Five Tips for Mastering Persuasion

By Rosemary Smyth, MBA, ACC, Author on Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Your goal as an advisor is to help your clients want to do what you want them to do, and for them to like doing it. The art of persuasion takes time and practice. It also means facing your fears and being willing to take full responsibility. Persuasion skills can be learned and mastered; they are about you and your talents and traits.

Five tips for mastering persuasion are:

1.) Know what your clients want and tell them the features and benefits. Do not oversell.

2.) It is about them, not you, so listen more than you talk.

3.) Accept rejection as part of the business.

4.) Be professional and well-prepared.

5.) Do not judge a book (or your client) by the cover.

There is a sensitivity to knowing the “push and pull” of persuasion; encourage and entice, but do not snag. People can sense when you are uncomfortable and when you are in desperation mode, so consider your mindset, focus on your future potential and visualize your success. The foundation of persuasion is believing in yourself, having a plan, and knowing what you want to accomplish.

Build a strategy for how you want persuasive conversations to flow. Consider what questions to ask and how to answer questions diplomatically, so that no one is considered wrong or feels bullied. When the conversation starts to go downhill, focus on finding a middle ground where you both agree on something and start a new conversation that leads in a positive direction.

Rosemary Smyth, MBA, ACC, is a columnist and an international business coach for financial advisors. She spent her career working at leading investment firms before pursuing her passion for coaching. She lives in Victoria, BC. Visit her website at    

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