Persuasion has been used for centuries to commit malice, topple governments, make sales and spread ideology. It is possibly the single greatest weapon in your personal armoury.
Please don't think I'm asking you to topple governments, but persuasion used in sales can win you deals, bring you clients and increase your income.
Bringing things down to earth, think of a situation when you are head-hunting someone. Your first objective on that first call is to get the person talking to you. If they hang up then it’s pretty much game over (although there are things you can do to try to salvage the situation). The point is that if they end the conversation it’s bad news.
Now your next step after getting them to talk to you is to both identify their skills and experience as well as convincing them that the role you have is potentially their next career move.
And that, if you boil it right down, comes down to persuasion.
Think of it like this... when you persuade the person that you are worth talking to then you have a chance to persuade them that the opportunity is worth considering.
So to become an outstanding head-hunter you need to master those two moments of persuasion.
And that carries on throughout the rest of the recruitment process. From the start - such as getting a client to agree to use your services, right through to persuading a candidate to accept the offer that has been made.
It is easy to make a two minute call to a candidate and race through the topic you want to talk about but it's another thing entirely to have that conversation with them and persuade them to actually follow your advice!
The real art in persuasive communication comes from skilful verbal word play and intelligent listening. It’s about the ebb and flow of a person’s opinions and using the right words at the right time to encourage them to say ‘yes’ to what you want them to do.
That takes more effort, more thought and more preparation but the results will speak for themselves. Imagine all your candidates closing their interviewers down at the end of the interviews or all your clients accepting your full short list of candidates every time - surely goals worth striving for!
I mentioned headhunting at the start and let me return to that to outline one specific area where I am seeing recruiters commonly missing their persuasive opportunity.
I know many recruiters find possible head-hunt targets on LinkedIn and making their first approach via a message through LinkedIn. If that’s what you are doing then let me urge you to try something different because I don’t believe that is not the most persuasive method of reaching out to a new contact.
Instead of sending a message, make that introductory contact on the phone. Persuade them that you are someone they should speak to, even if just for a few moments, and then find out more about them by asking questions about their job, experience and very importantly aspirations. Then present what you have in the way to which they will respond well based on what they have just told you.
That isn’t something you can do by an email or LinkedIn message. It’s a pure moment of persuasive communication that will most likely ebb and flow between resistance and acceptance on the part of the person you are talking to.
And head-hunting is just one example of this. More and more I see people seeking to persuade via written message of some sort. The fact of the matter is that in almost all instances it’s a lot less effective than speaking to them.
Head-hunting and persuasive communication will certainly feature in the new subscription-only podcast that will be coming out from Edenchanges shortly, aimed at all career minded recruiters.
Until next time; be persuasive!
Development Specialist, Edenchanges.com