Today, we’re continuing our series on communication. Over the next several weeks, we’ll be sharing insights, strategies, and tips for communicating during all kinds of circumstances: under stress, in the workplace, when delivering a presentation, and so on. The valuable content we provide will help you excel as a communicator and gain a highly coveted skill that can see you rise in both your personal and professional life.

In our first installment, which you can read here, we discussed 4 ways to help you communicate more effectively in meetings.

In our second installment, which you can read here, we discussed communication strategies you can easily master to help you become a more charismatic individual.

Today, we’re going to discuss communication in the sense of a business communication plan, specifically focusing on 3 ways your business can be more persuasive and influential—a great skill to build upon and master if you want to be more successful in your professional career.

Here are 3 of the principles of persuasion that you can start incorporating into your business communications plan today:

 

  1. Reciprocity

Digital marketing expert Jeremy Smith says this about reciprocity: “Think of this as ‘You scratch my back; I’ll scratch yours.’ If you do something nice for someone, they’ll do something nice for you, i.e. return the favor. People are wired this way. If you give someone a favor, they tend to feel indebted to you. They want to pay you back somehow.”

How to incorporate it into your business communication plan?

From SpearsMarketing: “What is your business giving away? What product, service, bit of knowledge, or piece of information could you charge for, but should probably give away instead? When you give away valuable information to potential customers for free, your business has greatly increased its credibility and likelihood of picking up new customers through this strategy.”

There are other benefits to this approach as well, including improved SEO ranking, increased brand recognition, and customer loyalty.

If you’re not sure what your business could give away for free, here are some common examples: consultation calls, estimates, your expertise packaged into an e-book or other downloadable, and of course free content such as articles/blogs, podcasts, and more.

 

  1. Authority

A letting agency at one point had their receptionist first mention a colleague’s credentials before transferring the call through. For example: “Let me put you through to Jessica. She has over 15 years of experience in property management.” This approach led to a 20% rise in appointments and a 15% increase in signed contracts. I’m sure you’ve noticed how doctors always display their medical diplomas on the office walls. There’s a reason for this. People will follow the lead of someone they perceive as knowledgeable and credible.

How to incorporate it into your business communication plan?

Producing valuable content on a regular basis is a great way to establish your authority in your specific niche. Not only will you be continuously putting yourself in front of your audience, but you’ll be providing valuable information that they’ll find useful and gaining recognition for your work. Other ideas include writing guest articles for other websites and being featured in different kinds of media (podcasts, radio, the local news, etc.).

 

  1. Social Proof

According to Influenceatwork.com, hotels will often place small cards in bathrooms to encourage guests to reuse their towels. These hotels will mention the positive impact reusing towels will have on the environment, and many will also cite what percentage of guests reuse their towels, i.e. “75% of our guests reuse their towels.” This leads to an increase of 33% in towel reuse. Why? Because people will often look to the actions of others to determine their own actions.  We see this play out in our own daily lives. If you see a group of people looking up into the sky, what do you do? You look up into the sky as well. Social persuasion can be quite strong and very effective.

How to incorporate it into your business communication plan?

Use testimonials on your business website, as they’re one of your most effective marketing tools, along with being tools for persuasion and influence. People like to see others like them who have had great success with your services. Other ways to show social proof: Facebook likes, Twitter followers, comments on your content.

 

 

The above strategies can be easily integrated into your business communication strategy in no time, and when you utilize these methods of persuasion and influence, you’ll set your business ahead of the rest and stand out in the marketplace like never before.