What’s the best way to persuade people to buy something? How do you effectively and ethically influence other people’s thoughts?
Believe it or not, the best persuasion tools were discovered by the ancient Greeks thousands of years ago.
Here’s a video explaining these persuasion tools and how to use them in your sales presentations.
I hate the ancient Greeks – and it’s for one reason and one reason only: Jealousy!
They came up with all the best ideas they made all the best discoveries thousands of years ago before anybody else had the chance.
Geometry? they had that covered.
Philosophy? they were all over that too.
Physics? Well they kind of screwed up on physics but you know you can’t win em’ all.
One of the areas they were best at though was the power of persuasion.
Remember, Athens was a democracy – so the politicians and the leaders had to sell people on their ideas. Because of this, the Greeks had persuasion down to a science. They discovered the three main persuasive tools that work on human beings.
Number one is Logos or logic. Having a logical argument that makes sense is obviously a great way to persuade someone.
Number 2 is Pathos. Pathos is simply an appeal to emotion. Any sort of emotional connection that you can make in your audience is going to be a powerful one because humans are emotional beings.
The third way of persuading people is something called ethos. Ethos is a little bit more complicated, but for the purposes of storytelling to sell think of ethos as just one phrase: People like us do this, or people like us buy this.
Ethos is our way of self-identifying as part of a group. If the rest of the members of our group are doing something then it must be a good thing us to do to, right?
So let’s show you how to use all three of these techniques in stories.
Now when I was a business coach for entrepreneurs I would often speak at events where there would be hundreds of people – many of them potential clients. One of the things that I wanted to do was get them interested in hiring a coach like me.
So here’s what I did. I told story after story about clients of mine – entrepreneurs who had come to a coach to solve their business problems, and through that coach, solved their problems and made more money.
I used Logos. I would tell a story about a common business problem, then talk about the steps to solve that problem and how that problem ultimately got solved – making the client more money in the end.
I also used Pathos – an appeal to emotion. I talked about my clients as real people – about their frustrations when things weren’t going well, and their relief once their problems were solved.
And finally, my appeal to Ethos occurred naturally. By telling story after story of people who were like them – I showed them that hiring a coach was something that their successful peers did to improve their business.
So those are the three powers of persuasion – Logos, Pathos and Ethos. If you use these tools in your stories you’ll get more clients than you expect. And when you do, you can blame it all on the ancient Greeks.