Structuring Persuasive Communications

The Persuasive Communication method is a top-down approach that helps deliver a key messages in a logical way.  It is also helpful within an organization to collaborate on a pitch or presentation. For example we often ask each other at Revenue Architects, “What is the S-C-Q-A?”.

The framework helps capture the essence of the situation, the complication or challenge that stands in the way, to pose the key question (or implied question) that the buyer has on their mind, and deliver the answer as a single-minded message – or governing thought. Then you can provide 3 or 4 supporting points as evidence supporting the governing thought.

The S-C-Q-A Model

Persuasive communication is a structured way to position and communicate that ties your answer or proposed idea –  to the situation and complication  that your buyer is facing and that they want to overcome.

Lets walk through an example by using the model in a way designed to convince you that you should embrace this approach.

To do this, I will use Situation, Complication, Question and Answer which is the structure that will help guide the delivery of your messages.

SCQA can also be used in more subtle ways, but to illustrate how the logic it works, I will use the structure explicitly in the following argument about the impact of Persuasive Communications:

Situation:

Communicating a clear and persuasive message to your audience is critical  in a sales or service delivery or when presenting a solution or proposition. We need to deliver our ideas in a clear and directed way that speaks to the key issues and challenges our audience is facing.

If we can more effective in communicating our message and persuasive arguments, we will be much more likely to convince our audience that they should take the action we propose.

Complication

Unfortunately, much of our communication lacks clarity and structure. Sales teams often meander through client conversations without delivering a clear and persuasive argument backed by logic.

Corporate presentations miss the mark in delivering a single-minded message and instead offer only a reflection of the company itself – without an adequate focus on the audience and the opportunities they seek to address.

With the proliferation of online media and brand messages, it is important to differentiate messages and communicate in a clear and compelling way. In order to deliver persuasive communications, writers and presenters need a structured communication process they can use day-to-day.

Question

How can we improve the way we communicate and realize better results?

Answer

Build structured communications into the fabric of the organization by helping communicators deliver compelling arguments that drive results.

How? We can do this by following three strategies:

  1. Formally introduce Structured Thinking and Delivery  and the top-down S-C-Q-A structure using  workshops, hands-on practice, and real-world examples.
  2. Reinforce the approach by applying structured communication techniques across interactions day-to-day – including internal presentations, emails, blog posts and marketing communications.
  3. Ensure adoption across the organization, leading by example and recognizing the impacts that come from applying the approach.