Being persuasive is an art form, and a powerful one at that.
Whether you’re selling a project, managing a team, or pitching a new idea, knowing how to persuade others is often essential to your success. If you can manage it without seeming pushy, that’s even better. Katya Andresen, the new CEO of education network ePals, outlines five ways to do just that in a recent post on LinkedIn.
While all of her points are good, the biggest takeaway is this: make it about the other people and not about you. With that in mind, here are her five secrets of persuasion.
1. Make the benefit immediate. People care about immediate, tangible results. Don’t tell them how their lives will change in three months — let them know things will improve tomorrow.
2. Make it personal. Along with caring about immediacy, people also want to know their actions will benefit people they care about. The personal connections are more important than the “grand concept,” Andresen writes. Make that what counts in your pitch.
3. Speak to your audience’s values. It’s easier to persuade people when you appeal to their opinions and beliefs. “Make sure the benefit you are communicating is something others seek — not just what you want,” Andresen advises.
4. Know what you’re up against. Be aware of what else is out there, and be better than the competition. The idea that you are selling to other people has to top any other offers out there if you want it to succeed.
5. Be real. If what you’re promising seems unrealistic, people will know. So make sure you promise something you can deliver on. “People need to believe in what you communicate,” Andresen explains. “You want to persuade by keeping your promises.”
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