So you have something to sell. It could be your business idea, your product or even yourself. In this post, I want to teach you how to sell anything to anyone using SCIENCE!

1. Start with a Bang

Always start with a bang. One study tried to figure out how to increase room service tips for waiters in hotels. They found there was a super easy thing waiters could to increase their tips. All they had to do was start with a positive comment. When hotel guests opened their door, waiters said “good morning” and gave a positive weather forecast for the day. Just that one positive comment increased their tips by 27%!

How does this help you? Never start a sales meeting or pitch by talking about bad weather, traffic or being busy. Always begin with a positive comment or anecdote. Great weather, fun weekend plans or a favorite sports team winning a game. That gets you off onto the right foot.

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2. Don’t Self-Sabotage

The biggest self-sabotage mistake is to speak ill of a competitor. Research has found something called Spontaneous Trait Transference. They found that whenever you say bad things about someone else people can’t help but put those same traits on you. The brain can’t help but associate your gossip with you, even if logically we know you are talking about another person. If you say your competitor is low-quality and unreliable, your potential client can’t help but associate those traits with you. No matter what, when it comes to gossip, always say “no comment”.

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3. Use Awesome Labels

When you assign someone a positive label, like having high intelligence or being a good person, that actually cues them up to live up to that label. In one study about fundraising, the researchers told average donors that they were in fact among the highest donors. Can you guess what happened? Those donors then did in fact donate above average. We live up to our positive labels. When you are with a client or potential customer give them genuinely good labels—I never want you to be fake or manipulative. So be sure to stick to positive truths. You can say, “You are one of our best customers” or “You’re such a pleasure to do business with”. In that way, they will actually want to be one of your best customers and try even harder to be a pleasure to do business with.

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4. Use Your Body

Study after study shows that you have to use nonverbal communication to be an effective salesperson. In one study, Sales people who used power body language increased their sales numbers by 56% after only one training.

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5. End High

Lastly, end on a high note. Ok, let me explain a really gross, but fascinating study involving one of my least favorite topics: colonoscopies…I’ve only ever heard one thing about colonoscopies. They are super unpleasant. And doctors know that they have a bad rap. They wanted to do research to find a way to give colonoscopies a better reputation. A little background: a colonoscopy is only a few minutes long, but they are pretty uncomfortable. They found that if they added one minute at the end of the procedure that was pain-free, people remembered the whole experience as more pleasant. In other words, even if it takes a bit longer, ending on a better note makes someone recall the entire experience better. Before someone leaves your pitch, end on a high note. Gift a final perk, offer them a mint, pay them a compliment. It will make the entire time with you even better.

About Vanessa Van Edwards

Vanessa Van Edwards is a national best selling author & founder at Science of People. Her groundbreaking book, Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People has been translated into more than 16 languages. As a recovering awkward person, Vanessa helps millions find their inner charisma. She regularly leads innovative corporate workshops and helps thousands of individual professionals in her online program People School. Vanessa works with entrepreneurs, growing businesses, and trillion dollar companies; and has been featured on CNN, BBC, CBS, Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur Magazine, USA Today, the Today Show and many more.

7 replies on “5 Killer Sales Techniques Backed By Science”

  1. Dan

    If I didn’t already buy your sales body language course in the past, I would definitely do so after reading this article and, more importantly, watching the video! Your “high school dance” made my day!

  2. Nikki Thornton

    I have found this to be true in my situation! I do not have to sell but being a student, I find speaking positively to the other students and the lecturers creates a positive image of myself and in return I receive mutual respect!

  3. Lauren Freeman

    As a waitress myself, I can definitely use these to sell myself as the best server so customers will want to sit with me in my section, and increase my tips! These are totally applicable in all situations though, I find myself thinking of how to use them in a job interview to sell myself to the company and employers I meet with!

  4. Bella Perennis

    Do you have more tips on how to use awesome labels? It’s so difficult for me to give tiny compliments. If I really like something I blurt it out, but small things rarely pass my lips, even though I’d like to say them.

  5. Andrew

    This was great information! People have to make sales every day from proving themselves to future employers to getting your friend to pick something up for you at the store. Thank you Vanessa!

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