Have you ever wondered why it’s so easy for another person to persuade others effortlessly, while it feels like an uphill task for you? Well, you’re not alone. Persuasion is something that you may encounter daily, whether it’s getting your toddler to dress up or a situation where you need your colleague to help you out.
While it may seem natural for some people to be persuasive, it’s a skill that you can harness too.
In this detailed guide, learn more about what persuasion is, why it’s an essential skill to develop, and some techniques to help you master this skill.
What is Persuasion?
Persuasion involves convincing someone to agree to a commitment or follow a course of action. Mastering the art of persuasion can help you influence others. What’s more, it makes you aware of techniques other people may use to change their behaviors and beliefs.
The skill involves the art of communication and language. It’s authentic, expressive, complex, and intellectually challenging to your character.
Persuasion is common to human endeavors, the reason you’ll find salespeople persuading you to buy a product/service, con artists convincing you to spend money on scams, and politicians persuading people to vote for them.
It’s challenging to find something getting done without some persuasion. Learning this skill is one way to get things done.
Types of Persuasion
Persuasion can be employed in either the push or the pull style.
Push style of persuasion involves relaying information to the other party and giving them time to understand your point of view. It’s an ideal style to use when the other person isn’t interested in the partnership or a scenario where the party is more powerful.
The pull style entails getting information about the other party, understanding their position, and coming up with a mutually beneficial agreement. That style works well when both parties are looking for a long-term relationship.
What Are Persuasive Skills?
These are skills that allow you to present your ideas in a way that convinces the other party to agree to your case thought. Having persuasive skills involves:
- Coming up with a well-researched and logical argument that uses data and facts to back up your position or ideas
- Listening to the other party and responding with responses that suggest your plan will meet their needs or concerns
- Articulating your concept or case in writing and speech
- Analyzing your audience and presenting your case in a convincing manner
- Accepting that your ideas may not always be the best while maintaining your cool without resorting to attacks or arguments
Examples of Persuasive Skills
Persuasive skills are essential in our everyday occurrences. Some excellent cases of where persuasive skills are common include:
Potential job seekers require persuasive skills as they need to explain why they qualify for the position they are looking for, and what sets them apart from other candidates.
Sales and Marketing
It takes effort to convince someone to buy a product or service. Successful salespeople need to hone their persuasive skills to convince potential customers to buy what they are selling.
Executive and managers need to persuade and motivate their employees at work. They need persuasive skills in meetings with clients, board meetings, and when they need to meet with partners as they present their ideas for the company.
Persuasive skills come in handy during campaign speeches and presidential debates. Political leaders need to convince the voters and give them reasons as to why they are the best candidates.
Whether you’re dealing with your kids or your spouse, you need persuasive skills to convince them to do something they may not be interested in. For example, you may need to persuade your children to make their beds and store away their toys for the room to look neat and organized. You may also need to convince your spouse to consider a particular investment by giving your reasons.
The Difference Between Persuasion and Negotiation
Although persuasion and negotiation may seem similar, they are different.
Persuasion involves causing someone to do something by giving reasons, asking, or arguing your point. The process consists of debating, urging, selling, influencing, explaining, challenging, and convincing.
However, negotiation means exploring needs, asking questions, evaluating someone’s motives, and other techniques to create an understanding on both sides.
It’s critical to note that persuasion and negotiation are not mutually exclusive, as you may find yourself in a situation where you need to use both skills. When negotiating, you’ll need to pay attention and be interested in the other person’s view, logic, and beliefs. Persuasion doesn’t require you to listen to the other’s perspective as all you need is to make them change their position and get them to do what you want.
What’s more, you may need to deploy the right persuasion strategies when negotiating. Learning both persuasion and negotiation skills is vital if you need to achieve a win-win outcome.
Importance of Persuasion Skills
Persuasion involves changing someone’s behaviors, beliefs, or attitudes towards an idea, person, object, or event. That is done by conveying some feelings, involving reasonings, and passing some information in a message.
