You’ve probably heard that the key to persuasion is knowing your audience, customers, coworkers and others you want to influence. What does it mean to know these people? Does this imply that you need to know their age, sex, hair color and favorite food? To be persuasive, you need to understand what your audience needs to make choices.
What is Persuasion?
Persuasion is a process used to influence behaviors, attitudes, beliefs and thoughts in someone else. In business, persuasion is widely used in marketing, staffing, and supervision to encourage increased sales, productivity, efficiency, and buy-in. In today’s lean organizations, the ability to persuade others has become a necessity for all employees from CEO’s down to production workers. The ability to persuade is equally important outside of the workplace.
Ethical Boundaries of Persuasion
It’s important to work within the boundaries of ethical persuasion by avoiding practices that use deceit, duress, coercion and trickery. Instead, ethical persuasion should utilize facts, research, testimonials and other data to create a compelling influential argument. Providing the right information for a person to make an appropriate, rationale or emotional decision is also critical to ensuring repeat business and referrals.
Skills Needed To Be Persuasive
In the past, marketers have chiefly relied on advertising, a one-way form of persuasion to encourage sales. However, persuasion is usually more effective when an audience is actively engaged. Therefore, the most important skills needed to persuade others include the following:
- Active listening
- Identifying key needs and wants
- Receiving, interpreting and Responding intelligently to feedback
- Overcoming objectives
- Creative problem solving
While these skills are important, the presenter must also establish trust. Given the global nature of business, establishing can be challenging as communication must transcend boundaries, cultures and languages. As a result, trust can be built or lost on factors such as nationality, ethnicity, gender, competence and character. Working closely with a business such as 24 Hour Translation Services can help business avoid obstacles and potential downfalls to build trust.
Perhaps, the two most important dimensions of trust are competence and character. Character consists of demeanor, integrity, intentions and aspirations. Competence consists of knowledge or expertise, as well as visible signs of confidence and assuredness. To effectively persuade others, a communicator must be able to exude trust while practicing the skills associated with persuasion while finding an appropriate message that balances logic and emotion.