Fostering the Spirit of Entrepreneurship – the Power of Persuasion in Business [analysis]

THIS week I am honoured and privileged to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Week in Kansas, Missouri, USA. The one key lesson I wish to share with you is the power which lies in persuading potential investors, clients or sponsors.

As Namibians we have to realize that the future is not necessarily a result of choices amongst alternative paths offered by the present, but it should be seen as a place we have to create for ourselves. How can we best do that? It must start with your mind and the willingness to expect different results over and over again. In order to do that one has to develop the tendency to always hear one of the most powerful words in English “YES”. What can you as an entrepreneur do to hear the word “YES” often?

First have a methodology (know the step by step process). This will help you organise the way you think and enable you to master the art of persuading others to do those things you desire most. There are times that your own clients will doubt whether they have made the right choice by making them your business associate. I do not want you to panic yet, but try to step into the world of your customers, and try to understand how they might feel when they took the risk to have you as a business partner. Whenever you attract clients to your business you really want to ensure them that they have made the right choice by choosing you. It is gly aisable that you practise talking to your clients and eliminate the word “NO” at all costs. If you really want to hear the word “YES” from clients you have to practise using it on a daily basis. This must always be the starting point especially when clients start sharing their ideas or opinions with you. I am not saying that you must completely block out the opinions of your clients, but always say “YES”, and give a reason. For example: Yes you are correct on that point, but have you ever consider or thought about this option? The power of persuasion in business is really about convincing your clients to adopt your way of thinking.

Secondly, admit your mistakes if you really want to persuade your clients: Namibians are usually very sceptical about ideas which sound too good to be true. At times it really does help to admit a weakness. For example: When you want to give someone a job offer, tell them about some challenges your company is faced with and how you would really like them to play their part. Moving ahead, try and appeal to the reputation of your clients: Human beings are more likely to behave in a consistent manner with their past decisions or belief systems, thereby upholding their reputation. Learn to take one step at a time: If you really want to build a trust relationship with your clients you need to convince them one step at a time. Try and break down what you aim to achieve as a business in small steps, and then you can convince your clients by talking them into saying “Yes” to each one of your business goals. I know this can be really a lengthy process, but in order to build trust small steps in the beginning can lead to big leaps in the future.

Finally know your story and tell it very well: You must really know your business and the market within which you operate. Being competent in business involves building good relationships based on values. Power of persuasion is not a “one off activity” but being persuasive is about moving other people to take the desired action which could result in business success.

Dr Wilfred Isak April holds a PhD (Entrepreneurship) from New Zealand. He currently lectures in Entrepreneurship and Principles of Management at the University of Namibia.

Source : New Era