In this article we will explore three of the most important characteristics that all great persuaders have. We will discuss why they are important and how you can develop them.
But First, Some Ethics
Before we look at these characteristics we should note the fact that we are talking about persuasion within certain ethical boundaries. For example if we were not bound by morality and ethics this list would be very different. It may well just consist of things like lying, intimidation and even brute force.
But this is about using your persuasion skills in an ethical way to get to solutions that are a win / win. Despite some very different styles and personalities I have found good persuaders all have some qualities in common.
And of course there are other things that I think are important like charisma and persistence. I centred on these three because you could build these into a process. In any setting where you should be managing the conversation, for example a sales meeting, recruitment interview or a formal negotiation you could build a process that automatically develops these key attributes as part of the conversation.
I often suggest that a great place to start in terms of persuasion is with your client. If you can see the world through their eyes and understand their hopes, dreams and fears as well as what is important to them then you have a great start.
Tapping into and satisfying their needs will not only move them but it will also turn them into your raving fans.
As a general persuasion process I think this is a good one:
- Understand your prospects needs
- Link those needs to your desired results
- Eliminate any fears or barriers
- The get out of the way and let your prospect get on with it.
NLP and Hypnosis has a whole bunch of tools, exercises and concepts to help you develop empathy. For example rapport skills and perceptual positions exercises.
Obviously if you want to move people in a direction it would be really useful to know what that direction is. But this characteristic is much deeper than just setting some goals. It is about knowing what you want to gain from those goals and what your prospect will gain from them.
In any managed conversation you might change direction several times. For example in a sales conversation your first goal might be to build rapport and elicit values. Once that is done you might be investigating to find out if the prospect has a need or problem that you have a solution for. If you find that you have a match your next goal might be to find out how much value they attach to finding a solution.
As you can see your outcomes may well change on a moment but moment basis and could be entirely dependent on what has just gone before.
This is a learned skill and the easiest way to develop it is to have a conversation management model such as the one in the Persuasion Skills Black Book that allows you to steer the conversation and then just practice the art of creating directions and steering conversations.
Another critical attribute all good persuaders have is flexibility. One thing I like to do differently on my trainings is to look at worse case situations. I think it is easy to get to where you want to go if everything is working and moving in the right direction.
What I am more interested in is getting the result despite the wheel coming off and everything going disastrously wrong. Part of that is have tools and techniques that are bullet proof. But the other side of the coin is having the flexibility to use them.
Developing flexibility is easier than it sounds. Let’s start with the idea that everyone has a creative side. Usually the people that don’t think they have any creativity have had specific types of thinking installed through the school system or they have a different definition of creativity that doesn’t include what they do as part of it.
In either case specific types of exercises and experience will develop that skill easily. Whilst I don’t specifically mention it in the Persuasion Skills Black Book lots of the exercises are designed for you to develop your flexibility with language. For example one key exercise I mention throughout the book is taking one pattern and apply it to the conversation at every opportunity. You have to think very differently about conversations to be able to do that.
Another example would be practising the conversation management model. With that you can keep chopping and changing the direction of a conversation and develop your flexibility that way.
Sales – A Managed Conversation
One area I have observed a lot is sales. One thing I have noticed about extremely good sales professionals is that they have a process. The conversation is natural, free flowing and that their focus in entirely on their prospect. But at any point in the conversation they can tell you where in the sales process they have reached, what the next steps are and how likely the prospect is to buying.
After many years of observation, modelling and tying things out for myself and with others I have distilled the process down into some core steps. In the Hypnotic Sales Process I deconstruct the steps you need to take your prospect through to get the sale. We discuss all the key tools from hypnotic language to covert inductions right through to how to develop a winning sales personality and maintaining authority.
Outside of some pre-launch testing the course has only just opened. As such I want to get a few people on board now so for the next few days there is a better than a third discount on the course. But that won’t last forever. You can click through and find out more right here: