Persuasion Success: Finish Strong

In previous posts, I revealed the formula for persuasion success, suggested ways in which to engage your persuasion target, offered ideas about how to explore the persuasion situation and then frame the options for best persuasion results.

As a reminder, here is the formula: Yes = E2F3.

1. Engage your target.
2. Explore the situation.
3. Frame the options.
4. Finesse the rough spots.
5. Finalize the decision.

Now, we’ll explore the last of the three “F” components, and the final step in the persuasion equation: Finalize the decision.

Ask For Your Target’s Opinion

Do not ask for a commitment. Opinions are nonthreatening: Everyone has them, and most people want to share them.

Simply say, “What do you think?

When You Hear Yes

If you receive a positive response (“I really like the ‘Best’ option you’ve created”), move boldly forward. Finalize and formalize the decision: “Perfect! I’ll have the purchase order on your desk by the end of the day.”

Then consider yours a persuasion success story.

If You Receive a Neutral Response

When your target says, “I’m still not sure,” don’t try right away to secure your “yes.” You have more work to do. Instead, say something along the lines of: “I understand completely. Here’s what I’m going to recommend. Don’t say yes. Don’t say no. Let’s just make sure we’re clear about what we’re talking about and willing to consider it further. Fair enough?”

What reasonable person wouldn’t say “yes” to that? Most will. And guess what? That’s called a nudge.

Ask your target why he or she isn’t sure and what would lead to greater confidence. Is information missing? Would your target like to see additional people backing your persuasion position? Does a formal plan need to be presented?

When You Hear a Flat-Out No

Employ your options: “Okay, if you don’t want to go with the training program for the entire North American distribution channel, perhaps we should just focus on retailers and the field sales force. Or, if you prefer, only the field sales force. Which of those options would you suggest?”

Employ the persuasion equation the next time you need buy-in on a major decision. When formed, framed and finessed, I like your chances of hearing “yes.”

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