Have you ever met a potential client and thought, “I really need this guy’s business” only to find that your best attempts at making a connection were rebuffed?
Have you wondered what you could have done differently?
The fact is that there is no elevator pitch that is good enough to overcome the dissonance that need causes in communication. Our natural reaction to need is to feel aversion towards the person, and when we are attempting to persuade someone to trust us, this can make it seem impossible to connect our message with the potential clients.
Now, there are some people who are svengali-good at covering their neediness with cleverness and charm, but that usually falls under the definition of manipulation and generally speaking, no one likes to be manipulated. This is why we often have this societal revulsion towards the classic “used car salespeople” because we are certain that they are tricking us into buying something we don’t want.
So, how can we be persuasive and convincing without being manipulative or turning people off with our need?
The first thing we can do is short circuit the thought process that brings the need into the picture. That means giving up the illusion of control. The myth is that if I am just clever and clear enough, you will be able to see the value. I put pressure on myself to try to force good and effective communication. While we might be able to do that with basic labor tasks or when we need to push ourselves to go outside our comfort zone, it has the opposite effect on our ability to persuade and connect with other human beings.
The more authentic (read: “natural”) you can be in your communication, the more trustworthy you will seem. When you find that you have an opportunity to talk to someone who has potential to help you, turn it around. Ask yourself if you actually have anything of value to offer them and if you are willing to live with the offer being turned down. If the answer is yes to both, then you are starting from a credible spot. You can be relaxed, confident and credible.
Remember, neediness gets in the way of persuasive communication. Disrupt the thinking process that you can control the outcome, let go of the need to have a specific effect and concentrate on making the connection and communicating clearly what your value is. You will find that you are more influential, persuasive and comfortable in your communication.