According to Cialdini, all of the true masters at persuasion (those who are effective at getting others to comply with their requests) are those that spend more time on 'what' they do prior to making their requests. These masters create a psychological context, an environment, in which people are interested in hearing what they have to say. As a result, others are more predisposed and willing to support any requested actions. In essence, persuasion masters create a psychological state in which people are receptive to their message.
In general, if you have a good case to present or story to tell, you need to ensure that people are prepared to hear it. That is what Pre-suasion does for you. It sets the stage, heightening the effectiveness of your persuasion attempt. Two primary elements that are part of the Pre-suasion process are; the need to create positive relationships and the need to establish your credibility.
Creating Positive Relationships
In building more positive relationships, as part of the Pre-suasion process, you need to ensure that you focus time and attention on the other party. People get very tired, very quickly, of a relationship that is all one-sided. Showing a sincere interest in others, helping them to achieve some of their goals and desires, will predispose them to want to reciprocate and help you in future. If you want them to treat your future persuasion attempts with respect start by giving them their due and listening with respect to their requests.
To create and build your credibility, you need to consider the interaction between four key elements.
- What is the level of integrity that you bring to your interactions? Bear in mind that the consistency of your actions across circumstances counts. If you mislead a customer to make a sale you can't be surprised when coworkers believe you may also mislead them to get what you want.
- What is your personal agenda for the interaction? Let's face facts here... my perception of your motives will always influence how 'genuine' I find your actions and behaviors.
- How relevant are your capabilities and skills, as they pertain to the issue at hand? Your perceived level of experience and expertise will go a long way toward establishing your credibility in any situation. This is why self-marketing is such an important skill to cultivate. The more people who know what your talents and skills are, the broader your credibility and the more effective your influence attempts.
- What have your accomplishments been to-date? Obviously, your results, both past and current, count toward establishing your credibility. You've got to deliver to be believed.
Few of us are in the position of not having to get work done with and through others. Therefore, the ease and effectiveness with which we are able to do just that - work through others - will greatly enhance our accomplishments and success. At the end of the day, how you treat people today will determine the effectiveness of your persuasion attempts of tomorrow.