Have a Great Idea? Here’s How to Get Management to Say ‘Yes’

The ability to influence others is a valuable talent. It can result in a big sale, a large raise or other successes in both your professional and personal life.

Being persuasive isn’t just for politicians, celebrities and corporate moguls. With the right approach, anyone can be effective at making convincing arguments.

The importance of a personal touch

Research has shown that handwritten messages can be quite convincing. In an era of quick digital and somewhat detached communication, it makes sense that a personal touch is more compelling than ever.

Approaching people on a personal, one-on-one level takes time and effort, but if you want to be persuasive – you need to make those investments.

Cut to the chase

A recent study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology revealed that a request was more prone to be approved if it was brought up at the start of a conversation, rather than at the end of it. Leading with a request is particularly effective when the person being approached is tired or has limited time. By being direct, you are showing respect for their state of mind and their time.

The value of guilt

People don’t like to refuse someone multiple times. Expert negotiators understand that we feel a bit guilty when we turn someone down, and that guilt makes us more likely to concede to future requests.

If you have a request turned down, try approaching the person later with a slightly modified or different request. You are much more likely to get that second request approved due to the implied guilt trip.

Phrase it right

Social scientists have discovered that language is important with regards to making requests. For instance, asking someone if they could “think about” a request or “be willing to try” an idea, is more effective than saying “Can I…” or “I think we should…”

If you’re approaching the request or idea by focusing on somebody’s willingness to do or look at something, you’re emphasizing their character, rather than their inclinations. When we have our character challenged, we are prone to put thought into our response and not just make snap judgments.

What’s in it for them

With a negotiation or request, the worst thing you can do is frame it in a way that feels like you are the winner if you get your way and the other person loses. This can feel like a challenge to someone’s ego, and that challenge is something they are likely to push back against.

Hence, people are more prepared to agree to something if you include potential benefits for them. This sets up a situation where there are no losers. So, instead of saying, “We charge this much for that product,” you might say “I could let you have it for just…”

At LTI Services, we support a business’ sales and negotiating functions by supplying custom staffing solutions and managed services. Please contact our staffing experts today to learn more about what we can provide your company.