Have you ever thought about how our ancient leaders convinced common people to fight for their freedom? Ever wondered how Abraham Lincoln put an end to the civil war? Well, it’s simple. They were great at persuading people towards their goal. So, why would you, an entrepreneur need this skill? Let me tell you.
Ability to effectively communicate and change a person’s view about something is one of the most important skills an entrepreneur can have, simply because an entrepreneur is an agent of change. You are bringing forth a new product, a novelty, and inviting others to purchase this novelty that they have not experienced before. Customers do not blindly trust you and purchase your product. You have to carefully persuade them to do so, and this is where your skill of persuasion becomes important. Let’s look at a few tips that could help you become more persuasive.
- A study published by researchers at the University of Leicester has reiterated the belief of Price & Stone (2004) that people assume that a more confident advisor makes more categorically correct judgments and is more knowledgeable. If you go up to them with no enthusiasm or confidence, the customers are going to know that even you may not believe in your product. Why would they buy it then? No point right?
- Become more influential: You should be able to provide reasons for them to believe that you are qualified to say what you say. Without that credibility or the influential power, you would hardly persuade anyone. Remedy would be to build up a profile of strength that has power and visibility in the domain.
- Understand the person you are trying to persuade: Before you try to overwhelm your audience with information, check if he or she is even remotely interested in your product. If not, there is no point in wasting time. Understand the mood he or she is in. Try an angle that suits their moods and interests. Make changes to yourself and your approach and gently persuade.
- Articulate properly without rushing it: Take your time and let the customer think that they convinced themselves. This is the strongest type of persuasion there is. Persuasion is a subtle art after all. Choose your words carefully and use as many visual and auditory aids as necessary. Give them practical examples on what you advise them to do as well as on the consequences of not following your advice. A study from the University of Cornell states that if you are going to convince someone, you should have done it after addressing four objections. If they are not convinced at that point, it is highly unlikely that they would ever be convinced.