Below is a look at why persuasion skills are essential in modern-day.
It’s the Ultimate Skill if You Need to Create Change
You can create change if you can communicate what you have to offer. Tony Robbins defines power as the ability to communicate and persuade. He goes on to assert that without the power to influence, you have nothing.
Persuasion Skills Help You Win Over Clients and Customers
If you’re a marketing professional, persuasion skills allow you to win over the hearts of your customers. What’s more, these customers will quickly refer and recommend your services to others.
Persuasions Help You to Counter Criticisms
Many people make the mistake of assuming that everything will go as expected without any objection during the persuasion. Nonetheless, this rarely happens. Expect to get criticized by the other party.
Persuasion Skills Help You to Build a Relationship
The goal of persuasion is to convince someone of your idea or opinion. You can use these skills to build relationships at home and in the workplace.
Being prepared in advance makes it easier for you to persuade and counter any criticism that may come along.
Being Effective When Helping Others
Persuasion is not always about you. You can use persuasive skills to help others. Unfortunately, most people approach this the wrong way. For example, when someone is talking to you about a problem they are having, you may be tempted to provide a solution when all they needed was for you to listen to them.
You need to be patient and know what persuasion principles to use to ensure that the other party takes your advice positively.
Persuasion Skills can Help You Grow Your Business
Being persuasive allows you to connect to your audience, understand their problems, and to look for a way to sell yourself to win them over. You need to be an effective salesperson to convince your audience to invest or support your business.
Factors to Consider in Persuasion
The art of persuasion is something everyone can master. Nevertheless, you need to be dedicated to learning this skill effectively. When trying to persuade someone to do something, here are some factors to consider.
Experts believe that some factors influence how easy it is to convince someone to do something.
Consider techniques and guidelines you need to follow when you’re trying to convince someone of something.
You may be overtaken by someone good at persuasion if you don’t like to be aggressive. Lack of aggression may make it simpler for the other person to sway or change your opinion. Also, you may find it a challenge to convince someone that what you’re saying is right if you are not aggressive.
One of the biggest challenges you may have to face when persuading someone is their self-esteem levels. You need to analyze factors like the confidence of tone, body posture, and commitment to your audience’s point of view to determine their self-esteem levels.
Research shows that people with low self-esteem are more accessible to convince than those with high self-esteem. That’s attributed to the fact that those with low self-esteem tend to value others’ opinions more than their own.
People that feel socially inadequate are easily persuaded as they place the burden of conversation on the person they are talking to. That aspect makes it simpler for you to convince them without any difficulties.
Tips on How to Build Your Persuasion Skills
Persuasion is a process, and it doesn’t happen automatically. It’s vital to understand that persuasion is not similar to manipulating a person. Persuasion is getting someone to do something mutually beneficial to both parties. However, manipulation is forcing someone to do something that is not in their interest to benefit you.
If you’re looking to develop and hone your persuasion skills, below are some tips that will help you.
Have the Right Introduction
Approaching a stranger and attempting to convince themselves can be challenging. You may not know the type of person you are dealing with as you don’t know their preferences, values, or what they may be opposed to. What’s more, they may not know or trust you.
In this case, you need to have the appropriate introduction. For example, you need to get an introduction from a mutual friend as this will create an environment for you to persuade the other party to adopt to your point of view.
Use the Right Timing and Context to Persuade
Timing and context are crucial when persuading others. A great example is during political campaigns where politicians focus their money and time on a particular set of voters who decide the elections.
Your task is to find and identify these people that can agree to your ideas at a given time. Focus all your attention and energy on them to create a win-win situation.
Understand and Over Deliver on Other’s Expectations
Persuasion is managing others expectations and convincing them to trust in your judgment. Take time to understand what the other party’s expectations are and over-deliver to be able to convince them.
