How to Get What You Want from People

Two Methods:Using Persuasive SpeechUsing Persuasive Actions

In business and in life, it can be a struggle to get what you want from others. Though you may have a vision of what you want, you may struggle to communicate these desires to others or to show others what exactly you want from them. Whether you are trying to let a co worker know what you need at work, or let a partner know what you need at home or in your personal life, you can use persuasive speech and persuasive actions to ensure you get what you want from others.

Method 1
Using Persuasive Speech

  1. Image titled Get What You Want from People Step 01
    Disarm your audience with compliments. No matter who you are trying to persuade, from a co-worker to a sibling to a romantic partner, people often respond better if you offer them attention and affection. Complimenting someone before you ask them what you want can often disarm them and leave them more open to accepting your request. Focus on turning on your charm so you can appear less threatening and more friendly to your audience, especially if you are trying to get something you know the person does not want to give you or will not give you without a fight.[1]
    • Unlike flattery, which is motivated by a need to get something from someone and can be seen as selfish, compliments are meant to show appreciation in a gracious and sincere way. The key to a good compliment is to express genuine appreciation for the person, rather than a fake comment that attempts to flatter him. Focus on showing appreciation and acknowledgement, rather than empty words or a phony tone.[2]
    • Try to tailor your compliments to your audience. For example, if you are trying to get a co-worker to complete a report for you, you may compliment his new haircut or his new shoes. This will disarm him, and also make him feel good, so he is open to doing the report for you. If you are trying to get your partner to cook dinner for you, you may comment on how nice the last meal he made for you both was and how you would so enjoy having the meal again. Your partner may then be more amenable to cooking for you if he knows how much you appreciated his previous efforts.
  2. Image titled Get What You Want from People Step 02
    Be clear and specific about what you want. Though this may seem obvious, people tend to avoid being specific and clear about their demands due to fear of being rejected or told “no”. Rather than use vague language or terms, focus on being specific and asking the person for exactly what you want. This may be a raise, a newly available position at work, or a nice dinner you do not have to cook. Focus on specific language that makes it clear to your audience that you would like something from them.[3]
    • For example, you may want a raise or a bonus from your boss at work. You may phrase this by stating, “I think I deserve a raise” or “I think it’s time I receive a raise”. Your boss will then clearly understand your request and will likely admire your honesty and clarity.
  3. Image titled Get What You Want from People Step 03
    Avoid apologizing or making excuses. You may feel awkward or uncomfortable with asking for what you want, especially if you are asking someone in a higher position of authority. But it is essential that you stand your ground and avoid saying “sorry” or making excuses for your request. Stop yourself from saying, “Sorry for asking this, but…” or “It’s not a big deal if it doesn’t work out…” Though you may think you are being polite, apologizing or making excuses will just confuse your listener and weaken your request.
    • Apologizing and making excuses for your request can also indicate you are not confident that you deserve what you are asking for. Your boss or superior may then become doubtful about granting your request or giving you want you want. Remember that as long as you feel justified making your request, you do not need to apologize for it or make excuses.
  4. Image titled Get What You Want from People Step 04
    Use open body language and intonation. Be persuasive by presenting yourself with open, friendly body language and a charming tone of voice. Make eye contact with your audience and keep your body relaxed and non confrontational. This means keeping your arms loose and relaxed at your sides and turning your body towards the person you are talking to. Often, taking a non aggressive approach will be more effective than an aggressive or in your face approach.[4]
    • It can also help to use a pause to underscore your request. You can present your request clearly and then pause for effect. This will give the other person a chance to consider your request and realize that you are serious about your request. A well timed pause can highlight your strong intentions and make your audience really consider what you are requesting.
  5. Image titled Get What You Want from People Step 05
    Make "I" statements. You can use assertive communication by focusing on "I" statements during your persuasive discussion. Using "I" statements will force you to take responsibility for your actions and show you are confident about your request. Your audience will also be more willing to listen to your points if you avoid qualifiers like "you may not believe me, but..." or "I'm just stating my opinion..." You should also avoid using qualifying tags like, "know what I mean?" or "does that make sense?" Instead, use assertive language that makes it clear you stand by what you are saying.[5]
    • For example, you may say, "I think that I have earned a raise" or "I feel like you need to pay me back" or "I think my plan is the best option". Assertive communication will encourage your audience to listen to you and ensure they are not confused by what you are requesting.
  6. Image titled Get What You Want from People Step 06
    Point out how your request will be mutually beneficial. Once you have made your request clear, the person may then be wondering, “What’s in it for me?” It’s important that you explain how the request will be beneficial for both parties and how it will allow both of you to get what you want.[6]
    • You may point out that your request will mean less work for the other person, a possible promotion for both of you in the future, or a promise to owe them a favor of equal value. Often, people are more motivated to accept a request or a change if you explain what you can offer them in return.
  7. Image titled Get What You Want from People Step 07
    Be persistent to get a “yes”. You may not get a “yes” right away, or you may get ten “nos” before you get a “maybe”. But being persistent will show others that you are serious about your request and are determined to get what you want. If you have spoken to several people who say “no” to you, consider other individuals you can approach and try to persuade. Think about other individuals you can speak to you or contact to move one step closer to getting what you want.[7]
    • It can also help to use the three “yeses” approach. Rather than drop a big request all at once, you can start with three small statements that seem obvious and can get a quick “yes”.
    • For example, you may start by saying, “It’s important that we get this report done on time, right?” This will likely get a “yes” from a co-worker who is working on the same deadline as you. You can then ask, “We both do not want to work overtime, right?” This will also likely get a “yes”. You can then ask a final question that is your big request, “Why don’t you work on the report tonight and I’ll finish it up tomorrow? That way, we don’t have to work overtime and we can meet the deadline.” This last statement shows that it is mutually beneficial for both of you to do what you suggest and will likely lead to a final “yes” from your co-worker.
  8. Image titled Get What You Want from People Step 08
    Be willing to offer a compromise. Sometimes, despite your persistent attempts to convince someone to do what you want, you may end up in a stalemate where no one gets anything they want, including you. At this point, it may be time to offer a compromise, as this will allow you to get at least some of what you want and move forward. Offering a compromise will show your audience that you are willing to consider their feelings as well as yours and are trying to be assertive but not aggressive. A compromise can also be seen as a sign of strength, rather than weakness, as it shows you can be respectful and are confident enough to meet someone half way.[8]
    • Think about a compromise you can propose that will allow you to get what you want but also allow your audience to benefit in some way. For example, you may ask your boss for a raise. She may then counter with an amount that is lower than you hoped but still more than you make now. Rather than reject her offer right away, offer a compromise by proposing a slightly higher amount of money than her initial offer. This will show you are willing to compromise and allow you to get what you want.

