Persuasion is the act of influencing the mind or will of another.
Persuasion is an important skill for businesses and individuals to develop. Once you understand how persuasion works, you can use it in your own life to achieve your goals.
The easiest way to persuade someone is to use words that speak directly into their motivation. This means that you will need to know what their motivations are in order to persuade them effectively.
Find out what they want, why they want it, and what they care about most in order for them to be persuaded by your point of view.
We also wrote another post that you may find helpful called 12 persuasion techiqunes that work in the real world.
Understand persuasion and its true meaning
What does persuasion mean and how can we use it?
Persuasion is a technique that aims to change the beliefs of an individual, group, or audience. When we think of persuasion we often think of the old-school rhetorical techniques like “appeal to emotion” and “appeal to authority.” These techniques are used most often in political advertisements and speeches.
There are a variety of tools and techniques we can use to persuade someone to our point of view quickly and easily without detection from the people we are trying to persuade to our point of view.
- Build Rapport
- Communication Styles
- Critical Listening
- Get The Results
Building Rapport From The Get Go
Building rapport quickly is a way of getting a person to trust you from the get-go. However, if the person you’re trying to persuade already knows you, you’ll need to evaluate if they actually like you first.
If not there are some cool tricks you can use to build instant rapport.
First things first the basics of rapport building is to smile as you walk into the room or greet a person. Now you want to offer a true smile called discussing smile named after Guillaume-Benjamin this is a smile you use with your eyes that will make the corners of your eye crease up commonly known as crow’s feet.
The Duchenne smile will fade from the face and not just be wiped from the face the moment the other person turns away.
Smiling at a person is one of the most disarming things you can do and one that builds trust. After all building rapport is simply getting someone to know like and trust you.
The next thing you can do before you’ve even said a word is to flash your eyebrows. This subconsciously lets the person know that you recognize them and have noticed they are present in the room. All these little, non-verbal signals and cues you’re sending are starting to form a picture subconsciously in the mind of your target or person you want to persuade.
Once you have communicated nonverbally, you know they’re there but not in talking distance. It’s best to immediately show them the palms of your hands. This lets them know you’re not concealing any weapons before approaching. Basically, you’re nonthreatening.
Ok, I hear you ask what if we are already in a situation and we need to persuade someone in front of us here and now.
There are a few tools we can use: mirroring someone’s body language to build trust and familiarity. Use a well-known preconceived idea of how a person thinks as a kind of universal stand-in for thought.
Establishing Rapport After The Set-Up
We have to meet people on their terms. Most people will be subconsciously thinking “what is in it for me?” If we know this as a starting point in a conversation we can use this to our advantage when trying to persuade someone to our point of view.
But how can we do this? How can we show them that they can benefit from what you have to offer? Well, it could be monetary, material, or social gains. Once we understand this as a concept, we are going to use this as our overarching theme of the conversation.
There is a powerful tool called mirroring and matching. This is basically copying someone else’s body language and words in order to build familiarity. The key to building rapport is; People like others who are like them.
When we mirror someone, we are only offering a reflection of themselves. This is one of the most powerful ways to connect with them on a subconscious level.
The way to mirror someone is to copy their body movements, but this must be done subtly–it can’t be done openly and called attention to or even let the person you are trying to persuade know you are doing it.
For example, if you see someone scratch their head, you should also scratch your head, but wait a few seconds after. Don’t draw attention to the fact and you don’t have to scratch where they scratch their head. Then notice their breathing time your breathing to see if you can keep pace with them. All this should be done over a course of a conversation to start to build rapport.
Practice Mirroring In The Real World
Invite a friend for coffee or catch up. Set a timer on your watch for seven minutes. Then do what you do naturally. Once the timer goes off, that’s your cue to shift your body, you could lean up against a wall, sit back and stretch your arms What you’re trying to do is get your friend to subconsciously copy you to confirm this stuff really works.
A Word Of Warning
Now you know about mirroring and understand the fundamentals of the principle. You could use this to put someone in a bad mood or to put them in any mood you like. All you have to do is build rapport and mirror them. Once you’re in sync, you can shift your body language to a more depressing outcome.
I truly believe what you put out you get back. So if you’re in a bad mood, this will be reflected, no matter how hard you try and hide it. Emotional leakage.
People communicate in different ways, but they will use a predominant way of communicating. There are five systems of communication.
Out of the five ways people communicate, there are three main types: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. To understand how a person communicates, we need to listen to the words they use.
Once we understand what style of communication they’re using, we can then shift our language accordingly to build rapport and to get them to start seeing our point of view so we can persuade them.
Let’s prove this out, the next time you are with your family or friends listen to their language and word choice. I bet you use the same style of language.
They see the world. They will use words like, “It looks good to me.” or “I can see what you mean.” in a conversation. They tend to speak fast and jump from sentence to sentence. They will also use a lot of illustrators in their body language, they will use their hands to draw pictures in the air and use their imagination a lot. They use these words in conversation, look, see, clear, sharp, focus.
Auditory people hear the world. They listen to sounds, voice tone, and the rhythm of life. You will hear them say that sounds funny to me, I hear what you’re saying, and so on. They will tilt their head to show their ear and are great listeners. Because they listen more than they speak, they are fantastic storytellers. The words they use are: hear, sound like, bang, talk, cry, they will describe the world as it sounds.
