Persuasion is everywhere in human relationships. Either you are a mother trying to convince your child to eat healthy or a salesman trying to sell a product or service. Although they are completely different examples, all comes to one single objective: to try to direct someone toward a specific point of view or to try to do what you want them to do. But be aware it is not about intimidation, the art of persuasion is a more subtle way to influence people.
Whether your goal is to sell, motivate or inform, it’s your ability to persuade an audience that will determine your success. If you want your audience to say “yes” to your idea once you finish speaking, you must understand what motivates people and how to use that knowledge to your advantage. Decision makers, and especially if they are in the business realm, would be the hardest people to persuade so developing this skill is critical for your success.
We already stated that persuasion is not intimidation nor coercion, so what is persuasion? Persuasion is the capability to convince another person to adopt a new attitude, idea or action you are recommending. So, whenever you are preparing to communicate data or information to persuade decision makers, it’s important to understand who you are speaking with, and to personalize your message to appeal to each of them.
To understand who you are speaking with, consider your audience’s needs and how they want to hear your message. The higher the level of authority, the more structured and brief your message should be. Take into account that depending on your audience you could receive rigorous questioning, so be prepared. Lastly, try to manage a language everyone can understand, if it’s too complex try to break it down into short and specific messages.
Since persuading decision makers is a challenging quest, we have decided to share some tips to help you customize your approach. .
Make the decision making process easier for your audience
No matter if you are calling a prospect or you want to pitch your idea with a presentation, put yourself in the shoes of your decision maker. Sometimes we are not aware but our pitch could be too long or our script could have a lot of information, so try to be as concise as you can, to make people feel more at ease with the decision-making process.
For example, in case you are presenting the information, use slides with short messages and avoid long paragraphs. Get to the point and share only what’s really valuable for decision makers. By doing this, you will ease the comprehension and you will seem more professional
Keep it Short and Simple
Decision makers, especially if they are senior executives, might always be short on time. Try to come up with a brief summary of your presentation with the most important information or highlight the crucial points in your slides. Also, if you have been allowed to speak for 30 minutes, aim for 15-20 so you can have some time for questions.
If instead of presenting you are calling them, be aware that they don’t know you and they might be very busy when you reach them. Present yourself and go straight to the point, keep it simple and concise so you could have more chances to close an appointment.
Build your authority
Influencing managers or senior executives requires hard work and intelligence. Either you are presenting or calling them, they will want to know that what you are offering is valuable and that whatever you are selling has solid research, data or reliable information. If you want decision makers to align with what you are offering, you want them to trust your authority, so do your homework and present your thinking clearly.
Also remember that these few minutes you will have to pitch your idea or say your script are the perfect moment to demonstrate your experience. Watch your tone of voice and talk with confidence.
Dedicate time to training and preparation
Designing a perfect presentation or writing an outstanding script isn’t everything; in fact, it’s just the beginning. When preparing for your presentation or script, you need to keep in mind what would be the best approach to persuade the decision makers.
For example, if your decision maker is a visual person, your presentation should take advantage of the visuals in your slides. On the other hand, if the decision maker is results oriented, your speech should include information with facts and reliable data or you might lose their attention.
Body language is the key of communication
Most of the information that we perceive are visual inputs, so when presenting to decision makers, keep in mind your body language because it could reflect that you are confident or not. Try to use your hands to communicate what you are verbally saying, but be aware not to overdo it since a lot of movement with your hands could seem a little overwhelming./p>
In case you are calling, you should also pay attention to your body language. Even if the decision makers are not seeing you, the body language that you express will be reflected by your tone of voice. When calling, you should act as professional as you can, think like if you were presenting to them face to face, as it could make the difference.
We hope these ways to grab attention and persuade decision makers are useful for you or your team. Do you have any other ideas on how to persuade decision makers? Please share them with us.
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