Some days, winning the decisions you deserve might seem like a faraway dream. But, if you implement the right strategies, you can get there far sooner than you think. We’ve outlined 5 simple, tried-and-tested techniques you can use to inspire, influence and persuade.

 #1 Know What Good Looks Like

If you’re serious about winning a decision, one of the first things you absolutely must do is to know what good looks like.

The first stage in our Value-telling Blu-print is ‘Vision’.  It is important to know in as much detail as you can what decision you want to win and by when?  Without knowing this you will be unable to build an effective plan, take inspiring, influencing and persuasive actions and you will be unclear if your efforts were successful.  After learning what good looks like, you can also consider setting some boundaries, which can be just as important to you winning a decision.  It can play a huge part in negotiation too.  Boundaries don’t have to be punitive, they can be seen as ring-fencing what you need, like blocking time in your diary to read, exercise, whatever.  Boundaries are not about shutting people out and having a blanket no to the needs of others.  Boundaries are there to protect you and allow you to have a balanced outcome.

Many people tend to allow the decisions they want to be undefined, making them blurry, abstract, suggestive events, like I want to get a new job or I need to make more sales and this tends to cause blurry, abstract and suggestive persuasive efforts.  This is exactly what you want to avoid. Did you know that 95% of sales pitches fail because the content was anecdotal and value was not conveyed effectively. 

Defining in some detail the decision you want to win allows you to take control of the situation and prevents sleepwalking.  (The fact you are here means you’re not Sleepwalking, which is a great start.  One of our favourite questions we ask many clients is:  How are you being deliberate?).  You will also benefit from purposeful, laser like focus and maximised results by pushing yourself rather than waiting for things to happen.  You are much more likely to achieve your maximum potential by setting goals and not default to safe and comfortable routines.  (We cover off Vulnerability later).

“Not having a goal, is like sailing the sea without a compass”

Use this quick and simple template to define a decision you want to win and why.

Every day I [add in an action or a thought] until one day [add in pain] and because of that [add in a consequence] and because of that [add in a consequence] until I decided I need to make a change.

I want to get [add in a goal], by [add in a date] which will give me [add in a benefit] and because of that [add in a value].  In order to achieve my goal, I need [add in the decision makers] to agree [add in a decision you need to win].

When you read your decision back, it should feel good, inspiring and motivating. If it isn’t compelling enough, go back and make it fun, exciting, even bold.  We have often found that starting with a big, outrageous goal and scale it back (not too much) to feel a bit more real is the best approach.  Swing for the fence!

#2 On your marks, mindset, Go.

As well as knowing what good looks like, you also need to have the right mindset if you’re ever going to win the decisions you deserve. This strategy is really powerful because it will make you accountable, it inspires growth, motivates you to acquire knowledge and will prioritise your time to win that decision in a MUCH shorter timeframe.


This technique is about Owning it!  It’s about calibrating or validating your mindset to give you the best possible chance of delivering High Persuasive Performances and winning the decision you want.  It is important because without a positive, resilient mind-set you are unlikely to last the course and likely to lose the decision you want.  There is loads of evidence to suggest having a strong sense of ownership and control over your life is linked with success, higher self-motivation and even a longer lifespan.

FACT:  Did you know that resilience is learned.

You will have probably met people who have ‘learned helplessness’, who think that there is nothing they can do to stop bad things happening to them. They hate their job, yet don’t look for another one. They don’t like their personality, but don’t do anything to change it.  They don’t like their body, but don’t do anything about it. Everything is negative!  So many people don’t even try because they feel success will never happen for them or the goal is too far away.  These people are much less likely to flourish and win the decisions they want.  This hack is shining a light on the type of mindset that will grossly increase your chances of winning that decision, like getting your dream job or winning that sale.  So gear up…

Know the difference between fault and responsibility.  Not everything is your fault, but everything is your responsibility.  Give that a minute to sink in and stop being defensive.  Not everything is your fault, but everything is your responsibility. Let’s agree that Shit Happens and you may not have caused it, but you are 100% responsible for how you react to the situation. It is natural when things go wrong to look for something or someone to blame, but it adds very little value to the solution.  All that matters is how you respond.

