We spend a ton of time helping our participants make the most persuasive argument possible, and are constantly hearing presentations seeking approvals, alignment, resources or a sale of some kind. All of us need to be good at this, no matter what our role is within our company. And regardless of the kind of persuasive argument you might be trying to make, there are a a few universal truths we all need to keep in mind. If we want to make our most persuasive argument, we need to do a few things… make a clear ask… detail what is involved in the ask… show what the business case for that ask is… and also show what the cost is for not doing what you are asking for or recommending. In other words, we need to paint a complete picture, of the upside and the downside, of the cost of saying “yes” and the cost of saying “no.” We need to show what all eventualities might mean.
Make sure you are giving a realistic view of what the opportunity could mean, but also make sure to spend some time showing the cost of what NOT taking advantage could mean. Make sure to demonstrate the market share your new idea might generate, but also make sure to also show what not doing it might mean for market share. Make sure to clearly show how much budget increase you are requesting, and how it will be spent, but also show what the implications of not increasing the budget will be.
In other words, 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.
We believe that great communication skills change the world. We transform people and organizations of all sizes with simple, repeatable techniques, through an integrated platform of corporate training, coaching, and asynchronous learning.
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