3 (Very) Persuasive Writing Techniques

persuasive-writing

Wouldn’t it be great if you could influence others a little bit more? Not total mind control but agreeing with your point of view, taking more action, following your advice.

5 Persuasive Business Writing Techniques

The problem with persuasion is that if you use it incorrectly it comes across as coarse, bullying or heavy-handed. Think of The Godfather making you an offer you can’t refuse!

In contrast, the most successful business documents are written in a way that brings you along with the writer.

You find yourself nodding in agreement. Leaning forward to read it more carefully. Maybe even looking forward to reading it again.

It’s all about setting the tone, getting the reader into the right frame of mind, and then gently nudging them along the path.

Here are three (now five) ways to do this.

  1. Ask Why. Open with a question. Like I did above. Why? This immediately gets the reader involved. Whether they agree or not, you’ve made them sit up and pay (a little) attention.
  2. Reverse Psychology. Instead of telling the reader why they should buy your product, flip it around. Tell them why your product failed in the past. Remind them of the terrible customer service. Run yourself down a little… put them in a position of strength.
  3. Empathy. To get them on-side, open up a little and share something with them. Something that shows your human side. Your vulnerable side. Where you feel insecure, threatened, or confused. Why? This disarms the reader and makes them forget they’re reading a white paper, case study, or business proposal. Now that they empathize with you, they want to read on.
  4. Social Proof. Instead of *you* telling them what a terrific product you have, let them know what others think. Add quotes, endorsements, and other types of recommendations to prove that others believe in your product. ‘Look at what these people say – they can’t be all wrong.’
  5. The Power of Three. There is something very special about the number three. Trinity. Triads. Trilogy. Blend your core message into the copy at least three times. Use different variations to make your point. For example, use stories, analogies, or quotes to blend the message into the text.

These are three ways you can make your business writing stand out. What’s so special about it? It works because we focus on the reader not the product.

Remember, we rationalize things with our head but make decisions in our hearts.

Ask yourself: How can I engage with this person? What will make them take action? What will open their heart?

Over to you.

What tactics do you use when writing business documents? Is writing for men and women different?

Thousands of templates to jump start your project

Acceptance Test Plan

Contingency Plan

Software Development Templates

Acquisition Plan

Conversion Plan

Software Requirements Specification

Action Plan

Cost Benefit Analysis

Software Testing

API Documentation

Database Design

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

Audience Analysis

Datasheet

Statement of Work

Availability Plan

Deployment Plan

System Administration Guide

Bill of Materials

Design Document

System Boundary

Business Case

Disaster Recovery Plan

System Design Document

Business Continuity

Disposition Plan

System Specifications

Business Plan

Documentation Plan

Technical Writing Templates

Business Process

Employee Handbook

Test Plan

Business Requirements

Error Message Guide

Training Plan

Business Rules

Expression of Interest

Transition Plan

Capacity Plan

Fact Sheet

Troubleshooting Guide

Case Study

Feasibility Study

Use Case

Change Management Plan

Functional Requirements

User Guide

Communication Plan

Grant Proposal

Verification and Validation Plan

Concept of Operations

Implementation Plan

White Papers

Concept Proposal

Installation Plan

Work Instructions

Configuration Management Plan

Interface Control Document

Software Development Templates

Acceptance Test Plan

Maintenance Plan

Software Requirements Specification

Acquisition Plan

Market Research

Software Testing

Action Plan

Marketing Plan

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

API Documentation

Needs Statement

Statement of Work

Audience Analysis

Operations Guide

System Administration Guide

Availability Plan

Policy Manual

System Boundary

Bill of Materials

Project Plan

System Design Document

Business Case

Proposal Manager Templates

System Specifications

Business Continuity

Proposal Template

Technical Writing Templates

Business Plan

Quality Assurance Plan

Test Plan

Business Process

Release Notes

Training Plan

Business Requirements

Request for Proposal

Transition Plan

Business Rules

Risk Management Plan

Troubleshooting Guide

Capacity Plan

Scope of Work

Use Case

Case Study

Security Plan

User Guide

Change Management Plan

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Verification and Validation Plan

Communication Plan

Setup Guide

White Papers

Concept of Operations

Social Media Policy

Work Instructions

Concept Proposal

Contingency Plan

 

Configuration Management Plan

Conversion Plan