You Don’t Convince; You Persuade

By Herman Pool
In Marketing
November 28, 2012

Kat / Vertical Axion


As entrepreneurs, we see that word a lot: “convince your target audience that you’re the best one for them.” “Convince the client that they can trust you.” But do we really convince?

Marketers don’t really convince. Engineers convince. Animal rights people convince. So what do marketers do? Persuade.

Convincing usually involves rationalization. It’s the difference between telling you how many shelter animals die a day and putting cute, innocent puppies on television that stay behind bars and bark at the camera. Convincing has everything to do with numbers and logic; persuasion is a different beast.

Persuasion is gentle, and it takes some serious finesse. If your persuasion act goes wrong, you wind up with no client and no job. But if you use it correctly, persuasion is your best friend. It uses emotions, fear of the unknown, and the most powerful tool of all: imagination.

What happens if you don’t protect your business?

What if a cyberattack gets through your measly defenses and takes all of your data? Hackers do practice on small businesses, after all.

How would you feel if your computer crashed and burned and you had no one to help fix it?

Persuasion has everything to do with targeting someone’s emotions, not cornering them with facts. However, it is much easier to persuade someone if they’re already convinced (with said facts). But if you’ve just convinced someone that you’re right and they’re wrong, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to do anything about it. And that’s your goal, ultimately – to get them to do something.

So if you’re spending all of your time trying to convince people with facts, figures, and interesting information, you may want to take a step back for just a moment and see what would work on you personally.

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