Persuasion is not just another buzzword. It's a living force that has the power to change people's lives. However, most people either don't understand its full potential or perceive it as something negative.
The truth is that persuasion comes in many forms. It's a powerful weapon - the outcome depends on how you're going to use it.
Good vs. Bad Persuasion
Just like beauty, persuasion is a relative concept. When used correctly, it can turn prospects into customers, give businesses a competitive edge, and even saves lives. Sometimes, people take things too far and end up manipulating others.
There is a fine line between persuasion and manipulation. Let's say a salesman comes at your door and tries to sell you a new vacuum cleaner. He claims that the product is energy efficient and uses 80 percent less electricity compared to other similar appliances. His statements are backed up by facts.
If you buy the vacuum cleaner, both you and the salesman will benefit from it. That’s a good example of persuasion used correctly.
Now imagine the following scenario: a salesman tries to entice you into a buying a new diet pill. His statements lack any scientific background. He's just pushing the product and keeps pressuring you.
In this case, we're talking about manipulation. If you buy the pills, you'll lose money and even ruin your health. The salesman, on the other hand, will earn a commission and increase his revenue.
Manipulation revolves around self-interest. On the other hand, persuasion relies on integrity and so it’s a win-win for both parties.
What Does It Mean to Be Persuasive?
A persuasive person can convince others to believe something or perform an action to their benefit. This skill set is necessary for managers, leaders, parents, and well, everyone. You might try to persuade your child to do his homework, convince a friend to start his own business or get your customers to recommend your brand to others. There's nothing wrong with that.
The key to effective persuasion is to provide something of value and skillfully describe the logic and benefits of what you offer.
Back up your claims with hard facts. Turn objections into strengths. Show people how their lives will improve once they embrace your ideas or start to use your products. Be honest and transparent.
Persuasion is always possible. It all comes down to how you're going to use the power you have on others.