While making the pitch to an audience, the personal trust the presenter has built with them is more important than the quality of the proposal.
While it is natural to focus on the content and assume that one’s ideas will be accepted based on merit, the person who comes across as trustworthy, thoughtful and having sound judgement is the one who is able to make the best deal.
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While educating a higher-up about a particular subject, we assume that we are the experts and somehow have power over others listening to us impart knowledge.
But influencing authoritative figures takes more than just expertise and the art of persuasion requires us to get off the pedestal and relinquish the power that we think we have.
The audience who are the decision-makers will not be sold just by the logic of your proposal and how much sense it makes - you have to package it in a way that is at the right level with your audience, in straightforward terms.
It also helps to ensure that the leaders who are listening to you feel smart.
Dale Carnegie published a book - How to Win Friends and Influence People. The importance of smiling is among his tips. If you seem pleased to see someone, they will be happy to see you.
If you don't have a natural smile, say "great great great" in verses of three, to get the same effect.
At the MOFU stage, the number of people interacting with your content grows smaller but they are much more willing to interact if you encourage them to. Here, your goal is to accompany the prospect from an initial idea to an in-depth understanding of how your solution helps.
The key here is to seem imperfect, approachable, and human.
Have personal exchanges with your employees and co-workers. You don't need to build friendships, but there's no reason why you can't get to know each other. Personal working relationships are important for cultivating a sense of team, and if people see you as another person on the team, they'll be more receptive when you disclose your ideas or opinions.