people-with-arms-crossedMaybe you’re like me. You’d rather do it yourself – in part, because you don’t want to ask for something and be turned down. Or owe someone something. Or a million and one other rationalizations for avoiding something that frightens you.

But you’re also smart enough to know that you need help. Or new clients. Or the chance to accomplish something that’s too big to do alone. Change this by clicking here for my top 10 tips for dealing with people who don’t do what you tell them to do.

You know those people. You walk through their door, and they already have “No!” on their face. (Or maybe you’re just afraid they do …) How can you reach them? Here’s a three-step process you can use.

What’s In It for Them?

You know why you want people to take an action – or stop taking one. Your goal is pretty clear. (If it isn’t, then spend a few seconds clarifying what you want.) But why should someone else agree?

Look at your objective from their perspective and what they’ll get from going along with you. Spend as much time thinking about how this will serve them as what you’ll receive. Write down at least three things you think are important to them.

Know Their Objections – and Answer These First

If you’re in a sales situation, these are the four most common objections:

1. Need – they’re happy with what they have because they don’t understand how what you propose will relieve their pain

2. Urgency – they don’t think this is the right time because they can’t see how this will improve their lives now

3. Trust – they’re not sure you can deliver what you promise because you haven’t offered proof of this or shown a genuine interest in them

4. Money – they either don’t have the budget or are using this as a screen—because you haven’t asked, “If money were no object, how would your ideal solution look?”

These types of objections apply to other situations, too. So ask yourself what the 10 toughest objections could be—in the ugliest language you can imagine—then write down how you would answer these.

Put It All Together

You’ll likely see some overlap between the two steps. Now you’re ready to create your talking points. Boil these down to your top three – because three is the largest number of ideas someone can hold in her short-term memory, and you don’t want to overload her. Then write these down and practice them, so they’ll flow easily without a struggle.

But go ahead and rehearse the other points as well. You’ll want to have these in your long-term memory in case you need them, especially during Q&A.

You Can’t Fake Interest

Creating messages that move people from resisting to listening presupposes you have listened first and understand what they want and what they’re afraid of. You really have to care before anything good can happen. This includes being ready to admit that they may have a better idea than you do, or your solution may not be the right one for them.

The good news is that when you’re honest about this, you win credibility points, because you’re putting their needs before yours. That increases the chances that you’ll get a better reception the next time you speak.