The Art of Big-Time Persuasion


There are critical moments in life when you need to persuade someone big-time. Maybe you’re interviewing for a dream job. Maybe you’re pitching for a mind-blowing contract. Or maybe you’re a three-year-old company, like Love on Wheels, trying to persuade the government to create a whole new industry called “mobile healthcare.” How do you enlist the big boys to your cause? Here’s how to be a big-time persuader.

1. Reframe the vision

Your playing small does not serve the world. Everything you do has a deeply personal and global impact. Mohan Kumar, the CEO of Love on Wheels, could have merely described his job as hiring a bunch of nurses who go to people’s homes. Not very inspiring. So how would you reframe this? Mohan did it by connecting his company’s vision with his purpose in life – as well as address Malaysia’s biggest healthcare challenges. “We want to help people heal across all ages, social sectors and financial abilities. We believe that people heal better in their homes. So we’re bringing hospital services into their personal space. There’s no such a service in Malaysia right now. We’re bridging that gap,” Mohan said. That’s a big vision.

2. Enlist a powerful coalition

Ask for help boldly. If you have a big and purposeful vision, you will attract big and purposeful leaders as your personal ambassadors. To advance Love on Wheels’ credibility, Mohan invited local and global doctors with expertise in clinical work to join his board. He then subjected his company to a rigorous accreditation process. And not least, Mohan took a leap of faith by joining a PEMANDU lab – which meant exposing his business model and confidential numbers for scrutiny. It paid off. The Lab paved the way for mobile healthcare to be recognized by the government. Mohan’s fledgling company now has backing from the prime minister himself.

3. Focus on the greater good

Big-time persuasion requires a big vision and serious support from a powerful coalition. But ultimately, your persuasive powers will resonate only when everyone senses you are seeking greater good. Of course any good business requires profit. But profit is not your primary purpose. People want to see that you’re using your power and influence to benefit others. “Even today, when I look at how other human beings suffer, I can feel that happening to my mother,” Mohan said. “There are lots of lonely people. When a physiotherapist comes in to talk to them, that creates a spark in their lives. My biggest joy is seeing people able to get back to their normal activities.” This is ultimately what motivates Mohan to play big.

For the full “Love on Wheels” article & video, click here.

Image courtesy of Flickr User Banco de Imagens Inventta.

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