Software Sales Tips by Matt Wolach

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Ways To Influence Buyers Positively – with Duncan Stevens


In this episode of SaaS-Story in the Making, host Matt Wolach sits with the Mentalist, author, and founder Duncan Stevens. They talked about the power of influence and persuasion, its magic, and the ways to boost your business. Stevens shared tactics and magic tricks that proved the power of mentalism, how to communicate with prospects and maintain an advisory role.   


Podcast: SaaS-Story in the Making

Episode: Episode No. 204, “Ways to Influence Buyers Positively”

Host: Matt Wolach, a B2B SaaS sales coach, Entrepreneur, and Investor

Guest: Duncan Stevens, Founder, and CEO of Influence Association


Have a Mindset Shift  

Influence and persuasion are potent combinations often noted as bad. Most people don’t like the thought of being susceptible. This is noticeable in sales. Prospects don’t want to appear to be easily persuaded because of the thought that they might be manipulated. Influence and persuasion are effective drivers to help make better decisions. 

To understand how to use influence correctly, start with a mindset shift. Abandon the thought that it is terrible. Because the only moment it would turn that way is when you intended it to. The right way to make a good influence on your prospects or any other person is to set your intentions straight. Use it positively to help your prospects get to where they want to be.  

Be Authentic and Help from the Heart          

Steven said, “tactics, as a word, when linked with influence can be used as manipulative.” As much as it is fascinating to see how tactics are so effective, they should be used responsibly. Founders and salespeople should be persuasive when talking to prospects. But doing too much can damage your credibility. As Steven emphasized, “the important thing to remember if using any principle of persuasion is to remain authentic.” 

The key to getting it right is helping your prospects from the heart. Steven gave an example of being in a challenging situation. When you’re trying to build a connection with a prospect, be authentic about it. Don’t do something and expect a return– if you intend to help them, do it from the heart. And from there, you can build a solid collaboration. Eventually, it will all come down to reciprocity. “Use influence however you want. But in your mind, make sure it’s with that help.”

Remember the Big Five O.C.E.A.N. Model          

Steven shared one of the tests they conducted in the Influence Association is knowing what motivates their prospects to stay at work longer. And they learned about how prospects have different responses to influence. Therefore, for leaders, he suggested using the Big 5 OCEAN model. 

The O.C.E.A.N. Model comprises five personality factors: Openness, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Extraversion, and Neuroticism. It is known to represent categories of human behavior to differentiate human personalities better and understand their decision-making process. Be wary of its possible effects on prospects whenever you are using influence. You’re not sure how the value you are sharing will affect them. The only thing you can control is your intention in sharing that value. And this is where staying authentic is essential. As much as your intentions are aligned to helping and giving value, you can be one step away from its possible negative impact.


Effective Influence

Influence and persuasion go a long way. It allows you to be in an advisory role as you give value and guide your prospects to get where they want to be. You are sharing a set of values that will help them achieve what they want. There are a lot of psychology-based tactics that you can employ, whether in your day-to-day life or as part of the sales process. But knowing what and how to utilize them can help you leverage its potential correctly. 

There are many principles of persuasion, but one of Steven’s examples is the influence of people in authority. It is described as having someone in authority– a professional in a place that can lead people. Prospects are susceptible to having an expert in the area to give them value and lead the way. Humans are wired to believe a person is in charge, along with mentalism. Such as, you can walk around anywhere with a clipboard, and everyone will think you are in charge of any place. It is one of the most common manifestations of influence found effective. 

Influence and persuasion are among the most powerful ways to scale your business with the right attitude, good intentions, and the proper delivery. It can help your prospects in the best way possible while contributing to your growth and credibility. 


Duncan Stevens

[11:41] “Would I be affected by influence? Would I be affected by as an example authority, and I think we all are, to some extent, but it also highlights some of the potential strategies to be aware of.”

[16:17] “One of the most predictable things about people is the fact they believe they’re unpredictable. And by default makes them more predictable.”

[20:45] “Tactics, as a word, when linked with influence can be used as manipulative. And if it ends up becoming manipulative, if I can say that ends up becoming, you lose any credibility. And if you lose credibility, you can’t do business with that person that you’ve tried to establish credibility with, for sure.”

[25:54] “Use influence however you want. But in your mind, make sure it’s with that help.”

Matt Wolach

[24:20] “Influence can be helping people understand how they can start to make the right decisions.”

[26:27] “When we’re coaching and helping people, you’ve got to make sure you’re focused on them and how they are going to achieve success, how they will be helped and get better, more than what’s in it for you.”


To learn more about Duncan Stevens and Influence Association, visit  

You can also find Duncan Stevens on LinkedIn at:  

For more about how host Matt Wolach helps software companies achieve maximum growth, visit