The Persuasive Professional


How often do you think you are successful at being persuasive? Do you have a good idea of how you influence others? As a sales or marketing professional, you understand the importance of the art of persuasion. Today, I want to discuss the intricacies of the persuasive speech. Whether your speech is given during a sales call or delivered at the annual conference, it is essential to be fully prepared to persuade your audience with finesse and ease.

I find that the most important key to unlocking your powers of persuasion, is to recognize the influence you already exhibit on a daily basis. My experience working with clients over the years has proven to me just how much people underestimate their influence or persuasion. Your’re Already More Persuasive Than You Think, a blog published by the Harvard Business Review, highlights the incorrect assumptions people hold about their own influence. Participants in one study were extremely surprised at how easily they were able to complete an activity that required persuading strangers to do various tasks.

Now, recognizing your own influence will not happen overnight. An important component of this process is building and maintaining your professional confidence. For more tips on harnessing your professional confidence, see my previous blog post here. As you work on recognizing your influence, pay special attention to situations in which you have exerted influence or persuasion and received positive feedback. You’ll begin to notice that you tend to successfully persuade individuals on a daily basis!

Throughout my career, I have found a few persuasion principles to be particularly powerful:

  1. Persuasion is not forceful coercion! Do not use your powers of persuasion forcefully, or you will just be manipulating people. Persuasion is an artform that effectively and efficiently provides clients or individuals with the information they need to make informed decisions that benefit you and them.
  2. Only compliment sincerely. Compliments are fantastic ways to connect with people and make them more amenable to your persuasion. However, we can all tell when someone is just saying nice things to say them. Don’t give empty compliments.
  3. Practice clear communication. You can only be persuasive if your audience understands exactly what you are saying. Clear communication is much less common than people assume. Practice being clear, concise and accurate at all times through all communication channels.

While there are many more principals to help drive influence and persuasion, starting with the above will give you a very persuasive speech. As your work on your influence, be patient, and perhaps most importantly, show your interest in the topic or sale!

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