Sales 101 – Fundamental Principles of Sales and Persuasion

This text is a summary of all my notes about sales, based on 5 books and 1 course. In the beginning, I’ll explain 7 methods of getting a yes, based on the book Influence by Robert Cialdini. Afterward, I’ll cover Mr. Cialdini’s other book, Pre-Suasion. Following this part will there be a section on the actual sales process.

The reason why these 6 principles lead to a yes has an evolutionary reason. We live in a in a complex world, and our brain tries to create patterns and mental models of reality, so that it can automate certain tasks. For example you dont have to investigate every door you walk through. because you recognize it to be a door. A skilled persuader can align himself with these automatic patterns and give himself an advantage.

1. Reciprocation

Humans always want to repay what is given to us

Social Rule is to give, receive and repay

Works with gifts, even though the ones who receive the gift doesn’t like the gift nor the giver, nonetheless the receiver feel obligated to give something in return

The effect is enhanced if it is meaningful, unexpected, customized

This also works great in negotiation and for the close. since its seen as an act of reciprocation when you lower the price to “try” find a middle ground

2. Commitment and Consistency

Consistency is a powerful method because it’s valued as a personal trait, nobody wants to be seen as inconsistent

To be consistent saves a lot of energy in complex systems since once you’ve made a decision you don’t have to make it again.

Foot in the door tactics – Small commitment to alter a person’s self-image. And once you have a man’s self-image where you want, he should comply naturally to a whole range of requests that are consistent with his self-image

The more effort goes into a commitment, the greater the ability to influence
-> Most effective in changing the personal image when it’s active, public and effortful

It must feel like an inner choice to be effective

3. Social proof

5% is initiators and the rest, 95%, is imitators, thus most people are persuaded by others.

When we are unsure about ourselves, we are most vulnerable to be influenced by social proof

with several. potential helpers are around the personal responsibility of each individual is reduced.

More influenced by people ‘like us’

Also shows that it’s feasible → if others are doing the same, it must be easy to do it

To control a group you only need to persuade a small group, to get enough critical mass to let social proof to the rest of the work

4. Liking

Physical attractiveness is a halo effect

Similarity is a powerful tool
– Compliments.
– Familiarity, cooperation, frequent contact.
– Matching

#1 rule is for customers to know that you like them

Need to “pull together” towards a common goal. “We are teammates»

5. Authority

Cause an automatic effect, because we have been conditioned our whole life to listen to the experts.

Ex: Teachers in school, Doctors when sick.

A combination of expertise and trustworthiness

How to increase your perceived authority:

Explaining the potential drawbacks to your product service
-Introduce weakness and then counteract with “but, yet, however” to display strengths
– Titles
– Clothing

People see the person. not the content

6. Scarcity

Something you can’t have is more valuable than something in excess
– Loss Aversion

7.  Unity

Kinship. “I’ll tell you what I would have told my brother”
– Home
– Location, favor people in close proximity to us. Even people in the same region.


Pre-suasion is the process of arranging the recipients to be receptive to a message before they’ve encountered it. Because, the factor most likely to determine a person’s choice is the one who’s paid attention to during the sales encounter, not necessarily the wisest. Therefore we convince others by managing their mental associations.

One can look at language as directing the focus on a particular part of reality, and then the mental associations take over from there. Since thinking is linking.

The attractors of attention are sexual, threatening, something new

You keep the attention by staying being relevant to the target customer. In addition the unfinished and the mysterious works great.

Core motives for Influence seen from a first principle view

  1. Cultivate positive association
    ↳ Through liking. reciprocity
    ↳ Giving first, highlights genuine commonalities, true compliments
  1. Reducing uncertainty
    ↳ Social Proof and Authority
  1. Motivating action
    ↳ Consistency, Scarcity

Sales Process

3 key to success in sales

1. Develop rapport

2. Specifics questions to gather intelligence

3. Control the sale by sticking to the straight line, keep conversation relevant and move towards the close


Of a 100 people:
– 30 are ready to buy right now.
– 30 are still shopping but are motivated to buy
– 30 are curious, “just looking”,
– 10 will never buy

A salesperson’s job is to spend time with the top two motivated groups of buyers whilst avoiding wasting time with the unmotivated bottom two.

You are NOT trying to turn non-buyers into buyers

Sales is like poker. Professional poker players are quick to throw in a losing hand, no matter how much they’ve already bet on it. Average poker players stay in the game and keep on calling bets with hands they know have little chance to win. Instead of accepting a small loss and getting out, they stay in and take a greater loss.

Making original contact in a professional way

4 things you need to develop within 4 seconds

  1. Enthusiastic as hell
  2. Sharp as a tack
  3. A figure of Authority
  4. This adds up that they believe that you are a person worth listening to

Body Language

When you are persuading a woman, you need to stay right in front of her, and at least 2,5 feet away

When you are persuading a man, stay to side/at an angle

Handshake -> Should be natural

Dress for success

Match their movements, do it some seconds after he does the movement

  Pace Pace Lead
You need to enter his place where he is
Then speak a little note higher in the direction you want to move him in
Exercise your smiling muscles every time you use the restroom. You have everything you need there: a mirror, privacy, and your face.


“At the highest level sales is about the transference of emotion. Specifically the emotion of certainty.” – Jordan Belfort

You imply things with your tonality that you would never be able to say. For instance: “Trust me” ,”I’m smart”

Different types of tonalities (Based on the teachings of Jordan Belfort)

Infer a Micro-Agreement

End with an upward inflection. (right, you recall don’t you?)

