How Higher Authority Influences Buyers

It’s Valentine’s Day! And I love salespeople


Is it weird if I say, “You complete me”, “You had me at hello”, “I’m just a trainer standing in front of a salesperson, asking you to love me”.


Yeah okay that last one was a little weird, sorry…


In this email I want to share with you an idea that is S5 Classified (super sexy stupidly simple solution).


The following are 6 Sexy Simple ways to IMMEDIATELY MAXIMIZE the value of you (the salesperson) in the sales process allowing you to have increased confidence so you can ask for all the money and justify getting it.


This idea is found in the Sellchology University under the Category – “Psychology of Sales”, Course 001 – “Why are they buying”, Chapter 2 “Higher Authority”.


The principle of Higher Authority is based on the idea of positioning yourself as an expert in the mind of the customer. This is effective because most of society is conditioned to follow the advice, rules, and direction given to them by someone they perceive has unique knowledge, expertise, or power to get things done.


Higher Authority is achieved through 6 methods:

·        Title

·        Dress

·        Words / Tonality

·        Assigned

·        Assumed

·        Experience


Let’s look at each of these and discover how selling through psychology (youtube video) can influence your customers and MAXIMIZE gross through MAXIMIZED credibility.


Who’s the boss around here?

Title – Most salespeople go by the title “salesperson”, “sales consultant”, or “sales advisor”. Each of these “titles” are progressively more authoritative than the preceding. A consultant knows more than a sales person, and an advisor, presumably more than a consultant.


Consider the following titles: Master Certified, Product Specialist, Sales and Customer Service Manager, Executive Sales Advisor, and so on. I’d rather be known as or introduced as one of these rather than “Salesperson”. 



When I sold cars full-time I changed my title to “Sales and Customer Service” and I told my customers that, “unlike normal salespeople I answered directly to the owner and my responsibilities went far beyond ‘just selling a car’ so they were in great hands.


So what do you go by? Are you using a title that increases your perceived authority?


Why judging a book by its cover could make you rich!

Dress – Uniforms, badges, name tags, and decals all create a more formal impression on your customer. Consider the dress code at your dealership and more specifically of yourself. If a customer lined up the sales team all up against a wall and “judged the books by their cover” could they determine who looks like they have authority to get the job done and who doesn’t?


The style of dress, whether you have name tags, and have authoritative titles (mentioned above) all increase or decrease the sub-conscience influence you will have with your customer. The power of Higher Authority is why a Janitor in a building can make you wait outside the restroom when you have to go REALLY bad. It’s just a janitor, but you will wait until they say it’s okay to go tinkle. Or in an extreme case, why did so many people on 911 stay in a burning building that was just hit by a plane – officers on the ground floor told them to go back up to their office.



Higher Authority is powerful because from the time we are 2 years old we are told to listen to people in charge; baby sitters, teachers, adults, police, etc.



I’m sorry, you said what?

Words / Tonality – The words we use and the tone we use with them determine whether we are perceived to have Higher Authority in an area. Consider that in a discussion the louder person (tonally) is perceived to have greater conviction in the conversation. Soft tones can convey empathy, or sympathy, but firm direct tones convey conviction, and command compliance. Salespeople need to learn when to switch from empathy to conviction.


Also, the words we use either increase or diminish our influence when it comes to Higher Authority. Phrases like, “I have to go check”, “That’s not my job”, “I’m new”, “I don’t handle that”, or “I don’t know” have to be replaced with phrases that increase perceived authority. Stating (with a firm confident tone) “I can do that”, “That’s my area of expertise”, “I know exactly what to do here”, or “I’m responsible to do that for you” can immediately impact and influence your next customer.



With 12 years’ experience you are going to be in great hands.

Assigned – Higher Authority can be passed on from one person to the other assuming the first person has credibility of their own. Rank the front of the store in order of perceived authority (lowest to highest) from the receptionist to the Dealer. It would probably go like this: Receptionist, sales person, finance, sales manager, GSM, GM, dealer. Now practice transferring authority from one person to the next. What could the receptionist say about the salesperson or department she is about to transfer the customer to?


Example: Receptionist answers, “Thank you for call ABC Motors, how may I direct your call?” The customer responds, “I’d like to speak to someone in Sales please.”



Here’s elevation #1, “My pleasure, my name is Anita and I’ve been with this company for 7 years.”



And now elevations #2, #3, #4, #5, and #6, “Our sales team is ranked number one out of 75 dealerships for customer satisfaction in a 5 state region, you are going to be in great hands. I’ll transfer you now.”



That’s how an additional 10 seconds can create 6 elevations of your team’s perceived authority. This is free and will MAXIMIZE gross and help your people get the E3effect (extreme effectiveness and efficiency).



What do you mean, “You don’t know.”?

Assumed – Some people just assume that a person in a specialized field would or at least should know more, and have power to get things done. This “assumed authority” is not always the case and can cause some sever frustration when the “I’ll have to go check” starts to come out of a salesperson’s mouth.


Since assumption of expertise, knowledge and power are sometimes just given to us by our customers it’s critically important that we do nothing to diminish it. “Act as if” is a mantra I teach salespeople to live by. Act as if your customer was going to buy today. Act as if they believed you were an expert. Act as if you had the authority to make the deal.



Now this is not the same as saying I want you to lie, make up answers, or say you are related to the owner if you are not. It’s just a state of confidence. Many customers don’t know how ignorant and incompetent you are until you open up your mouth and tell them!



My experience tells me…

Experience – One of the other ways in which Higher Authority is gained or maintained is through experience in an area or with a circumstance. For obvious reasons, we don’t want it announced over the intercom by the excited young pilot,


“Hey everyone, this is my first time flying a plane with people in it. I hope it goes well!”


The same is true for you. That’s why as a sales team you need to learn how to get more consistent, which produces more consistent results, and that produces more consistent sales teams. Less turn-over is not only mathematically important to the bottom-line, it’s essential to the health and wealth of the managers and it’s key to influencing the public because people trust people with experience.



When I sold full-time at my store I (like every new person) was told to tell people that “I’m new”. That’s horrible advice with a customer who is influenced by Higher Authority. What I discovered was that people trust people who have a track record. So instead of simply saying “I’m new” I began telling my customers about my previous experience helping people, solving problems, and getting the job done. I then transferred that previous experience to my new job. That’s called borrowing (assigning) authority.



Do you understand and use the powerful principle of Higher Authority to your advantage?



For over a decade I’ve been sharing ideas like this at NADA conferences, NCM 20 groups, or Dealer State Associations, and working with salespeople like you across this great country. The Sellchology Selling System is the most advanced method of teaching simple timeless truths that transform behavior!


Combine these principles with your personality and you will get a powerful result!



Thanks for allowing me to share,

Jonathan Dawson

“Saving the world one salesperson at a time.”


(612) 387-7776


  1. Andrew Melamed on September 30, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Jon gives some great advice here on how to use posture to your advantage whether you are brand new or 20 years in the business.

    If you aren’t growing your dying. The insights from this blog I feel are no substitute for hard work and trial and error however it drastically will improve your early success if you make the effort to implement it.

    I wonder the last time Jon didn’t win someones business?

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