The ideas below have worked for me in the hundreds of times I’ve had to be persuasive.

Either in writing or in person. In business and in friendships and in love. I hope with your added flare, these can work for you. You decide.

A) WHO ARE YOU?

People want to know they are talking to a good, honest, reliable person that they can trust and perhaps even like or love. Yes, love.

They won’t love you by listening to you download on them about your product…They just will be bored with you.

You have to do method acting. Imagine what your body would feel like if they already said “Yes” even before you open your mouth. Always assume the answer will be YES!

You would be standing up straight, smiling, palms open, ready to close the deal. You have to method act at the beginning of your pitch.

If you are slouched and your head is sticking out, your brain is not as well-connected to your nervous system and you won’t be in “flow”. I can drag out the science here, but this is a Facebook status update and not a peer-reviewed scientific paper for the Justice League of America. The reality is: when you’re slouched over, not only are you not using the full potential of your brain, but you look untrustworthy. Also, SMILE! When you talk one the phone.

B) RELAX

Think about how you breathe when you are anxious and nervous. I will tell you how I breathe: short, shallow breaths in my upper chest.

So do the reverse before a phone call to a prospect you have never spoken to before or to the one you know is tough to deal with.

Breathe deep and in your stomach. Even three deep breaths in the stomach (and when you exhale, try to imagine your stomach almost hitting your back) has been shown to totally relax the mind and body.

People sense this. Again, this builds trust and relaxes you. Now, even though you haven’t said a single word, you’ve probably done the two most important things for persuading someone.

C) UHHH. YEAH. UHHH. MMMM-HMMM. UH-HUH

I have a hard time with this. It seems natural to say, “yup” or “right” or “uh-huh” or “whatever”. But here are the facts (and, again, there’s been studies on this): people perceive you as stupid when you do this.

Just keep quiet when someone is talking. Don’t mumble and stumble when you are speaking. Then, when someone is done speaking, wait for two seconds before responding. They might not be done yet. And it gives you time to think of a response. If you are thinking of a response while talking, you aren’t listening to them.

People unconsciously know when you are not listening to them. Then they say No to you.

D) FINALLY, now we’re getting to the heart of the matter. THE ACTUAL NUTS AND BOLTS OF PERSUASION

I’m going to use the 4 that have worked for me the best.

This is not BS. This is not a way to convince someone to do something they don’t want to do. This is a way for you to consolidate your vision into a sentence or two and then express it in a clear manner. This is the way to bond and connect with another persons needs instead of just your own pathetic wants. You can use this in an elevator pitch, on a date, with your children, on your mother, whatever. But it works.

Think about these things when talking:

Urgency

Why the problem you solve is URGENT to your demographic. For example: I can never get a cab when it rains!”

Unique

Why is your solution unique:We aggregate 100s of car services into one simple app. Nobody else does this.”

Useful

Why is your solution useful to the lives of the people you plan on selling to or deliver your message to: “We get you there on time.”

Ultra-Specific

This shows there is no fluff: Our app knows where you are. Your credit card is pre-loaded. You hit a button and a car shows up in 4-5 minutes. Of course, the example I give is for Uber but you can throw in any other example you want to throw in a fifth

User-friendly

In other words, make it as easy as possible for someone to say yes. Like a money-back guarantee, for instance. Or a giveaway. Or higher equity. Or testimonials from people you both know. Etc. OH! And before I forget, a sixth U

Unquestionable Proof

This can be in the form of profits. Or some measurable statistic. Or testimonials. Or a good wingman. Whatever it takes.

E) DESIRE

A lot of people say you have to satisfy the desires of the other person in order for them to say yes. As much as we would like to think otherwise, people primarily act out of self-interest.

The less they know you, the more they will act of self-interest because to do otherwise could potentially put them in danger. We all know that kids shouldn’t take candy from strangers.

And what are their desires?

  • Recognition
  • Rejuvenation
  • Relaxation
  • Relief
  • Results
  • Revenge

If you can help them solve these URGENT problems or desires, then you they are more likely to say yes to you.

F) OBJECTIONS

Use C.E.O.

Clarify> Paraphrase the customers objection back to them.

Exercise: Use one of the objections listed above and paraphrase it back to the customer. Definition of Paraphrase is a restatement of a text or passage giving the meaning in another form, as for clearness; rewording. The act or process of restating or rewording.

Empathize> Show empathy to the customer by stating that you understand how they could feel that way or think that way.

Exercise: Use one of the objections above coupled with the phrase you used in the previous exercise to state empathy. Definition of. Empathize The psychological identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.

Overcome> Normalize the objection by sharing the many customers have had that same feeling or objection but have in reality found it was not worthy of their concern.

CONCLUSION

Most people don’t have the power of persuasion. They mess up on each of the points I’ve outlined above. It takes practice and hard work.

But this is not just about persuasion. It’s about connection. It’s about two people, who are probably strangers, reaching through physical and mental space and trying to understand each other and reach common ground.

It’s not about money. It’s not about the idea. It’s not about yes or no.

It’s about you liking them and them knowing it and it’s even more about them liking you. Remember to be interesting; you must be interested.

Talk less. Sell More!

Oh, and by the way, your most persuasive self is created by your ears and not your mouth.

The more you listen, the more information you can obtain. The more information you have at hand, the more powerful your persuasive powers become.

Shut Up and Listen!

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