The art of persuasion needs to be mastered by business owners. Entrepreneurs who are able to employ the art of persuasion may find it easier to receive financing, ensure new clients understand their value proposition, get better deals and form mutually beneficial partnerships with other firms.
By learning how to sway someone's opinion - whether it be a financial backer, prospective client, employee or influential person in the industry - leaders can find it easier to get their business where they want it to be and achieve the growth they're aiming for.
Make a Personal Connection
A human connection is irreplaceable in the business world. Many entrepreneurs notice they get what they want more easily when they request in-person meetings with clients or associates - that's because this face-to-face time humanizes the experience and the entrepreneur. This makes it easier for someone to connect with a business owner and agree to what he or she wants.
But an in-person meeting isn't the only key to the art of persuasion - making a deep connection is also key. Finding common ground or objectives with someone can help an entrepreneur forge a strong emotional bond with someone, which will make it more likely these individuals will be open to a business owner's requests.
Know What Needs to Be Achieved
Going into a meeting blind makes it improbable the event will go smoothly. Preparation is key - an entrepreneur needs to know exactly what he or she is walking into, what the audience needs to be convinced of and how attendees can be persuaded to see a business owner's point of view or take a certain action. Strategic planning is a must and can help ensure an entrepreneur's performance is spot-on.
Reason Purposefully and Limit Aggressiveness
No business leader gets what he or she wants by making demands or abusing power. Rather, those who have mastered persuasion techniques are more apt to be logical when making requests or trying to change someone's mind. Aggressive strategies are more likely to turn potential clients and business partners off and lead them to back away from a proposition, not come toward it. By using their knowledge and power just enough to make a good impression and establish a good idea, businesspeople can watch others think through their propositions and see the benefits or advantages of their suggestions.
Use Facts and Examples, but Know that Decisions are Based on Emotions
Emotional connections may play a role in boosting an entrepreneur's persuasiveness, but it's not the only factor that will play into whether someone goes along with an idea. Logic is also a key part of the decision-making process, and demonstrating why something is a strong proposition can help a business owner get what he or she wants.
Present relevant facts that will align with a client, investor or potential partner's situation to help them see the advantages of an idea. Although, some people have a better understanding when given concrete examples, people treat facts as factors and, ultimately, make decisions based on emotion. You should always have one or two case studies or real-life representations ready to illustrate a point and ensure they are representative of the person you are talking with so that they come across as clear, concise and strong.
The art of persuasion does not merely entail talking and convincing others to see a certain point of view - it also requires entrepreneurs to listen to those they are speaking with and understand the needs, desires and concerns others may have. By listening closely, business owners can determine what exactly someone else wants and alter his or her persuasion strategy accordingly. Paying attention to what others are saying will allow a leader to determine if perhaps he or she didn't get a point across correctly or if someone has simply misunderstood what has been said.
Make it Memorable
When an entrepreneur is trying to get people to see a situation from his or her perspective, or sign on as a client, they need to be memorable. A strong line, example or humorous comment can not only bring a pitch to life and get listeners more interested in what a business owner has to say, but also guarantee they remember the talk well after it has ended and continue to mull over the proposition.
Practice Strategies and Potential Scenarios
Learning the art of persuasion isn't something that comes naturally to everyone and is a skill that needs to be developed over time. Rather than hoping or assuming their clients, investors or business associates will be swayed by their arguments, entrepreneurs should practice their speeches and responses before stepping into a meeting. Role playing with coworkers can help professionals prepare for potentially unexpected or tricky questions that may arise during the encounter, ensure he or she is not thrown off by the comment and that credibility or persuasiveness is not hindered as a result.