Tone of Mystery

“Now if you recall…” (he thinks, do I recall?) Note: Narrow your eyes for a physiological trigger

Quick and to the Point

Speed through pronouns. Be quick and to the point.

“With one of our”

Imply Scarcity or that you have a Secret

Drop your voice

Bottled Enthusiasm

Having enthusiasm but not always. People can “sense” the high potential energy within you.

Imply the ‘Reasonable Man’

“No big deal” tone.

I’m a reasonable guy, you’re a reasonable guy… sure why not.

Verbiage: Got a minute?

Use transition words

Well, But, Now (use these to emphasize the change in tonality. NOW, (then quiet) the reason for the call)

Which everybody has

“If you have 60 seconds” (which everybody has) Similar to “no big deal” tone

Absolute Certainty

A harder more definitive tone when you know you are absolutely certain about it.

“I care” Pattern

Responding to a statement with empathy and/or sympathy. Warm tone. “I totally understand that” or “The only regret you’ll have is that you didn’t buy 6 months ago”

Using a question when it should be declarative.

Hi this is JB with Capital Florida?!

“I really want to know” tone

When you ask “How’s it going today?” ask as if you really want to know and are genuinely interested in the person.

Presupposing Tone

Have them imagine what it will be like in the future when they have the product. Presuppose they are going to purchase it when transitioning into future pacing to convey how obvious it is that they should get it.


Use the power of pausing and silence when dancing through the script


Asking Questions

Your job is to ask questions to identify your client’s ‘why’.

See the benefits, features, and limitations of your product or service from potential buyers’ viewpoints; you must weigh them on the buyers’ scale of values, not your own; you must close on the benefits that are of value to them.

Before you ask anyone a question, be sure it’s a question they’ll know the answer to.

Never ask a yes-no question. A lot easier to answer no than yes.

Examples of good questions to ask:

* What would you change or improve about your current product/service/source?

* What’s your ultimate objective?

* What would be your ideal program?

* How long have you been… (wanting to buy a home, wanting to buy a Porsche, wanting a new TV)?

* Of all the factors, what’s most important to you?

* Have I asked about every detail that’s important to you?


After seventeen minutes, people start to lose interest.

Tailor your presentation to change their self-image. Below are some common things people are affected by:

  • Color and style
  • Peer pressure (keeping up)
  • Pride of ownership
  •  Vanity
  • Self-improvement
  •  Security
  • Health
  • Prestige and status
  • Love of family
  • Ambition
  • Family getting larger
  • Employment change
  • Family getting smaller

Salespeople avoid certain words because they create negative associations.

Handling objections

Objections (concerns) are nothing more than ways for your potential client to slow things down—to keep themselves from making rash decisions—from feeling as if they’re being “sold.”

Objections are smoke streams for uncertainty

If you get hit by an objection it means that your buyer is not a 10/10 on you. your product or your company. Therefore you need to use an appropriate language pattern and try to increase your customer certainty. You just don’t answer the objection directly, because an objection is not the real reason the prospect isn’t buying.

The sale begins after you have been hit with the first «no”

Closing the sale

3 keys your customers have to do before they buy from you

  1. Love the product
  2. Trust you
  3. Trust the company

Everyone has a unique buying strategy and you don’t know if they are:

  • Motivated logically
  • Motivated emotionally
  • Afraid of making a bad choice
  • Have a limiting belief to buying

Because you don’t know what it’s going to take, you need to do everything:

  • Create an airtight logical case
  • Create an airtight emotional case
  • Build up enough positive beliefs and reasons to buying
  • Breakthrough their limited buying beliefs
  • Eliminate all of their reasons not to buy
  • Having them admit that they should be buying

Closing phrases

“All I ask is this you give me one shot”
“Believe me you won’t be sorry. Sound fair enough?”
“Believe me you’re going to be very, very impressed.”
“If you do even half as well as the rest of my customers”
“I pride myself on being one of the top producers for my company. I’m not going to get there by being wrong.”
“What’s the worst that can possibly happen?”
“We can start off small and work bigger and better in the future”
“All I ask is that after you make a ton of money with this, I want a ton of referrals because that’s how my business really grows.”
“Please don’t misconstrue my enthusiasm for pressure”
“In real estate it’s location, location, location. In my business it’s timing, timing, timing”
“Getting started is very simple, it’s just a question of some basic information”
“Based on everything you just said this seems like a perfect fit for you. All I’m asking for is this: You give me one shot, and believe me, if I’m even half right, you the only problem you’ll have is that I didn’t call you 6 months ago and get you started then. Sound fair enough?”
“What’s the worst that can happen? Let’s say that I’m totally wrong. My compass is off. Let’s say I prove to be an incompetent fool… What’s the worse that can happen? You lose $245? It’s not going to make you poor. You’re not going to be living on the streets. But on the upside what if it DOES work out? Give me 90 days to prove myself to you. Believe me if I do even half as well as I have for my other clients the only pro’blem you’ll have is that I didn’t call you 6 months ago and get you started then. Sound fair enough?”


This example illustrates the enormous multiplying effect of the referral. Compound Effect

How to develop customer for life

  • Send them to your competitor
  • You can’t duck a phone call
  • Remember their family
  • Use gifts correctly
  • Write effective thank-you notes