Everyone wants to persuade others. We believe persuasion is an essential skill but before using it, we have to learn communication skills. We have to know the right strategies and ways to persuade others.
What does persuasion mean?
In Wikipedia, we read:
Persuasion is an umbrella term of influence. Persuasion can attempt to influence a person’s beliefs, attitudes, intentions, motivations, or behaviors. In business, persuasion is a process aimed at changing a person’s (or a group’s) attitude or behavior toward some event, idea, object, or other people, by using written, spoken words or visual tools to convey information, feelings, or reasoning, or a combination thereof.
There are many other definitions, such as:
– To convince someone to do something willingly.
– Convincing someone to do as we say and want
– And to force someone to do what we want.
These kinds of definitions remind me of fraud. The definition I choose to explain the word “Persuasion” is:
To help someone to decide what we want while the person:
– Has all the information
– Wants to do the same thing we want
– Does it willingly
We all persuade people in our routine days many times, such as when you:
– convince the interviewer to hire you.
– convince your spouse to let you watch your favorite show instead of his.
– persuade your manager to raise your salary.
– have to persuade your customer to buy your product.
– need to convince the police officer that you weren’t the guilty one in a car crash (if you truly weren’t).
– have to convince your partner that you are the best choice to get married.
– have to persuade your child to study.
See? You are always persuading someone in your life. Now if you can learn how to do it properly, you don’t need to waste a lot of energy and wait to see it your persuasion works.
We can’t persuade if:
– People think they are independence
When your party is independence, he doesn’t need your suggestion, help or offer. So make sure that you have something that he needs.
Can people be persuaded logically?
As we said many times, people decide emotionally and justify rationally. Sometimes we need to have logical reasons to motivate them through their feelings, such as: earning more money, saving time, feeling perfect, taking less effort and solving a problem.
Robert Cialdini and persuasion
How to persuade others?
Imagine you live in a beautiful house in a wealthy neighborhood. Traffic safety committee asks you to install an ugly sign with “Drive carefully” written on it and support their work.
How many people do you think to agree on this?
According to psychologists, only 17% of neighbors will let the committee do such a thing.
In another neighborhood, the representatives could raise this percentage up to 76 by adding an extra point to the request.
The representatives had asked the second town to install a small sign on their windows two weeks ago- a sign that is too small to be seen and make the environment ugly. when they came back and asked for a bigger sign, the neighbors thought it was their duty to help traffic center because they have installed a smaller sign before.
The same trick can be used in selling and marketing. Sellers believe they can open up the choice to buy many products by persuading people to buy smaller and cheaper ones.
For example, when you make a deal with someone and the profit is less than you expected, even though it compensates your time and effort, this person is not a potential buyer. He is only a customer.
Do as I say with the customers that are not interested in buying your product:
Ask them to give you 10 minutes of their time. this request will engage them in your products and they may become interested.
The same as the previous test we have talked about, a marketing organization can ask people to answer a few questions, not a long sheet of paper with many questions about how the organization is doing.
You can use the same strategy to train your kids and improve yourself. For example, you can convince your stubborn child who doesn’t do homework to take one step toward it. you can ask your kids to do homework or put his toy in its box after playing with it.
As long as the kids think they agreed on your small requests and there is no forcing involve, this mental energy encourage them to improve in education and have a neat room.
About improving yourself, for example, if you want to lose some weight, start with a smaller goal instead of planning for something big and unavailable. You need to plan something too small to do so you can’t ignore or avoid it. for example, try to walk for 10 minutes in the area of your house. This way you will get more engaged and you feel more responsible toward your bigger goals.
As Confucius says:
You can walk on a long road after taking only one step.
3 common mistake in persuading others:
1- Right language
Once I went to a town and saw a sign which said not to throw out your trash in here. Oddly, the area was filled with cans, bottles, papers and so on. After talking to the residents, I understood that the language of people in that town wasn’t the same as the text on the sign. People couldn’t read it and do as it said.
2- Not being emotional
As we said people try to decide based on their emotions. So the sign that said “Don’t throw out your trash in here” is not emotional. The writer of that massage could have written:
“It’s funny that we compliment other cities being neat while we throw out our trash.”
Of course, this sentence may make the reader defensive too. so it was only an example. after thinking harder and considering all our options, we can come up with a better massage to persuade others. For example, what do you think about this one?
“throwing away each trash, makes someone bend…”
3- Lack of social confirmation
We can talk about this subject for hours but shortly, it means what is most people’s behavior?
For example, if someone drives in the wrong direction in a one-way street, others may let themselves do the same. people tend to align with the average.
You can’t always persuade others!
It is one of the main principles in persuasion. Don’t expect to persuade everyone. Each person has a way to be persuaded and can be the exact opposite of someone else.
So we can increase the possibility of persuading others by learning its techniques and strategies.