Kevin Draum in Inc. Magazine:
1. They Are Purposeful
Truly persuasive people understand that most conversations do not require trying to get someone to do or accept something. Aggressive pushers are a turn-off and will put most people on the defensive. It's the person who rarely asks or argues that ultimately gets consideration. Simply put, they pick their battles.
2. They Listen
First, they are listening to assess how receptive you are to their point of view. Second, they are listening for your specific objections, which they know they'll have to resolve. Last, they are listening for moments of agreement so they can capitalize on consensus. Persuasive people already know what they are saying. You can't persuade effectively if you don't know the other side of the argument.
3. They Create a Connection
They will be likeable and look for common ground to help establish emotional bonds and shared objectives. They show empathy for your position and make it known that they are on your side. They manage their impatience and wait for you to give them permission to advocate their approach.
4. They Acknowledge Credibility
They value strong opinions and will make sure that you are entitled to yours. In fact, they will make sure they give you full credit for every argument of yours that has some validity. This makes it harder for you to fully dismiss their point of view.
5. They Offer Satisfaction
Smart persuaders know that they don't have to win every little battle to win the war. They are more than willing to sacrifice when it helps the overall cause. They are ready to find the easiest path to yes. Often that is simply to give you what you want whenever possible. Give ground where you can and hold your ground only where it matters. Choose being successful over being right.
6. They Know When to Shut Up
Wearing people down is not an effective strategy. They carefully support their arguments and check in with questions that will help to close the conversation. Then they step back. The great sales trainer Tom Hopkins still today teaches these decades-old techniques of his mentor J. Douglas Edwards. His most important lesson is "Whenever you ask a closing question, shut up. The first person who speaks, loses."
7. They Know When to Back Away
Urgency and immediacy are often the enemies of real persuasion. It's possible to close a less significant sale through urgency, but deep ideas require time and thought to take root. Great persuaders bring you along in your own time. And they give you the space and time to carefully consider their position. They know that nothing is more powerful than your persuading yourself on their behalf. That almost never occurs in the presence of the persuader.