Guest post by Brian Feinblum
For the past two decades I’ve looked for ways to persuade others to do things, whether it’s convincing the news media to cover my client or seeking to get a potential client to hire my firm for PR services, or attempting to get a colleague to perform better.
Really for all of life, we are always trying to get someone to do what we want them to do. So how do you do it?
- Offer value. One would say that in order to get someone to do something for you there has to be an incentive, or some type of reward, reciprocation or favor to be cashed in. If you don’t have something of perceived value to offer, your ability to sway is limited. Note I said perceived value. That’s key. You must assign value based, in part, on what others think something is worth. Sometimes what cost you little is worth a lot to others, so maybe you have some bargaining chips that won’t set you back too far.
- Play on their emotions. Another way to convince others to take an action is to play on their emotions: fear, desire, happiness. Appeal to what seems to trigger a response in them. Listen to what they say are their concerns and then react accordingly.
- Never underestimate the role ego plays in things. Everyone has an ego, just in different degrees. If you acknowledge one’s opinion of themselves, you’ll advance far. Never deny someone of their inflated sense of self-worth.
- Guilt, to a degree, can work, if the person you deal with is fair-minded. Appeal to their sense of fairness and reason.
- Ethics also can play a role. People like to help others who seem likeminded and like to do business with those they trust. Be sure to share statements indicating positive values and state examples of good character and proper behavior.
- Beg. Another way to persuade is to beg and plea desperation, but this won’t work too often with the same person. People may feel sorry for you once, not twice.
- Be a squeaky wheel. Complaining and whining won’t always get you what you want but they say the squeaky wheel gets the oil so in certain situations this strategy has a pay-off.
- Be open. Show a willingness to negotiate and show people you’re not greedy.
- Acknowledge concerns. Don’t come off as you’re right, they are wrong, or express an all-or-nothing attitude. Recognize and acknowledge the needs, concerns, and circumstances of the other side.
- Don’t use threats. Threats, lies, cover-ups and other improper or illegal means to persuade will work but they will come back to haunt you. That’s no way to get what you want for the long-term.
- Don’t overstate or overvalue your worth. The marketplace fluctuates and whatever position or situation you are in today may not hold true tomorrow, so act reasonably, fairly, and kindly even if you believe you hold an advantage over someone.
- Understand them. One way to appeal to others is to get to know them and understand what makes them tick. Look to connect with them on a personable level. It’s easier to work together as friends, than as strangers.
- Do not air strong opinions on sensitive matters, such as politics, sex or religion. You may offend someone in the process.
- Establish your credentials. Let the other person be aware or reminded of your expertise, authority and abilities. If people feel you are in a position to help them, now or down the road, they are more apt to work with you.
- Praise others and kiss their butts. You catch more flies with honey, so lavish others with kind words. However, don’t go too far – people can smell a brown-noser a mile away.
- Laugh, smile, and express optimism and confidence. We are all drawn to people who appear resilient and hopeful. Entertain others with jokes, stories, or insightful information.
- Come off as open and sharing. Give a piece of free advice or offer some type of guidance. People will welcome such an approach.
- Give guidance like a waitress who suggests you order something else when what you ordered is not a good choice. Everyone appreciates your honesty.
– Brian Feinblum, the chief marketing officer for Planned Television Arts, has been promoting and marketing authors since 1989. Pick up the phone and call: 212-583-2718. Brian’s new blog can be found at http://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com.