Five Steps of Persuasion

Persuasion is a good thing…in fact, it’s a great thing! However, that’s true only provided that you are persuading the right person or organization to accept an idea that will forward their business agenda along with yours. If you are doing it just so you can be right, then you are using this power the wrong way and, it’s unlikely to work. 

Five Ways to Persuade and Not Be Selfish

I’m often asked: How do I persuade someone without being selfish or transparent?Here’s how:

1.    Listen/Probe: illustrate your concern by asking them a series of questions that bring out their personal agenda; understand what’s important and what challenges can derail their desires. When you set the right climate for someone to vent their desires, the chemistry shifts between you.

A month ago I met a CEO who at first seems quite skeptical of the coaching I provide, he asked me to present what I do. I countered him with this: 

“Thanks, I’ve been looking forward to our meeting today. Before I present the type of coaching I provide, though, I wanted to understand your current situation that will help me tailor my comments for you, is that okay?”

With that he said at a strong level, “We’re losing business too often!” I automatically asked how long he’d seen this pattern and that turned into a thirty minute inquiry…then I began to discuss what I offer.

2.    Playback their Desire: do this to illustrate you heard them and gain their agreement on these desires.

This action says “You’re important to me,” and it also affirms the relationship. Many times when you playback a client’s challenge they will add to the list of issues they face. The value of this is you discover even more reasons for presenting your solution.

3. Present the Barrier: to their desire, meaning what’s in the way of them achieving their ideal situation. This action drives the urgency of your solution.  

4. Present the Solution: put forth your idea/product/service that will achieve their desire. Be brief. Go into the explanation of your solution once you’ve presented the value of it.

5. List the Value Points: to your solution. Make sure the value points you present are prioritized to your client’s main objective so that your best solutions are at the top of the list, making it easier for them to choose what you believe will satisfy their desires. 

Use these tips the next time you are in a position to persuade and, let me know how it works for you.