Punchy Persuasion in a Tick!

Persuading people directly can seem like a tricky ask.

“I want you to do this because, well, it’s a good idea.”

Somehow this isn’t going to wash.  What you need is a structure that doesn’t need 25 slides, takes just 5 minutes and works.  That’s the PROEP.  You can use it face to face as well as emails.  Do remember, you need all the steps, especially ‘Objections’.

My clients love it because it’s easy and it works.  Here’s how.

Question:

“I’ve got to persuade my boss to follow a strategy in a meeting that’s coming up.  How can I persuade him quickly that what we need to do is a good idea?”

Answer:

Go for the PROEP Model of persuasion

Proposal (Outline):

We need to bring in more Sales people alongside the Tech teams for Cloud A.I.

Reasons (3 max!):

We’ll have easier access to a large market.

Objections (inc. cost, time, effort.  Remember to build in a way of countering those objections):

I understand that the upfront costs may seem off-putting.  Although many of our teams are great on-site, they’re not up-selling and cross-selling at the rate we’d like, especially since we went virtual.  We’d get more business with less hassle with a specialist or two.  

I know that many Sales people brush the IT teams up the wrong way but with someone who’s got a proven record at winning business in our sector and sells our skills accurately, we’d see profits without the pain.  I can get in touch with xxxx Recruitment that could find just the right people for us.

Evidence:

[Our Competitor] has had a dedicated team selling similar tech to the finance sector.  Although they started 8 months ago, they’ve seen a xxxx% increase in profit in the last 6 months.

Proposal:

So, in my view, taking on more Business Development expertise could potentially double our profits within half a year.

Just a note about ‘Evidence’:  This depends on how any one individual tends to be persuaded.  Consider that any of the following points could be evidence:

  1. Something similar you’ve achieved before;
  2. Something someone else has achieved before;
  3. Statistics: projected or otherwise.
  4. The sight of something – a picture/walkabout etc
  5. Pointing out what can be avoided or what can be gained by following a particular course of action.

There are more but this will cover most persuasive arguments.

It’s vital to integrate the objections because the inner voice of the listener / reader is probably shouting them through your own words at the first mention.  If you address these counter-arguments, you’ll muffle that voice.

Here’s another proposal you may want to deal with, more everyday than something that’ll break the markets:

Question:

I want a new office chair because the existing ones hurt my back.  How do I persuade Finance to buy one?

Answer:

Go for the PROEP Model of persuasion

Proposal (Outline):

I need a new office chair.

Reasons (3 max!):

The reason for this is that the current one has given me severe backache.  The result of this is that I’ve had to take the last week off work.

Objections (inc. cost, time, effort.  Remember to build in a way of countering those objections):

You may regard this is an unnecessary expense.  However, as I’ve had to take time off work and it’s therefore slowed my productivity, a decent chair would be an investment that would reduce absenteeism and allow me to work longer hours without pain.

Evidence:  

In my old office we had excellent chairs by Lumbar Jacks and I never once had a problem.

Proposal:  

So, that’s why exchanging my current office chair for an orthopaedic one would be so beneficial.

 

Your Action:

  1. jot down something you’d like to initiate: an idea for which you need someone to give you the green light;
  2. note your P.R.O.E.P.;
  3. email / call a friend or colleague to make sure you’ve preempted any of the objections in advance and that you have all the evidence necessary to override those doubts;
  4. speak to the person you need to persuade and ask them for 5 minutes of their time – uninterrupted;
  5. use the PROEP (and ditch the slides since you’re the weapon of mass persuasion).

 

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