Kinesthetic people feel the world around them. They tend to speak more slowly than most. They touch a lot more than other people and will rub themselves and touch your arms. They will typically use words like heavy, strong, touch, handle, or dig in conversation.
Once you understand how people are communicating, you can start to use their words to build rapport and so they fully understand what you are asking them for or to do.
Critical listening is an important part of building rapport and a strong relationship. It will help you persuade someone to your point of view. Active listening is listening without interruption.
How do we critically listen? There are four ways we can achieve this.
- Active listening involves nonverbal communication or body language. You have to demonstrate you are engaged with them by putting your phone away and removing anything blocking your point of view. You make eye contact, typically in a good conversation eye contact is around seven seconds before you look away. You display open body language gestures, arms open, feet pointing toward them, and palms on display. You are also noticing what the other person is doing with their nonverbal communication. It’s called listening with your eyes. How do they look to you? Do they look nervous, depressed, or happy and upbeat?
- Active listening involves verbal communication. The way we do this is by asking good questions. Once the question has been asked, we let the speaker fully answer it. So the basic method is to ask open-ended questions, such as “How was your day?” Let the person answer and don’t interrupt them until they have finished. We can show we are following along by saying yes, hmm, tell me more about, etc.
- Active listening involves responding to what someone has just said. So for example You ask a question, they respond, you give an informed response. Once they have answered the question, you can reflect back on what they have just said. The key to responding is reflecting what they have just said to find out more by asking good questions.
- Active listening involves keeping the focus on the person and letting them talk. When you want to use active or critical listening, you need to tell your brain that you will focus only on them. You will resist the temptation to jump or change the conversation. You will ask involved questions about them and their life.
Critical listening is a skill that allows the individual to better hear what people are saying and interpret their speech. In this way, it enables us to get a better understanding of an individual’s feelings and how they are feeling about the topic being discussed.
What programs are people running to make a decision? We have to make decisions daily, what we wear, where we go, who we spend time with and what we are going to do with our lives etc. Most decisions once made either turn out good or bad. Depending on the outcome of the decision good or bad that will create a subconscious program.
So, for example, when you go on vacation and don’t know where you want to eat, nothing seems good, but you spot a McDonald’s, you will go there because you know, like, and trust it. You have been there hundreds of times or at the very least been exposed to the advertising. You do what feels safe and comfortable. That’s a program you have run in your mind at any time.
People make decisions every day, some of them life-altering and some not. We’re often faced with decisions that we don’t want to make.
If you are trying to persuade someone to think about what makes them feel comfortable, what do they do daily, where do they go or not? Who do they like? What turns them on as a person? Starting to make them feel comfortable and relaxed around you, incorporate some of their patterns into your behavior this will build rapport.
Once you understand people’s programs and how they work, it will be easier to persuade them to your point of view.
What is an anchor or anchoring? It’s basically saying something positive and as you say something good touching a part of your body. So for example, you could say, “Hi Bod, have you heard the good news? (touch your tie as you say good) There’s going to be a big bonus in the next paycheck (touch your tie on bonus). You can think of anchoring as sticking words, or sounds or feelings that are positive onto you. You can do this instantly and without anyone ever picking up on it if you time it correctly.
You can even use music as an anchor. If you want to take someone down memory lane to make them feel good, play a song you know they loved back in the day. You will trigger an anchor they created many years ago. This is a cool technique to use, don’t abuse this knowledge.
How To Anchor
You need to practice anchor to really understand the power they have over others. Pick someone you see daily like someone you work with. Build rapport with them and then ask them what was the funniest time they can remember? Once they get into the story every time they smile, laugh, or tell you it was the funny anchor that feeling or word to yourself. Touch your heart, rub your nose, brush your hair but keep it consistent with the anchor you are trying to plant.
Then wait a day or two and fire the anchor with them. This time, start telling a story about a fun time. Every time you laugh, use the same body language anchor you placed before. They will really start to dig into the story. Watch for the state shift.
There are many resources to learn about anchoring. We suggest a quick Google or Youtube search see this in action.
Get The Results
So you have built rapport, you have learned their communication style, you are now speaking their language. You know when the best time to ask them is because you have worked out their schedule. You have successfully anchored good feelings towards yourself; it’s time to persuade them to your point of view. If you have done everything above successfully, it should be as simple as asking a direct or leading question to get the outcome you truly want. For example, if you want to borrow money from a relative, ask them, “Would it be possible to borrow X?” If they say yes, then you’re done. If they say no, then you need to ask them why they’re not interested and work on removing the negatives and showing them the positives using the above techniques again. There is never a foolproof plan, but you can tip the odds in your favor by using covert tactics like the one above.
How to persuade someone to your point of view can be done. You need to first build rapport, get them to know and trust you, listen to how they communicate, anchor good feelings towards you, and then ask your question. You can also pick and choose what tools or techniques you use in any conversation. The outcome isn’t guaranteed, but your aim is to tip the odds in your favor.
If you have liked reading this article, check out other cool persuasion tools here.