Tactics in a Person-to-Person Setting
By Michael Lee,
Author of How
To Be An Expert Persuader
Persuasion is easier
to apply during a conversation between two people, as opposed
to communicating in front of a group.
This is because in
a person-to-person setting, the opportunity to better understand
the point of view of the other party exists. You can nitpick and
delve into every single detail, as opposed to speaking to an audience,
where the interaction is usually one sided.
In this kind of setting,
it is possible for you and the other person to reach a compromise
that would bring the best probable value for both of you. You
may even want to change your stance while you're at it.
In short, person-to-person
conversations are so open and flexible that it allows not just
you to change course, but also allow you to alter another person's
How do you get the
most out of person-to-person interactions?
1) Have patience.
Persuasion may not
happen on your first try - or even the second, the third, or the
fourth. There are times that a certain idea has to be pondered
on and assessed more deeply and critically, that to be too aggressive
in getting acceptance might only ruin chances of a good deal.
We've been through
this situation before. How many times have we been told, "If
you try to push me one more time, I will have to turn you down"?
requires skill, not annoying pushiness. If you are sensitive enough
to know the symptoms of agreement or submission, you will be able
to steer the conversation to a point where you have the opportunity
If the other party
doesn't seem to be leaning toward your idea and his or her body
language shows it, then you should know better to try at another
2) Stop yourself
from rebutting too much.
One of the greatest
mistakes of persuasiveness is your penchant to answer back and
rebut. We often try to pretend to listen to another person's idea,
which we do not really agree to, when in fact, what we are doing
is preparing for a rebuttal to his or her statements.
No matter how discreet
you try to be at this, the other party will eventually notice
that you are zoned out and will do the same to you when it's your
turn to give your ideas.
What ensues is a discussion
that has two levels: one that is verbal and obvious, and one that
is based on underlying meanings and subliminal banter. You may
be able to prove your point and so will the other person, but
nobody really wins.
Nobody can successfully
persuade if the conversation is just based on a subliminal battle.
When you're trying to sell something, this will be your deal killer.
In a friendship, this is what will burn bridges. This habit is
very undesirable. Try to stop yourself every time you feel inclined
to do so.
3) Be passionate.
To effectively persuade
another person, you have to truly believe in what you are saying.
Intellectual honesty and genuine concern for other people will
give you that persuasive edge.
If you don't feel
passionate enough, the other party will notice it and will not
be convinced. It's not likely that you will be able to successfully
sell an idea you have feel no passion about.
"Allow" others to persuade you.
You can't be effective
at persuasion if you are not open to being persuaded also. Remember,
you're not the only one who is trying to get your point heard.
In a person-to-person setting, the other party is also seeking
to win you over to his or her side.
Be generous with compliments.
love to hear something nice about themselves. So find something
praise-worthy about the person in question. It doesn't have to
be too profound.
feel good about hearing compliments, so try to express your delight
more freely. However, don't over do it because that might cause
them to doubt your sincerity; and more importantly, don't sound
like a crazy stalker.
In order to persuade,
you must be sincere. Aside from that, you also need to effectively
communicate your emotions and thoughts. You can do this not just
by saying the right things, but also by employing the proper assertive
behavior and body language. Thus, if you want to improve your
persuasion skills, don't be a drag. Be open-minded and show it.
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