Updated: Nov 4, 2021
Why can some people masterfully influence others, while some seem invisible or out of touch?
Why are some people able to command a room while others struggle just to get anyone’s attention?
Why are some people able to create meaningful impact while others are stuck in the starting gate?
Is it a charisma thing?
Or an intelligence thing?
Or is it a willingness to be manipulative (ick!)?
No, no, and no.
So, what is it?
It’s all about the art of persuasion.
Yes, persuasion is an art, and the good news is that you can learn it. And if you know the art of persuasion, you can use it to grow your own influence and impact with remarkable speed and ease.
You can use persuasion to:
Win clients and customers
Get paid what you’re worth
Get a new job
Receive well-deserved vacation days
Enhance your relationships
And grow your impact and influence
Being a master of persuasion gives you a distinct competitive edge.
If all things are equal, being a clear, masterful, persuasive communicator allows you to stand out from the crowd.
It allows your message to be heard above all the other messages. It enables you to cut through the noise.
On the flip side, if you don’t understand how to persuade people, you’ll often find your requests being turned down. You’ll find yourself frustrated, unable to understand why you can’t get someone to do what you ask.
To be clear, persuasion is different than manipulation. Manipulation is using words and actions to overpower people to do things that they otherwise would want not do.
Persuasion is using words and actions to help people confidently take actions that are beneficial both for you and them.
Persuasion is about getting what you want and helping others to get what they want simultaneously.
Persuasion is all about win-win.
So, how can you be more persuasive?
Here are two ways, and an e-book filled with 14 more.
Focus on Them, Not You
Ultimately, persuasion is about them, not you.
In other words, in order to be persuasive, you absolutely must focus on the other person, not yourself.
Focus on their:
Persuasion is ultimately about tapping into the desires of other people – even when they may not have given those things much thought themselves before.
Persuasion is about enabling both you and them to achieve a desired outcome that helps them grow as a result.
Remember, we spend almost an enormous amount of our time thinking about ourselves and what we want. We spend hours obsessing over things like our health, love, and financial status.
If you want to be persuasive, it’s important to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. You have to first see things through their eyes. In a word – persuasion is about being of service first, and foremost.
What do they want most?
What are their deepest desires?
What do they fear, love, and dream about?
The more you can focus on the other person, the more captivated and easily persuaded they’ll be. You can’t just immediately start talking about what you want to accomplish.
Persuasion starts with the other person.
When trying to persuade someone, speak their language. Talk directly to their desires and speak clearly about their pain points. Use the words they use. The more you use words and phrases that resonate with them, the more persuasive you’ll be.
Know who you can help and how you can do that both inside and out. Clear communication is courageous enough to allow that not everyone is right for your persuasive outreach. Be fearlessly focused on who you help that can also help you and be able to communicate so clearly that anyone could understand what you’re saying.
There should be no doubt about what you’re trying to persuade others to take action on. And you should have no doubt the solution you are able to offer.
Here’s the reality…
If you can’t communicate your stance clearly, you simply won’t be able to persuade others of its benefit or excite them with the possibility you can generate.
If your argument is muddled, convoluted, or vague you’ll have trouble getting anyone to care what you are saying.
The clearer you are about the solution you can help create, the greater the odds of success in persuading them.
For example, let’s say you’re applying for a new job that you believe is a perfect fit for your skillset. If you are crystal clear about the value you bring them, and what the right position will provide for you in exchange, you will be able to share that effectively with the interviewer. Clarity builds confidence, and confidence is wildly compelling. When you are clear, there’s a much higher probability that you’ll get the job.
This implies that if you want to be persuasive, you need to prepare ahead of time.
It’s important to know:
What your real value is – which always exists in solution
What your non-negotiables are
How you help the department/organization/individual expand their influence and impact
How you’re going to appropriately respond to objections
The more prepared you are, the more you’ll be able to communicate in a clear, concise, and compelling manner.
On the other hand, if you fail to take time to prepare, you probably won’t be very persuasive.
If you would like to read more about the other 14 ways you can build your influence and impact through persuasion, download the free e-book. In it we explore:
Starting with small areas of agreement
Using the principle of generosity
Using appropriate patterns of speech
Embracing the gap
Being confident when you present your information
Painting a vivid picture of the benefits
Considering how your audience processes information
Acknowledging and overcoming objections
Matching the body language of the person you’re speaking with
Noticing what matters most to a person
Demonstrating your expertise wherever possible
Looking for yes in the land of no