Power of Persuasion: It’s All About YOU!

April 4th, 2008 by Frank Damelio

Kudos to you for realizing that the power of persuasion is a requisite for success whether you are in sales, service or management.

Persuasion vs. Manipulation

They both rely on the same fundamentals.  The cardinal difference is intent.  Persuasion is the art of getting the outcome you seek in the context of a win/win.  Manipulation connotes getting the outcome YOU want irrespective of whether your win comes at the detriment of the other party.

In your marketing material, your networking, your elevator pitch, your conversation with employees, use the words “you and your” with much more frequency and minimize the words “I and we”.

If you read Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People,  he will teach you that a boil on a man’s neck is more important to him than a thousand earthquakes in Africa.  While not always true, it is often the case that people are naturally self-centered.

I used to teach high school.  Listen to some teen conversations and you’ll notice one will talk about herself until the other segues in “tell me about it, I . . .”  then continues to talk about himself.  It’s a funny ping-pong phenomenon, almost like two independent conversations linked with short transitional phrases such as “wow, that happened to me when. . .”



If you’ve ever networked, you know that many adults have not outgrown this mode of communication.  To be persuasive most of what you say should be from the perspective of your listener.  Asking questions is a great way to form a conversation around the other person.  Certainly share about yourself, but turn the conversation back to the other person.  When you are in a group with a “monopolizer” take the lead and ask the quiet person a question.  Everyone will be grateful to you!

Look at your marketing material and elevator pitch! Shift the focus from “we” to “you”.

Example:  “We’ve been in business for 25 years” is less persuasive than “25 years in business means that you can count on us”.

“We have 24hr support staff, and award winning service” is less persuasive than “You’ll appreciate the convenience of our 24 hr staff, and our service will always leave you smiling.”

“I’m a consultant who has experience integrating systems to support custom design” is less persuasive than, “We can integrate a turnkey solution for your custom design that will deliver the results you need”.  The first generates a “so what?” reaction, while the second has a better chance of generating a “how?” reaction; or perhaps a discerning prospect may retort in a skeptical tone:  “Oh really . . . ?”  The key is, you have caused engagement; now you have an opportunity to continue the persuasion process.

Much more to follow.  Your thoughts?

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