Taking responsibility is not about taking it in the neck or taking the blame for someone, it’s about recognising there are things you can control, the things you can influence and things you can’t control and it is the reaction to adversity that counts. To be a High Persuasive Performer, you need to know it is your responsibility to spend your persuasive efforts in the right areas and that is on the things you can control and influence.  For example; you can’t control when your client’s wife gives birth to their 2nd child and is unavailable to decide if you win that work, so don’t try and control it and spend time trying to get the decision, instead spend some time showing compassion and wishing congratulations with some flowers, so that when he is back in the business you have built up some reciprocity, rapport and have an stronger emotional connection.  This way, he is more likely to be responsive to your proposals.

#3 Win Themes

Too few people do this when it comes to delivering a High Persuasive Performance and winning decisions. Sadly, the consequences can be disastrous and prevent them from ever reaching their goals.

You must know your decision makers intimately.  This is more than knowing them on general terms with rudimentary data like roles, location and contact details.  Doing this is a big mistake, because knowing them intimately is the difference between winning and losing.

You need to uncover their deepest and most primal desires.  You need to delve into their fears, hopes and dreams.  This is the stuff they are thinking about. You need to go beyond the obvious and work out how the decision maker thinks, feels and acts.  After all, decisions are made using emotion and justified with logic afterwards (more on this below).  Did you know that only 1% of sales people use selling tactics that are compatible with the way the human mind works.

Aligning yourself with the thoughts, feelings and actions of the decision maker will guarantee your actions and Persuasive Performance will resonate with them and migrate a standard persuasive performance to a High Persuasive Performance. Knowing what buttons to press is essential and we call these buttons Win Themes.

This hack is the fourth stage in our Value-telling Blu-print. You need to read the decision makers mind.  You must become obsessed with their passions, fears and desires.  How do you find out about my decision makers hopes and fears?  It’s easy, research.

TIP:  When doing research, pick a handful of keywords or search phrases around your product or service you are selling or the decision you want to win, like the role you want to win.  Spend some time on Google for popular blogs, LinkedIn forums, YouTube comments, and social media platforms. Go wherever your decision makers hangs out.

Look at what your audience is saying and feeling. What are they happy with? What are they unhappy with? What concerns or questions do they have.  Have you noticed any themes?  For example; many may be talking about the pressure of another legal change in their space, how overwhelming, time consuming and destructive it is to their business and to themselves professionally.  They may be sharing a frustration around red tape, legal consequences and risk.  These are all buying-signals and will have to identify Win Themes.

Once you have this information, you can draw out Win Themes and these become the buttons you need to press or more accurately, the wardrobe you start to hang content, evidence, success stories. You are now in a much stronger position to deliver a High Persuasive Performance.  The method we like to use to inspire and record our research is called an Empathy Map.

Then, it’s time to stop being the armchair detective and get amongst the people to really get under the decision makers skin! It’s fun.  An important part of your detective work is talking to your decision maker.  They say sales is a contact sport, so get contacting.  Here are a handful of questions to help learn more about your decision maker.

  1. What are their biggest frustrations and challenges?
  2. What are they hoping to achieve?
  3. What one change would they make right now towards a better future?
  4. What does a typical day look like?
  5. What makes them happy?

#4 Feathering your nest

Feathering your nest is another straightforward strategy you can use to deliver a High Persuasive Performance and Win the decisions you want.  In fact, this is the most powerful of all the Hacks and is a huge part of our Value-telling Blu-print.

One sure way to influence, inspire and persuade someone is to be seen as trustworthy, capable and credible.  There are lots of different ways to build trust, but it can take time with a slow stacking of credibility and capability over time, but the most potent way to boost this process is to demonstrate capability through specific examples, using detail with supported by data and endorsements like testimonials.

This means fluffy, generic, anecdotal statements do not work, like work with us because we are the best, you will get great customer service and I am a hard worker.  No examples, no detail, no data, no endorsement, no decision.

We call examples of the good stuff you do and the positive impact they have: Compelling Content.  We believe Content is King and in fact our commitment to this technique is so big our mantra is Creating Content that Converts and have invested in an App to help people capture compelling content. Did you know that 85% of people felt capturing and use great content was important when selling.

Another reason why capturing content is important because people make decisions using their emotions and justify their decisions with logic.

Did you know only 1% of sales people utilise selling tactics that are compatible with the way the human mind works.

One way to trigger emotions is via Storytelling. In order to tell a detailed, insightful and captivating story, you need to capture your experiences in the form of Content.  A lot of people don’t do this and rely on memory and when the time arises to tell the world your story, detail has faded and its impact is lost and so is the moment.  This is where people waste a lot of time and effort casting their minds back, hunting around for old notes, photos and data.  This is also where people start to fill in the blanks and embellishing the truth.  This is a dangerous move because getting caught out here will damage your credibility and you be further away from winning the big decisions you want than when you started.

