The Power of Persuasion: How Words Can Boost Your Business

Did you know that the word You is the most powerful word you can use when you seek to persuade someone to buy, use or choose your product or service over your competitors?

It’s true. In fact, the human brain lights up when it hears or reads the word you and responds even more dramatically when one’s name is used. That’s how strong the power of persuasion can be when humans interact.

The entire left hemisphere of the brain activates each time the word you or a first name is spoken or written. So, imagine what using both can do for your business if you insert either every chance you get? That includes pronouns like yours and yourself. These are words can make a huge difference when employing the power of persuasion.

the power of persuasion

12 of the Most Persuasive Words of All

Yale University’s Psychology Department has been given credit by many credible sources for coming up with a list of persuasive words that remain as powerful today as they were decades ago. At the time, they were used in business-related materials to convince consumers to buy.

But in fact, this list was originally written back in the 1960s by television writer Goodman Ace. He was responsible for scripting the The Perry Como Show. Nevertheless, Yale scholars agree that these 12 words can persuade skeptics about the benefits of products or services. So, when you use the power of persuasion in the course of your business day, get into the habit of employing these 12 as often as you can.

  1. You;
  2. Save;
  3. Money;
  4. Easy;
  5. Guarantee;
  6. Health;
  7. Proven;
  8. Safety;
  9. Discovery;
  10. New;
  11. Love;
  12. Results.

What Professionals Say About the Power of Persuasion

  • Cari Romm, New York magazine contributor, writes of another persuasive word people in the business world should add to their vocabularies. This is if they hope to make a difference in negotiations between themselves and customers. She turned to the 2016 work of Dr. Elizabeth Stokoe, a social interactions professor at U.K.’s Loughborough University. The article identifies the word willing as a hot trigger when you hope to convince someone to act.
  • Willing? It seems this non-threatening response to queries gives respondents more leeway when they must make a buying decision that could be thwarted by a word that seeks a commitment. So if you’re building your own list of words that persuade, make willing number 13. But don’t stop there.
  • Continue to build a persuasive word list that makes powerful connections on your behalf. Then, when you’re ready to go further, expand your search into phrases that persuade, suggests Minda Zetlin.
  • Zetlin has taken single words and shown how they can deliver on promises you make to customers. Her insights make compelling reading that teaches business owners even more about the power of persuasion.

The Root of The Power of Persuasion: Emotion

The legendary Rudyard Kipling once called words:

The most powerful drug used by mankind.

Therefore, if you seek to use them to wield your own power while building, growing and promoting your business, it’s important to understand the nature of persuasion.

Business owners don’t need a college degree nor do they require years of business experience to understand the emotional roots of words. TV commercials can convince you to buy or do something in 30 seconds. So, why not employ the power of persuasion to drive traffic to your business and close deals at a brisk rate? These theories are based on a study conducted by the Harvard School of Health Science. There, researchers concluded that the art of persuasion is so primal, it can trigger a fight-or-flight response.

If it takes more than five minutes to convince someone to make a buying decision, the deal or sale is likely be lost, says Boothman. According to that Harvard study, people decide favorably or unfavorably about a business in about two seconds, at which point trust, clarity and emotions are invested.

  • Your message [must] make sense.

This is what Boothman adds when speaking of the power of persuasion. Consequently, that message must be a positive one to curry favor with customers or clients. Importantly, says Boothman, remember that people make decisions based on their emotions 80-percent of the time.

marketers brainstorming

How You Can Use Words to Persuade

  1. In addition to the aforementioned list of words you’ll use as you go about your business, make sure you also use them to pepper your online presence, print matter and social media. Keep your message upbeat and positive in conjunction with these words and you double your impact. This is what Jacquelyn Smith says, writing for Forbes magazine’s online edition.
  2. Also, successful business owners must practice the 3 As if they hope to maximize the power of persuasion. These are: Appreciate, Acknowledge, Ask. Keep using the word you. If it applies, add the word Free to your list because this word has the potential to inflate the power of persuasion big time!
  3. Further, use cause-and-effect phrases to sell and persuade. Example: If you choose our refrigerator, your power bills can drop by up to 40-percent each month. Did you notice the inclusion of the word your?
  4. You must persuade to achieve success. As a business owner, it’s critical to continue to undertake research into trendy new words that become business drivers. They up the ante on your ability to persuade. Publications like the report conceived by The Institute for the Future (IFTF) entitled The Future of Persuasion offer insights you won’t find elsewhere.

To Persuasion

Should the power of persuasion serve as the be-all and end-all of your business practices and model? Hardly. But you’re off to a good start by collecting and using persuasive words, phrases, examples and positivism when you approach customers every day.

Further your objectives by becoming part of the business community. Also, share your observations and successful use of persuasion tools via social media, your Facebook page, and Twitter. Include any other medium that shows you’ve mastered the power of persuasion. Then, use it to assure the future of your business.

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