By Katie Torres
When our CEO, Scott Reyes, began training on persuasion a few weeks ago, I took note.
And naturally, I used this newfound information to persuade him on something I've been needing.
Luckily for me, he was amused, and he granted my request.
This information is also available to you, and will help you to persuade your audience (whether that be vendors or those on your team) to accomplish the goal that you have in mind.
The first step is this: Know what you want, and know what you're going to ask before you ask it.
This requires specificity.
If you're an FM manager who needs someone on site that day because a storm caused significant flooding, you're going to want to make sure it gets done, and that it gets done quickly.
Ask yourself what you need, and do so in specific terms.
What exactly needs to be fixed? What parts are necessary? Exactly how many hours do you want for your timeframe in which your vendor arrives on site?
Then, you need to think: what do they want?
If a vendor is tight on time or resources, or has other reasons why they might be unable to meet your request, keeping their goals in mind will be the way to a deal that works for you both.
What motivates them? Surely, they want to be helpful. Remind them of the times they've been helpful in the past and how that benefited everyone involved, and show your appreciation for them stepping it up again.
Talk about the good name they build for themselves by showing up and getting the tough tasks done.
And even, of course, reminding them of how much money they can be making on the job doesn't hurt either.
Know your tools.
If there is going to be bad weather that might prevent a vendor from getting there, make sure you know that and have a plan you can propose to get around that.
If material has not been ordered, find out exactly when it will be. In some cases, you may even want to order the parts yourself to get the job moving forward.
Ask for tracking information on the shipment of parts. This way, you're all in the loop, and everyone knows what is expected and when.
Then, ask. And ask for more than what you actually need.
If it's noon, and you need someone by 8 pm that evening, ask the vendor to be there within two hours.
Sometimes, there will be pushback. A vendor might have another job, or they might have another reason for not being able to get there.
Stay agreeable, and empathize with any issues they might have. And go back to what motivates them to respond in a way that will persuade them to do what you're asking.
Have a backup plan.
Sometimes, what you're specifically asking just won't be possible. You'll need a backup plan. Maybe a compromise to the original plan, or another plan all together.
What will you do if you don't get what you want? How long will you work at the original plan before deciding to move on to plan B?
Go over the plan.
Once you've come to an agreement, recap everything.
Make sure everyone has what they need to get the job done, and go over what you agreed upon. Then decide when to follow up.
Stay in communication from that point on. Make sure you know when decisions are made, and when the job gets accomplished. Talk about any obstacles that come up before they happen and cause trouble.