website is invisible, advantage, calm and, and I’m a primarily 80 % of my work is, as I speak at the conference’s.
So so so I suppose anyone who’s got a sales conference or an internal sales meeting coming up where they need a speaker, who’s, devilishly, good-looking and great fun, okay, be sure, and then about 20 % of what I do is workshops which come off the the speaking. So I’ll sort of go to a conference and speak and then some of people say: can you work with our sales team or our leadership team, and so I do that quite a lot.
So that’s that’s what I do and how people can get in touch. Yes, if you have any difficult call, EEGs you’ll also make them disappear right. This is John golden says. Pop online says magazine, pipeliner CRM, it’s been fantastic. Talking with Lee Warren in London, see all again for another expert interview really soon. So I encourage you to subscribe to sales pop dotnet. The online sales magazine also subscribe to our YouTube blog and then comment get involved in the conversation, love to hear what you have to say.
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