Using persuasion techniques in order to superimpose our will or to convince the other person to aid our cause has practical applications in a wide array of fields, from politics to marketing and from hostage negotiations to plain social interactions.
However, even though certain proficient persuaders don’t follow predefined strategy of utilizing these methods, they are simply gifted at swaying others. In other words, for them persuasion comes naturally. The good news is that you can also learn and practice persuasion techniques and, in time, master the fine arts of subtle manipulation. Let’s take a quick tour of the basic 10 ways that could help you state your case better.
1. Make good use of questions in order to achieve an equilateral comprehension
Before you can even consider trying to persuade a person, you need to gather sufficient information about him/her. Find out what makes him tick, what his personal goals are, what he is interested in, so on and so forth. And, because you don’t really have the innate capability of communicating or comprehending the needs of your interlocutors, you will have to employ the aid of carefully conceived questions. However, you should refrain from invasive inquiries and attempt to gather information via more casual and general topics. Otherwise, the other person will simply raise all his defenses and you will not be able to get what you want from him.
2. Create a positive atmosphere that promotes communication
People are always more likely to communicate when the atmosphere is positive because they feel safe. Therefore, don’t blindside them with your requests and don’t try to ambush with other persuasion techniques until you are absolutely certain they feel comfortable. For this purpose, smiles, sincere compliments and an overall welcoming attitude are vital devices.
3. Emulate the speech and behavioral patterns of the person
Imitating the behavioral and speech patterns of the interlocutor is one of the oldest tricks in the book of persuasion. The principal concept behind this technique implies conveying the sense that you are truly able to understand the other person. At the same time, mimicking acts at the subconscious level by building a rapport between you and your conversation partner. Emulate gestures such as crossed arms or legs and the tone of the voice, but be careful not to make it too obvious.
4. Confer him irrefutable proof for the validity of your point of view
Few things work better in persuasion than actual evidence to support your claims. For example, if you are trying to sell a certain product, then you can make good use of customer testimonials to underline its advantage. In addition to that, make sure that you are prepared to counter the potential negative comments in the testimonials and justify why certain objections are unreasonable. Furthermore, the emphasis should be placed on the advantages rather than the properties and/or features.
5. Establish yourself as an expert on the matter
It is necessary to point out that presenting yourself as an authority on the matter in discussion should be delayed until you’re halfway through the conversation. In fact, it’s an excellent technique to utilize right after you have explained the viewpoints of other people because it detracts the interlocutor from the persuasion attempt just before he can realize what you are trying to achieve. Now, don’t think that you will need advanced college classes to gain expertise on a matter. All you need to do is get informed and gather details from as many sources as possible. Nevertheless, don’t act like a know-it-all when you are not 100% sure that you are right.
6. Honesty and trustworthiness go a long way
Trustworthiness is always preferable to deception and it goes hand in hand with knowing all the details of a topic before you rush head’s first to state your point. In the event that the person you are trying to persuade is already familiar with the truth on the matter and finds out you are lying, the whole persuasion scheme will go down the drain. Be careful, trust is difficult to earn and even more difficult to regain.
7. Live demonstrations help support the advantages of your approach
Live demonstrations constitute the best way to show the other person exactly how he can benefit by concurring with your interests. It may seem that you might be offering something for nothing at first, while in fact you are carefully laying another brick on the foundation of your persuasion strategy and strengthening your rapport with you interlocutor. People always love freebies and they will always come back for more, even though they have to pay for it the second time.
8. Construct an interpersonal relationship with the other person
Developing an interpersonal relationship over the course of time will allow you to reap long term benefits. If you paid attention to step one of this guide, then you are already familiar with his expectations and preferences. Therefore, all you need to do is act in accordance with them and provide assistance even though currently there are not advantages involved. You will see why in a moment.
9. Reciprocity brings many benefits
Reciprocity can almost be considered a basic human need and it is also the exact reason why long term interpersonal relationships are useful. When you perform certain pro bono actions in the advantage of another person, he will feel compelled to return the favor sooner or later. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to spend all your time running errands for him or invest your savings into his novelty business idea. It’s the little things that matter and they don’t cost you a dime.
10. Always try to exceed the other person’s expectations
Rather than try to conform to the expectations of the other person, why not take things one step further? Bonuses are always welcome and that is why they are frequently utilized in marketing promotions as a way to increase sales. This concept also applies in persuasion and it will have an important effect in strengthening the relationship with others.