It can be difficult to convince a person of something. The reason for this is not necessarily because they are obstinant, squabbling, or love disputes — people simply have a strong psychological barrier that once helped our ancestors survive.

We hardly believe anyone. How much trust is there in others when our own brain plays cruel jokes with us, constantly editing our memories?

We rightly do not trust strangers. However, studies show that on average we are even less likely to trust loved ones. That is, those whom we know personally. Add to this the effect of false consensus (the assumption that the other person already shares our point of view, so no special effort should be made to convey the idea to him), and the task of convincing someone of something seems almost impossible.

However, the ability to convince others is a key skill for working with people, recruiting, leading a team, and of course marketing and sales. You can’t do without it if you intend to build your own business. And precisely because it is incredibly difficult, specialists are valued so much with, as they say, «the gift for the gab.»

A strong speaker can lead crowds, and the ability to convince can be a powerful tool in the hands of a skilled person. They can motivate people to incredible and heroic accomplishments, to help themselves, and they can be deceived and forced to act in others’ interests, sometimes contrary to logic and common sense.


People are more or less easy to agree with what benefits them. They can fight the natural tendency of self-interest. But if an assertion contradicts their interests, most likely it will not matter to them whether it is true or false, they will not listen to it at all.

Therefore, the main rule of persuasion for business sounds like this:

«Show the client that he needs it and that he can not live without this service/ product . »

How can this be done? By building a relationship of trust. Yes, we don’t always trust familiar people — like strangers. However, if you choose between a complete stranger and those who have already managed to introduce themselves to us and seem to be exactly the same as we are and understand us and share our point of view… Well, the choice is obvious.

Have you often heard from sellers: «I use it myself» It can be skeptical, but it works! We believe in someone else’s experience, and the fact that we are similar contributes to the sympathy for an unfamiliar person, albeit temporary. And we trust those who are pleasant to us.

The tactics of building trusted relationships is the secret of success of many speakers and business/ life-coaches to whom we like to ascribe to a «gift of conviction». This technique is used by Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Allan Pease, Igor Mann, and many others. And they can, and should, be used by all who want to succeed in business. After all, the art of persuasion is a skill that can be learned.

«Intimacy» with the interlocutor, partner, potential client is usually achieved through the use of comparisons, analogies, and metaphors. Using these rhetorical devices is your key to credibility. However, not all rhetoric is equally useful.

Keep it simple

Difficult comparisons distract from the main idea. It is even worse if, in order to understand them, a person must possess special knowledge. To tell the client «A versus B is like day and night» or say «A versus B is like shampoo with and without sulfates» are two big and obvious differences. What? Sulphates? What is it? And what’s wrong with them? What’s the difference? What does it have to do with shampoo? I’ll buy a car!

The client most likely will not like to feel stupid, and he will leave. Leaving you to deal with your own cosmetic preferences. And even if you get a client who knows the difference, his brain will still spend several precious moments on it to remember, process, and relate to one another. And these moments are incredibly valuable in terms of your credibility.

Keep it simple: do not tire people with complex inferences and logic. If a person understands what they are talking about, they will be less skeptical initially.


Getting personal is bad, including for business. Yes, it is important to create a relationship of trust with the subject, but you need to remember that you have just met and not to go too far into the details of their private life. You can tell about yourself. Making comparisons based on your assumptions about the person you want to convince is unforgivable.

An invasion of personal space, physical or psychological, is perceived negatively and turns the psychological barrier, which we spoke about at the beginning, into a wall of enormous dimensions. People are prone to emotional resistance, even the most ardent extroverts.

Compare neutrally: «And in comparison with B, it’s like hot and cold» instead of «And in comparison with B, it’s like who you wanted to become in childhood and who you wanted to become in senior class» .

Yes, this is a very abstract and conditional example, but we think it is understandable. First, a person is unlikely to like that you make any assumptions about who or what he is. You have just met, remember? Secondly, you can simply make a mistake in your assumption about something personal about your subject, and it will not have the effect you expected. And what if the plans of your subject have not changed? Or changed, but very slightly? Anything can happen.

More is Better

Of course the technique of persuasion, which works perfectly in business and is used by many well-known speakers, is used very often. Add this to your piggy-bank to have a few more tricks that will allow you to be convincing and effective in communication:

  1. Listen up — in order to convincingly speak for yourself you need to let others talk. Only in this way will you see which direction the discussion is directed, and you will be able to react in time if something goes wrong.
  2. Remember who you are talking to. More precisely — be sure to remember not only the faces, but also the names. Especially if your plan relies on several stages and meetings. And be sure to contact the subject by name — this will additionally create an imaginary intimacy.
  3. Do not underestimate the subject: let him express his opinion and do not doubt his knowledge.

In Summary

Do not revert to the individual. You should not believe that a person must think the same way as we do. Remember that a subjective opinion, not supported by a simple comparison, is a shot in the dark. We should not speak much, we should listen and give time for an answer. Remember the details. Finally, do not forget how important it is for people to feel meaningful.

Using these techniques simultaneously, you will create an ideal atmosphere for trust — and convincing a person of something will no longer be a problem for you.