Stop Persuading People Now! (What?!?)

I’m not kidding.

Stop trying to persuade and coerce people with your marketing.

Sure, persuasion and influence can certainly get you far. But in the long run, persuading instead of transforming can get you in a lot of trouble.

When you persuade someone to do something, you enter into a power-over relationship. Philosopher and pioneering management consultant Mary Parker Follett defined a “power-over” relationship as one in which one side vies for power over another. At best it tries to influence the other to concede its position. At worst it uses brute force to get its way.

The trouble comes when the the person who thinks he was persuaded now wants to get results from the you, the persuader

The client who you persuaded into working with you quite frankly usually ends up being difficult. He might feel angry at some point, because his need for autonomy in the decision making process was not met. That’s a fancy way of saying he feels tricked or hoodwinked. That is perhaps the worst result. I’ve seen it happen again and again. Clients turn on the consultants or coaches they hired, unhappy about the results they are getting.

The Mother of Modern Management

The Mother of Modern Management

Another very common negative outcome with a persuaded client is that he fails to get results. Persuasive marketing got him to open up his checkbook. But when it comes time to do the hard work to get results, he falters. He hasn’t fully bought into you or your brand yet. He’s not ready to change yet. Whatever the problem is, it usually comes down to his not being ready. He hasn’t been transformed.

This results in miserable situations for the persuader, too. When you took on this client, you truly believed you could help him. You got him to hire you in the belief that this was the right choice for everyone. Then you see him unhappy and failing to get results, and it’s painful for you. He makes unreasonable demands. He disappears, or refuses to pay.

Why does this happen?

In a coercive, power-over relationship in which the persuader “convinces someone to hire them,” the persuader seems to have complete control over the outcome of the work. The coerced person, having ceded his decision-making power over to the persuader, also gives up responsibility for getting the results he desires.

So what do you do instead of persuading and convincing?

Use your marketing to create power-with relationships

With an automation-ready brand and messages along with the right kind of automation, you get your message out there in a transformative way.

Your marketing should take your prospective client from where she is now—a place where she needs help—to the place where you can help her. Persuading and convincing is like dragging her over the bridge from point A to point B. Transformational selling using power-with relationships empowers her with the information and courage she needs to walk over that bridge of her own free will.

Marketing based on power-with relationships has dramatically different outcomes. That is because it creates relationships deeply rooted in respect and trust. By the time your perfect client pays you and begins work with you, she has a clear understanding of your value and what you bring to the table. You don’t have to do any persuading because she’s already on board. Yes, this makes sales much easier. But it also means your perfect client is much happier with the results she gets from working with you.

Power-with relationships empower your customers and clients to meet their needs and achieve the results they desire. Power-with relationships rebalance the power in the relationship. Both parties are committed to and working towards the same result. This means that everyone is more understanding when the inevitable happens and something is not 100% as imagined.

All this sounds nice in theory. You work only with perfect clients. They come to you, wallets open, ready to invest. They are understanding and get fantastic results.

So what’s the hangup? Why don’t more business owners work this way?

The short answer: Marketing by creating power-with relationships takes an up-front investment.

You have to take the lead. You have to identify your perfect client. Then you have to get in front of her. Then build the relationship.

It’s not easy, especially at first. But the rewards are so sweet.

That’s why all of my services aim towards creating those kinds of relationships between you and your clients. To discover more about how to do that…

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