Method 2
Using Persuasive Actions

  1. Image titled Get What You Want from People Step 09
    Demonstrate how your request will be more effective than other options. Sometimes, actions speak louder than words. Rather than try to sway someone with a passionate speech or a persuasive tone, you can show your audience why your request is worth their time. Use visual examples, such as a short scene demonstrating your idea or request with live actors, or graphics and slides that illustrate how your request will benefit the company. By using visual aids, you can better communicate your request to your audience and ensure they can clearly visualize the benefits of your request.[9]
    • Try to choose a visual support that best fits your request and your audience. If you are trying to sell someone a new App for Smartphones, for example, you may use an interactive visual that can be accessed through your audience’s Smartphones. If you are trying to convince your boss to give you a raise, you may present a slideshow of your most successful projects, as well as video testimonials from clients on your excellent project management skills.
  2. Image titled Get What You Want from People Step 10
    Support your request with third party data from the experts. One of the most persuasive actions you can lean on is evidence and data complied by experts in the field that shows why your request is a good idea. To support your request, hire a third party, such as a team of experts, to create a report that shows how and why your idea or request will be useful to your audience. Often, people are swayed by data and evidence that is unbiased, as it is hard to argue or disagree with plain facts.[10]
    • If you are requesting a raise from your boss, for example, you may hire a data management company to compile data on competitive salaries at other companies in your field. You can then use this data to contrast your current salary and argue in favor of raising your salary so it best suits the current pay in the field. If you are trying to get a client to agree to a change in a project, you may use a slideshow or interactive graphics that illustrate the benefits of the change in terms of cost savings and better time management.
  3. Image titled Get What You Want from People Step 11
    Use your past actions as leverage. If you have demonstrated that you can make good decisions or judgement calls in the past, you may want to rely on your track record as leverage. This could help to sway someone into giving in to your request, especially if they have first hand experience of how well your ideas have worked in the past. Mention a recent time your actions have lead to a success or a win for both of you. Bring up video recordings or messages that show how you requests have benefited your audience in the past.[11]
    • If you are trying to get a friend to go out with you on a Friday night, you may show them messages from last Friday when you went out that demonstrate how much fun they had with you. If you are trying to get your boss to give you a raise, you may have your co-workers provide testimonials about situations in the past where you excelled at your job and made major gains for the company.

Article Info

Categories: Conversation Skills