How do you persuade anyone of anything? It requires careful preparations, active listening — and good ethics.
We must all persuade someone every now and then.
And — there are thousands of techniques on how to do this in various situations:
Some techniques are about power and authority, others about psychology and behavior. Some techniques are scripts, others a matter of being persistent and not giving up.
If you’re selling fast-moving consumer goods, it’s all about placement — where is your product when your prospect happens to be susceptible to suggestion.
If you’re selling more expensive products, especially to other companies, a proven track-record might instill enough trust in your “target.”
Or, if you’re trying to win someone over romantically, body language, mannerisms, and pheromones might just get you laid.
Still — how do you persuade anyone of anything?
Some people believe the craziest things — despite being proven wrong. Science can explain why people are stupid.
15 years in public relations has taught me a thing or two about spin.
Unfortunately, people tend to believe in whatever version of a story that benefits themselves the most — or the version that’s coherent with their existing view of the world (they are often one and the same). Evidence and facts tend to have little effect on those who have made up their minds.
Oxford Dictionaries even named ‘post-truth’ Word of the Year in 2016, so there’s that.
Unfortunately, it’s often enough to sway people by casting enough doubt on the truth — especially if the truth is somehow inconvenient.
If you're a PR pro and a Wordpress-lover, then you should check out KingSumo Headlines which will help you write better headlines with A/B-testing.
If you’re a PR pro and a Wordpress-lover — then you should check out this powerful plugin.
(If you’re not into WordPress, maybe you should consider it? According to web legend and WP-founder Matt Mullenweg, the open source CMS powers 20% of all websites on the web.)
Now, I don’t usually write about plugins, but this one has helped me learn more about what works and what doesn’t. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve been writing all my life, but hearts and minds tend to be moving targets.
Here’s the tool:
This is going to be a short post, so pay close attention, dear readers. I'm going to reveal a favourite trick known to most conversion specialists, but not to the average digital marketer. It's fun — and a little bit weird, too. We all debate (well, some of us) colours of buttons for maximum conversions. [...]
This is going to be a short post, so pay close attention, dear readers.
I’m going to reveal a favourite trick known to most conversion specialists, but not to the average digital marketer. It’s fun — and a little bit weird, too.
We all debate (well, some of us) colours of buttons for maximum conversions. But there are more to getting that oh-so-important click than that …
By know, most are getting used to the idea of including CTAs (call-to-actions) in their online messages. A call-to-action is basically where you tell people what to do next.
Let’s just contemplate this for a while … what to do next?
Having struggled with creating great content, publish it in a timely manner while being social with your community. If you forget about the next part, you’re of course excused. It’s pretty easy to forget about it.
However, I would argue that this next is the most important aspect of them all.
People just love to be "in the know". But you already knew that, right? We all do. But how does it work, "to be in the know"? In essence, for you to be on the "inside", there also has to be an "outside". This makes in-the-know marketing techniques somewhat tricky; most companies really don't want to shut [...]
We all do.
But how does it work, “to be in the know”?
In essence, for you to be on the “inside”, there also has to be an “outside”.
This makes in-the-know marketing techniques somewhat tricky; most companies really don’t want to shut any potential customers out.
But truth is — sometimes you really should create an “outside” by design:
The dark secrets of leadership that no-one talks about.
As a business leader, I’ve picked up a few leadership insights here and there.
However, my leadership insights, such as they are, tend to be of a different kind than the typical strategies you might read about in self-help books.
For whatever reason, my leadership insights tend to lean towards the darker side of human nature.
People will always be wanting you to deliver value. By using the value triangle to set people's expectations, you position yourself better.
It could be your boss, your client, your customer, or your spouse.
We all find ourselves in situations where we must to deliver value to someone else.
But it’s obviously important to manage expectations. One powerful persuasion technique is to ask for clarification in terms of priorities using the value triangle.
Make them decide what not to prioritize!
Remember that epic ice-cream debate scene from the spin doctor movie Thank You For Smoking?
Have you seen the movie Thank You for Smoking?
If you haven’t, I can recommend it to anyone in working with public relations — it’s satirical and funny as hell.
It’s the story about Nick Naylor, a lobbyist for Big Tobacco who showcases some astonishing moral flexibility to be able to do his job. And what’s makes the movie so fun to watch is that he’s so good at what he does. Not only that, but he also has a son (with his ex-wife) that he desperately tries to bond with.
In the movie, there’s one scene between Nick and his son that I recommend in particular:
The ice-cream debate.