The art of persuasion. Learning to do business with style, grace and effectiveness is a key trait that successful entrepreneurs possess.
Persuasion is a skill that definitely comes in handy. One may think it to be a natural gift, but in fact, persuasion is a skill that can be learned and improved upon over time.
For women entrepreneurs, being persuasive could mean getting more investors to sign up, attracting more leads and customers, or even expanding your network of people who are willing to “lend a hand” or those who can share business insight.
How good are women when it comes to persuasion? You might be surprised to hear the answer. According to a calipercorp study, “Women leaders are more persuasive, assertive and willing to take more risks than male leaders.” Therefore, in order to harness that god-gifted skill, all they need to do is be more focused and try harder.
Ladies, what are you waiting for?!
Why not start exploiting the art of persuasion today? Here are a few tips to help you boost your influence and win people over. a bit when it comes to “winning over” someone.
1. Pick your topics.
Not everyone is going to love hearing about your quasi-child dog, accomplishments, or perhaps, where you lived before. On the other hand, someone could be very interested in the above mentioned topics simply because it’s something they find “interesting”. To master the art of persuasion, you need to know what to say, whom to say it to, and when. Otherwise, your audience will pretend to listen or ignore you altogether.
2. Learn ‘who’ to persuade.
Clearly, even the most persuasive of people manage to persuade only a handful of people. The rest, just weren’t as interested as the ones who were. Just like any marketer, businessperson, or politician would, target the audience you know is going to care about what you have to say. Then, dedicate your time, energy, and efforts on that small subset of people instead of trying to be attentive towards the needs of everyone – which is essentially impossible.
3. Find common ground.
Want to know what gets people to really listen to what you have to say? Anything they love, spend their time with, experience, or know a lot about is what you should research and focus on. Hey, it could even be weather! Just as long as you agree with what they have to say, believe, or value. By doing so, you can manage to find “common ground” and win them over. According to a Harvard University study there is science behind the idea that “birds of a feather flock together.
“Once you have a little piece of information about someone being similar to you or different, you seem to take it and run with it. You may think they are similar to you across the board, even though you may not have much reason to think this. It is rather surprising.”
Meanwhile, “Earlier research revealed that the lower portion of a brain region called the “medial prefrontal cortex” (MPFC) is active when people consider themselves or people like them, and the upper portion of the MPFC indicates judgments about different people (The Telegraph).”
It isn’t so surprising that the study reveals how we as humans automatically think about people who share a common trait with us, to be similar in many other ways, thus making us more receptive to their suggestions and opinions.
4. Do something for them.
Top networking tips include doing something for someone before you can ask them to do something for you. The reason behind it is that “reciprocity compels”.
This is another way the human brain is hard-wired to think: You do a favor for me, I’ll do a favor for you. It is the reason why so many Mafioso’s were born—they compelled people with reciprocity.
Obviously, you’re not going to have the same motives behind this form of persuasion, and you certainly won’t need coercion to do the compelling. It is, however, going to include a positive exchange of goods, or in your case, exchange of favors, to win over others. With small gifts or kind gestures of consideration, they will be more than happy to provide the same reciprocity in return.
5. Create scarcity.
If you manage to convince someone that what you’re offering is not readily available and pretty much “scarce”, then you’ll manage to trigger their basic survival instinct: to value and grab a hold of anything the “competition” is likely to get a hold of before them. Create this kind of scarcity and watch them run after it!
6. Tell the truth.
People like me are such obsessive fans of the “honesty” policy that almost anyone who is just being honest—even after committing a heinous act, is somehow magically labeled “forgivable”.
This tell-truth technique works with most people and has a way of winning hearts. Be honest and share whatever you know, the good the bad, everything, and you’ll be surprised with the response.
7. Stay humble.
The art of persuasion is rigorously practiced in the retail sector all of the time. If you’re familiar with The Wolf of Wall Street, a movie based on the memoir of Jordan Belfort (a former stock broker and currently a leader in the sales training industry) you would know how the power of persuasion plays a major role in the world of business and finance. So long as the power of persuasion keeps taking you in the right direction, and not the wrong one, you’re all set for success.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Hannah Williams is a senior editor at Essay Plus
which provides writing and editing services to the students in UK. She is also a regular contributor to many popular educational blogs.
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