Persuasion skills are one of the core traits of any popular and successful business leader. Persuasion in business goes hand in hand with other characteristics – such as charisma, communication skills, and listening skills – but it should be developed and nurtured following specific methods.
In this article, we aim to clarify what persuasion is and why it’s important in business communication, as well as provide some actionable tips on how to bolster persuasion skills within a business or professional context.
Defining Persuasion: What It Is and How It Works
Before we discuss the best ways to boost your persuasion in business skills, it’s essential to offer a definition of the term “persuasion”. When talking about persuasion, we mean the use of communication with the goal of convincing the audience to take a specific action. In a business context, persuasion can be used to convince someone to buy a product or to sign up for a product trial.
Essentially, through persuasion skills, you can change the other person’s attitude, views, and opinions by presenting specific information in a non-forceful way. If you want, you can think of persuasion as the subtle art of influencing another person’s behavior and choices after you have proven the validity and usefulness of your perspective.
Because persuasion is non-coercive, it is also absolutely not the same as manipulation. With persuasion, business leaders display genuine, transparent information about a product or solution that they believe can improve the quality of life of their audience. It is the way they do this, as opposed to purely the product or solution that they are trying to sell, that ultimately convinces their audience to complete a purchase. Persuasion in business is similar to persuasion in other areas of life, although it follows some very specific techniques, which we are going to discuss later on. A persuasive leader can guide their team to take actions that benefit the business, as well as encourage people to deal with problems in a more strategic and effective way.
Persuasion and Communication
It’s important to clarify that persuasion is not the same as communication. Yes, they are both vital skills to possess as a leader, but they do not mean the same. When we talk about communication, we simply refer to the process of passing and sharing information.
In traditional modes of communication, this information sharing is not always governed by the necessity to convince someone to do something. Therefore, general types of communication are not always tied to the act of persuasion, and should not be confused with it.
Why Is Persuasion in Business So Crucial?
Let’s now look at three essential benefits of persuasion in business.
1. Professional Progression
Whether you are already leading a small team or have ambitions to strengthen your leadership at a C-level, refining your persuasion skills can help. Being able to influence and convince others, in fact, demonstrates your strong communication skills, listening skills, and problem-solving abilities. All these are among the most crucial traits of a great business leader.
2. Better Work Performance
Business leaders within sales departments can benefit from working on their persuasion skills as these can help them perform better at work. Persuasive salespeople, in fact, tend to close more sales, build stronger client relationships, and earn higher commissions, all the while supporting the success of their company.
3. Future-Ready Approach
Is your company stuck in old ways of doing things? In the long term, not embracing technologies and change can seriously grind your company’s progress to a halt. If you nurture your persuasion skills, though, you can convince other leaders and managers to adapt to the ever-changing economic landscape around them, thus thrusting your company towards more sustained and longer-lasting success.
How to Nurture Your Persuasion Skills
Now that you know what persuasion in business is and why it’s important, let’s find out three great ways to enhance your persuasion skills.
1. Listen More, Persuade Better
If you think that persuasion skills are all about being great orators, you should probably think again. Before you even begin to talk, in fact, you need to do something a lot more important: listen.
By listening to whoever you have in front of you, and by genuinely trying to put yourself in their shoes and understanding what challenges they are trying to solve, you will be able to offer them exactly what they want, in a language that they know, like, and understand.
2. Leverage Your Expertise
Regardless of which industry your company operates in, you can leverage persuasion skills through client testimonials or celebrity endorsements. For example, let’s imagine that you are a brand that sells organic, healthy snacks.
By working with influencers, celebs, and even ordinary consumers that genuinely love your products, you can leverage persuasion skills to convince your audience that what you are selling is, in fact, of excellent quality and valued by a wide range of people – including their favorite VIPs.
3. Make It Personal
Personalization, in business, is (almost) everything. We all love to feel valued and unique, and when we find a brand that authentically celebrates our uniqueness, we tend to stick with it.
Try your hand at non-verbal persuasion skills by adding a touch of customization to your e-commerce store, landing page, or website. Make the entire shopping experience as bespoke, interactive, and engaging as possible, and show your customers that you have exactly what they want and need.
Persuasion in business is an essential aspect that can take your leadership skills to the next level. By developing, refining, and nurturing your persuasion skills, you will be able to foster change and innovation, progress professionally, and perform better at work.
And remember, persuasion skills are not always verbal. Sometimes, something visual like a catchy landing page can be just as persuasive (if not more) as a well-thought-out speech.
At Impro.AI, we are passionate about supporting companies around the globe with best-in-class tools and resources to succeed in the digital age. Chat with us today, and find out how we can help you.