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Persuasion Is Sometimes More Effective At the Top Than At The Bottom

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Transcript

When you're trying to persuade people inside your organization or outside, don't automatically do the same thing every time don't automatically start out at the bottom and work your way up. Sometimes it's easier to persuade the person with higher rank higher status. I'm not saying ignore the little people, I don't mean to sound condescending at all. But sometimes a pitch will resonate more with someone who has even more stature. I remember this is 35 years ago or going folks, but I was in college, I was looking for a senior advisor. I was doing an independent study, project on communication, believe it or not in political campaigns.

So I approached all these Junior professors who had not been tenure, thinking well, they're the ones who will have the time for me. And they also ltg busy it sounds like a great concept that's nice. And I was I had almost given up because they were all saying They were too busy. I'm walking past the door of the most famous political science professor at my university, well known guy had 10 books. He's on network TV all the time was a well respected noted Presidential Scholar, and political scholar. And I walked by the last segment I said, Ah, you know, he'll say no, but what the heck, why not?

I went him, pitched him on my idea. He said, Oh, that sounds fascinating. I'd love to. It just goes to show you can't discount any possible person that might be persuadable. Now, if it's your own organization, and you're part of a big company, and you ignore your boss and your boss's boss and go right to the CEO, that could alienate them. They could feel like you're not respecting them.

So I'm not saying always go to the highest level person. But look around and figure out of the people you persuade They could be in a lot of different places don't take anyone formula that works for someone else and have it work for you. So for example, there is an extremely famous, wildly respected consultant speaker by the name of Alan Weiss. I like Alan, I've read all his books. If you are a consultant or a speaker, I recommend his books to you. But one of the things he does is he says that he only deals with the CEO of a company that's worked really well for his business.

He by all accounts seems to be wildly successful and financially in every other way. But I constantly come across other speakers, other trainers, consultants, who've read Alan Weiss books, and try to emulate him. And they spent all their time trying to get into the sea, the CEO because they think that's the person they have to persuade. to hire them. Well. It might be but it might Not be occasionally in my own business CEOs hire me, but far more often, it's not the CEO.

It's the head of the training department, the head of the public relations department, sometimes the head of HR. Those are the people who hire media trainers, public speaking coaches. So that's my focus. So you've got to figure out again of all the people you talk to within your workplace, but your larger work environment, including your prospects and clients, who are the best people to speak to but also who is anyone that could be persuaded to help you get to the ultimate Yes. And the particular decision you're trying to get out of them.

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