Don’t Forget Subtlety
It’s critical to show the other person why your viewpoint is right in subtle ways. You can use storytelling, draw a comparison, and seek to understand where the other party is coming from. That will make it easy for them to believe you without much persuasion.
Everything has some value apart from the necessities of service. You’ll realize that some people want things because other people want the same things. Use this to your advantage by making the object scarce. Scarcity gives you an edge during persuasion.
Find Common Ground
Don’t rush the other person to agree to your point of view immediately. You need to frame your ideas in a manner that will attract the other party. The plan should highlight the benefits the other party will get by agreeing with your opinion.
People are more responsive once you connect to them on a personal level. Always use a common ground as a springboard.
Listening is Crucial
Active listening allows you to gather the information that you need when you’re trying to persuade the other party. An excellent example is where political candidates first ask about your views on a particular subject to know the best way to convince you to believe their policies.
What’s more, listening shows the other party that you respect and value their opinion, and that you’re willing to give them time. Excellent listening skills also makes it easier to build rapport, which in turn helps to build trust. The other person needs to feel that they can trust you and be friends for them to be persuaded.
Mirror and match the other person’s language patterns, body language, cadence, and more to make them comfortable around you. The process allows them to be open to your ideas.
Agreeing Without Interrupting
It’s normal to want to disagree when the other party’s view doesn’t match yours. However, when you’re cultivating the art of persuasion, you need to be agreeable even when you don’t agree. That shows them that you’re open-minded and that you respect them.
Organization is Key
Good persuaders understand the importance of being organized. They do their research, understand the audience, and are knowledgeable about the subject. You need to take time and organize your thoughts and know what you need to achieve. Avoid arguing your way out, but instead, focus on offering solutions that work.
Be Certain and Confident
Nothing is as compelling and attractive as being sure and confident when you’re presenting your ideas. You need to have an unbridled sense of certainty to persuade others. The other party needs to see that you believe in what you say and do for them to be convinced that it’s the right move for them.
Prepare for Conflict and Stay Calm
You need to understand that things may not always go your way when persuading someone to do what you want. Sometimes you’ll be in situations of heightened emotions. If you find yourself in such a case, it’s best to stay calm, unemotional, and to detach yourself.
People look to those who can control their emotions in conflict and trust them in moments to lead them. That gives you all the leverage, and you can easily persuade the other person without a lot of effort.
Make sure that you use anger purposefully if you find yourself in a heightened level of conflict and tension. Use this to your advantage, and don’t do it from an emotional place.
Clarity is Vital
No one has the time to listen to all your ideas. That’s why you need to be clear and explain your concepts as you would to a child. Simplifying your thoughts makes it easier to communicate and persuade others.
Learn How to Transfer Positive Energy
Have you ever noticed how some people drain us of our energy while others quickly infuse it? If you’re looking to be an effective persuade, you need to learn to transfer the right energy to others.
People need to feel invigorated and motivated when they talk to you. You can do this by inducing laughter, making eye contact, simple physical touch, or by being excited in your verbal responses. Sometimes it’s as easy as active listening.
Employ Behavioral Flexibility
Sometimes the person with the most flexibility has the most control. You may think that having the most power gives you a lot of control, but this is not always the case. A good example is when toddlers use different tactics and behaviors to get what they want.
They will cry, throw things around, pout, plead, or be charming to get you to agree to what they want. As a parent, despite being the one with the most power, you’re only stuck with a no or a yes.
You can be more persuasive by having an extensive repertoire of behaviors. Use different methods to get the other party to give you what you want.
One aspect that can make you more persuasive is to connect to your audience emotionally. You need to sense the emotional state of the other person before responding. Weigh in your options to determine whether you should intensify your emotions or suppress them.
Establish Credibility by Providing Evidence
Being credible is a function of your relationships and expertise. It’s what makes you believable to your audience. You can grow your credibility by listening to the other person, working in their best interest, and providing them with evidence.
When providing evidence, you don’t need to use spreadsheets and charts. You can use metaphors and stories to pass your point.
