Persuading others is an art. It’s a tactic that’s not just behind every business transaction, but is a key part of our personal lives, too.
After all, if you can’t persuade others, you’ll find it very difficult to get what you want in life.
Now, some people are natural-born persuaders. The kind of people who can talk clouds out of the sky if they want to.
But persuasion, like any art, requires practice as well as talent.
There are certain phrases persuasive people regularly use to convince others of their viewpoint. And if you use these phrases, chances are good you are a very persuasive person yourself.
1) For instance
If you’re trying to convince someone, nothing works better than a concrete example.
One of the main ways people make decisions is by basing it on what other people have done.
After all, that’s one of the perks of being human. We don’t have to rely only on our own experience. We can talk to others and learn from what they have done before us.
Marketers call this social proof, and it’s why every business now has to have a website and social media presence packed with positive reviews.
This phrase can work the same way in a conversation. Whether you’re trying to sell a product to a potential customer or trying to convince your partner you should have Chinese food for dinner, using the phrase for instance means you can provide a concrete example of why your plan is the best thing for them.
For instance, this car seats six, which is great for a growing family. For instance, Green Dragon has better spring rolls than Golden Happiness.
Using the phrase for instance allows you to provide reasoning behind your choices that will make your arguments much more persuasive.
2) That’s why…
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll notice I’ve used this one already in this article.
That’s because it’s a great way to explain your reasoning and convince others of your position.
Saying that’s why allows you to lay out your thought process clearly and constructively. This can make your arguments much more compelling and persuasive.
3) Are you looking for…
This phrase is a classic for a reason.
When making a sale, whether it’s a car, a website, an insurance product, or just about anything else, a phrase like this allows you to get to the heart of what a potential customer wants.
Ultimately, selling isn’t about convincing somebody of a need they don’t have.
Instead, it’s about connecting with what they already need, then providing the best solution.
Phrases like this allow you to hone in on a potential customer’s needs and desires to make sure you provide the best possible product or service for them.
4) Can I help?
Yesterday, I was shoe shopping in an outlet mall.
Well, technically, I was following my wife around while she shopped for shoes.
In the space of five minutes, staff at the store asked us if we needed help no fewer than six times.
Now, that’s taking the strategy a bit far. However, there’s a reason the staff were trained to ask us if we needed help.
That’s because it starts a dialogue. By asking if you can help someone, you have an opening to determine exactly what they’re looking for. From there, you can persuade them of your viewpoint much more easily.
Although it’s often used by professional salespeople, this is a phrase that is also useful in personal relationships.
Imagine, for example, if your partner comes home from a bad day at work. You can tell something is bothering them, but it also seems that they don’t want to talk about it.
Simply asking, can I help? can open the floodgates and make them more comfortable revealing what’s bothering them.
See? The art of persuasion isn’t just for car dealers and shoe salespeople.
This is a great phrase to use because it allows you to provide another point in your argument.
After all, if you really want to be convincing, you need to have multiple reasons for why your solution is the best.
Furthermore creates a kind of break in the conversation and demonstrates that you have more than one reason for saying what you are saying.
That makes your arguments much more convincing and persuasive.
6) On the other hand
On the other hand, you could also make your arguments more persuasive by admitting other viewpoints.
The phrase on the other hand allows you to do that. It lets you examine other arguments and other points of view so that you can show you have considered them before coming to your conclusion.
The phrase on the other hand allows you to consider some of the objections a person might have toward something before they say them, ultimately making your argument much more persuasive.
7) Personally, I find…
We already talked about social proof. And one of the best ways to provide social proof is not with an overwhelming weight of positive reviews from strangers, but with a single anecdote from a trusted source.
People connect with other people. That’s why making an argument from your own personal experience can be much more persuasive. That’s even more true if you’re talking to somebody who already trusts your judgment.
8) In my experience…
This is another powerful way to bring your personal experiences into the conversation.
Letting a customer know that you have tried a product yourself is a great way to increase your credibility. The same goes in personal relationships. Sharing your own experiences can help persuade the people you are talking to that you know what you’re talking about.
Having personal experience, whether it’s with a product or with a particular personal issue, makes you far more credible and more persuasive.
9) The evidence shows…
Humans respond to emotion. But that doesn’t mean we don’t use our reason to make decisions. And on some issues, no argument is more powerful than cold, hard facts.
Now, this strategy only works if you actually do have evidence to back up your opinion.
But suppose someone is looking, for example, for the best software to accomplish a particular task, and you can quote studies and statistics to show that you can provide it. In that case, you will automatically have a leg up on the competition.
Just make sure your facts are right before you go quoting them at people.
10) On a scale of 1 to 10…
This one is rarely used in a more personal context, but as a sales tool, it’s extremely powerful.
You can ask a potential customer to tell you how interested they are in your product on a scale of 1 to 10. This forces them to quantify their level of interest and gives you an idea of how hard you need to work to persuade them.
If you want to take this even further, you can do what best-selling author Tim Ferriss recommends and tell them they can’t say number seven. This forces them to think even more carefully, and gives you a clear picture of how interested they are in what you’re selling.
11) Most people…
This is another tactic that relies on the human need for social proof.
Often, people have a hard time making decisions. It can save them some cognitive load to do what other people in their situation do.
By telling them what most people do, you are giving them an easy route toward making a decision.
12) How open are you to…
This is another one you can use in professional sales or in your personal life, depending on what you’re after.
You could be the most persuasive person in the world, but everybody has hard limits for what they will and won’t do.
Using this phrase allows you to gauge how open someone is to being persuaded. That can save you a lot of time, and avoids annoying people by trying to persuade them of something they will never agree with.
13) What’s stopping you?
This is another favorite phrase of sales professionals.
If someone is having a hard time making a decision, don’t be afraid to ask them what’s stopping them from taking the choice you’ve offered.
Doing this allows you to get a better picture of their doubts so you can address them head-on.
14) If you’re like me…
Combining social proof with personal experience, this phrase can be a powerful way to persuade people of your opinion.
Not only that, but it also helps build a rapport with the person you’re talking to.
By focusing on the similarities between you, you can establish that rapport and guide them toward the best possible choice. Providing a glimpse of your own personality is one of the best ways to get people to trust you and come around to your point of view.
The art of persuasion
Ultimately, persuasion isn’t about manipulating or tricking people into doing something they don’t want to do. Instead, it’s about determining their needs and finding a solution that works for everyone.
If you find yourself using these phrases, whether in your personal life or in a professional context, chances are you are a naturally persuasive person.
And if you’re not, try introducing some of these phrases to increase your powers of persuasion.