When it comes to persuasion, there are two kinds of people.
The first kind reacts to what happens to them. In the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality types, they are known as the Perceivers. Perceivers are sometimes described as thermometers. As you know, thermometers merely react to the temperature around them. The mercury goes up when the heat is up, down when it cools down outside. They have no influence on their environment. Perceivers or thermometers go with the flow, and can appear reactive and disorganised.
The second kind, make things happen instead of let things happen to them. In the MBTI personality types, they are the Judgers. They decide what they want happen, and then take action to make it happen the way they want it. Judgers are sometimes described as thermostats. Thermostats set and change the temperature around them. Thermostats or judgers prefer structure and order in their lives, and can appear proactive and methodical.
Since to persuade is to get people to follow our way of thinking, one has to be a judger or a thermostat to start with. It is a pre-requisite.
Being a thermometer or perceiver will not help one to be persuasive at all. How can we get people to follow us, if we have not even decided where we want to go?
To be persuasive we have to make a choice regarding what we want, and decide to take action.
As Stephen Covey said, between what happened to us and how we respond is a space where we can choose our response. We can either let the situation dictate our reaction, like thermometers, or we can make a conscious choice as to what we want and what we want to do to get it, like thermostats.
The attitude of a persuasive person is the attitude of the thermostat.
The first step to be persuasive is to know what we want the other person to agree on.