Knowing how to convince someone to see your point can earn you valuable points at your job and at home. Instead of trying to push your point of view, it is better to enroll others in your quest. Persuasiveness is a leadership trait and all the famous leaders have it. Learning how to convince someone involves active listening and understanding. It is a way to better integrate yourself into the society and achieve your goals.
12 Proven Tips to Make You More Persuasive
Do no harm
Firstly, how to convince someone should never be about manipulating them. You can’t hope to be convincing while you are pushing your point of view onto others to try and force them to come to your opinion. Instead, try to find solutions that benefit everyone. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that others are stupid and gullible. People can sense when they are being manipulated and you could easily lose their trust for good.
Argue very carefully
People have their own beliefs and most of them have enough critical thinking to demand proof. If you’re trying to convince them, then you need to be prepared to explain how you got to your ideas and why they are better than others. If you start by saying that something is simple, then you’d better explain it clearly and in a way that makes it simple. Otherwise people will think you’re trying to manipulate them with big words and unclear concepts.
Say you’re in sales or you need to pitch your idea to investors. Dress up and look reliable. At the same time, never talk down to people. However, you shouldn’t place yourself in a relation of subordination, because people like equals. The essence of how to convince someone is often similar to that of how to do well in a job interview: place yourself on the same level as the interviewer, present your best assets as facts, and don’t push too much but make it sound natural instead.
Time your pitch well
Do not try to approach people you want to convince right before lunch time. All they can think about is food. Instead, approach them in the morning, and better still, during the first part of the week, when they are relaxed are ready for work. If you approach them during lunch or a casual occasion, make your speech sound casual as well and avoid sounding like you have an agenda.
Create a connection with them
Lacking an emotional connection with those you are trying to persuade will make you easier to be dismissed. Instead, focus your efforts on creating an emotional connection. This can be based on detecting common objectives, values, and goals. Leverage common ground to get to the hearts of those who listen to you. Showing understanding and empathy for the position of your listeners will reinforce your credibility. Be open and try to align with them, so that they will align with you in return.
Don’t insist too much
The principle of scarcity dictates that things in low quantity are more desired. When you insist too much to push your point, you often obtain the exact opposite result. People will think you’re a pain in the back and will run away when you approach them. Instead, make it clear that you are not, in fact, trying to push your point, but you are instead showing them the truth. They are welcome to follow it, or not – it’s up to them.
Practice active listening
Active listening is very valuable in a number of circumstances. Active listening should not only be employed when you try to convince someone, but as a habit in your everyday life. The more you can listen to someone, the better you become at active listening. People will appreciate you taking your time to do it and this will help you build a relation of mutual trust.
Take time before expressing emotion
When you first start to talk to someone about your point in order to convince them, they have no reason to be as excited about it as you are. Instead, base your arguments on logic first and don’t make them seem too obvious. Build your emotion slowly from that and let it naturally interweave into the conversation.
Never deny the evidence
Persuasive people know and respect facts. There is no point trying to argue your way out of a fact. Moreover, trying that will undermine your credibility forever. Reinforce your credibility by basing your speech on facts rather than your own opinions. Pay respect to known facts and people who are generally accepted as credible.
Choose the easiest path to victory
Say you are trying to close a sales deal and the customer’s legal department is asking you again for a contract that you know you sent last week. What do you do? You could ask them to look for it and wait for days, or you could send it again and have it signed instantly. Which option is the wisest? Persuasive people offer satisfaction when they are required. Be successful instead of being right.
Be sensitive but firm
When you are trying to convince someone of the opposite of what they currently think, you are basically attempting to change their entire belief system. You wouldn’t like your beliefs to be dismissed like they are nothing, and you can bet neither does the person you are trying to convince. Be sensitive about their beliefs and never dismiss them, because they are important for them.
Respect the experts
When it comes to credible people, trying to criticize them without strong evidence will make you look like a gossiper. Work your way to the point you want to make with care, and present new pieces of information every day – rather than trying to make it to the finish line in one go.