What could you do if you had more influence?
Whether it’s in business or your personal life, when you know how to persuade others in a genuine way, you can take your life to a whole new level.
You could get your family on board with a major move that’ll bring you all more joy.
You could recruit top-notch partners to help you start the business of your dreams.
You could launch a life-changing new product and persuade thousands to give it a try.
The ability to persuade is an invaluable skill, no matter where you want to go in life. And it’s WAY less complicated than you might think.
You don’t need fancy tactics or slimy techniques. You can influence people without sacrificing authenticity or your integrity. In fact, to authentically influence people, you just need… you.
How to Be Persuasive Without Being Slimy
For a change of pace, I’m not just going to tell you how to persuade people; I’m going to show you. (Solid copywriting advice, by the way.) In this MarieTV (and in the post after the video, if you prefer to keep reading), I show you eight specific ways one woman persuaded me to give her a scholarship to B-School — including how she strategically threatened me into action.
Here are the eight traits I loved about Tangela’s video.
1. Consider the Other Person
We have very specific rules for our B-School scholarship application videos, and Tangela didn’t disappoint.
Her one minute, 45 second video was packed with info and entertainment — and well under our two-minute max. She saved Team Forleo and me time! Here’s how you can take a note from Tangela:
When you’re trying to persuade someone, think about their point of view.
How can you make their life easier? Grab their attention by focusing on what you can offer, not what you need. This’ll get you so much farther than launching straight into why they should give you what you want.
2. Exude Enthusiasm & Confidence
Genuine enthusiasm is contagious! Effective persuasion comes from truly caring about and believing in whatever you’re trying to convince the other person to do, think, buy, or believe.
I could feel Tangela’s enthusiasm through her words, expressions, and body language. It made me want to keep watching.
Confidence is similar — when you’re confident in your position, it shows. When you’re trying to persuade just for the sake of winning, selling, or being a contrarian, no one wants to hear what you have to say. But when you’re genuinely confident and enthusiastic about your ideas, products, or services, it makes people sit up and listen.
3. Be Specific & Clear
In her video, Tangela told us exactly how she wants to change the world — serious props to her for that kind of clarity.
When you want to persuade someone, you’ve got to show them you’ve taken the time to really think things through. Making stuff up on the spot makes you look untrustworthy. On the other hand, serious preparation shows that you respect the other person’s time, and that you know what you want.
4. Give a Reason WHY
In his book Influence, Robert B. Cialdini writes, “A well-known principle of human behavior says that when we ask someone to do us a favor, we will be more successful if we provide a reason.”
He shares a stunning example of a study: A woman in line at a copy machine asks people if she can go ahead of them, saying, “I have five pages. May I go ahead of you?” With this version of the question, 60% of people let her go ahead.
When the woman gave a reason — simply adding “because I’m in a rush” — 94% of people said yes. That’s over 1.5 times the response!
Persuasive people make it crystal clear why they’re asking for something, because it’s easier for someone to get on board (see what I did there?). To connect with and persuade more people, be upfront with your why.
5. Have an Open Heart
I can feel Tangela’s heart popping right out of her video! She’s completely authentic, and she believes everything she’s saying.
There are so many different persuasion and communication techniques out there, but this one is key. If you want to authentically persuade anyone, you must dig deep and speak directly from your heart.
That’s the #1 secret to being persuasive, because people can see and feel when you’re heart is open. And when it is, they’ll never forget you.
6. Show Gratitude
At the end of her video, Tangela took a moment to not only thank me for the opportunity but to acknowledge all the other women who submitted scholarship entries.
That hit me right in my heart — she acknowledged my community, something I highly value, and made me feel taken care of in her request. That small gesture shows that she’s not coming from a place of entitlement, but from respect and humility.
7. Show Them You’re Serious
I don’t usually respond well to threats, but let me tell you — Tangela sealed the deal with a (safe) threat at the end of her video.
A dance bomb* threat 😉
Obviously, I don’t condone threats of danger or damage of any kind, but Tangela’s warning that she’d “dance bomb” me daily if she couldn’t get into B-School? Well, that’s my love language.
This small detail was funny, proves she follows my work and that she’s not willing to take no for an answer.
*Dance bomb (n): A surprise, impromptu use of dancing, usually in close proximity to someone who may disapprove of the dancing.
8. Don’t Rely on Gimmicks
I think Tangela shot her video in her bathroom — no fancy lights, graphics, or editing. She just poured her heart straight into the camera.
You know I love me some fancy production, but it’s not necessary to be persuasive.
I’ve seen new business owners obsess over the design and layout of their website or overpay for promotional videos because they’re terrified that no one will take them seriously without some bedazzling.
Trust me, you don’t need it!
Focus on the message and you can’t go wrong. When it comes to persuasion, authenticity trumps everything.
Which Persuasion Techniques Will You Use?
Now, you can’t copy Tangela’s video or her script and think you’ll be able to win over the people you’re trying to persuade. What works about her approach is that it’s honest and authentic.
That’s the part you can use. Be honest and authentic in your way next time you want to persuade someone to buy something, support you, or collaborate. Focus on your WHY and how you can serve.
When you lead with your heart, you don’t need special equipment, techniques, or gimmicks to get people on your side. All you need is your message.
Let’s turn this insight into action!
Grab a notebook, and take five to ten minutes to reflect on these persuasion traits and write your answers to these questions:
- What’s a specific situation in your business or life in which you want to influence others?
- Which of the above traits will help you the most in this situation?
- What can you say or do in this situation to cultivate and convey those traits?
You have the power to use your voice and your enthusiasm to change people’s minds — and change the world. Don’t waste it.