In the world of business, the art of persuasion is a valuable skill to possess. Not only can you close more sales, increase followers and engagement on social media, and make solid partnerships with other companies – with the right persuasion techniques, you can learn to connect more deeply with every person you come into contact with.
Swing the odds in your favor and learn to persuade anyone with these 4 tips taken from psychology theories.
Learn to Persuade Anyone With These 4 Tips
Ever wish you knew the magic words to say to make someone agree with you or do what you want them to do? There are no magic words, but if you follow the tips below, you’ll tap into the human psyche and know how to touch on all the right points to persuade someone.
1. The majority will always listen to a vocal minority
When you’re trying to persuade others, it can feel pointless when the majority doesn’t seem to agree with you. But the Conversion Theory states that a confident, vocal minority is more effective at changing hearts and minds than a complacent majority.
If you’re championing an idea or action that doesn’t seem widely accepted at first, just be vocal about it, educate others as much as possible, and be consistent. Your ideas will be heard by the majority, increasing your persuasion power!
2. Bend the truth when appropriate
Before we talk about why telling white lies or omitting some small truth from your statements will make you more persuasive, we have to talk about the general, social rules of what we expect in an average conversation.
These are called the four conversational maxims in the world of psychology.
The 4 Conversational Maxims
Quantity: Information given is complete and full.
Quality: Information given is truthful and accurate.
Relation: Information given is relevant to the conversation.
Manner: Information given is expressed in an easy-to-understand way and non-verbal actions support the tone of the statement
How does this help you learn to persuade others?
Building on this information, when we communicate with others, we follow certain rules that help us trust each other and the information exchanged. For the most part, we assume that the other person is going to give us complete, accurate, relevant, and easy-to-understand information when we communicate.
But when you’re trying to achieve a goal or result through communicating with someone, following these 4 maxims can actually keep you from effectively persuading the other person.
That’s right – in order to most effectively persuade someone, you have to break one of these 4 maxims.
You might break rule 1 and omit information that doesn’t help your cause, or break rule 2 and give untruthful information. Breaking rule 3 would mean giving information that isn’t really relevant to the conversation, but helps your cause anyway – think mudslinging politicians. And breaking rule 4 might mean giving information in a confusing or rushed manner. Any of these can make you more persuasive, although many feel uncomfortable using dishonest tactics to persuade others.
3. Seem unsure, not overly confident
The Amplification Hypothesis says that when you seem certain or confident in an idea or attitude, it tends to ‘harden’ those you’re communicating with against the idea. But when you express uncertainty and don’t show complete confidence in a decision or idea, others soften or warm to the idea.
Why? Think back to a recent argument or disagreement you’ve had with someone. You might have spoken surely and confidently about why you were right and they were wrong in an attempt to get that person to agree with you. But did it work? Probably not. Confidence is usually a wonderful thing to have and show to the world, but if you want to learn to persuade others effectively, you need to be able to show a little vulnerability.
If you can express your own ideas with a hint of uncertainty, you say to the other person that you really value their input and make yourself seem less intimidating by asking for it. For a business owner who wants to persuade employees, this can be an excellent tactic to try as you learn to persuade others more effectively.
4. Say these persuasive words
Words don’t all carry the same persuasion power – some words ‘convert’ more than others when it comes to persuasion. Saying the right words can help you persuade someone without changing the original message or idea you want to discuss.
The Ultimate Terms theory found that there are 3 general types of persuasive words:
God terms: Words that demand sacrifice or obedience, like power or progress
Devil terms: Words that we associate with disgust or hatred like pedophile or narcissist
Charismatic terms: Words that describe intangible concepts like freedom or happiness
Using any of these 3 types of persuasive words can help your words carry more power. In different scenarios, God, Devil, and Charismatic terms can be appropriate to tip the odds in your favor.
Bonus words that help persuade others: