Influence is like courage…everyone would like a little – or a lot – more. The capability to influence the way others think, feel, and/or act is a key ingredient of success in entrepreneurship This is most apparent in sales.
Like choosing the ingredients for a meal, prosperity depends on the right mix in the right quantities. Inspiring others is tough and it is rare that one ingredient on its own will be enough; however, it is just as easy to ruin the mix with too many ingredients.
Knowing Your Client
What elements you use will be defined by who your client is. This is why it is helpful to know as much as possible about them; particularly their current knowledge of and attitude towards your business and product. If feasible, this could be done with research beforehand; if not, it can be ascertained with intelligent questioning early in the sales conversation.
1. Your Reliability
This covers your honesty, honor, character – basically, anything they will know about you and your company. If your main credibility is personal, tell stories that make your practice and ethics obvious. If the main credibility comes from your organization, find a way to impress on the client its size, expertise, experience, etc. This needs to be one of the first tools used because it affects how well the others work.
2. Liking, Community…and Laughter
If I see you as being related to me, I’m more likely to like you. If I like you, I am more likely to be inspired by you. This is why it is so important to recognize our points in common. This simple ground provides an opportunity to explore the use of humor. The latest research shows how people are most susceptible to new ideas after they have laughed.
If I do something for you, then you will feel a commitment to me. Smart salespeople are constantly making deposits in their ‘leverage bank’ with key clients and prospects. Usually, they will not know when they will need to draw on this deposit; but they do know how valuable it is in this hyper-competitive world to have this defense.
4. Social Proof
People are more likely to be moved if they see others who they see as being their professional equal (or better) leading the way. It is most efficient if they see these early adopters as being comparable to them.
We all hate missing out. Marketing companies pay millions on ‘limited-time offers’ because they work! People are so occupied, with so many ‘offers’ and requests for their attention, that you are most likely to have success if you instill in them a sense of urgency. Inspire them to buy early (the first five to buy receive a bonus), let them know there is limited stock possible.
Humans are social beings, and we all want to be a member of the group; or, at least, we don’t want to be the one left out. This might include tapping into their commitments or duties as part of a community or their eagerness to be part of the ‘in’ group. This suits the current trend to run via social media.