The Entrepreneur’s Guide of Persuasion Techniques [Introduction]
I think the power of persuasion would be the greatest superpower of all time.
– Jenny Mollen
Long back during the industrial age, entrepreneurs worked with machines and human being were just a means to manage those machines. In case any worker got injured or died, the entrepreneur only had to replace one worker with the other. The vendors and the suppliers of raw materials as well as the customers, all worked as per the rules of the machines.
No wonder it was called the Industrial Age, the age of industries and machines.
But now, we have left that age long back. Yes, industries are still there and they produce goods which are beneficial for the society, but the ‘importance’ of machines have diminished.
Right now we are into the ‘Knowledge Economy’, where great companies and great entrepreneurs rely on the knowledge, the information to take the economy of the nation forward. With the introduction of the knowledge based economy, the importance of human mind have exponentially increased.
Now, if an employee is not willing to work then you can’t simply ‘replace’ him as his worth lies in his mind and his logic, which is really difficult to replace.
In case your customer is not happy with your product/service, you simply can’t ignore that customer and move on. Every person is now connected with the Internet, which has made everyone a media outlet. You mistreat one customer, and that humble guy can connect to millions of customers with a single click of the mouse.
In case your co-founder and developers are not understanding your logic, and not working as per the plan, it can cost you fortunes, and you can’t even replace them. It will take ages to find a set of trained manpower as capable as your team is.
In other words, we are right now in a battle-field of minds; a scenario where the mind power rules the business transactions and the employee goodwill. You can’t ‘enforce’ a rule or summon every worker of your knowledge based company to follow a rule.
You need to convince them, explain the logic, and ‘persuade’ them.
Yes, the new knowledge reliant entrepreneur of today needs to master this secret art if he wishes to create the next billion dollar company. It’s the minds which we need to conquer, not the machines, and it brings us to an interesting problem:
How to win the minds of your customer, your employees and your team?
Although there are myriad problems which will hit you when you start persuading the other person with your logic, the most important one is that, people are rarely convinced by facts alone!
Aiming for the Moon – The President’s Way
In the 1960s, when US was under tremendous pressure to create it’s own space program and send a space-craft to the moon, then US president John F. Kennedy was a troubled person. How can he convince his countrymen that it is possible to create a rocket and launch it into the dark space, when no one else has done it? Yes, he had no facts to support his argument and he had no ‘testimonials’ to make the US citizen believe his intentions.
How did he manage the space program then?
He decided to conquer the minds of the people, and created inspirational speeches which directly hit the minds of the people.
He used the power of words and the art of ‘sales-pitch’ which actually inspired and motivated the scientists and intelligent people to believe that such a dare-devil stunt is actually possible. He repeatedly said that “We can beat the Soviet Union; we can win!”, and it worked. His famous speech: “We choose to go to the moon” is still regarded as one of the most inspirational speech ever delivered by any living human being on this earth.
The words of persuasion actually captured the minds of the people, and led them do impossible things (atleast things which were deemed impossible at that time).
In short, he persuaded them to greatness.
Art and Science of Persuasion: The Beginning
Persuasion is a mixture of art and science; a combination of motivation and logic; a cocktail of stories and ideas. Theoretically, anyone can learn this skill, and the change the world in a manner he or she wants. But practically, it takes years of practice and determination to master this skill.
I am not even a beginner in this art and science of persuading others, forget being a master. But yes, I am reading and observing works of famous psychologists, anthropologists, neuroscientists & economists to actually understand persuasion. I am aiming to unearth the methods and tactics which can actually change the thinking pattern of the other person, and encourage him to be on the winning side.
While reading this series, you can find answers to some of the typical questions encountered by an entrepreneur such as:
“How can we make requests which the other person can’t refuse?”
“How can we use our body language to alter other people’s view about us?
“How can be motivate and inspire employees to work smarter?”
“How can we root out unethical customers and treasure truly genuine one?”
“How can be persuade our vendors and suppliers to stick with us?”
And more such questions.
In the coming days, we will share the best methods and practices of persuasion, which are backed by scientific research and experiments. Stay tuned!