How to Persuade Effectively

June 20, 2023

If you’re in sales or marketing, you’ll know that persuasion is your main job. You want to get that sale, you want to hit those goals, and you’re not wrong in feeling this way. But true persuasion at its best lasts beyond the sale–it’s a changing of opinion. Today we’re talking how to persuade effectively without being pushy.

What Do You Bring to the Table?

The first (and most obvious) of steps in beginning to persuade someone is ensuring you bring something to the table. In other words, reciprocity. If Jane walks up to John, wanting to convince him to give her his apple but has nothing to offer in return, do you think John will comply? Probably not, because he has no motivation to do so. Give your potential customer or client a reason to listen in the first place, by showing up to the table with something of value. Something they’d want.

Keep It Scarce

The science of scarcity could easily be described as FOMO. Fear of missing out. Take Jane and John again: if Jane offered the last candy left in her lunch box for John’s everyday apple, do you think John would then agree? Chances are yes, because the stakes have been raised. It’s the LAST CANDY, after all. And if John is like most people, the desire to “grab it before it’s gone”, will overtake him. The same applies to your business. If your product or an opportunity you offer is limited or in short supply, your customer’s desire for it will increase. Again, it comes back to value. And if something isn’t available for long or is the last of its kind, its value automatically rises. So keep it rising.

Provide an Authority

If there’s anything I learned from the pandemic, it would be that the vast majority of us want leaders. And while that chaos of course far exceeded day to day confusion, people still need and want guidance. Why, in one day alone, we as humans are reported to make 35,000 decisions. No wonder I’m tired of figuring out what’s for dinner! Not that we’ll accept any old opinion, though. Coupled with wanting guidance, we want figures we look up to and trust. So be sure to build that trust with your clients through patience and consistency. Bring validation to your knowledge by experience (i.e. 15+ years in the industry, etc.), or include praise from an outside established source.

The Like-ability Factor

We all know the old phrase “It’s the people who make the company”. And it’s true! But I’d add “It’s the people we like who make the company”. Because anything in life is better, including our work, when we enjoy and like the people we’re around. This is where not being pushy comes into play when persuading your client. You’re playing the long-term game here, so approach your relationship to them with patience. Remember, your motivation should be to solve their problem, so listen to them carefully and engage with compassion. And–very important here–always interact ethically when it comes to your business. This may seem obvious, but I see so many companies rushing at me, trying to get, get, get. And that makes me feel annoyed, not valued, and immediately turned off to giving them any of my time or money. So be the likable person you’d want to hang with and/or do business.

Remember, persuading anyone in life is about changing their perspective for the long haul, not just for a momentary sale. So invest in your conversations, and approach your customers with valuable solutions to actually help them, not just yourself. Be patient, and watch those consistent relationships grow.