Uh oh, you just found out your meeting has been moved up. You’d like to make a pitch for a teambuilding event for your department, or maybe you’d like new iPads for your team. You don’t have a lot of time to prepare but you still want to be persuasive and sound polished. So, what are you going to do? Well, not to worry. In our How to Influence People and Events workshop, we share six simple steps to help you build a persuasive case. More great news! This model can be used if you’re in a crunch for time or if you have all the time in the world.
Step 1: Brainstorm a list of potential key points
Brainstorm as many key points as you can that will support your desired outcome. As you generate points, think of the influence strategies that would work best. Does the person respond to facts and data or values and emotions? Do they like initiatives that are popular with others or would they prefer an exchange of favors? Of course, we always strive for a win/win outcome so be sure to include how the other person will benefit.
Step 2: Write your opening statement
Write an opening that describes your purpose concisely. Use strong, action-oriented words such as, “My goal is to gain your full support for the new…” Write an overview of where you’re headed with the conversation and how you plan to get there.
Step 3: List your top 3 key points
Choose your top three points for your pitch. This will give the other person enough information to understand your desired outcome and reduce any resistance they might have. Regardless of which influence strategy you use, offer points that are factual and logical, backed up by plenty of evidence.
Step 4: Order your key points
Use AntiClimax Order (state your strongest point first) if you feel others may not support your objective or if you are faced with strict time limitations. Use Climax Order (state your strongest point last) if you feel others will support your objective. This will help reinforce their commitment to your objective and help sway undecided people towards your way of thinking.
Step 5: List potential objections
Anticipate objections head-on so you’re prepared and confident. This is probably one of the most important steps. It’s no secret that dealing with customer objections is one of the most difficult parts of a salesperson’s job. Think of objections from a variety of perspectives and identify how to address each concern.
Step 6: Write your closing statement
Write a brief overview that summarizes the key ideas in your three main points. Re-write the key message from your opening statement as a powerful ending and include any action items that will be required by all parties.
If something is important to you, only you can make it happen. As the hockey great, Wayne Gretzky, once said, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Now, I can’t promise you’ll be successful if you use this model. Clearly, the decision rests with someone else. Here’s what I can promise. If you follow this model, you’ll be prepared, polished, and credible. You’ll leave the meeting knowing you made a lasting, positive impression with the decision maker.
What else have you done when building your case? How do you use your influencing skills? Please share your tips and strategies and let’s take that shot together.