How to Talk Anyone into Doing Anything

The internet is flooded with blogs and videos about how to talk anyone into doing anything.

Just do a quick Google search and you’ll see what I mean…

And so, I felt like I had to give my take on this topic—because the reality is that most of the ideas out there about this important sales subject are complete junk.

In this video, I’m going to show you how to actually talk anyone into doing anything in sales. Check it out:

How to Talk Anyone into Doing Anything Step #1: Don’t sell to “anyone.”

How to Talk Anyone into Doing Anything Step #1: Don’t sell to “anyone.”

This might sound counterintuitive, but the whole basis of the concept of trying to “talk anyone into doing anything” is completely flawed in the first place. Within the context of sales, you don’t want to be talking just anyone into doing what you want—that is, buying from you.

In other words, it will never serve you to be selling just anything to just anyone…instead, you want to be selling the right product to the right person.

I promise I’ll give you some ideas on exactly how you can be way more effective than you would if you were actually trying to sell anything to anyone.

But let me first clarify the real flaw with this overall concept: According to the latest sales research, over 50% of initial prospects that you come across simply aren’t a fit for what you sell. And that’s okay.

What this means, though, is that you shouldn’t be trying to sell to anyone and everyone you come across. Instead, you should focus on trying to determine whether they’re a fit or not—more on that later.

In fact, the more quickly you determine whether someone is a fit or not, the better off you are.

So, the first step to becoming far more effective at talking the right people into doing what you want is to actually get rid of the mindset of “trying to sell anything to anyone” and instead start identifying exactly who your ideal prospect is.

Talk Anyone into Doing Anything Step #2: Know your IPP.

Your IPP is your ideal prospect profile. The best salespeople are super crystal-clear about who their ideal prospect actually is.

The best way to determine your IPP is to start by coming up with a list of traits of prospects that are not a good fit for you. Knowing who isn’t a good fit for your offering is going to give you immediate clarity on the people that actually are your best prospects.

The one resource in sales that we all lack is time. If you’re wasting your time trying to sell to people that aren’t a good fit, you’re ultimately not going to be successful.

That’s why the second step to successfully talking the right people into doing anything in sales is to focus exclusively on selling to your ideal prospects. If you get a lead, and it seems like the prospect isn’t going to be a good fit, it’s fine to have that initial conversation just to make sure. But be willing to quickly move on from them as soon as you determine they’re not a fit.

Spend your time on targeting only your best prospects, and your ability to talk the right people into buying from you will dramatically improve.

Step #3: Demonstrate insight.

In order to sell whatever you sell to the right prospects, you need to start by demonstrating some insight up front. What is it that you have to say that your prospects are genuinely interested in hearing from you? Chances are, it’s going to be your high-level perspective on their industry.

No matter what you sell, you’ve spent countless hours listening to the complaints, frustrations, and needs of the people you sell to. That information is interesting, insightful, and valuable to your prospects. This is how consultants make a living—simply by selling that kind of information. A consultant is just someone who has gained insight from talking to a wide range of people, who then goes and sells that information to others.

While salespeople aren’t consultants, we can still use that same high-level, bird’s-eye-view of the industry to share insight into what’s going on in our prospects’ lives. We can leverage that knowledge to demonstrate that we understand them, and that we are worth listening to.

This is the single best way to engage prospects in real conversation. Demonstrate insight up front to show that you understand the challenges they’re likely facing, what they’re looking to accomplish, and what common pitfalls often get in the way of accomplishing their desired goals.

Talk Anyone into Doing Anything Step #4: Disqualify.

Remember, the first step of how to “talk anyone into doing anything” is to actually do the opposite…and focus on talking the right people into buying the right thing from you. We’ve already discussed how the next steps are to know your IPP, and to engage your prospects in conversation by demonstrating insight. The next step is that you must disqualify prospects who aren’t a fit.

As I mentioned before, the data shows that over 50% of your initial prospects are not going to be a fit for what you sell. They’re just not going to buy. So, the sooner you can disqualify those people and move on, the more time you’ll have to focus on people who are a fit.

Here’s the rub: Most salespeople are spending so much time trying to sell to people that are never going to buy that they get caught in the cycle of “following up” on prospects. Maybe you’ve been in that situation, where you find you’re just following up on people all the time and it’s not going anywhere. That’s because you’re not disqualifying and using a systematic process to ask questions to understand the key challenges each prospect is facing.

That’s what disqualification is all about. Disqualifying prospects will make it so you never find yourself chasing down prospects ever again. You’ll simply determine whether they’re a fit early on, and then move on to the next person if they’re not a fit. Simple as that.

How to Talk Anyone into Doing Anything Step #5: Solve.

Once you’ve gone through this whole process and you’ve determined that a prospect is, in fact, a good fit, now it’s time to present. But here’s the thing: You should never present the features and benefits of your offering. Don’t go for that hard pitch or that hard close. Instead, simply demonstrate that you can solve your prospect’s challenges.

Your prospect is at point A and you want to get them to point B. But in order for them to get to point B, there are a lot of challenges they have to overcome. You must demonstrate that you can solve all those challenges in order to get them to point B. That’s the calculus that your prospects are thinking through. All they want to know is, “Is this person the right solution that’s going to help me get to point B?” That’s really sales in a nutshell.

If you can demonstrate that you can actually solve your prospect’s challenges—not focusing on the features and the benefits of your offering, but instead showing that you can solve their problems—you’ll be on your way to talking the right prospects into buying from you, every single time.

So, there you have it. That’s my take on how to talk anything into doing anything. Which of these tips did you find most useful for your own selling strategy? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section to join the conversation.

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About the Author Marc Wayshak

Marc is is the best-selling author of three books on sales and leadership, including the highly acclaimed titles Game Plan Selling, The High-Velocity Sales Organization and his forthcoming book, Sales Conversations, Mastered.

Marc is a contributor to Inc, HubSpot, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Huffington Post Business. He also hosts a popular YouTube channel on sales strategy with over 103,000 subscribers.

Marc helps thousands of people his data-driven, science-based approach to selling that utilizes all the best tools available to sales organizations today.

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