What makes a great salesman great? Not practice. Not technique.
In fact, it’s probably something you have oodles of.


There are infinite methods, processes and formulae involved in the science of persuasion. It is a science, after all. But it can be helpful to step back sometimes and consider what is probably the most powerful persuasion principle of all — and it has nothing to do with science.

This way of persuading B2B buyers is not even something that needs remembering, training, or any particular skill. It doesn’t even rely on the logic of your message. I’m talking about is passion and sincerity. Businessman, like everyone else, are persuaded more by enthusiasm than logic, more by deep convictions than concrete proof. If you genuinely feel and believe in what you’re saying, those strong emotions and your honest interest in the product will be far more of an engaging persuasion tool than anything else you can utilise.

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity recently to meet Chris Guillebeau, author of the Art of Non-Conformity blog, at a meetup he hosted in Auckland. His blog (and indeed life) gravitates around challenging the status quo, making the utmost of life, travelling, living a life less ordinary and quite literally, “taking over the world”. Chris oozes passion. He genuinely lives and breathes this stuff, and people can smell it. It was amazing the way everyone in the room was so responsive, and genuinely bought into his convictions and values. It’s almost hypnotic – when you’re listening to Chris, you start to believe you actually can take over the world.

Genuine enthusiasm is contagious because it arouses positive emotions. That’s why word of mouth marketing works so well. The power of word of mouth often gets forgotten in B2B, and that’s a mistake.

Business people love to share new information as much as we do. In fact, 65 percentof all buying decisions are emotionally based – it’s part of being human – so it’s crucial you activate your buyers’ emotions when you communicate. If you believe in a product or service, so will the person you’re talking to.

The other cool thing about this principle is the more vigorously you apply it (within reason, it has the opposite effect if you come off as pushy or bordering on manic), the better it works. The most persuasive person in the world is someone who has a sincerely fanatical belief in their idea, product or service. It’s one of your most powerful tools — you better believe it.