You may be reluctant to reach out to someone out of fear of seeming too aggressive. However, if you’re looking to win at persuasion, you need to learn the art of following up. Be careful to ensure that you time your follow up well. Make sure that you’re politely persistent without coming off as coercing or nagging.
Use Names to Your Advantage
Research shows that using names often prompts a person to respond on a subconscious level. If you’re approaching someone from a sales point, ensure that you ask their name and work it into the conversation without sounding too obvious.
That’s one ego-building technique that most persuasive salespeople use to their advantage.
Employ the Mirroring Technique
Body language is an essential part of communication. It’s one thing that influences how another person perceives you.
Mirroring is a body language technique that allows you to build rapport. You can do this by changing your posture, adjusting to their eye contact, and changing your tone and volume to match that of another person. That gives the impression that you’re operating from the same place.
Use Your Strengths to Your Advantage
Are you a risk-taker, empathetic, or assertive? Good news. You can use these traits to become more persuasive. While you may think that quashing these features makes you a better communicator, sometimes, it’s not the case. Use your abilities and learn how to apply them to get what you want.
Be Adaptable to Others Personalities
You need to be adaptable if you’re trying to persuade another person. Understand their type of personality and assess how this could affect the way they perceive your ideas or opinions.
For example, in sales, if you’re dealing with a socially driven person, you want to forge an emotional connection with them to be persuasive. However, if you’re dealing with an analytical person, you need to change your approach by approaching the pitch with statistical data and numbers.
Create a Sense of Urgency
The best way to get people to act right away is to instill a sense of urgency. You need to motivate the other person enough to make them want what you’re providing immediately. The right moment to act is in the present and not in the future.
Tell the Truth
Another fantastic way to become more persuasive is to be able to tell the other person.things that nobody else is willing to say. Some people can tell when you’re lying from a mile away. You can be more persuasive by facing the hard truths without any agenda or judgment. The other party’s responses may shock you.
Capture the Audience’s Attention
It’s challenging persuading somebody who is not interested in what you have to say. That’s because we tend to focus more on ourselves, and we may be thinking about work, health, love, or money.
The art of persuasion means learning how to talk to people about themselves consistently to get them to agree to your point of view. It’s one of the best ways to capture their attention.
Barriers to Successful Persuasion
Some of the obstacles to successful persuasion include:
Thinking You are Better Than the Rest
Most people fail at persuasion as they consider themselves better at persuasion than they are, which is a problem. You can avoid this by evaluating yourself and seeing where you need to improve your skills.
Trying so Hard
Nothing puts people off by seeming too keen to get them to do things. You need to go easy when persuading others to get what you want to be done.
Failing to Put any Effort
Remember that nothing is free in this world. You need to put in the effort if you need to get things done.
Talking Too Much
Failure to listen to the other person might make you miss out on some crucial information. Also, when you’re talking too much, the other party may find you desperate. Ensure that you stop and listen to what the other person is saying as you could use this information to persuade.
Moreover, providing too much information may leave the other party confused, something that may make you come off as a liar. Engaging is vital if you need to persuade, pay attention to the whole conversation.
Being Afraid of Rejection
We are all scared of rejection, but no one ever got anything from not asking. Don’t let the fear of rejection stop you from persuading.
Many people fail at persuasion as they assume the other person will automatically agree to their demands. That’s a wrong move. Assess and reassess your situation and think of every possibility that could happen during the persuasion process.
Not Preparing in Advance
People can spot a desperate person at a distance. You need to realize that you can’t wing it every time you need something done. The person you’re trying to persuade will see through you and think that you are wasting their time. Ensure that you have everything figured out before approaching anyone.
Persuasion is a process that requires you to think and evaluate your position before building an argument. We hope that the tips above will help you develop better persuasion skills.
Remember that persuasion is all about leveraging networks, motivating others, creating visibility, and building and maintaining trustworthiness.