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Have what it takes to sell your ideas?

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Your title may not carry much authority, but you have all the tools you need to persuade others to do what you want. Here's how to put them to use:

Sell yourself, then the idea. Your reputation is at least as important as the idea you're selling. When people see you as trustworthy, reliable and sincere, they're more receptive to your message.

Define the win. What you want obviously will benefit you. The challenge: Explain how it will benefit the other person.

Example: Don't expect co-workers to change the way they provide information simply because it would be easier for you. Instead, explain what will happen if they don't go along: You will have less time to work on their priority assignments.

People respond more strongly when avoiding a negative than when they stand to gain a positive.

Add emotion. Let your passion for your idea show. Even the most logical listener will be nudged toward agreement by the force of your enthusiasm.

Make saying "No" harder. When possible, pitch your position in person. Looking someone in the eye and saying "No" is much more difficult than writing it in an e-mail message.

Instead of trying to convince the other person that your idea is good, ask him or her to explain why it's bad. That allows you to strike down every objection, putting you on the offensive.

Push for a partial victory. If your boss isn't willing to agree to your idea, ask whether the two of you can test it for a trial period.

Close the sale. Don't just lay out your argument. Provide a "call to action" that tells people exactly what you want them to do next.

Ask for help. When you run into a brick wall trying to gain agreement, ask the other person, "What would it take to convince you?"

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