Tradies such as plumbers, electricians, and builders have built their businesses and work in highly demanding industries. The service-based industry requires high-level technical skills to perform jobs well, but excellent interpersonal and communication skills are essential to thrive. A tradie’s ability to influence and persuade is especially important.
Strong interpersonal skills like communication, relationship-building, and influencing and persuading make tradies stand out from competitors, increasing sales and business growth. This blog will explore why influence and persuasion skills are vital for tradies to master to take their business to the next level.
By honing their ability to effectively connect with clients, address concerns, and convey their value, tradies can attract more customers and see their success grow. The right interpersonal techniques make hard-working tradies truly shine.
What is Influence?
In sales, influence subtly guides potential clients or customers to consider a business’s offers and services. The term “influencer” emerged with the rise of social media, as brands realised they could subtly promote products without customers realising they were being marketed to. In essence, influence in sales is about building awareness and desire for your business in a soft, organic way.
Influencing involves creating content that naturally engages your target audience and attracts them to your brand. Rather than overt sales pitches, influencer marketing is focused on nurturing engagement and relationships over time.
Common influence tactics include sharing blog posts and videos that provide value but weave in mentions of your business, partnering with brands your audience loves, and leveraging word-of-mouth and referrals.
Mastering influence skills allows tradies to attract and engage more potential customers. With influence, you build familiarity and trust gradually.
Instead of pushing sales directly, you “pull” people in by capturing their attention and meeting their needs. Eventually, this pulls them closer to doing business with you down the road.
What is Persuasion?
Persuasion takes a different approach to driving sales. Persuasion is a more direct, “hard sell” means of gaining business.
It involves communicating to actively convince people to change their minds and purchase your products or services. While influencing gently "pulls" customers in, persuasion directly "pushes" them towards a purchase.
Persuasion tactics aim to create a sense of urgency and need that prompts the customer to act now. Sales-focused language explicitly points out the benefits of working with you.
Limited-time offers, extra perks, and highlighting scarcity help trigger a buying decision. Persuasion works best with warm leads who are already considering your business. Influence generates those warmer leads; persuasion closes the deal.
A skilled balance of influence and persuasion is important for tradies to master to connect with clients while closing sales. Influence builds relationships and warms cold leads over time. Persuasion prompts happy, ready-to-buy customers.
Robert Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Persuasion
To better understand persuasion, psychologist Robert Cialdini published the seminal book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” outlining six key principles:
People tend to return favours and feel obligated to give back. Tradies can use free consultations, discounts, and gifts to trigger reciprocity.
People assign more value to scarce products/services. Highlight unique skills, limited availability, and seasonal discounts to create urgency.
People respect experts. Get certified, highlight your experience, and show off positive reviews to establish credibility.
People follow the crowd. Share testimonials, reviews, and case studies to demonstrate your popularity.
People say yes to people they know and like. Be personal and charming to build rapport with clients.
People align actions with commitments. Follow up consistently and send reminders to turn inquiries into sales.
Applying Persuasion to Improve Tradie Sales
Effectively applying persuasion and influence is key for tradies to improve sales. Tradies can use two main approaches: "pushing” and “pulling” clients.
Pushing refers to directly persuading potential customers to buy from you now using tactics like highlighting scarcity and showcasing your expertise or authority. While push tactics can have an immediate impact, overdoing it can seem stubborn or manipulative.
Pulling subtly attracts clients to your brand over time through influence tactics like valuable content marketing, social proof, and relationship building. Pull tactics gradually build desire for your services while nurturing relationships.
Finding the right balance of push and pull is essential. Tradies just starting out may focus more on pull tactics to organically grow a client base, while established tradies can leverage push tactics to capitalise on their solid reputation. It’s important to monitor customer reactions and adjust your sales approach appropriately.
By mastering a strategic mix of persuasion and influence suited to their business stage, tradies can connect with customers correctly while closing more sales. A nuanced blending of push and pull is the recipe for improved sales results.
Building Relationships Through Active Listening
Relationship building is critical for tradies, and active listening is a key technique for strengthening client bonds. When speaking with customers, give them your full, undivided attention without distractions.
Ask thoughtful, open-ended questions to clarify their unique needs and issues. Avoid interrupting or rushing them as they explain their situation.
Paraphrase back key points to demonstrate you truly understand. Then, provide personalised feedback and advice tailored specifically to them.
Going beyond a hard sales push and listening actively shows clients you genuinely care. This nurtures loyalty over the long term and motivates satisfied customers to refer you to friends and family. The extra effort to understand client concerns through attentive listening helps tradies build the trusted relationships that drive growth.
The Power of Storytelling and Case Studies
Storytelling is a compelling sales technique because it tugs at emotions and helps customers envision working with you. Share specific success stories of how you solved problems for past clients facing similar issues.
Vividly highlight your problem-solving skills through persuasive case studies. Introduce the client and outline their unique situation. Discuss the precise challenges they were facing.
Explain step-by-step the tailored solution you provided. Quantify the concrete, dramatic results you achieved. And include testimonials about their stellar experience working with you.
Data-driven stories and case studies build credibility by proving you can deliver results. By bringing dry facts to life through compelling storytelling, tradies can connect with potential customers and strengthen their reputation.
Leveraging Referrals and Word-of-Mouth
Happy customers who organically spread the word and refer others to your tradie business are powerful sales assets. Deliver such exceptional service that clients become enthusiastic advocates.
Ask satisfied long-term customers directly if they can provide referrals. Consider referral rewards programs that motivate sharing your business.
Stay top-of-mind by sending newsletters and updates to showcase your latest impressive work. And leverage social media to facilitate customers promoting you within their networks.
Referrals convert at much higher rates by tapping into trusted social connections. Satisfied tradie customers are often eager to recommend others use your services. Proactively cultivate this word-of-mouth marketing to maximise growth.
Growing Your Online Presence and Authority
A strong online presence directly impacts sales by enhancing discoverability and authority. Optimise your website with a modern, mobile-friendly design, sharply highlighting your services.
Be active on social media like Facebook and Instagram to showcase work and engage followers. Claim and fill out listings on Google My Business and other directories for local SEO. Gain positive online reviews on sites like Yelp and Angie’s List.
Contribute guest blog posts to industry websites to link back to your own site. And use targeted SEO keywords related to your services to improve search visibility.
An authoritative, findable online presence signals you are a leading, trustworthy expert in your field. This draws more potential customers to your tradie business. Your digital footprint should reinforce your premier reputation.
Level Up Your Influence and Persuasion Skills
Influence and persuasion are indispensable for tradie success. While technical skills are important, honing your ability to effectively communicate and sell your services is what sets thriving tradies apart.
If you feel your interpersonal and sales abilities need improvement, our customised sales training and business coaching programs can help. Join our 28-week sales training course to master persuasion and relationship-building skills tailored to your business. Or get 1-on-1 guidance on strategies to grow your client base through our expert business coaching.
Take your tradie business to the next level by developing the influence and persuasion abilities that attract more customers. Contact TradesFormation today at 0448 242 888 or email@example.com to learn more about our transformative sales and business coaching programs for tradies. Invest in yourself and unlock your full business potential with our expert guidance and support.