Occasionally you’ll run into difficult conversations.

“Who are you?!” “I don’t want it!” “It’s too much!” “I don’t need it!” “You’re wrong!”

If you’ve ever heard these statements you know just how tough those situations can be. Learning to artfully respond is a great way to help others understand why your way is best. Honestly answering your target’s concerns, making them aware of new information, or reframing the conversation so they might see the situation from a different vantage point is paramount to getting agreement.

The ART of communication is simply this: When faced with a tough situation or objection, first, acknowledge your target’s point, psychologically preparing them for what you are about to say. Then respond openly, honestly, and substantively in a compelling yet conversational manner. And finally, transition the conversation to the next “yes” in your process, often by asking for an opinion, then a commitment.

Ok, so let’s put it all together:

“Your idea is way too expensive.

“I thought it expensive at first as well, but I did some additional research discovered important information that changed my mind and it might change yours. There are really three compelling reasons we should do this:

  • This solution will help us increase business acquisition while simultaneously decreasing costs.
  • This will improve our client response rate increasing both repeat and referral business.
  • This option will enable us to take advantage of a rapidly disappearing market opportunity; I don’t think we want to miss this opportunity.

“Here’s what I’m going to recommend. Let me put together some numbers, ask others for their input and see what the consensus is. What do you think?”

You won’t hear “yes” every time, but you’ll be shocked at how often you do.

Like any useful model the ART of persuasive communication can be applied to just about any situation. It’s like playing a minor pentatonic scale on the guitar; it’s simply one fingering pattern, when played at different positions, it’s in a different musical key.

The ART of persuasive communication is much the same. All you really have to do is change your three responses to your specific situation and voila, you’ll be playing in the right key.  Acknowledge, respond and transition, your key to the ART of persuasive communication.

My name is Mark Rodgers and this is Persuasion Matters.