Are Persuasion Skills Rocket Science or Blindingly Obvious?

Rintu BasuJob HuntingLeave a Comment

In any endeavour if you don’t get the foundations right everything just becomes an uphill struggle. This article demonstrates basic persuasion skills that many people just don’t seem to grasp and that can make things a real struggle.

Persuasion Skills don’t have to be Rocket Science

There are all sorts of clever ideas, tools and tactics that you can use in persuasion. And the issue is if you have missed the foundations you are doomed to make things hard work. A key element that I see missed out a lot is just seeing things from the view point of the person you are trying to persuade. It sounds simple but so many people just either get it wrong or refuse to even look from that perspective.

Here are a couple of examples of this can lead you in to trouble or create instant success depending on how much you consider the other person.

Job Hunting an Exercise in Perceptual Positions

We are seeing a growth of people self-publishing on social media platforms as a route to employment. There have been a few media events, like the guy who set up his website with the “honest” CV, the “worst CV in the world” and that sort of thing. And several people setting up websites complaining about traditional job search methods not working any more so they are driving traffic to their CV on a website they have set up.

I suspect this sort of thing will get you noticed and possibly get you in front of someone that might hire you. With a little bit of thought this could be enormously successful. In fact I have seen a few people that have used social media to get great jobs. Below I will outline one strategy that I have seen used several times and has been so successful each time I have seen it used that I recommend it in my book; the Persuasion Skills Black Book of Job Hunting Techniques. But before we get to that I want to hit home the important point so let us switch contexts.

Whose Needs are We Talking About?

I spend a lot of my time on the internet and find myself raging at a lot of web sites. Many websites have lots my custom instantly because in their excitement to tell me all about themselves they don’t bother to tell me why I should want to know about them. It might be really nice for them that they have been in business for hundreds of years, have a great list of values and won so many different awards…but why should I care? What I want to know is what are you / your company / your products and services going to do for me.

Over the years I have been taken through a sales process many times over. In fact I am a complete pushover, love being sold to and as a consequence will buy almost anything when they do a good job of selling. But if they start with what a great product / service / company it is; or hit me with benefits without finding out my needs first, they will not get my business.

On the same grounds in a recruitment situation if an interview candidate can’t tell me how their skills, experience and attitude will fit with my company or the role then I already know they are thinking about themselves and not what they can do for my company. I am already less inclined to hire them.

Perceptual Positions are Key

Imagine you are on the internet and you are looking for a particular service, for the illustration let us say you need an accountant for your new owner run one person start up business. As you search the internet you come across three websites:

  1. Accountants ‘R’ Us – We deal with all your accountancy needs large companies, small start-ups, international tax law, dealing with insolvency, audits and mergers. If you need an accountant we will have one for you. Here is a list of all the accountancy awards we have won from around the globe and a list of all the huge mega corporations we have worked with.
  2. Small Business Accountant – I specialise in accountancy services for small owner run start-up businesses. Here are a number of case studies of successfully run one person business operations I have helped to get started. Give me a call and I can arrange for you to go and speak with any of these businesses about the quality of service that I provide.
  3. Accountants ‘n’ Chips – I run a Fish and Chip shop and do some painting and decorating jobs on the side. I also do all my own accounts. Since the economy is slow at the moment I need to bring in some extra cash so I am hiring myself out as an accountant, any takers?

Are there any of these three that you would automatically call or any that you would automatically reject?

Appeal to All Appeals to None

You might thing the example above is a little silly and I would agree with you. I have recently seen a number of websites with people using social media to try and get a job doing exactly this. In all the recent cases I’ve seen they have posted a general CV that is nothing more than a list of their experience and have listed several unrelated jobs that they would be willing to do. To make things worse they generally start with saying that they have tried the “traditional route” and it hasn’t worked so they are trying this instead.

Now look at the impression this creates for any potential recruiter. For me it shows that they are desperate, they are just thinking about themselves and doesn’t sell me any benefits of employing them. Unless I have a specific role or unique place for them I will have rejected them as quickly as I would if their CV / Resume had landed on my desk. Bluntly if they just did some decent work on their CVs / Resumes they would find that the “traditional route” still works fine.

Whenever I have spoken to guys doing this sort of thing they usually tell me that this strategy has generated more interested than their months of sending out CVs and Resumes. And I can see this, at the moment it is a quirky, relatively unknown and newsworthy way of job hunting. So people will watch with interest and with a little activity traffic will get to the CV / Resume.

Over the last six months I have seen this strategy being employed four or five times. When the novelty value wears off I suspect this won’t work as well and even if it does targeting is the key. How much more effective would it be if you wrote your CV / Resume to target a specific job and then drove specific targeted traffic to it? To do this you need to get into the heads of the people that you want to see your CV / Resume.

A Social Media Job Hunting Strategy

Compare and contrast that approach to something I have seen work several times over.

The candidate builds their CV relating it specifically to the role they are searching for. Instead of a bland list of “work experience” (Who except a 16 year old just leaving school describes their career as work experience? ) they have a highly targeted profile that links their experience to the specific job. They fill their professional experience with key achievements that provide evidence of the benefits they can provide.

Once they have the CV up and running they join forums and groups related to the job. LinkedIn is the perfect environment; in fact it was developed for this sort of networking. The candidate asks opinions, writes articles and debates key issues within their industry. On LinkedIn you can set up groups for specific niches, you can also ask or answer questions about relevant topics. A few days of this sort of activity will allow you to demonstrate your expertise and if you are not already talking with the people you need to network with you are better placed to approach them directly.

I have seen this approach work several times and I can see it work in wider, more general social networking groups.

Getting the Foundations Right

All the people I have seen that are bemoaning that the traditional route doesn’t work and are trying a social media strategy have been missing some fundamentals. The biggest part being they fail to look at this from the employer’s perspective. If they did they would have better CVs / Resumes displayed on their websites. The odd thing is if they had a targeted CV the traditional route still works very effectively. All you need to do is understand what your potential employer needs and then write your CV / Resume to demonstrate how you meet those needs.

Here is an email that I received a couple of days ago:

[box color=”white” type=”round” icon=”document”]Dear Rintu,

I bought your materials two days ago.

I listened to the materials, did a CV and got the interview.

I was offered the job today and they were selling me!

Your stuff is a miracle!

I will be glad to be a testimonial. After 3 years, I got the first job offered to me with extras!


The Key Point in Persuasion

Just learn to see things from the other guy’s perspective, find out what is in it for them and then present that to them in a way that is compelling for them.

In the job Hunting context the NLP CV Writing and Interview Skills Course shows you have you can write your CV / Resume so that your targeted employer is almost compelled to call you for interview. It also shows you how you can answer most interview questions leaving the interviewer with an image of you as the perfect candidate. And for all those difficult questions; the course shows you have you can reframe them into questions that you want to answer. Click through and find out more here:



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *