Temptation, Enticement, Prompting. Big words with one simple meaning; PERSUASION- The ability to influence people. In layman language we are talking about People skills. Entrepreneurs wouldn’t trade them for the world. The ability to deal with people is priceless.
Being a good entrepreneur means being able to effectively convince an investor that you have a great idea, persuade partners that your approach is right, and convince potential customers that the solution is right for them. If all your ideas are intuitively obvious to everyone, you probably aren’t thinking outside the box, or don’t really have the next big thing.
Remember though, Persuasion is not manipulation. Manipulation is coercion through force to get someone to do something that is not in their own interest. Persuasion is the art of getting people to do things that are in their own best interest that also benefit you.
Here are few tricks you can use in your benefit to persuade your potential clients and customers:
- If it’s True, Come Out and Say It-Don’t beat around the bush. Don’t give expectations that could not be met. However, if you execute and are good at what you do, say so. While other vendors that the individual calls will give them a sales pitch that all sound the same and is the same song a dance, you come out and say what you want to say. If you want the potential client’s business, tell them. “We can work hard for you and produce. I want to take this account on.” Who else is saying that?
- Persuade the Persuadable- Everyone can be persuaded, given the right timing and context, but not necessarily in the short term. Political campaigns focus their time and money on a small set of swing voters who decide elections. The first step of persuasion is always to identify those people that at a given time are persuadable to your point of view and focus your energy and attention on them.
- Persistence Pays- The person who is willing to keep asking for what they want, and keeps demonstrating value, is ultimately the most persuasive. The way that so many historical figures have ultimately persuaded masses of people is by staying persistent in their endeavors and message. Consider Abraham Lincoln, who lost his mother, three sons, a sister, his girlfriend, failed in business and lost eight separate elections before he was elected president of the United States.
- Compliment Sincerely – We are all so positively affected by compliments, and we’re more apt to trust people for whom we have good feelings. Try complimenting people sincerely and often for things they aren’t typically complimented for, it’s the easiest thing you can do to persuade others that doesn’t cost anything but a moment of thought.
- Set Expectations- Much of persuasion is managing other’s expectations to trust in your judgment. The CEO who promises a 20% increase in sales and delivers a 30% increase is rewarded, while the same CEO who promises a 40% increase and delivers 35% is punished. Persuasion is simply about understanding and over-delivering on other’s expectations.
- Don’t Assume – Don’t ever assume what someone needs, always offer your value. In sales we’ll often hold back from offering our products/services because we assume others don’t have the money or interest. Don’t assume what others might want or not want, offer what you can provide and leave the choice to them.