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Tried-And-Tested Measures to Master the Art of Persuasion

Business Communication 23rd December 2016 Swapnil Kamat

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All through our lives, we keep coming across situations where we have to deal with people and persuade them. Persuasion is a process that aims to influence and change another’s attitude towards an idea, object or event, so as to be mutually beneficial to both parties. People, often times, attach a negative connotation to it and think of it as manipulation. But there is a difference between the two. Manipulation involves compelling another to do things that are beneficial only to you. Persuasion, on the other hand, is an art that involves thought and strategy. When done correctly, it has the power to bring people together and take ideas forward into action. There are certain aspects to persuasion which must be kept in mind to ensure your efforts are successful. For now, thoroughly read through tricks to master the art of persuasion.

Consistency

The art of persuasion works very well when you can engage people with a small commitment first and then eventually bring up a larger idea for them to commit to. Most people like to display behavior that is consistent, which is of great help when it comes to persuading your clients. Many case studies have proven that when you elicit a voluntary, public commitment from your client at first, you will end up with a longer, active commitment thereafter. For instance, ask a client to sign up for a month for a service you provides. When you approach them a month later, they will be more likely to take up a yearly subscription to your service. This is because once they have made use of your services and are pleased with it, it is ideal for them to continue their association with you.

Related: Relationship Building at Work When your Colleague becomes your Boss

Reciprocity

This is one of the best keys to persuasion. When you give to or do something for another person, they feel obliged to return the favour. Reciprocity helps create goodwill and can improve the relationship between you and other person you want to persuade. Small gestures of consideration to your prospective clients will always be remembered and the client at some point will be obliged to help you when you need them. For example, if you are in the hospitality industry and you offer your client a discount in hotel tariffs during peak business season, the client will remember your gesture and feel obliged to come to you with business, thereby helping you meet revenue targets in off-season.

Related: How to Exercise Power and Influence in an Organization

Create scarcity and urgency

It is human tendency to want things that you cannot have. This applies to busipness as well. Create a sense of scarcity and urgency around the products or services you offer; you will automatically see an increase in the number of clients coming to you. Everything has value on a relative scale. Explain the benefits of your product/service to your clients and highlight what is unique about what you have on offer and what they stand to lose if they do not take action immediately. Creating a sense of urgency in the client’s mind is a very effective way of persuasion.

Related: Best Practices to Manage a Sales Team

Likeability

Everybody likes to engage in business with people they like. Make yourself likeable to your clients. Build rapport with them, find out their likes and dislikes and showcase similarities that you may have with them. People take a liking to someone they can relate to and who are similar to them. They are also more likely to trust someone just like them. If you can meet the likeability and trust factor in a prospective client, it will become very easy for you to persuade them to work with you.

Expertise

One of the most effective ways to persuade someone is to display and highlight your expertise. If a client sees that you are a known authority in your domain, they are more likely to engage in business with you. People like to follow credible and knowledgeable experts. Showcasing your professional credentials acts as a testimonial to attract clients and helps you persuade them with minimum effort.

Related: 5 Ways to Improve Employee Productivity

As you would have guessed and in order to master the art of persuasion requires dedicated commitment and confidence on your part. If you are confident and certain in your stance, you will always be able to persuade others to do what’s right for them, while getting what you want in return.


A version of this article appeared in Financial Express.

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