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How to Persuade Someone to Do Something

How to persuade someone to do something

How to persuade someone to do something

  1. Tell them how they may pay a price, or miss out, if they don't do it.
  2. Tell them how they would PERSONALLY benefit if they did do it.
  3. Tell them the benefits will be quickly felt.
  4. Tell them it will be easy.
  5. Tell them it will be fun.
  6. If possible, sign them up immediately with an activity that really is quick, easy and fun.

1. Tell them how they may pay a price, or miss out, if they DON'T do it.

Remember this: The avoidance of pain is a major motivator.

People want to maximise the good things in life and minimise the bad. So, the first thing you can say to people to persuade them to do something, is to tell them that they could miss-out on something good or suffer something bad, if they don't do it.

Use words such as: "don't lose out", "don't miss out", "no longer suffer the painful consequence", "don't suffer any longer".

2. Tell them how they would PERSONALLY benefit if they did do it.

Remember this: The achievement of a pleasurable benefit is also a major motivator.

Because people are self-interested, one of the most powerful ways to persuade people to do something, is to show them how they will gain personally, if they were to do it.

The gain may either be a material or a non-material gain.

  • A material gain would include things such as, money, profit, free time or more pleasure.
  • A non-material gain would include feelings such as pride, confidence, self-esteem, happiness.

When talking about material gains, use words such as; gain, achieve, earn, win, receive, money, profit, free time or pleasure.

When referring to non-material gains, use words such as; confidence, motivation, pride, self-esteem, security, sense of achievement.

3. Tell them the benefits will be quickly felt.

People don't want to wait. They want it now!

So, when you are persuading people, tell them that they will start to see the benefits immediately. Note the word "start".

Use words such as; quickly, immediately, rapidly, fast, straight away.

4. Tell them it will be easy.

Nobody likes things to be too hard or too complicated. They prefer things that are straight forward and simple.

So, use words such as; straight-forward, simple, easy, step by step, effortless.

5. Tell them it will be fun.

Everyone likes fun. So, tell them they will have fun.

If the task itself is not fun, then tell them that the people they will be doing the task with, are fun. ie "You will be working with the bomb disposal team who are a terrific bunch! You will have a lot of fun working with them!"

Use words such as; fun, enjoy, relish, like, happy, laugh.

6. Sign them up immediately with an activity that really is quick, easy and fun.

If you don't "close the sale" there and then, the chances are they will soon lose interest, because the next thing that comes along will overlay the memory of what you have said to them. Therefore, it is important to hook-them-in.

As soon as you can get them started in a small way they will have emotionally committed. Once you have that initial emotional commitment, then the decision is made.

Ensure that the initial activities you give them are indeed, quick easy and fun.

Once they are on board with the first few tasks, you can keep them going by using the same methods.

  • Warn them of the dangers of not continuing.
  • Reaffirm the benefits of continuing.
  • Make the tasks seem as easy and as fun as you can.
  • Do that by breaking complex difficult tasks into a series of simple, easy, fun tasks.

Try these tactics next time you want to persuade someone to do something.

Here are ten further ways to persuade someone.

About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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