Whether you’re wooing stakeholders, encouraging team members, or negotiating a vendor contract, you’re using the art of persuasion. We’ve put together a list of 7 tips to help you be at your persuasive best when it matters most.

1 – Find out what motivates your audience, and use it. Are they focused on reducing expenses? Improving efficiency? Getting a product to market before a competitor? Once you know what folks really care about, you can tailor your pitch to pluck that string.


2 – Stick to your guns. If people see you waffling, they’re unlikely to agree to your requests. Instead, wait until you know precisely what you need before going after it.


3 – Know what you’re willing to give up and what you must have. You might need to compromise to gain agreement, and knowing where your line is will help you maintain a consistent message while making others feel they’re also getting something out of the deal.


4 – Keep your message (or your request) simple. People who don’t understand what you want will typically respond by refusing to participate. Be clear and precise, and strive to answer questions and eliminate confusion at every opportunity.


5 – Don’t overwhelm your audience. If you’re too pushy or relentless, you run the risk of alienating those you want to attract. Instead of convincing them to say yes, you’re giving them an easy reason to say no.


6 – Recruit helpers. Are there others who want the same thing you do? You’ll be much more effective if you band together and spread the message to a wider audience.


7 – Inspire, don’t frighten. Telling people how horrible life will be if they don’t follow you isn’t nearly as effective as showing them how great things can be if they do.

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