In today’s article you’re going to learn everything you need to know about how to improve persuasion skills. So, let’s begin!
How To Improve Persuasion Skills:
1. Be a Storyteller
The most skilled communicators and persuaders are also great storytellers. That is because great stories have the power to get the listeners involved as if they are a part of the story. Stories create an experience not only for the characters but also for the people you share it with. They create an emotional connection with the audience. And appealing to the emotions is one of the most effective methods of persuasion and communication.
This is why you have to learn the art of storytelling. More importantly, you have to learn how to tell remarkable stories. You can use stories to send the message across. It is a subtle way of selling and convincing the audience. People have the tendency to turn their backs the minute they figure out what you are trying to do, selling that is. But by making a connection first through stories, they become more open to the idea or to what you have to offer.
2. Go against Self-Interest
Trust is a critical factor in building a relationship. In dealing with others, establishing trust is crucial. And it also makes an essential element of persuasion. And so if you want to become more persuasive, you have to work at establishing trust first. You have to learn how to gain people’s trust. Otherwise, you are in trouble.
The thing is it is not easy to earn trust. People do not exactly give it away. They cling onto it tighter than anything they own. And their grip even gets tauter when they are faced with someone who is trying to get on their good side. This makes it much more difficult to sway people. But it does not make it such an impossible feat.
3. Use Emotional Appeal but Maintain Emotional Stability
Aristotle cited emotions as one of the key elements of persuasion in addition to credibility. And expressing emotions can be helpful in boosting your credibility as well. However, the matter is quite tricky.
Leaning to an emotional appeal can be quite powerful. Rational and objective approach to the matter is essential. But more often than not, logic is not enough to win a case. This is not to say that emotions are more important than presenting a set of clear and logical evidence. But combining both logic and emotions can do the job.
4. Tailor Your Argument to the Listener
You also have to understand that not everyone is the same. Every individual is unique. And this means people have unique and different needs, goals, fears, aspirations and interests. In other words, what may have worked for one does not necessarily work for everyone else. What may have persuaded person A may not be necessarily good enough for person B.
Before you make your presentation, you have to know who you are talking to. Get to know the person’s or this group’s needs, goals, interests, aspirations and fears. Are they all the same? Probably not. In which case, you have to tailor your argument and frame your statements in a way that corresponds to this subject’s uniqueness.
5. Paint a Picture
Images do matter. The most effective communicators and persuaders have the ability to pain the picture to their audience. They do not just speak sweet words. Their presentations are more compelling because they use images as well.
We are not referring to literal images in the presentation. Rather, what we are referring to is the ability to make the offer more real by letting your target audience see the picture and experience the scenario in their minds. And visualizations can be more powerful than pictures visible to the eyes only.
6. Practice Behavioral Flexibility
Behavioral flexibility is defined as the ability to change one’s actions when the current actions seem insufficient at achieving the results one is aiming for. It is the ability to do things differently. And it requires that you step out of your comfort zone.
Behavioral flexibility is not just important for communicators and persuaders. It is crucial to overall success in whatever you choose to do. In fact, what makes people in control is not power. It is their versatility or flexibility. Behavioral flexibility is about adaptability and responding to the change that happens around you.
7. Ask and Keep Asking, Never Assume
Assumptions are detrimental to your attempt at persuasion. Whatever you do, you must resist the temptation to assume matters about your audience.
For instance, how many sales personnel pass up the opportunity to land a successful sale simply because they have made the assumption that their target market lacks the money, resources or interest about their product or service? How many marketing campaigns have become wastes of money because marketers have assumed their target cares about certain things which they in truth, never cross their target’s minds?
8. Learn to Listen
Communication and persuasion are not just about talking or listening to your own voice. Although the manner of speaking, the choice of words, your tone and voice projection are all important elements, listening is also a quality you need to develop. You can make people listen when you also show that you are listening to them. Pay attention to their concerns and do not just be engrossed with your own. When you pay attention to what they have to say, you give yourself better chances of getting them on your side.
You may be surprised at how much people are willing to give away. If only you take the time to listen. So if you want to improve your persuasion and communication skills, you have to learn to listen carefully first. Communication after all is a two way street. To be heard, you have to listen too. That makes communication fruitful.
9. Establish Common Ground
In addition to credibility, there are plenty of other crucial variables that play a role in the success or failure of your attempts at getting through to people. It takes more than first impressions to convince people to take a new position or a contrary one. And one of the essential things you have to do is to establish common ground.
You have to present your idea, product or service in a way that emphasizes the shared benefits. Do you think you can convince a man on the street when all you talk about is how this idea can benefit you? It is doubtful this person will even give you the time.
10. Just Tell the Truth
People lie all the time. They sue lies as means to getting what they want. It is fascinating how people think of marketers and advertisers as liars. And being bombarded with exaggerated claims all the time makes it understandable how they have come up with such conclusions.
When you are being offered something, whether it is a new idea, product, service or position, your thoughts jump to thinking about the catch behind the offer. Your mind begins to wonder almost immediately which statements are lies. And you probably are doubtful about the truthfulness of the sales personnel’s statements. You laugh at the thought that this sales person thinks you are close to being convinced. You find it amusing how this person who is making the offer think you are that foolish to fall for his or her trap of lies.
11. Emphasize on Possible Losses More Than Potential Gains
The value of things is relative. It means people want things because other people have it except of course for the necessities. And such want for such things increase when only a few people can have it. In other words, scarcity can make people go at great lengths to avail of something.
It is all about the idea of exclusivity. In which case, creating scarcity can contribute to your persuasion success. If you want people to want what you have, you need to make it scarce. And that also applies even to your own self.
12. Be Confident and Certain
Confidence can give you certainty. And both are compelling. Confidence and certain can be both intoxicating. And these are attractive qualities you must adopt if you want to be an effective communicator and a successful persuader.
No one else will believe you unless you come across as confident. If you are doubtful and uncertain, people will read into that. And what chances do you have of getting through to people when you lack confidence and certainty? You probably do not stand a chance. People themselves are doubtful. And you cannot pull them to the other side when you are quite negative as well.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article about how to improve persuasion skills. I sincerely hope its contents have been a good help to you