“I don’t need to persuade anyone. The quality of what I do is self-evident”
So runs the mantra for many technical and professional specialists. Somehow, the world (which includes clients or prospects who may not be able to experience the intangibility of what they offer) will see the light: of course, quite often they don’t.
Persuasion is an art which can be learnt, and which has some underlying basic principles. Here are three that can help.
Give before you get A tough one this, in that it involves unravelling years of conditioning for those who have had it drummed into them that hours and minutes are ALWAYS TO BE CHARGED FOR. Most people want to return a favour, so if you give them something, they will usually want to give something back. There are variations on this theme when trying to attract new clients e.g. “For the trial piece of work, deliberately, we gave them more than we were paid for; they recognised it, liked our attitude, and they are now a significant and very profitable client – 10 years on!”
See 3P…oooh! So that’s what it’s about…Positive Peer Pressure. Canny professionals and/or those who do business with the public sector see the power of this one. Some people (in fact, many professionals) are better convinced to do something if others are seen doing it successfully. In the public sector, the more local authorities that you are heard to work for, the more powerful is your case. And in the private sector, if the firm’s name is associated with successful industry authorities (e.g. market leaders), then you can get a double whammy….as long as you use it.
Seek out common ground People do more business with people that they feel they like. A large part of such liking is about the amount of common ground that is established between individuals. Successful professionals know this, which is why sporting activities – soccer, golf, cricket, rugby etc. – are such common pursuits. Sadly, many do not venture outside of these, their own obvious likes. Successful networkers know that it is possible to establish common ground with just about anyone. But it needs this realisation and then practice to achieve.
James Newberry is a coach and trainer who helps professionals and other technical experts exert more influence to do more business….and enjoy it! Have a look at http://www.peoplescope.com to know more.