What it Takes to be Persuasive

Even if your job is not to sell, there will come a time when you will have to persuade someone. Persuasion happens not only between salespeople and their potential customers. As a manager, for instance, you may need to persuade your subordinates to perform at a higher level. And if you think you have a brilliant project in mind, you should learn how to persuade your boss to take on it. Needless to say, the ability to persuade somebody is a desirable one, and something that you can actually learn and develop. What you will learn in this article are the things you should do to become persuasive.

1. Have a purpose

Persuasive people are aware of the power they have, and they use it wisely and sparingly. One thing you have to understand is that many of the conversations you are going to make will not require that you try to convince someone to accept something or do something. Remember also that aggressively pushing people into something will draw them away from you instead. A person who seldom argues and asks is actually more likely to get consideration when he advocates some ideas. In short, if you want to be persuasive, you should know when to and when not to ask and argue.

2. Be a great listener

Always pushing your argument without listening to what others have to say will definitely get you nowhere. Your ability to express your purpose in an articulate and convincing manner is just half of what it takes to be persuasive. More importantly, you need to be an active listener. You have to listen to get a better idea of what your approach should be to convince them. Secondly, listening intently will make you realize which parts of their argument you can attack to be really convincing. It is also through listening that you can see where you both agree so you may capitalize on such points. If you already know what you should say, you will naturally focus more on trying to know what others are saying. There is no point in persuading if you don’t have any idea what argument others are trying to make.

3. Make a connection

Unless you could establish an emotional connection with the person you are trying to persuade, you and your arguments will be easily dismissed. Outstanding salesmen know this, and so they make sure that they are always likeable and see to it that they connect emotionally with their potential customers. You can do this by showing empathy for another person’s position and make them feel you are on their side. You must also be patient enough to know when you should advocate your point. It will be much easier to persuade people if you could get them aligned with your objectives.

4. Acknowledge credibility

In order to make other people accept your opinions, it is important that you earn their respect. So how are you going to do this? Well, you can do this by showing them equal respect and acknowledging the credibility of the facts they are raising. This way, they will be more open to your arguments and the merits of your opinion.

5. Know when you should stop talking

Giving people an endless verbal barrage will certainly not help you persuade your listeners. Remember that it is never a good strategy to annoy and wear people down. If you think you have said enough and you have made your point, then it’s time to shut up and step back. It is essential that you give your listeners time to absorb everything you have said and weigh the pros and cons of your argument. By letting them think on their own, you are giving them the chance to see how beneficial your points are.
Having the ability to persuade can be very helpful to you in so many ways. In fact, you may even use this skill of yours as you go on a job search. You may not have the qualities of an excellent salesperson, but you can definitely learn how to be credible and persuasive enough to your listener or audience.
Article Written by: Cecile Peterkin of Cosmic Coaching.  She can be reached at info@cosmiccoachingcentre.com.

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