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Getting others to jump on board with your ideas and proposals is a crucial skill to have in the business world. The more persuasive you are, the easier it will be to reach your goals.
So how do you yield this great influence on to others?
In his book “Unconscious Branding,” author Douglas Van Praet says that if you want someone else to completely believe in your idea, you must make them believe that it was their own idea all along.
And one of the most strategic ways of doing this is to first plant a seed into the person’s head and lead them to the conclusion that you had in mind. But you need to explain the steps very clearly and visually, so that the other person can imagine it.
“The brain doesn’t always clearly differentiate between something real and something imagined. Our imagination and our perception of the real world are closely linked since both functions engage similar neural circuitry. Numerous scientific studies confirm that visualisation and mental imagery enhances actual physical performance, demonstrating the very real benefits of mental rehearsal. If you can get someone to imagine something vividly enough, you are well on your way to making the suggestion real.”
“When you imagine something it transforms the message from a universal one to a uniquely personal concept, and not an attempt at external manipulation.”
Praet says this is a reason why most of us think that “the book is better than the movie.” It’s because we’re able to imagine the characters and the scene. This imagination allows us to more intimately connect with the story. In a way, it becomes our own story.
For example, if you want to convince someone to help you open a restaurant, explain how the restaurant will look carefully — down to the exact moulding on the ceiling. Allow them to see this visually in their mind.
Then, connect the restaurant to your subject on a personal level. Perhaps the restaurant will offer wine that comes from the country your subject is from. Talk about the great wines and include details on where they will be displayed in the restaurant.
If you can convince someone that an idea is related to them on a personal level, they will have an even greater commitment to that idea.
This kind of persuasion is extremely effective, but it’s a skill that involves charm, wit, winning trust and an ability to read others and tell them what they need to hear during that exact moment.