WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) How can you get what you want? Turns out, there are steps you can take to increase your power of persuasion. For example, One expert says to “Help others come up with your idea” For example, if you know you are going to be pitching a notoriously hard-to-sell person, it’s better to hold off presenting your whole package and instead open up a discussion in which you gently nudge him/her toward your plan.
According to the famous song lyrics, “You can’t always get what you want.” And it’s true that unless you’re a dictator (or maybe Beyonce), your negotiations with others will generally involve some back and forth, paired with some give and take.
But you can sometimes get what you want, and how often depends on how well you can sway others in your direction. To find out the best persuasion strategies, we tapped professionals who are skilled at convincing people to follow their lead: lawyers, life coaches, new business owners and communication experts. Read on, and you’ll be sure to score more of what you want, or at least negotiate a better deal.
1. Ask, and be specific.
This suggestion is so obvious that it may seem borderline insulting, but experts say not following it is the biggest obstacle to getting what you want. People often want something but either haven’t articulated it clearly enough, or at all. “You have to remind yourself that people aren’t mind readers,” says Keli L. Knight, who cofounded her own law practice in Chicago. “They are so wrapped up in themselves that others’ needs take a backseat.”
Being a tough negotiator is part of Knight’s day-to-day responsibilities, and she is constantly asking for what she wants, for herself and for clients. Though it comes with the job, she has grown more comfortable doing it because of all the practice.