HAVE you wondered why some people seem to get along better with others? Have you ever wanted to be able to command the respect of the people around you and communicate better as a leader?

What can be more important in your life than to possess effective persuasive and influencing skills?

Living in an increasingly information-dense society, we are constantly being bombarded by persuasive messages.

We see advertisements every day and everywhere — from the newspapers, magazines, television and radio — all trying to persuade us to buy a particular brand of product. Salesmen are constantly approaching us in an attempt to sell their products.

It is your ability to persuade and influence people that will determine your success in life.

By becoming a persuasive communicator, you are more likely to get your desired new job, obtain promotions, make better business deals and sell more products. You can improve your community when you persuade people to support your proposals and ideas.

We are all born sales professionals. Since the day you were born, you were already equipped with the ability to “sell” because when you were hungry, you simply communicated your needs and sought attention by crying!

Everyone, regardless of his profession, is a salesman in a certain way. Thus your ability to persuade others and sell effectively in your life is an asset that you must possess.

In persuading or influencing someone to embrace what you are selling, you can achieve this objective through three different means — ethos, pathos and logos:

1. Ethos

This is the aspect of persuasion that deals with credibility. Since everything counts in the area of personal credibility, everything that you do or don’t do either adds to or takes away from your credibility and your capability to influence someone.

People tend to believe in people whom they admire or respect. If the communicator is trustworthy, has his listener’s best interests at heart, knows his subject well and practises what he preaches, he is likely to be persuasive.

Integrity is very important. For instance, a public speaker who practises ethos must be able to portray himself as a master or an expert in the topic or subject that he is going to present on.

It is crucial for the audience to recognise him as the appropriate person to deliver the expected value.

Author Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “What you are shouts so loudly in my ears I cannot hear what you say.” Thus ethos is very important in the areas of persuasion.

2. Pathos

This is the area of persuasion that deals with emotions.

It has been demonstrated time and again the great influence that emotion has over logic on a person when it comes to making a buying decision.

For example, most people never buy a sports car based on logic. Instead, it is their emotions that tend to get the better of them.

In modern selling and marketing, pathos is the ability to communicate with the deep, subconscious needs of a customer. Human beings are largely emotional, in that in everything that we do and say, our decisions are determined by our emotions.

Therefore, to have a great influence on others, you need to be able to connect with whatever causes them to feel strongly.

When you are attempting to study and understand the perceptual position of another person, you are practising empathy.

Empathy is powerful since you are able to feel better how a person feels and truly understand what he needs and desires.

By learning to match the needs and wants of the people around you, you tend to stand a greater chance of influencing and selling anything to them.

3. Logos

This is the part of persuasion that deals with logic or reason. When applying logos in enhancing your persuasive power, logic is used to back up a claim. Engaging logos as your persuasion tool involves getting someone else into a thinking mode.

Since people are constantly trying to make good sense of most decisions that they make in their lives, it is also important for you to work on the logos appeal when trying to influence them.

In essence, you have just learnt that there are three means of influencing and persuading others — the ethos, pathos and logos of motivating someone. When you learn how to integrate and incorporate all of these three elements, you become a master of persuasion.