Do you find it easy to persuade people? That’s a broad question, with an answer that is likely to be some version of, “Sometimes.” Whether someone is easily persuaded depends on a lot. The size of the ask, the environment and situation you’re in, the kind of person you’re trying to persuade, and other variables can all play a part in how easily someone is persuaded. But when you lay a good foundation of what we call “pre-persuasion,” it makes the actual persuasion much easier.
So, what, exactly, is “pre-persuasion?” It’s basically all the work you do before you make the final ask that makes your audience more receptive to your ask when you do make it. It involves mind-bending concepts like preparing for meetings, treating people with respect, being a good listener, and building credibility with your audience. It may seem glaringly obvious, but you’d be amazed how often people overlook these critical steps toward good (and successful) persuasion.
Pre-persuasion begins long before it’s time to make that final ask, and we believe you should always be in “pre-persuasion” mode. Even after the ask, that process of good listening, building credibility, etc. should continue, because you’re always setting yourself up for future persuasion.
Can you still get a favorable outcome if you don’t lay that pre-persuasion groundwork? Yes, but we guarantee it will be much harder.