In order to succeed in your persuasion efforts, you need a persuasion priority action plan. The one I like to use involves seven steps, and I covered three of them in a previous post.
Here they are:
Step 1: Clearly state who is the one person you want to do what.
Step 2: Determine why this is important for you, your target and your organization.
Step 3: Build your quantitative and qualitative case.
Step 4: Plan your language (adjectives, metaphors, examples, stories and humor).
Step 5: Assess your primary target and other key influencers.
Step 6: Map the persuasion territory.
Step 7: Create your step-by-step actions: When do you do what with whom, and why?
In this post, I will cover the next three steps, saving the final one for next time.
Plan your language (adjectives, metaphors, examples, stories and humor).
What savvy phrases can you use to describe your request or facets of your request?
• A compelling argument
• A sensitive situation
• A crucial decision
Questions work, too.
• Do we want to surrender to the competition?
Similarly, what figures of speech (metaphor, simile, analogy) can you create to describe your request or subsequent risks or rewards?
• “This guy is the Payton Manning of sales directors.”
• “That part of the country is a marketing black hole.”
• “The likelihood of the board approving that approach is less than that of Kim Kardashian wearing a turtleneck tomorrow.”
Using storytelling best practices, what brief and relatable story you can develop to justify your request, address potential challenges or describe imminent rewards. Be sure to have a point, include a captivating open, establish a plot, insert an unexpected element and conclude with a learning point.
Anticipate resistance and objection. How will you respond when someone says, “It costs too much”? Or, “We don’t need it”? Or “Now is not the right time”?
Step 5: Assess your primary target and other key players.
You certainly don’t need to list every person who might be involved in your request, but it’s critical to include your primary target and key players. Write down their names and titles, your impression of their personalities, and your perception of their preferences for communication and information.
• Steve Miller, VP Field Operations; expressive; text messages; just the facts
• Jerry Matherstone, General Counsel, reserved; face-to-face; all the details
Using a table like the one below can help you sort through these details.
|Jerry Matherstone||General Counsel||Reserved; little sense of humor||Face to face (no email)||Wants all the details|
|Steve Miller||VP Field Operations||Expressive; likes to joke||Text messages||Just the facts|
Step 6: Map the persuasion territory.
If your persuasion priority involves more than a few people, represents significant dollars and is likely to take some time, you should map the persuasion territory. Here’s what I mean: When strategizing your persuasion approach answer the following five questions:
- Who are the key players?
- On a scale of -10 to 10 (10 being highest), what is each player’s influence in the organization?
- On a scale of -10 to 10 (10 being completely in support of your idea), to what extent is each player applying that influence?
- How easily do you think each person might change his or her position (low, medium, high)?
- What significant relationships exist among key players?
Again, use a table like the one below to help you sort through the responses to these questions:
|Name||Org. Influence||For or Against||Changeable||Relationships|
|Jerry Matherstone||+8||+7||Medium||+ Steve Miller|
|Steve Miller||+5||-4||High||– Sally Mack|
Use this information to map your persuasion territory.
Next time, I’ll focus on the final step of my persuasion priority action plan.