All humans are selfish, and everything we do is based on selfish desires.
True, some of these are deep below our conscious awareness, but they are selfish nonetheless.
One thing that makes this difficult to “get” is that we are also extremely good at conning ourselves, and we are also extremely sensitive to the opinions and judgments (real or perceived) of others.
This means we are often “playing to the crowd” without really knowing it.
One way we do this is through the idea of “altruism.” Now, if you’re like most people, you may be thinking that sometimes you do things not for yourself, but for other people.
But the truth is that one way we “play to the crowd” is by convincing ourselves, and others, that we are somehow being “selfless.”
In truth, we’ll only take action if we think we are going to be better off after the action than we were before.
Sure, we may get a “good feeling” by helping others, or even a good feeling by imagining that others are positively judging us, both those “good feelings” that we are after are what’s driving the action.
But it’s those “good feelings” that we are after, and helping others is a means to an end. Not an end to itself.
Now, you may disagree, but if you just consider this, it will help you in your persuasive efforts.
Once you accept that all people behave selfishly, all the time, understanding how to persuade others is much simpler.
Just figure out what they want, and take whatever idea or product you’re promoting, and present it to them in a way that they’ll be better off once they take your suggested course of action.
After all, NOBODY is going to do ANYTHING because YOU want them to.
Only because THEY want them to.