How to persuade people (and get what you need)

"If only I had more time, enough money, the right people, skills or technology, .... then I could make my dreams happen."

Those are the most common obstacles I hear when talking to people about their projects. And I get that. I have the same challenges. I don't have -not even close- as much time and money as I'd like to do all the things I want.

But here's a different way of seeing things: lacking resources is actually never the problem. What matters is our capacity to access resources.

How can you create more time for yourself? How can you access money even if you don't have it? How can you motivate people to join your project? How creative, determined and passionate are you to find ways to get the resources that you need?  That’s the real question!

Now, one important way to be resourceful lies in your capacity to convince others. Can you motivate the right people to give you the one thing you need to progress?  

Here’s a step by step process that will help you sell your idea to anyone:

 Step 1: Reach out 

Once you’ve identified the people who can help (build a website, fund your project,..) then the first step is to reach out to them. If you don’t, nothing will happen.

So, call them and arrange a meeting. Explain why this project is so important to you and why it could be interesting for them.

Don’t assume people are too busy, or won’t be interested. I've been guilty of this a lot. We're scared of rejection, so we don't even ask.


Step 2: ‘Me too’, not ‘so what’

Great! You have the opportunity to talk to someone that could bring you one step closer to your goal. Before you suggest anything, you need to connect, lay the foundations. This is the most important step, make sure to spend enough time finding common ground.

Explain the context and your motivations. Be real and open. Do it in such a way that the other person relates as much as possible (‘Me too!’), rather than thinking ‘So what?!’. 


Step 3: Logic and reason

Now you can dive into your idea. Explain the logic. Why do they need to help you?  What's in it for them? Be short and to the point.


Step 4: Hell if you don't

Move on to laying out everything they'll miss out on, if they don't follow your idea.

Address all possible objections before the other person brings them up. This is very important. If you don't, you'll have to attack their personal objections later. Good luck with that.

"We all have only 24 hours in a day, yet we all know that when something is important enough, we can make the time for it. Saying we don't have time to go running for 15 minutes per day is really not true, right?"  


Step 5: Heaven if you do

You're almost there. Explain all the beautiful things that will happen if they follow your suggestion.

"If you decide to go running with me 3 days a week, this is what your life will look like in one year: your body, your confidence, your energy, ...." 


Step 6: Are you in? 

Use the moment and ask for an immediate action. Close the deal!

Now, if you don’t follow these steps or use them in the wrong order, you're not going to be in a position to convince anyone. A common mistake is to spend too much time on the logic and not enough time connecting. You’ll then typically wonder why others are not following your suggestion, even though it makes them better off. 

Logic and reason are not worth anything if you don’t start from a place of trust. Did the leave camp in the UK listen to all the experts and the arguments of the remain side?

On the other hand, if you apply these steps well, you’ll dramatically increase your capacity to influence others. You'll look at life differently and realize that resources are never the (main) problem anymore. You'll see a world of opportunities.

So what is the ONE resource you’re after that would change everything? And who are you going to approach to get it?