We all know them. Some people seem to have the ability to persuade others effortlessly- whether it’s to buy a product, hire a team member or negotiate a deal. The rest of us need a little help.
Now, think about the most persuasive person you know. I think you’ll agree that he or she likely has some common traits. Yes, it’s true – convincing others to do what we need them to do takes a touch of charisma- but the rest of these behaviors just take practice.
Here are a few to ponder back in your office:
Garners trust: Face it, almost nobody is going to go along with you if they don’t trust you. The ability to earn trust and respect is crucial characteristic of top managers and the key to creating both a winning team and a winning company. If you’d like to find out more about how to build relationships and trust, you can see my whitepaper, here.
Knowledge and reputation: There’s no way around it, you’ve got to have this one. Recently I was chatting with a client who wants to expand into a related area of business. What will be the first question his prospective customers ask? They’ll want to be confident that he has both the imagination and the chops to get the job done.
Knows their audience: This is key. Your audience wants to know that you’ve done your homework and understand their pain points. They want to feel that you know what it’s like to be in their seat.
Creates rapport: Don’t overlook this one. In today’s world of instant everything, we tend to believe we “know” people better than we do—just look at how many connections you have on LinkedIn, or how many Facebook friends are on your list and you’ll see what I mean. Taking the time to actually create rapport first definitely pays off in the end.
Listens: A colleague of mine once told me that if his salespeople could both listen and hear at the same time, he’d be wealthier than Warren Buffett. His point: truly concentrating on what your prospective clients say vs. what we plan to say next can definitely make you irresistible.
Who do you feel is influential in today’s world? Whether it’s Time 100’s Prince Harry and Meghan, Stacey Abrams or Naomi Osaka, it’s worth taking a look at what makes them so persuasive.
Here’s your homework: at your next team meeting, bring out the whiteboard and do a little brainstorming. Ask who they would choose from Time’s list and why. That’s a springboard for a great discussion.