What are values? Values are filters that everyone uses to help make sense of all the information we must process before we make a decision. When you appeal to a person's values you speak directly to their decision-making criteria.
In simple terms, values are what is most important to us. If you ask yourself: what is most important to me about having a new car? You will discover the key issues that you consider when buying a car. Your prospects will also pay attention to their values when you present your offering.
Ask your prospects what is most important to them and they will tell you their values, it is then up to you to structure your conversation around what matters to them.
So if they value ease of use and simplicity - don't waste their time talking about advanced functions. Instead spend extra time and go into great detail explaining all there is to know about how easy it is to use the product.
By talking about what your prospect considers most important you will grab their attention and quickly find out if your offering is for them. And this is as far as most people get with their persuasion skills. There is a further step however.
When you also discover and appeal to what your client wants to avoid, you become an especially valuable advisor. Everyone has avoidance values i. e. what is important to avoid. In the example of buying a car, it could be wanting to avoid costly maintenance, high insurance premiums and the disapproval of the neighbors.
Your only challenge is that people often won't tell you what their avoidance values are because they don't always know themselves. Only when you ask the right questions will you be able to help them discover what these values are. Give them an example of what you mean by avoidance values and then ask them:
What must you absolutely not have when driving a car?
What do you not want in a car?
What do you want to avoid at all costs by using this product?
Which factors are the most important to avoid?
Typical answers might include - poor visibility, limited leg room, a noisy engine. Let's say you were selling software, the answers might be data loss, system crashes, limited upgrades.
Show your prospect how your product satisfies her values and protects her from her avoidance values and your powers of persuasion will be irresistible.
Give yourself time to get used to asking probing questions that elicit avoidance values. Although it seems unusual at first it does get easier with practice.
Peter Murphy is a freelance business writer. He publishes a free weekly ezine full of practical tips for communicating at your best under pressure. All new subscribers receive a free e-book with powerful strategies for being at your best.