Your business success depends greatly on how people react to your product or service. It won’t matter how hard you worked for your business goals if people don’t care about it. If you don’t convince others of how your offer benefits them, all would be for nothing.
Are you able to convince others? Do you make use of the art of persuasion? Let’s see how you can do that.
What is Persuasion?
Persuasion is the ability to convince others of something, for example, adopting a set of beliefs. In business, persuasion is showing your potential clients why your products or services are essential to them. This is what marketing strategies are: a sum of tools and methods used to persuade someone to act.
You could have the perfect solution to an issue, but it won’t matter if you can’t convince others of that fact. Persuasion is result-oriented. It drives someone to act: buy a product, subscribe to a service, enrol in a class and so on.
What Does Persuasion Look Like in Business?
Persuasion is a broad concept that covers many activities. Although marketing is the evident area where persuasion is needed, it’s not the only one. Doing business is knowing how to persuade. Here are three areas where entrepreneurs use this skill:
Your business success is closely dependent on your relationship with your customers. First, you have to interest them in your offer. What’s in it for them? The people coming to look at what you propose are looking for something that serves them. Other purposes are of secondary interest.
For example, if you are selling household items, the customer should see the use of your products in their house. You should create in them the desire to purchase, whether out of need or want.
You also want to create loyal clients who come back. Persuade them through your product or service quality, your mission purpose, or the customer experience you offer.
It is no secret that entrepreneurship is not a one-man’s job. While it may be your dreams or aspirations, you need support to reach them. For that, speak to the mind and hearts of the people you wish to partner with, whether suppliers or investors.
Your potential partners have an impact on how well your business runs. Down the line, you might want better deals with them. Persuasion is key in negotiation. With the customers, you want them to take an action, whereas you aim to discuss and reach a mutually satisfactory agreement with your partners.
As your business grows, you need people to work for you, which can be hard to get as you start. Our article on diverse hires gives insight on how to employ people in a small business. Overall, people work for you only if you can persuade them to adopt your mission purpose.
You need to convince them of your leadership skills if they are to be under your direction. Your relationship with the employees and the work environment you create play a significant role in gaining and keeping employees.
The Elements of Persuasion
Persuasion is a process which has four main interlinked components. It is essential to understand the purpose of each one of them to persuade well:
Source: the source of the message is a critical element. People can react differently to the same message depending on who carries it. For instance, health advice from a medical expert impacts differently than if it was from a social media influencer with no medical experience.
Receiver: knowing the target audience helps create a more impactful statement. Whether customers, partners or employees, strive to know and understand their needs, interests, desires and values.
Message: there is no persuasion without a message. It’s what you are “selling” to the other. Your message can be in verbal, textual, audio and visual formats. You can pick and choose which one suits you best, or use all of them. Make sure the message aligns with your business values.
Channel: it’s what you use to carry the message to the receiver. There are various channel forms, such as radio, television, social media, and so on. The mean of communication you choose depends on where you can easily find your target audience.
Out of all these elements, not one is more important than the other. To have a successful “persuasion campaign”, make the best use of all of these components.
How to Persuade Others Effectively?
It’s not enough to talk to your target audience; you have to communicate effectively. Here’s the right way to practice persuasion to get the result you want:
Understand and Use the Persuasive Appeals
Logic: facts are what convince people. When making a claim, make sure it’s true. While an interesting story may attract people, they won’t say once they notice no factual evidence. When you want to persuade, come with the facts, the data and the research behind your argument.
Emotions: when people feel emotions at a somewhat high intensity, they tend to act. Whether happy, sad or angry, they will do something about it. Play with the emotional factors you want to trigger in your customers.
Moral: make your moral values and standards clear in your message. You want to attract people that share the same values as you.
Know and Connect With Your Audience
You can’t help someone if you don’t know what they need. Even if you think you know what they need, it’s best to continue researching and exploring because market needs and trends change.
Go to where your target audience is and connect with them. The connection can take various forms depending on your business, but ultimately your clients need to feel you are there for them. Be available to listen to their complaints, answer their feedback, and show your appreciation.
Keep a Positive Language
A positive language is more persuasive and easier to understand than a negative one. Make your offer benefit-oriented. Show your audience what they can get by accepting your proposal.
Apply the Principle of Reciprocity
Giving something away is the easiest way to get something from someone. When there is a sense of exchange, people are more open to letting go of what they possess. There are many ways to apply this principle. Here are a few examples:
- Seasonal sales or coupon codes which get the client to spend more time in your business, like the Amazon Black Friday sale.
- Free resources or free samples of a product, like Walmart.
- YouTube Music or Spotify offer a free trial of a premium service.
The power of persuasion lies in convincing others to adopt your point of view or follow a specific course of action. Master the art of persuasion with these techniques and take your business higher.