Persuade: The 4-Step Process to Influence People and Decisions – Andres Lares
Persuade: The 4-Step Process to Influence People and Decisions, written by Andres Lares and Jeff Cochran, is a practical guide for those hoping to improve their ability to influence and persuade others.
It outlines a four-step process for persuasion, which includes assessing the situation, preparing for the conversation, engaging in dialogue, and strategizing for success.
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The book also provides readers with an in-depth look at the key elements of successful persuasion, such as understanding human behavior, body language, and effective communication.
Additionally, the book offers a range of tactics, strategies, and tips to help readers maximize their ability to influence and persuade. By applying the four-step process outlined in the book, readers can become more successful in their negotiations and interactions with others.
Ethics of Influencing
The five tenets of the Ethical Principles of Psychology:
Beneficence: Approach influence and persuasion with the intent to benefit others and do no harm. To do this, you must be alert to the wants and needs of others and balance these against your own motives and self-interest.
Responsibility: Your obligation to be loyal and faithful and do what you say. You must hold your end of any agreement and accept your own responsibility for the outcomes.
Integrity: Your dedication to use accuracy, honesty, and truthfulness in your pitches and arguments. You should not lie, use fraud, or deceive to elicit self-serving interests, and you should strive to correct any misconceptions that lead to mistrust.
Justice: The sense of fairness behind your outcome or intended outcome. In your attempts to influence and persuade, you should be looking for the win-win, where everyone benefits and there is no loser.
Respect: People have the right to privacy, confidentiality, and to their own self-determination. This means not taking advantage of people and allowing them to come to their decision without being manipulative or forceful.
Step 1: Building Credibility
Establishing credibility occurs along two primary fronts: building a trusting relationship with the person with whom you are building credibility and showing the knowledge and expertise behind your ideas and proposals.
Building Trust: Remember to use the trust equation. Trust is the connection, value, and reliability in a relationship, balanced by one’s self-interest.
Establishing Expertise: You must be credible as a person, and your ideas must be credible. You can show the credibility of your ideas by establishing your knowledge and expertise.
Borrow Credibility: Borrow credibility to increase your own credibility more quickly. Many ways exist to borrow credibility, including borrowing credibility through your brand story and through associations, partnering with experts, and showcasing your achievements and recognition.
Show Vulnerability: Showing vulnerability signals to people you trust them. It shows a willingness to trust, which makes the other party more willing to trust you.
Become a Trusted Advisor: Work to earn the elusive status of a Trusted Advisor. You can do this by building a connection, a relationship, understanding the other person’s wants and needs, and by generously sharing your knowledge and providing value.
Step 2: Engaging Emotions
The primary emotions associated with influencing are:
Achievement: The need to win or to obtain something you do not have is a strong motivator. To draw on the need for achievement, focus on eliciting emotions associated with satisfaction, interest, and joy.
Fear: The need to avoid negative consequences, or emotions associated with fear, is one of the strongest drivers of decision making.
Obligation: Humans also have an innate need for fairness; thus, obligation and the need for reciprocity drive many decisions. To harness the power of obligation, draw on the feelings of admiration and satisfaction.
Manage Your Emotions
- Enhance your emotional intelligence by learning to assess yourself, manage your emotions, practice empathy, and manage the influence of emotions on decisions.
- Tell Relevant Stories: Incorporate storytelling into conversation to engage emotion throughout the influencing process.
- Script: Write everything you want to say. Take some time away to review it with a fresh mind. Then practice, practice, practice.
- Mirror Others: Learn to get comfortable mirroring body language and other forms of nonverbal communication to build rapport, increase liking, and engage emotions. You can even use mirroring to change the body language of others.
Step 3: Demonstrating Logic
The key components of demonstrating logic include the following:
Communicating Natural and Logical Consequences: Remember to use the If/When-Then-Because formula: If and when something happens- then something is expected- because of some set of natural or logical consequences.
Offering Social Proof: You can use social proof to strengthen the logic of your proposed solution. Whether the evidence is from the masses, from your peers, or from thought leaders and people you look up to, offering social proof offers credence to your “because” statement.
Offering Documented Proof: Documented proof could include affiliations, certifications, and awards. It could include market research, test results, statistical analysis, white papers, or case studies.
Frame: Approach decision making with the framing effect in mind. Remember, when framing your arguments, people are risk averse and will give up a lot more to avoid losses than they will to seek potential gains.
Anchor: Whenever possible, take the initiative to set the first anchor. However, make sure to do your research and set the anchor within (or close to) each party’s bargaining range.
Benefits Not Features: Avoid describing your solution by its features. Rather, focus on the advantages and benefits, the things the other party cares about.
Step 4: Facilitating Action
The key components of facilitating action include the following:
- Lay the groundwork.
- Understand possible outcomes.
- Overcome any objections.
- Create a sense of urgency.
Soft Closes: Although not exactly closes, soft closes ask low-impact (preferably open-ended) questions to gather information, understand and overcome objections, and let you know where you are in the closing process.
Hard Closes: At some point, you have to ask. Hard closes directly or indirectly ask for a decision. Many direct and indirect ways exist to ask for a close, including summary closes, direct closes, and assumptive closes. Just remember, if you can create a sense of urgency with any of these closes, you will be even more likely to get to a yes.
The End Game
Get the Small Yes: Get the other party into an agreement mindset by eliciting yesses. Start with questions for which you know the answer will be a yes. Then lead the questions closer to the relevance of your pitch and close.
Provide Options: People want to make their own decisions and feel in control. Providing choices, or at least the illusion of choice, is another great facilitator of action. We recommend three to five choices to be ideal, with the middle option the default (i.e., the one you most want them to choose).
Create a Safety Net: Reduce the risk behind a decision by providing a safety net. Consider how you can add safety nets, such as guarantees, warranties, and opt-out clauses to your next pitch. By creating a safety net, you will reduce the chances of buyer’s remorse, which may sour the trust in the relationship.