7 Steps to Master the Art of Persuasion

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How is it that certain people are so incredibly persuasive? Is it possible for anyone to harness those skills? As an entrepreneur, the power of persuasion is a potent tool when harnessed correctly. The way you persuade potential partners, investors and customers can make or break your business. The psychology involved in persuading and winning over others has been mulled over for generations. It’s the aspiring entrepreneur’s job to hone their tactics in order to coax their audience.
1. Repetition is Key
Here’s an excerpt from Gordon Lish’s Sophistication:
“The man who stood, who stood on sidewalks, who stood facing streets, who stood with his back against store windows or against the walls of buildings, never asked for money, never begged, never put his hand out.”
The first image that pops to your head after reading the statement above is most likely one of a man standing. The word “stood” is repeated over and over and it helps it stick.
In today’s world, your audience is being bombarded by information. It is your job as an entrepreneur to make your message stick so that you won’t be forgotten.
2. Keep It Simple
You must be able to tune your message to your subject’s situation. In other words, don’t use the message for Jill, on Jack because Jack won’t be interested. Don’t utilize abstract, complicated words that’ll only confuse your audience. Still, you should also be specific on how your product or business will benefit them. Using words like easier to use, better and faster will not work on your favor because so many others are saying the same thing. Demonstrate and specify how your product is easier to use or faster. That way, you’ll convince your audience that your way is the best way.
3. Low receptivity to effortful change
Everyone hates commercials – they interrupt our shows and movies and sometimes make us feel inadequate. Still, I find myself watching some commercials and even enjoying some because they tell a story. (My current favorite is the Bud-Light commercial that revolves around the presidential elections.)
The point is, if you spin a story on how your product will benefit the customer, they’ll be more convinced to use it. You can also get a bit competitive and get your hands dirty by showing how the customer will be negatively impacted if they use the alternative brand.
4. Personalize Your Message​
Do your homework – know who your audience is. You’ll find this in every business-related article because it’s important. The best entrepreneurs tailor their message to their audience. Whether your audience is an investor, partner or customer, you need to know how to get them interested and keep them interested. If the person is creative ad intuitive and you present a logical and analytical message, you’ll lose them.
5. Use Your Network​
Every businessman and business woman knows the importance of networking. Once you’ve built up your network, use it! Everyone is more prone to believe someone they know over a complete stranger. Use your friends and advisors as sources of warm introduction – that way, the person will find you more credible and your message will impact them a lot more.
6. Build A Prototype​​
Because you’re so passionate about your idea and have probably been dreaming about it for so long, you can practically see it come into fruition. However, others may not feel the same and it’ll take some convincing to get them on your side. A prototype or demo helps them visualize your idea and makes it tangible. Besides, it’s also a small motivator for you because you become one step closer to making your notion real.
7. Evidence of Interest​
We all know the expression monkey see, monkey do. While humans don’t like being compared to monkeys, the majority of us act on the accord of others. If a large crowd of people is headed towards one direction, an indecisive individual is more likely to follow – hence, building the crowd even more.
Social media is the most influential and inexpensive way to test the waters of a new business and prove effectiveness. If 1,000 people are responding positively to your message, investors and partners are more likely to help you so they can reap the benefits once 10,000 people respond positively.
Social media isn’t the only way to prove that your business idea is effective and satisfying. Any data, statistics, customer reviews, etc. can be used as solid proof that your business is worth the attention and resources.


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