Developing a Persuasive Argument A.K.A. Selling 101
Have you ever tried to persuade your parents, your friends or your colleague and completely failed? This is one of the things most people never learn. In school, they teach us how to develop an argument, but that’s where it ends. They often don’t teach us how to sell our argument (in a non-written form). And if you’ve ever learned how to pursue an academic argument, do you think the same applies in real-life conversation with people who might have never been introduced to that way of thinking? Have you ever felt in your day-to-day life like people just don’t get your point? It’s like the elevator doesn’t go all the way up if you know what I mean. What if I told you that the mistake might have been on your side? In this article, I’ll show you how you can appeal to the other and make them feel as if your argument was theirs.
The first step is to really think about the way people think and what they value. We hate to be marketed to, we hate to be sold something. What we love is to buy stuff. The number one mistake most of us have been doing all along was that we were trying to sell stuff. We were not trying to make our counterparts buy our arguments. What do I mean? Throwing a few reasons at others as to why they should accept your argument will only make them more distant. Why? Because they feel like you’re trying to pressure them, you’re trying to sell something to them. That is reaaaaly annoying!
So What Should I Do?
What you need to do is to develop a connection with this person’s values and principles. First, work on figuring out what is the number 1 objection that person has. Then, you want to start developing and asking questions around that point that will lead towards a mutual understanding of the benefits of your argument. In short, by making the other person answer these questions, you are making them feel like your argument is theirs as they are developing the positive side of the conversation. According to Frank Bettger, there are 6 major things you can gain by asking good questions.
#1 Helps you avoid arguments
#2 Helps you avoid talking too much (number 1 mistakes most people make)
#3 Enables you to help the other fellow recognize what he wants – then help him decide hot to get it.
#4 Helps you crystalize the other person’s thinking – the idea becomes theirs.
#5 Helps you find the key issue – the closing sale
#6 Makes the other person feel important
In a very short summary, what you want to do in a conversation where you’re trying to persuade someone or to sell something to them is to find their basic need and then their main point of interest and stick to these using open-ended questions. Talk about them, not about you!