What Are Persuasion Techniques? (With 14 Techniques to Use)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 9, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Professionals often rely on their persuasion skills to influence colleagues, employees, and other individuals in their work environments. You can apply your persuasive skills to convince clients of the benefits of a new service, request a raise, and influence decisions. Understanding how persuasiveness functions in work environments and the techniques you can apply can help you increase your influence in the work environment. In this article, we consider what persuasion techniques are, discuss their importance in the work environment, and outline 14 techniques you can use to improve your persuasiveness.

What are persuasion techniques?

Persuasion techniques are the tools and approaches that you use when influencing or directing the decision of others. These techniques apply various skills to implore others to consider your perspective and take actions that benefit you. When persuading others, you can combine your communication, emotional intelligence, active listening, interpersonal, and negotiation skills.

These techniques apply the findings of social psychology to help you convince others of the benefits of a product, a direction in marketing, or an idea. Persuasion also has links to rhetorics with its ability to persuade others into action without coercion. These techniques can take verbal or written forms.

Importance of persuasion techniques

Persuasive techniques can help you develop and maintain influence within your work environment. It can also help you make more effective presentations and marketing strategies. You can also use these techniques to foster relationships with others. Learning these techniques also helps you adapt to the feelings, emotions, and moral standings of those you want to persuade. This can help you increase collaboration and achieve workplace and personal goals.

Related: How to Develop Persuasiveness Skills in the Workplace

14 techniques for persuasion

Here are 14 techniques you can apply when persuading others:

1. Highlight how your proposal benefits them

By determining the mutual benefits of your proposal or idea, you can convince most people of an idea's value. You can also make them more receptive by focusing on the benefits of your proposals to others. This helps you establish a common interest, and you can further persuade them on other aspects of your proposal.

2. Identify and resolve objections promptly

It's normal to have objections to your attempts at persuading others. You can improve the efficiency of your technique by asking yourself a series of questions concerning your proposal and addressing the possible shortcomings in your idea. This improves your persuasiveness, as you can quickly address questions, showing your knowledge of the subject and foresight. You can also present solutions for challenges and explain how your idea resolves them. For instance, if you're proposing a new customer relations management software, you can address technical challenges by explaining how the software offers training and technical support.

3. Create emotional responses

While logic is a great tool to use when persuading others of the benefits of an idea or a new direction in marketing, it's not always the best approach. Emotional connections and responses influence many decisions. You can improve your persuasiveness by recognizing avenues for emotional connections with your subjects. This technique is effective when highlighting the benefits of your services to a client's family or a greater social cause. You can also foster emotional connection by speaking in collective terms, such as by saying "we" instead of "you," to express your team orientation.

Related: What is Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace? (With Helpful Tips)

4. Appeal directly to individuals

The subject of your persuasion can differ from an individual to a team. Directing your persuasion at individuals is especially effective when developing persuasive written content. You can emphasize a personal connection by writing in the second person and directing your persuasion directly at the reader. You can also use this technique in physical interactions by addressing group members. This technique is particularly effective in advertising, where the benefits of a product or service come directly to the reader, listener, or viewer.

Related: Six Persuasive Techniques to Improve Your Writing Skills

5. Use and perceive body language

Maintaining confident body language in your interactions with others is vital for persuasion. It's also important to pay attention to the body language of others. This helps you assess the effectiveness of your techniques and adjust them accordingly. You can reflect positive body language by maintaining eye contact, raising your eyebrows, smiling openly, and uncrossing your arms. You can also watch for similar gestures in others to determine their attentiveness and interest.

6. Frame your words carefully

The way you present your words to people you want to persuade is very important. Framing your words appropriately combines the right placement, the right approach, and the right choice of words. You can determine the right placement by considering the emotional state of your subject, the nature of their schedule, and the best place to approach them. Using the right approach involves constructing your argument carefully, highlighting your proposal's benefits, and emphasizing the roles you want others to play.

7. Cater to a need

Most products and services achieve customer satisfaction based on how well they cater to a specific need. Various factors influence a client's needs, and you can emphasize a perceived or existing need when persuading others. You can improve the persuasiveness of your idea or product by highlighting how it caters to such needs. This approach is effective for its ability to combine both tangible and emotional responses. For instance, you can make your idea more persuasive by showing how it caters to community, happiness, safety, and welfare.

8. Project scarcity

You can improve the persuasiveness of an idea by framing it as urgent or within a form of constraint. The constraint on your proposal can be time, resources, or rarity. People tend to respond quickly to opportunities they feel aren't readily available. By projecting scarcity or urgency on your idea, you can persuade people to act quickly. For instance, you can improve the sales of a product by launching it as a limited edition line or offering it at a discount available for a limited time.

Related: Developing a Sustainable Sales Process to Close Deals Faster

9. Project existing popularity

Another approach you can use to improve the persuasiveness of your idea is to highlight how popular your idea is and how many people already agree. With the popularity of an idea, most people want to avoid feeling left out and are more comfortable conforming to the group consensus. This is one of the leading techniques social media influencers, brand ambassadors, and celebrities use when persuading people. You can also apply this technique when proposing a solution by showing how it already benefits competitors.

10. Establish reasons

Offering hard evidence through data, statistics, and infographics is a reliable way of persuading others to recognize the value of your proposal. This technique relies on the logic aspect of persuasion and makes proposals by emphasizing what the relevant idea, product, or service has done or is capable of doing. For instance, when proposing an investment opportunity, you can use financial models to project the possible benefits your clients can enjoy from investing. This technique is useful in lending weight to your proposal and addressing objections with concrete data.

11. Create suspense

Persuasion can sometimes take the form of storytelling, and suspense is a key aspect of telling a memorable story. You can make your adverts or proposals more effective by leaving some details out, posing questions, or encouraging anticipation. You can consider this technique when conducting product launches, designing presentations, and proposing solutions. This technique allows you to hold attention for longer, as people's curiosity makes them more receptive to your ideas.

12. Begin with small requests

Some ideas are more demanding to propose than others. You can use the technique of making small requests, also called the foot-in-the-door approach, by getting people to agree to smaller parts of the overall proposal and progressing into the core proposal with each agreement. It's highly effective with difficult proposals, as it establishes a foundation for the request and makes people more receptive to your grander proposals. You can also apply this technique by inviting a client for dinner before making proposals related to your services.

13. Begin with large requests

This technique takes the inverse approach to starting your persuasion with small steps. Where you have a proposal you think is likely to be unsuccessful because of its magnitude, it's usually effective to make an even greater proposal. This unsettles people's perception of your proposal, and when you make your original proposal, it appears more reasonable. For instance, you can propose an expensive resource management system by highlighting the resources a production process requires. You can then propose the amount of money the new management system saves through a cheaper system and how it improves the process.

14. Establish qualifications and authority

Giving people a good reason to listen to you is an effective way to persuade them. For instance, you can establish your authority to provide financial advice by narrating your experience in the banking industry. People are usually more receptive to your proposals and ideas when they find you trustworthy or knowledgeable.

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