If we’re going to email potential clients to persuade them to work with us, then we need to understand how persuasion works.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “persuasion” is defined as “to induce (someone) to do something through reasoning or argument”.
It’s a good definition. It is what we are all trying to do.
We’re not emailing these prospects because we want to make friends with them. We are doing it because we want to do business with them! Whatever our actions, at the end of the day we want them to buy from us, and then return thereafter.
There are three major factors associated to this. The first one being what is the target client’s motivation?
This is missed so much by marketers. I personally think the time you spend on this area will provide you with the most return from your future marketing. What is the target client’s motivation?
To understand this more we need to brain storm. We need to get into the head of our client. You may have multiple products for multiple clients, so you’ll need to do this multiple times. It will take some time, but it’s worth it.
You need to do some Customer Insight.
Below is Sam, an experienced, newly employed, procurement director for a large corporate. See below the areas A-D that we identified.
A. Who They Are
- Mid 30s male, 1 young child
- University educated
- Previous role as mid level manager
- Works long hours, looks up to result orientated execs
B. External Targets and Pressures
- 10% year on year external cost reduction
- No increase in procurement headcount
- Get procurement under control
C. Internal Aspirations and Challenges
- Wants to make a big impact: 20%+ savings
- Goal is promotion to senior role
- New to precurement. Doesn’t feel in control
- Not sure what to do to get results
D. Know and Feel Factors
- Big personal goal to get 20%+ savings
- Wants to know he will get for for
- Improvements rather than others
Sam shows ambitious goals and wants to use his role as a stepping stone into general management. But his lack of procurement experience leaves him feeling exposed and unable to directly influence the results of his department. That means that Sam will be more open to approaches that help him gain understanding and control over procurement.
Sam will identify with stories and examples of procurement leaders who went on to senior roles, and examples of procurement strategies that will enable him to reach his goals, and thus potential promotion.
This is just an example, but it shows that by working these factors step-by-step, allows you to build up a picture of what your ideal client would be interested in hearing about in your emails and other messages you try to get across to them.
To conclude. By far the most effective way to persuade someone to do something in not to try to convince them that they want to do that thing. It’s to understand what they already want and then show them how they can get it.