Convincing a client to hire you, go along with your idea or pay your fee requires a knack for persuasion. But there’s more to the art and science of persuasion than shaping opinion. To get someone or a group of people to not only believe in what you’re communicating but also act on the opinion you’ve planted takes persuasion to a higher level.

Two researchers who recently wrote an article on mastering the art of persuasion call that often overlooked skill “belief certainty.”

In the context of real estate, potential clients might have a positive opinion about a real estate brokerage, but, unless they’re convinced that the brokerage is the best for them, they might not act on the opinion. That high degree of certainty is pivotal in the art of persuasion because people are more likely to act on things they feel certain about, according to authors Derek Rucker, a marketing professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, and Zakary Tormala, marketing professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

These are four ways agents and others can hone their belief certainty persuasion skills to become more effective persuaders, according to the article.

Don’t gloss over or downright ignore the negatives to paint the perfect picture. You might be inclined to talk only positively when you want to convince someone of something, but that’s not reality. That doesn’t mean you should focus on the negatives. Rather, address some weaker points or limitations to show you’ve done your research and understand the big picture. Also, be sure to address how those limitations or weaknesses can be overcome.

Make your points and repeat. Reinforcement of your belief, idea, concept, approach, etc., builds confidence among those you’re trying to convince. One way to do that is follow up with a positive comment. For example, if potential clients say they agree with what you’re saying, ask what it was that made them think that way. This practice encourages reinforcement of your opinion.

Don’t make things too complicated. You don’t need to convince listeners with a laundry list of reasons to agree with you. Instead, come up with one concept on which to focus. The simpler the sell, the easier it is to articulate.

People feel validated when others agree with them, so embrace and communicate consensus. If someone likes your service, for example, reassure them that others also like your service by directing them to social media pages where it shows others agree.

Belief certainty elevates persuasion from a feeling to an action. By using these tips to master the art of persuasion, real estate agents and other professionals who thrive based on their ability to persuade and convince people can move from shaping opinion to inspiring conviction and building clientele, according to the authors.

What other techniques are useful in persuading clients? Share with us in the comments section!

Source: “4 tips for mastering the art of persuasion,” Fortune.com (Nov. 23, 2016)