Persuasion is an art that needs to be mastered by entrepreneurs. As a business owner, the job is mostly to persuade others, whether it is a prospective client, employee or collateral professional. 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 an entrepreneur and a specific situation. This makes it easier for people to connect with you, create a sense of trust and agree to what you want.
But an in-person meeting isn’t the only key to persuasion – making a deep connection is also key. Finding common ground or objectives with someone can help you forge a strong emotional bond, which will make it more likely for them to be open to your requests.
Know What Needs to Be Achieved
Going into a meeting blind makes it improbable the event will go smoothly. Preparation is key – you needs to know exactly what you are walking into, what the audience needs to be convinced of and how attendees can be persuaded to see you point of view or take a certain action. Strategic planning is a must and can help ensure your 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 the art of persuasion 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 the knowledge and power just enough to make a good impression and establish a good idea, you can watch others think through your propositions and see the benefits or advantages of your suggestions.
Use Facts and Examples, but Know that Decisions are Based on Emotions
Logic plays a role in the decision-making process, and demonstrating why something is a strong proposition can help you get what you want. 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, it is important to provide concrete examples to create a better understanding, 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. Ensure they are representative of the person you are talking with and be sure that they come across as clear, concise and strong.
Persuade 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, you can determine exactly what people want and alter his or her persuasion strategy accordingly. Paying attention to what others are saying will allow you 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 you have 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 to persuade isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone and is a skill that needs to be developed over time. Rather than hoping or assuming your clients, investors or business associates will be swayed by your arguments, you should practice your speeches and responses before stepping into a meeting. Role playing can help you 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.