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Do Background Research

 

Techniques Persuasion 101 > Do Background Research

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Before entering a negotiation or persuasive situation, it can be helpful to do some background research on the situation, the other people and even those who you may consider allies. For this, you will want to add to any understanding you have so far, in particular to answer outstanding questions that you believe may be important.

Background research can be done in many ways, including:

  • Recalling past encounters with them, including through any notes taken
  • Formal documents such as meeting minutes that indicate their approach
  • Looking at social media, blogs and online presence
  • Talking to people that know them, getting first-hand accounts of how they are in practice
  • Evidence of their lifestyle (such as car, house, sports) that may indicate needs

In this look for indications of skills, abilities and indications of their personality, with such as values and how trustworthy they may be. Look also for what they may want and what you might be able to offer that they may like.

Example

A teacher about to speak with parents asks other teachers if they have spoken with them.

A sales person checks past sales and purchase records to determine how willing and able the customers were to buying quality goods.

Discussion

In essence, this covers the whole 'Understand' section again, though in this context it can be a more formal process or just act to fill in the missing gaps.

Of course the level of research you do will depend very much upon the seriousness of the encounter you are looking forward to. For a simple situation you may just think back to past experiences or talk to a common friend. For more important things you may even want to employ professionals who track down significant information, for example whether a prospective partner has a criminal record.

See also

Understand, Personality, Needs

 

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