The Most Overlooked Method of Persuasion

Several years ago, I had to make a lot of cold calls. 

I was selling school uniforms at the store I owned. I wanted to know what kind would sell the best, so I called the schools to find out what they were using. 

Then I asked if I could come and sell on campus for a day or so. 

Most said no. A few said I could leave samples. 3 agreed to let come and sell. 

If you’ve ever made cold calls, you have probably faced a lot of rejection. In fact, you will rack them up faster than falling leaves in a forest in Autumn. 

If you’re not strong, that can hurt like a punch in the chest. 

The Invisible Barrier

There is an invisible barrier to everyone making cold calls. 

When you come walking through the door with your great idea, you’re excited, aren’t you? Why, you know your idea is so good, anyone would want to hear it, right? In fact, you can’t imagine that anyone wouldn’t want to do what you ask. 

So, why do you face so much rejection? 

Three reasons (with links to other posts on the subject):

1. No one wants uninvited offers. 

Do you answer the phone when a telemarketer calls? 

Me either. 

There is a small return on that kind of effort. But to realize any return at all, you have to call and call and call. You’ll also have to hear the word “no” more times than you can count before you ever hear the word “yes”. 

2. No one wants to hear she’s wrong.

When you come in with an idea, you may imply that you think someone is doing something wrong. At least that is the impression you’ll give. And trust me, nobody likes to hear that. 

3. No one cares about your agenda.

This is a hard truth. 

What other people care about is the same thing you care about. They want to solve their problems. They want to make their own lives easier. They want to find things that add value to their lives, not waste their precious time. 

The invisible barrier then is resistance. 

What is the most overlooked method of persuasion?

The one thing we overlook when we try to persuade is by far the most important. Here it is:


It’s simple enough. It makes perfect sense. That’s why it’s so easy to forget. 

Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers. 

Here are 3 ways you can do this:

1. Ask for her opinion. 

Ask her a question like, “If you were in this situation, how would you handle it?” This is a quick and easy way to get someone involved in your idea before you even present it. People are ever so ready to offer advice to anyone who’ll take it. By asking for it, you pay what might be the highest compliment of her day. 

2. Ask for suggestions. 

Now you can go a little deeper than merely finding out how she feels about something. You can say, “How would you fix this problem?” Here you’ll find out a little about how she thinks and goes about solving a problem. This is a good start for more open-ended questions that can delve deeper.

3. Get her input. 

There’s always room to improve something. If you want to know precisely how you can, just ask. 

Here are some examples. 

“What would have to happen to make this a great presentation?” 

“What would you need to make this process perfect?” 

“What would you do if money was no object?”

These 3 strategies should move the other person to get involved in your idea and begin to see it as her own. 

Now you know the most overlooked method of persuasion. 

Let the other person feel the idea is her own and you’ll …

  • Get more cooperation.
  • Be more persuasive.
  • Create higher morale for your team.
  • Make more sales more easily. 

If you’d like to enjoy all these benefits, start sharing credit. Care more about the worth of an idea than who gets credit for it. You’ll get more done. You’ll be more influential. And your biggest dreams can all come true!

What do you do to win people to your way of thinking? How do you overcome the invisible barrier to sharing your good ideas?  Please share your comments! 

Posted in Influence, persuasion, Uncategorized.

I’m a Writing Coach, a Promotion Strategist, and an Entrepreneur. I help writers engage readers, sell their ideas, and build their tribes. I design non-sleazy promotion plans for artists, writers, and other creatives. When I’m not writing, I love coffee and conversation.