Do you have the skill of persuasion? Do people naturally follow your lead? Are you able to get your point across in a sincere, convincing way? Not everyone is born with this expertise. Fortunately, though, these skills can be cultivated. It takes intention, focus, and willingness to learn new habits. Read on for several tips for becoming more persuasive.
1. Focus on Value
The value of what you offer might be monetary, but it may also bring intangible benefits. Either way, you must have a strong value proposition. Your value proposition, or positioning statement, is a brief (around 30-second) description of what you do and why your service or product is valuable. It should answer several key questions:
- What your expertise, service, or product means for the person you’re speaking to
- What makes you different from the alternatives
- The problems you solve
- Why someone should work with you over others they’re considering
As you’re identifying the answers to these questions, it’s helpful to seek out resources to help direct you. Try doing a search using terms such as persuasive skill to lead you to specific strategies.
2. Spark Curiosity
You’ll likely get general questions when talking to prospective clients. Don’t give them general answers. Rather, have a compelling, succinct sentence that sums up your service and sparks curiosity. This opens the door to the value proposition. Then, you can zero in on the specific problem you can solve for this person.
3. Be Assertive
Face your fears head-on, and learn to be assertive. It’s a challenge to ask for what you want. Dedicate time to practicing phrases, sentences, postures, and facial expressions that help you communicate requests in an integrated, sincere way. Aim for clarity. Refrain from qualifiers, delays, stalling, and obscurity.
4. Stake Your Claim
Chances are, you’ll work with challenging personalities along the way. Granted, it’s a source of stress. There are ways to claim your power in these circumstances. If someone is overbearing, use this to your advantage. Think of how power is managed in martial arts. You can maintain your steadiness and character while remaining self-assured. Also, put everything in writing. Make sure there’s a paper trail.
5. Be Emotionally Articulate
This skill is necessary for work settings as well as your personal life. Keep it simple. Use the three-step strategy of “when-feel-need” when issues come up. Maintain compassionate detachment as you communicate. An example might be: “When you leave your food in the refrigerator over break, I feel frustrated. Let’s set up a routine to keep that area clean.”
6. Uplift Your Customer
Do this in a genuine way. It simply means focusing on the positive things that people do and are. Everyone has those qualities! Human beings have intrinsic value and worth, and you’re uniquely positioned to call out these qualities in your business relationships.
7. Prepare for Action
A major part of persuasion is making it as easy as possible for someone to take an action. This might involve aligning with your perspective, buying a product/service, or becoming a client. During your interaction with a prospective client or partner, have this action at the front of your mind. What can you do to make it easy and enjoyable for this person to take the action? Set up the environment. It might mean a contract with a pen on the table, a well-designed click funnel, or something else entirely.
8. Avoid Paralysis
Authentic persuasion requires the tendency toward paralysis caused by too many choices. This paralysis is one of the biggest roadblocks to successful persuasion. The more choices you make available, the more overwhelmed others become. This applies to you, too. Practice going about your day and doing business with pared-down choices. Refrain from excessive analysis. You’ll move more decisively.
Becoming more persuasive requires holistic self-development and a willingness to step out of your comfort zone. Consider these tips as your sharpen your skills.