This week’s post is a little different. Below you’ll find some of my favorite quotes when it comes to influence and persuasion. It’s a short post but I encourage you to read the quotes slowly and give thought to what each author is saying.
“Persuasion is the art of getting someone to do something they wouldn’t ordinarily do if you didn’t ask.” – Aristotle, Greek philosopher. If people are already doing what you want there’s no need to persuade them, right?
“Character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion.” – Aristotle, Greek philosopher. It doesn’t matter what you know if people can’t trust you they won’t listen to you.
“Persuasion skills exert a far greater influence over others’ behaviors than formal power structure do.” – Robert B. Cialdini Ph.D., author of Influence Science and Practice. When I read this I immediately thought of Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Jesus. None of them had formal power but each had a huge influence on the world.
“The only real power available to the leader is the power of persuasion.” – Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States. Many people consider the President of the United States the most powerful person in the world but as LBJ acknowledged, the President must persuade to get things done.
“Power is nothing unless you can turn it into influence.” – Dr. Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State. Power is good but once that power is removed will people listen to you? Better to have power and influence because not only will people listen to you because they have to but also because they want to.
“Selling is the process of persuading a person that your product or service is of greater value to him than the price you’re asking for it.” – Brian Tracy, author of The Psychology of Selling. Selling is persuading and persuading is selling.
“I like to think of sales as the ability to gracefully persuade, not manipulate, a person or persons into a win-win situation.” – Bo Bennett, American businessman. Manipulation is an attitude that conveys, “I win and I don’t care whether or not you do.” That’s not a recipe for long-term success.
“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” – Ken Blanchard, author of The One Minute Manager. The best leaders don’t force people to do what they want, they persuade them and gain voluntary followers.
I’ll conclude with a quote of my own, something I share with audiences quite often when I speak – “Much of your professional success and personal happiness depends on getting others to say ‘Yes’ to you.”
The more people who say “Yes” to you at work, the more you’ll get accomplished, the more you’ll move your agenda forward and the more sales you’ll make.
Never discount the importance of persuasion at home because when your spouse, significant other, children, family members, or roommates willingly do what you want the less tension there will be and more happiness.
Have a great week!