Persuading others is what entrepreneurs do most. You persuade people to invest in you and your idea, persuade talented people to work for you for less than they could elsewhere, and you are persuading customers that what you have to offer provides them significant value.
Yet, according to recent research by Stanford, Harvard, and others places most people use the wrong tactics when attempting to convince others. Here are the three most common mistakes you can use immediately. You can find the full write up about these unusual tactics in a Forbes article by Dianna Booher.
People take the average of all your arguments, they don’t add them together!
This surpises most people, and it did me. When you give someone all the fantastic reasons they should do what you are pitching because all these things together add up to so much value, research says your listener will average the best thing on your list with the less valuable, making the result that they see the value as lower than your best asset. This is a big argument for keeping your persuasive pitch simple and short.
Listeners put more value on potential than on actual achievement.
This is a big revelation for women, because in general women work very hard to prove their value and ability before asking for the deal, whereas men often ask people to bet on them, so they can prove their worth after the fact. Even if you are great at 15 things, focus your discussion on what you can potentially do, not what you have done.
Use “Yes, and…” rather than “Yes, but…” statements when you have reached a disagreement to spiral your conversation up rather than down.
This is something most of us have learned in parenting classes, marraige counseling, and negotiation books. But do you do it? Very few people are good at moving disagreements away from arguments and towards alignment. It is a skill you can learn, and must.