Many professionals take (at best) a mindless approach to persuasion. What I mean is that, either consciously or subconsciously, they simply assume that just because they’ve heard people say “yes” to them — and they’ve given the same response to others — they understand the complexities of attaining agreement.
That supposition couldn’t be further from the truth. The act of persuasion remains a significant obstacle for a lot of people, and they might not even realize it.
Like failing to look in your blind spot to eye a fast-approaching semi-trailer truck behind you on a narrow two-lane highway, ignoring this obstacle can lead to disastrous results.
On the other had, some people absolutely abhor persuasion. They want nothing to do with it, think it smacks of “sales,” and conjures images of white shoes, plaid jackets and glad-handing used-car salesmen.
But successful people — professionals at the top of their game — understand that it is not only okay for them to use persuasion; it is incumbent upon them to do so.
Having someone say “yes” to your ideas, offers and suggestions ranks among the greatest achievements in the business world. It represents validation, respect and acceptance among your peers and others. In author Daniel Pink’s survey of U.S. workers, “What Do You Do at Work?,” for his book, To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others, he discovered that full-time, non-sales workers spent 24 out of every 60 minutes involved in persuasion efforts. To say effective persuasion is merely important is to engage in extreme understatement.
Achieving ‘Yes Success’
Persuasion requires intellectual lifting. Understanding your target, knowing how to increase the value of your offering (or, conversely, decrease the resistance of your target), choosing the right words, and determining the timing of your persuasive efforts all are prerequisites of effective persuasion.
The fact that you are reading this right now means you’re willing to take steps to break out of the persuasion paradox.
Here’s something to ponder this week: If you could flip a switch and receive guaranteed “yes success,” who do you want to say yes to what?