What do you think about when you hear the word “persuade?” Does it conjure up feelings of feelings of being slimy, like you're manipulating someone, or do you see it as just another way to communicate with your fellow humans?
At its core, persuasion IS just about communicating. As humans, we are social creatures, which means we live and work in communities.
And, in order to successfully live in communities, it's essential we master communication skills, including the ability to persuade.
Despite your initial thoughts, persuasion isn't a dirty word. Each and every day, we're persuading. Whether we're persuading our kids to go to bed at a reasonable bedtime or your boss to give you a promotion or your potential customers to buy your products and services, persuasion is a part of our daily lives.
Now, if you want to persuade someone to take a certain action, then you must tap into their emotions. And, that's the moment where you must choose.
You can tap into their fear-based emotions (fear, anxiety, guilt, shame, anger, grief ) OR you can tap into their love-based emotions.
This is what the foundation of my love-based philosophy, where I teach entrepreneurs how to write copy that sells more with love. (Copywriting is writing promotional copy for businesses, not to be confused with protecting intellectual property or putting a copyright on something.)
Traditional copy and marketing focused more on tapping into fear or shame or guilt in order to sell, but that's not necessary. You can successfully tap into love and sell. In fact, let me share the science says about it:
Years ago, there was a study done to try to encourage more elementary children to develop good dental hygiene. (Specifically, to brush their teeth more.)
Researchers divided the kids into three groups:
Group 1: Researchers basically told kids, “You should brush your teeth twice a day because it's a good thing.”
Group 2: Researchers described conditions like tooth loss and gum disease and told kids the best way to not get those diseases is to brush their teeth twice a day.
Group 3: Kids were shows graphic, disgusting images of terrible gum disease with teeth falling out.
So, which group was more likely to change their habits around tooth brushing?
The second group.
The third group, that you would think would be more motivated, did not change their habits, and researchers realized it was because if you're too “fear-based” (although they didn't use that phrase), your mind is designed to “forget” what it saw. Your mind will bury as much negative stuff as it can, so as to help you continue to live and function in society.
It's a survival mechanism, to help us cope.
So, the best, most effective way to encourage people to take action and change their habits is to do precisely what I teach as part of the love-based philosophy: respectfully acknowledge your ideal client's pain (because they truly ARE in pain and to ignore that is like spiritual bypassing), without ever agitating the pain and turning it into suffering (which is fear-based).
So, how do you do that? Let me share two strategies.
1. Look at love-based persuasion as you giving people a choice
You're educating them on what the various options, and then you take a step back and let THEM choose which action they want to take.
It's common knowledge that decisions tend to stick better when the person thinks they made up their own mind. So, why not use that when you're looking to persuade someone? Approach it as educating them rather than thinking about trying to “talk them into something” and then allow them to make up their own mind without you trying to guilt them or shame them into doing what you want?
2. Don't be triggered or attached to the outcome
In other words, the more you can allow yourself to be committed to them making a decision but not attached to what they actually decided, the more you'll be able to be in love-based persuasion.
If you are strongly committed to them making a certain choice, it's going to be difficult to allow them the space to make their own choice. You may find yourself doing or saying whatever it takes to convince them to do things your way. (Including saying things that truly are manipulative.)
How do you stop yourself from being so attached? Working on your emotional intelligence. Meditation, breath work, yoga, or just sitting in the stew of your own emotions can do wonders to shift your mindset and perspective.
In addition, you yourself making a choice to choose to persuade with love versus fear is a great first step. Once you yourself are committed, it's so much easier to then actually follow through.
About the Author:
Michele PW (Pariza Wacek) is the best-selling author of the “Love-Based Business” series of books that share how to sell more with love and build a solid, profitable business on a foundation of love. In addition, she owns a copywriting and marketing company that has sold nearly $50M worth of products and services for her clients over the past 8 years. In her spare time, she also writes psychological thrillers/mystery/suspense books (two are currently published “The Stolen Twin” and “Mirror Image” with a new 3-book series due out in 2018.) To connect with Michele, visit MichelePW.com