Last week, I wrote a post about indecisive clients and some actions you can take to move a project along. Stalled projects are one example of a situation where it can pay to be persuasive, especially if the client is leaning in your direction and just needs some assurance that they’re making a good decision.
Having the ability to persuade others to action is a powerful skill and one that will serve you beyond those moments when you’re in the trenches with a client, urging them to make a decision on a project to keep the process moving.
Persuasion plays a significant role in marketing, from the perspective of your marketing copy to each individual marketing activity you carry out. And it’s one of the key factors that can make your efforts to sell your services to potential clients successful. Not to mention it can be invaluable in any other collaborative business relationships you have.
If your marketing activities aren’t successfully moving your audience to the desired actions, you find it difficult to move prospects to a decision, or you’re unable to get buy-in for your ideas, your power of persuasion may need some help.
Fine-Tuning Your Persuasive Techniques
Persuasion isn’t just about being able to convince someone to do something, although that is certainly a crucial element of persuasion in its simplest form. Successful persuasion should also focus on helping others see and understand the benefits they will acquire if they make a certain decision. And there are several things you can do to improve your ability to communicate this fundamental value to your audience.
Identify a Specific End Goal
It’s not enough to want the other person to choose something in your favor. In order to target your persuasive techniques effectively, you need to specifically outline what you want the other party to do, how they should do it, and when you want them to do it. Each of these factors should be a focal point in all of your persuasive communication so they are clear to your target audience as well as yourself.
Convince Yourself First
If you aren’t on board 100% with whatever you’re trying to sell, influence or convince the other party to do, your power of persuasion is already lacking. Having a thorough understanding of the benefits your audience will obtain by making a certain decision, AND believing that this decision will result in the best possible outcome for them, is vital. Having confidence in the process and your ability to relay this value is equally important.
Play Devil’s Advocate
Once you are convinced that your service, product, idea, etc. is the best possible solution, it’s time to pick it apart. Think about all of the potential questions your target audience will have, what challenges they might face in reaching a decision, and areas of your solution they might consider lacking. Then take time to prepare answers, solve problems and build up any deficient areas so you’re completely prepared to address and resolve any issues that may slow down the decision process.
If you’re able to perfect your ability to persuade, and use it at the right time, you may find that it results in an easier sell, new opportunities and increased satisfaction.
Are you persuasive when you need to be? What makes you most successful at it?
Image credit: Gavin Mills