Keys to Improving Your Persuasion Skills
Regardless of your work field, your ability to influence and persuade other people with what you say or do is one of the most important skills you can develop. Improving your persuasion skills can get you through a lot in life and can help you achieve big things.
Through it, you can get anything you want with greater ease – convincing your kids to eat vegetables, your bank to loan you money, your mother to change her crazy outfit, and your boss to award you with that coveted promotion. It will help you become a better salesperson, a better leader, a better communicator, and a better person in general.
Fortunately, as mentioned earlier, persuasion is a skill. Much like writing, running, and riding a bike, the skill of persuasion can be learned, practiced, and mastered. In fact, if you put you mind into it, you can improve drastically in a short span of time.
The first key to improving your persuasion skills is to understand that all human actions are motivated by something. Your wife probably cooks a hearty meal because she wants you and the kids to look forward to dinnertime. Your secretary works like a horse perhaps because she wants a raise badly. If you want to be good at convincing people to go your way, then you should understand the things that motivate them. Use these motivations as a selling point for what you want to say to get your message across. It isn’t hard.
People’s motivations can be simply divided into two major classifications – the desire to gain and the fear of loss.
The desire for gain moves people to want more of the things they want in life. Be it love, money, self-actualization, respect, health, or whatever, people have a natural tendency to want more things or to want more of the things they already have. To improve your persuasion skills, you need to vividly show them how they could gain from what you are proposing – how they could have more of whatever it is that they want. When salespersons tell you that a certain workout video would help you achieve the figure that you have always wanted and would allow you to gain better control of your life, they are appealing to your desire for gain.
Meanwhile, the fear of loss triggers people to do something to prevent losing anything that they value. People fear losing money, a loved one, a marriage, a career, and all sorts of things. They are afraid of the change, risk, and uncertainty that comes with losing whatever that is that they value. By showing them how they could minimize the risk of losing something from happening, you are making a significant step forward in convincing them with your point. This is how insurance companies sell you policies. They allude to your fear of leaving your dependents with nothing should you die or your fear of outliving your resources.
Once you have understood people’s motivations, you are well on your way to developing you persuasion skills even further. The next step then is to learn to speak up and to express yourself. You don’t have to be the best public speaker to be persuasive. The only thing you need is a little self-confidence that could fuel you to speak up and to candidly talk about whatever it is that you are trying to say. Most people fail to influence people because they have too many hesitations about speaking up. For example, they are usually afraid of offending or appearing too aggressive to the listener. What you should remember is that you have nothing to lose by speaking up. The worst thing that could happen is that the person you are talking to could disagree with you, but at least you tried. Improving your persuasive takes practice and you should begin by practicing how to be better at communicating. After that, you’re on your way to becoming great at it. It is something that you will really find useful and one of things that are really worth developing.