LOVE it or loathe it, persuasive communication - a major ingredient in public relations - is one of the most valuable management tools around.

Most businesses see persuasive communication as a straightforward process, using logic, persistence and personal enthusiasm to get others to buy a good idea. Wrong! This doesn't work.

Being effective in persuasive communication is an important component for many businesses to continue attracting global investments. But what exactly is it?

For the purpose of this article, we will stick to understanding the implications of persuasive communication at work.

All of us have probably tried to persuade someone to do something with varying degrees of success. For persuasive communication to be effective, you need to understand that certain principles must be adhered to or the attempt can backfire.

Persuasive communication is about influencing or altering another individual's beliefs, attitudes and ultimately, behaviour. At work, it is a negotiating and learning process which requires time and effort. It is a valuable tool to crack the foreign market and forge a stronger relationship with foreign partners.

To be effective, you must understand and appreciate the implications of the four steps in persuasive communication at work for a successful business relationship.

Showcase credentials

* Demonstrate your expertise via your credentials.

* As a professional in your field, with a history of sound judgement and a deep knowledge of your subject, you can be trusted to listen.

* Always work in the best interest of others with a high level of integrity.

Realistic goals

* Work towards a process until you find a shared advantage.

* Gather essential information via conversation and discussion.

* Be a great listener.

* Always compromise.

* Be thoughtful, sincere and establish a friendly approach in the best interests of your client.

Highlight credibility

* State your opinions and explain analogies with clarity.

* Be concise and get straight to the point, but be diplomatic.

* Convince clients with your professionalism and knowledge and "make them buy it".

* Impress them with your confidence.

Emotional Quotient

* Be responsive to your audience's emotional state, adjusting the tone and intensity of the topics accordingly.

Persuasive communication is a process, not an event. Solutions are rarely achieved on the first attempt. More often than not, persuasive communication involves listening to people and compromising to create a bond. If this sounds like a slow and difficult process, that's because it is. But the results are worth the effort.