Persuade ‘em with PAJES

By Heather Baldwin

If your powers of persuasion in presentations need a little work, try Kevin Daley’s five-step PAJES plan. Daley, CEO and founder of Communispond in New York, says salespeople who use at least three of these five persuasion tools have the best chance of closing the sale.

P: Personal experience. To really grab your audience’s attention and illustrate the benefits of your product or service, work in a true-life experience that supports what you’re selling. Say you’re selling seat belts, says Daley. You might say, “Let me tell you why I’m so passionate about X Brand seat belts. Last year, I was traveling on the New Jersey turnpike when one of my tires blew out, my car careened across the median and was struck by oncoming traffic. I was later told the only reason I lived was because of these seat belts.”

A: Analogy. Analogies let you connect intangible points to everyday images. Your audience may not remember the details of all your product benefits, but they’ll remember your analogy, if it’s a good one. Daley recalls approaching his top salesperson about a nonselling project he wanted her to do. In arguing why she should not be on the project, she said, “Kevin, you’re taking your best racehorse and putting a 300-pound jockey on its back.” She was removed from the project.

J: Judgment of experts. Use quotes and comments from respected businesspeople to support your points. If you’re selling training programs and Microsoft CEO Bill Gates mentions his most important investment the previous year was in training his people, stick that quote onto your slides. It lends credibility and weight to your message.

E: Examples. Sprinkle into your presentation examples of other companies in your audience’s line of business who have used your product with outstanding results. During his pitches, Daley often mentions a company which hired Communispond to provide training for its sales team. Within five years, the company grew from $5 million in revenues to $35 million. Examples like this one help the audience envision their own success with your product.

S: Statistics and facts. Statistics about your product’s benefits, growth, durability, etc., are critical and must always be included in any presentation, says Daley, but they must be accompanied by at least two other persuasive techniques. Why? “Statistics don’t persuade people,” Daley says. “Emotion, examples and analogies persuade people.” Combining those elements with some hard-hitting statistics, however, is a surefire route to success.