Friendly Persuasion, part one: Reputation
To be persuasive, we must be believable
To be believable, we must be credible
To be credible, we must be truthful. -- Edward R. Murrow
Several years ago I read a book by world renowned sports agent, Bob Woolf titled Friendly Persuasion. The tenets of that book and the very simple markers that it taught me have given me confidence to approach most any conversation.
I have isolated a few of these tenets in an effort to be helpful to those who may also be facing long conversations with hope of agreement.
Part One: Reputation
When entering into a conversation, don't start with a negative thought or word. Try to foster a spirit of cooperation. You want the other person to feel that you are forthright, cheerful, confident and determined to reach a fair agreement. Anyone who succeeds in sales knows that the right attitude is their most valuable asset.
Companies want to show they treat their customers properly, they perform a valuable service, and that they are a good corporate citizen. You want your customer to be receptive to you, to trust and respect you and to know that you are a person of integrity.
The value of a good reputation is the sum total of how you have conducted yourself. In my mind, integrity is the lifeblood of your reputation. A good reputation is central to creating a right atmosphere.
Information translates into power. The more facts and knowledge you have the more viable your position. Woolf said that in analyzing what makes a champion, the conclusion was that the common thread was; an extraordinary commitment, single-mindedness of purpose and unusual self-discipline. Above all, they prepare far beyond anybody else. Not mere practice, but preparation.