He asked "how can you convince someone who is reluctant?"

I was on the telephone interviewing a General Practitioner in Gisborne. It was research for a road show I was about to conduct for a primary health organisation. My question was "what are your top three business problems?

The GPs, as part of the PHO have health targets to meet such as getting 90% of their enrolled patents to protect their health with immunisations, testing, screening. As you can imagine a percentage of their enrolled patients just won't respond.

This question posed by the GP is a common problem, and it's not isolated to health, is it? It's the same for the sales person trying to turn a prospect into a client. Or a potential employer trying to recruit a candidate. Or a mother convincing a teen to clean their room.


How can you be more persuasive?

Here are five tips to help you be more successful at it.

1. It's all about them.
Cloak the entire conversation in 'you' rather than the I, me, we, most organisations use. Here's an example:
a. No: I need the information. Yes: Can you get me the information
b. No: We're a great place to work. Yes: You'll enjoy working here.
c. No: The advice we give isn't just about managing health. Yes: The advice you receive is about managing your health.

2. Whom are you talking to?
If you're talking to busy or high level individuals, they don't want minute details for the most part. Start with the conclusion, then go into the details.

3. Answer objections up front.
If they're thinking it's too expensive; I've heard there are problems with your company; It's going to hurt. Put the rebuttal to their questions in the beginning of your conversation with something like "I know you might be thinking about the cost of".

4. What do they want to know from you
Make an intellectual connection with them by being logical and orderly in your presentation of your points. These are the five reasons you should do business with us. These are the four benefits of working with our firm.

5. Use stories to make points
Using stories and allowing people to derive the relevance enables you to make an emotional connection. They'll remember the stories far better than your points, and it won't seem like their being told what to do. So a GP could tell a story about a reticent mother of three young children who wouldn't respond to their letters and after two years of phone calls came in for a test and was found to be one step away from cancer. This way instead of saying 'you should' the reluctant patient could relate to someone like her having her life saved from taking a simple test.

* Debbie Mayo-Smith is an International Speaker and No#1 bestselling author of 10 books.

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