Building your business case can achieve skyrocketing persuasion results.
Finally, put everything together to create both real and hypothetical case studies to make your point. To best convince others that your business case is relevant and powerful, consider these six techniques:
1. Draw from other industries.
Demonstrate how and when your idea has worked elsewhere and why it’s likely to work in this situation. In other words, show precedence.
2. Provide relevant examples.
They should that either support why quick action is necessary or why a more measured approach is appropriate.
3. Create “positional critical mass.”
This means that you’ve focused your early arguments on the movers and shakers — people who can champion your cause and best rally support. It also helps when formal (hierarchical) and informal (popular colleagues) individuals support the position you espouse.
4. Cite and utilize experts (living and deceased).
They can be leveraged to help cut through uncertainty. If I were attempting to persuade about technology, I’d likely cite Walt Mossberg, former Wall Street Journal columnist and co-founder of the AllThingsD, Recode, D & Code Conferences. But if my persuasion priority involved organizational strategy, I’d reference the late management consultant Peter Drucker.
5. Provide validation and verification.
Citing the right metrics (quantitative help) will justify and validate your persuasion priority. For example, if you have 20 percent more clients six months from now than you do today, you’ll know your organization’s referral initiative will have been successful.
6. Argue against yourself.
People routinely write books on both sides of an issue. Academic debating requires the ability to take either side of an issue and prove or disprove it. Make the anticipated arguments against your own case and rebut them, so that you’re prepared for the crucible.
Remember: There are quantitative and qualitative aspects to any persuasive argument. Not only can’t you afford to omit either dynamic, but you must appreciate the supporting role they play for each other.
Mastering that synthesis is the key to becoming a powerful persuader.