Persuasion and Manipulation in Sales

Both persuasion and manipulation are methods of convincing people to do something, react favorably to your ideas or change their thinking to match yours. They are based on some principles of human action and interaction. Though the two are similar to some extent, they follow different styles and their results are usually different.

Salesperson’s job is to persuade people, however careless adoption of persuasion techniques may lead to the concept of manipulation. Salespeople should understand the two concepts and try to avoid using manipulation to make sales. Here are some of the differences between them.

Persuasion is ethical while manipulation is not.

Persuasion is about influencing people about something they need. On the other hand, manipulation is about convincing people about something you want. A well executed persuasion will build loyalty and trust from your customers resulting in repeat purchases. Though manipulation can build trust and loyalty as well, it will only be short-termed and will be followed by permanent detachment. Forceful persuasion is manipulation and you should avoid it.

The aim of manipulation is to control. Using manipulation will result in win and loss situations. Sometimes you will make sales and other times your targets will outsmart you and fail to make any purchases. In contrast to manipulation, persuasion aims at boosting the self esteem of the target customers. It involves treating them well and showing them respect. This will result in the target customers reacting positively to your offers.

When trying to make a sale you should ask questions to understand your customer’s situation. You need to be open and present the facts of your products in a positive light and show how they will benefit the users. This is what persuasion is all about. Manipulation on the other hand involves playing with emotions of other parties and leaving out useful information. Manipulators normally imply and make up nonexistent facts.

Manipulation is self centered. A manipulator only does what he feels is beneficial to himself and doesn’t care if someone gets hurt in the process. This is a bad business practice which will end up losing all your customers.

Persuasion aims to serve. A persuader knows the importance of his customers and aims at taking their interests at heart. A persuader builds strong and long-lasting relationships with his customers.

While both manipulators and persuaders understand the importance of motivation in influencing decision making, manipulators use this knowledge to their advantage while persuaders use it to the advantage of their customers.

An understanding of these concepts is very important to every salesperson. Effective persuasion techniques will result in favorable responses from your targets. However, though manipulation will help you make some sales, it is usually damaging in the long-run and you should avoid it at all costs. An understanding of persuasion techniques will not only increase your sales, but it will also help grow strong bonds with your customers, thus, winning their trust and loyalty.

About Alen Mayer

Alen Mayer lives, eats and breaths sales and combines over 20 years of experience in international sales and business development with the persuasion, psychology and magic of NLP; by attending his training you’re sure to enjoy your time receiving the most advanced sales knowledge available! He is one of the Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2012, published author of 4 sales titles, Certified NLP Trainer, Autogenic Training Master Practitioner, and Certified Sales Professional. Learn more tips by signing up for his weekly sales tips at Visit: for information on how to use NLP to grow your sales and how to sell to introverts.

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