Classic Persuasion Mistakes, Part 2

Let’s continue our discussion of classic persuasion mistakes… here’s another one that we see all the time.

If you want to persuade someone to take advantage of an opportunity, don’t spend all your time trying to demonstrate all the upside, how unbelievable the idea is, and how they would be crazy if they didn’t do this. The more you build up the potential outcome, the less real it will seem. You mean that if I buy this used car now, next week, not only will I will be able to drive to work in comfort, but I will also be smarter, better looking and more popular? AWESOME! The more you build something up, the less persuasive it likely is.

Instead, at the same time while you are giving a realistic view of what the opportunity could mean, also make sure to spend some time showing the cost of NOT taking advantage could be. In other words, instead of trying to demonstrate to your boss all the market share your new idea might generate, make sure to also show what not doing it might mean for market share. Will your share go down in absolute terms? Will you open the door to another competitor gaining a foothold? Will your customer now start looking around for someone else to date?

Be the person who can show the full spectrum of the idea, both sides of the argument, the pro and the con. Be the person who can show what our new reality might look like if we do this, AND if we don’t. Don’t just show the benefit of the idea and what it will cost to execute. Also show what it will cost if we don’t do it. Be the person who can argue either side of the discussion.

In other words, be the person who presents the complete story, in a balanced, strategic and measured way. That approach will win you lots of credibility. Because if the idea sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Good luck, stay safe and healthy, and no matter who you vote for, please make sure you vote today.

Does your team:
– Take too long to make decision?
– Fail to ask for what it wants or needs from you?
– Make things too complicated?
– Deliver unconvincing or disorganized presentations?
– Have new hires who are unprepared to communicate in the workplace?

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Dean Brenner

A book about change

The Latimer Group’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.