Transformational leadership is one of the most highly sought after skills with the advent of digitalisation. How can you be an effective leader of change by influencing and persuading others? Can you inspire others to part with the old ways and embrace change? Most of us think that persuasion is all about charisma and being able to present your ideas well. But it is more than just that! Regardless of whether you are doing a presentation or making a sales pitch, always put your listener’s interests and needs first. Unlock the power of persuasion and start achieving your goals!
Listen To Others
The easiest way to persuade someone is to actually start by listening to them. No doubt, persuasion is all about communication skills and convincing someone to agree and see from your point of view. But we have to understand the challenges and pain points that others are facing before we can navigate the conversation to where it should be. Show that you care by listening to them. If the listener is more introverted and cautious, lead the conversation but remember to pause and wait for their replies or thoughts. Chances are, the listener is likely to reveal more about the situation to fill the silence.
Gain Their Trust
I’m sure we’ve all experienced that pushy salesperson or insurance agent hard sells. And what do we do? We switch off and try to exit the conversation. Unless you have to do an elevator pitch, gain the trust of the listener first! Mirror the listener’s actions and words to gain their trust. Most of us don’t realise it, but copying small aspects of a person’s behaviour often helps to make them feel more relaxed. They are also more likely to see you as a trustworthy person!
Give A Reason To Listen
Time is precious to everyone and we are all busy people! So give others a reason to listen by letting them know what’s in it from them or their organisation. Be it fixing a problem that they have been dissatisfied with. Or the newest automation system that can greatly reduce manual work, convince them to listen to you! Remember, persuasion is not about you, neither is it selling your best ideas. It’s about finding that win-win situation that your listener is willing to take action and work towards.
Outline The Pros And Cons
Do you feel the need to buy something just because there’s a sale? That’s because you’re either sold by the idea of getting a discount and saving some money or you’re afraid that you’ll miss out on such a good deal! This is the same for persuasion. Let the listener know why they should take action by outlining the pros and the cons for them. If the listener is more risk averse, tell them about the negative consequences or what they will be missing out if they don’t do this! If not, sell them the benefits. Remember to substantiate your justifications with facts and figures to strengthen your recommendations.
If you have made it this far, you’re doing a great job! By now, most of your listeners are ready to accept your ideas and recommendations. The final step to persuading others is to have clear action steps and processes. Contrary to popular belief, don’t offer them multiple action steps and processes! Keep it to just one idea if possible. Introducing too many ideas to them can lead to decision paralysis and indecision.
Persuasion requires lots of practice and great interpersonal skills. Before you go about persuading someone, always have an end in mind. Being clear about your eventual goal will help to steer the conversation to where it should be and keep your listeners interested.