How often in your shy youth were you advised to be more assertive in your approach to people? Today, just how confident do you think you are in your persuasion techniques? And yet persuasiveness is just as important a skill for a business owner as good financial awareness, marketing or organizational skills.

When you look around, do others seem to get a better response to everything they do? So how are they achieving this when you’re not? You know the ones. People respond to them and are willing to go the extra mile for them. They manage to get agreement for whatever it is so easily.

Here are some tactics you should be adopting to discover the secrets and benefits of persuasion in your role as a business owner.

Just ask

You’ve got to ask for what you want, or you’ll never persuade anybody to do anything. Request commitment on a new contract or if a member of staff needs to complete an urgent task give clear instructions on what is to be done and what the deadline is. Don’t just assume the client will sign the contract or the staff member will get on and do a task without a little push.

Getting the angle right

Any communication you put out will become more persuasive as you test different approaches. Just see what works best. Try altering the tone of email requests to see which type get the best response; try different types of communication: maybe social media tools. Depending on the age and inclination of the people you have to deal with – a more tech-savvy approach may generate a better response.

Break the persuasion process down into small bites

If people aren’t doing what you want, can you break that process down into steps that people will take – in small bites. Maybe have a one-to-one conversation or take someone out for lunch or buy your employees cakes? Try this anyplace where people aren’t taking action.

People tend to respond better to the cosy chat especially when you are asking something difficult or time-consuming. Try it out. You can also help the process along by making each step for them simple to take. Try this wherever you’re having a hard time persuading people to do something.

Use the successful strategies of others

If something works for a business colleague, then why not try it out yourself? Cosy chats over coffee may not come naturally to you but you may need to develop a whole range of personal skills if you are to grow your business and inspire others to deliver the goods in difficult circumstances or put the extra effort in to meet that tight deadline.

Look at the most successful entrepreneurs you know. What persuasive things are they saying, and how do they say them? Does it seem to be working? Are their projects perceived as successful and is their career progressing faster than yours?