Persuasion in Business communication

In general you don’t get what you want by lying down, screaming hysterically and drumming your heels on the floor.

Let us look into a more subtle process in which you consciously seek to establish rapport with the persons you are trying to persuade.

Those people who are interested in other people find easy to build rapport, but these skills can also be learned.

Let me help you to acquire some simple techniques which will help you to do so.

The art of persuasion, of influencing the people around you, is a vital skill in the workplace. Without it you will be simply ineffective.

Today businesses are run largely by cross-functional teams of peers and populated by baby boomers that show little tolerance for unquestioned authority.

Work today gets done in an environment where people don’t just ask ‘what should I do?’, but ‘why should I do it?

To answer this ‘why’ question effectively is to persuade.

What can separate you as the persuader from the rest is that your ability to understand what is going on in the other person’s head.

You can use to resolve disputes or change a person’s attitudes towards a task or colleague.

Understand the power of persuasion

The saying “No man is an island” is an undeniable truth.

You need the support and cooperation of other people to help in reaching your goals.

You should know (for being successful) that one of the most important abilities to possess is the ability to persuade and influence others.


In business, you may have experienced that in order to alter the attitudes, beliefs and mindsets of others for encouraging them to endorse your way of thinking.

You can build a more coherent team, which functions effectively together, to furthering your own personal career, especially when in an industry such as politics.

Persuasion, together with good negotiation skills, will help you to ensure that when negotiating contracts and terms with suppliers and clients you get the best possible deal you can.


You must make the listener feel as if she/he is an important part of your vision.

For example, using the term “we” in place of “me” or “I” will help the person to whom you are communicating feel more involved, giving you more influence over them.

You place yourself in the mindset of your audience to begin with and identify what its current attitude is towards the subject matter that you will be discussing.

You can then use this information to identify how you can use these beliefs and feelings to help persuade it to thinking the same way as you do.

Enter Their World

Try to put yourself in the other’s shoes and understand the situation from their point of view.

Set aside your personal interests and concentrate on them.

Ask yourself if you are them, what would you do?

What would be your opinion?

Then take the appropriate action that would be beneficial to them.

Mirror Their Body Language

Perhaps, you may not have realized that people feel comfortable with those who are like them.

Copy the person you are trying to create a connection with.

Observe how they act, how they speak, and how they think.

If they rub their forehead while they think, act like them.

If they speak at a clear and slow pace, try to do the same thing.

This is called mirroring.

In due time, the people you’re mirroring will subconsciously feel more comfortable with you.
Its as if they see themselves in you.

Detailing Benefits

State the benefits that your proposal will bring for her/him.

For example, if you are endeavoring to persuade an investor to provide financial help for your company, you will detail to er/him how the investment will benefit her/him, by eventually making her/him more money.

Ask questions to regain your audience’s attention if you can see that it is losing interest.

Show Them Whats In It For Them

This is the most important thing to remember when persuading anyone.

People are self-centered. They always put their own well-being before others.

If you can prove that your proposal will provide more advantageous benefits to them than to you, they are more likely to accept it.

Genuinely Care For Them

Focus more on their interests, desires, needs, and expectations, so you can satisfy their craving for attention, and establish mutual trust and respect.

It also shows that you really care about them and that will make them more likely to trust you and want to work with you.

Clarify Action Points

Give your audience specific tasks or action points to carry out to ensure that they can act upon what you have persuaded them to do.

For example, if you are a manager who has persuaded a member of your team to perform a task for you, give her/him a deadline by which she/he has to fulfil her/his responsibilities.

This will ensure that your persuasive communication is carried through, and objectives are met.

Provide Them With Compelling Evidence

Explain to them how your ideas or suggestions could be the most effective techniques to implement.

Show them undeniable proof that you have the best product by way of testimonials, before and after scenarios, and detailed comparisons against your competitors.

Just make sure that all your claims are true and verifiable. Always maintain a good reputation.

Body Language

You should use effective body language as much as the spoken word.

Maintain eye contact and greet your audience with a firm handshake.

Stand up straight, with your balance spread evenly through both feet, not shifting from side to side.

Talk and act with confidence, as this will instill confidence in your audience.

Be Cheerful and Nice

Did your mother tell you to be nice to people? She was right. People like others who brighten up their day.

Make a sincere compliment to raise their spirits. Little things like these go a long way to breaking the ice and setting the relationship off to a good start.

Be Sincere and Trustworthy

Make them feel that whenever they need help or just someone to look up to, youll always be there to lend a hand. People tend to be more receptive to those they trust.

If you have a boss or client you are trying to please, overdeliver and exceed their expectations. Soon, they will notice your efforts and will be more than glad to grant your request.

Apprehend why listening skill is so crucial in the art of persuasion

Listening is an important part of both persuasion and communication.

The problem is that when we are in “persuade” mode, we listen with an agenda.

We are hearing only those things that impact our ability to persuade.

We take what we hear, use it to reinforce our argument, to shape what we say to move closer to our objectives.

The problem is that when we listen with an agenda, we hear what we want to hear and may not be hearing what others are really saying.

Consequently, we can make errors.  We may not really be hearing the customer, we pursue our strategy, but may actually be failing  because we are becoming increasingly disconnected with the customer.

If we aren’t hearing what the customer is saying, we are incapable of responding to their need and creating value meaningful to them.

Understand how to say the right thing at the right time, can improve skills in influencing other people

You might have experienced that what comes out of your mouth reflects what’s in your heart.

Words are powerful and extremely concentrated! When spoken in too large quantities, they can affect emotions and attitudes. They germinate readily when spoken; therefore, you must learn to bite your tongue and be careful about what and how you say things. It’s not always right to speak out and express whatever pops into your mind.

Respond graciously to criticism.

Give yourself a few moments to think about your response before you charge in mouth-first. Re-word your statement to be more effective. Make your point graciously and in a professional and convincing manner.

Suresh Shah, M.D., Pathfinders Enterprise

Comments are closed.