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The Power of Persuasion

By November 28, 2011September 5th, 2013No Comments

Conference room

The word “persuasion” has always been one of my favorite words. Long before I knew I was headed into the field of public relations, I was fascinated by the concept of helping others form educated and wise opinions.

Through the years, I’ve developed more of an appreciation for the meaning behind this word and one of my favorite definitions is quite simple—Persuasion is helping to guide vital truth around someone’s mental roadblocks.

I had a front-row seat to the power of persuasion just the other day. I’ve already recounted one lesson I learned from my jury service stint, but I barely touched on the actual jury deliberations. You see, even though this was a hard, but relatively easy decision for me to make personally due to my faith in God and His clear leading through His law in the Bible, for others it wasn’t so simple.

The first time all twelve of us polled our verdicts, we were not even close to a unanimous decision. Only five of us were ready with an unequivocal not guilty, and the other seven were soundly entrenched in the guiltier-than-sin and the oh-dear-I-have-no-clue departments.

My life nearly flashed before my eyes as I came to the realization that my dinner plans notwithstanding, I wasn’t going ANYWHERE till we reached a unanimous verdict.

At first, the thought that twelve complete strangers had to reach an agreement before I got out of that case alive seemed rather daunting. But instead of thinking about what it would be like to spend the rest of my life at the courthouse, a few of us decided to help the undecided reach a decision, one way or the other.

I learned a thing or two about persuasion sitting at that table. Instead of going after the guilty-and-I’m-not-budging camp, we started opening lines of communication with the undecided and therefore, more prone to be persuaded individuals. And after patient, logical discussions and succinct guiding of truth, we not only managed to persuade the undecided people, but the others, who were still listening despite their staunch opposition, realized that we were right as well.

There is a lesson there for anyone doing marketing. If you are trying to promote your products or services, do not waste your time at first attempting to convince someone who already has his mind made up against you.

For example, if you have a new website, do not focus your marketing efforts on someone who does not even believe it is worthwhile to own a computer. Instead, go after the average online user who might need a little convincing on the merits of buying something over the internet, and who needs a little guidance and help around their mental roadblocks.

And you know what? Your biggest marketing asset in the future could be these individuals. They will be able to help persuade your staunchly opposed market in ways you have never been able to employ before, simply because they can identify with them (and their preconceptions).

So the next time you are looking to promote your business or ministry, always remember one key to success just might be the power of persuading your undecided potential customers.

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Aaress Lawless

Aaress Lawless

Aaress enjoys helping small businesses and ministries, having budget travel adventures with friends, and blogging about life lessons on Instagram.

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