One of the secrets of persuasion was first established many years ago in ancient Greece where Aristotle wrote one of the greatest books ever written on persuasion. It is called Rhetoric. He wrote that you need 3 things to persuade someone and these three things are at the heart of our Value-telling Blu-print and this Hack. They are:

  • Ethos, which is credibility
  • Pathos, which is emotion
  • Lagos, which is logic or reasoning

You cannot persuade someone with just one of these, you need all three in play. Using these three parts in combination you are answering the following questions for you decision maker: Why do I trust this person, why do I care and are they right?

If you find yourself asking what content should I be capturing, then the answer lies within the Win Themes. If you have a Win Theme called Innovation and it is asking how have you been innovative, then hunt down content that answers this question, like when you have used AI to predict behaviours and prevent accidents.  Think of a Win Theme like a storage bin and you pour applicable content in them. The other option is simply record anything that will demonstrate a benefit or a value to the decision maker.

#5 Know the relationship between benefits and value

A lot of people don’t know about this one – which is crazy because we think it’s an absolute MUST-DO when it comes to delivering a High Persuasive Performance and winning the decisions you want.

Let’s be brutally clear here.  We believe the single most important rule in life is:  Your number one responsibility is to Trade.

Let me explain. We believe that there is a Trade in everything you do.  You and everyone else in the world are either buying, selling, spending or saving and this is what a Trade is.

This is bigger than money, this is about resources.  This is about where you spend (or not) you energy, your time, your emotions.  This is also bigger than what other people do, this is also about looking inwards.  You will need to buy-into yourself and decide to spend your resources on you; whether that is inspiring yourself to go to the gym, sacrificing some sleep to get up early to learn something or invest extra time on that sales pitch.  More on life’s a trade later, but this scene setting tees up nicely the notion that whether you like it or not, even whether you know it or not, everyone is a salesperson.  The biggest myth I come across is ‘I don’t sell anything, I’m not in sales’.  Sorry to be the one to break this to you, but you are, we all are.

It doesn’t matter is you are a great person or you have a great product or service, you will live and die by the effectiveness of your ability to sell, secure buy-in from others and win decisions.  Your success is not based on your passion, your motivation or your desire to help people.  If you don’t embrace this concept, you will find that winning decisions can be unpredictable, unreliable and incredibly stressful.  Why would you leave the fate of your future, your income of you, your family or even your colleagues on fate?

So, just like in Hack number 2, recognise this fact that success is based on your use of resources and to win a decision people need to buy-into you and lets focus on some things we can control, like the way you shine a light on benefits and value to help sell.

This hack is about knowing the straight line relationship between the function of something, the benefit it brings and the value someone gets from it.  Many sales people spend a lot of time trying to sell the functions of their product or service and this leads to a Low Persuasive Performance.  Functions are things like air conditioning in your car, a fast spin cycle on a washing machine and you can buy beer here.  This then leaves the buyer (a.k.a. the decision maker) the responsibility to join up the dots and work out why this is beneficial to them. Why leave this to chance, why hope things have not got lost in translation?

Share the benefits of the function, so they have no doubt of the good stuff they get, like how the air conditioning keeps them cool and comfortable on a hot day, how the washing machine saves them time to do other things and the pub sells local, cheap, ice-cold beer.  This is where the better sales people stop, but the really good ones, the ones that know their decision maker, the ones who can deliver a High Persuasive Performance, they do the next bit; show value.

Value is extremely personal and is where all the emotion is. This is where things like memories, experiences, favourite colours, lucky pants stuff. This triggers vision, feelings, sounds.

TIP:  So here is a great tip.  Make your sales hit home harder and quick by flipping the script. You don’t have to start with the logical order of here is the function, this is what is good about it and this is why you will like it.  Start with the value, after all this is the personal, intimate bit and where all the emotion is.

If you liked this blog and keen to learn more about how to inspire, influence and persuade someone, then you may be interested in our FREE eBook.  The information you will read will help you consistently deliver High Persuasive Performances and win the decisions you deserve while making sure you avoid failure, missed opportunities and, appearing incompetent.  Check it out here:

By the time you’ve finished reading, you’ll have all the information you need to kickstart your journey to success and delivery High Persuasive Performances.

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