Browse below the top ten influencing techniques to make you an effective influencer. And don’t forget to get in touch if you’d like help developing influencing skills
1: The first influencing skill is being able to put yourself out to put others in: you should expect to adjust to their preferences, to allow you to establish rapport and get close. If you insist on doing it ‘your way’, you are more likely to fail
2: Influencing skill number two is: you cannot influence from the outside: to influence successfully, you have to get close. Which leads to the next point…
3: short term pain, long term gain: you may have to make short term sacrifices and compromises to allow you to get close – but the longer term results may well be worth it
4: match their currencies: ‘currency’ is a term we use to describe people’s personal preferences – how they like to ‘spend’: if you were in France, you would be unlikely to try to spend in English sterling. The same applies to influence: spend in their preferences – their language pattern, vocabulary and styles, for example
Be a Credible Influencer
5: develop credibility: people are more likely to be positively influenced by people who have credibility – a good track record. That’s why you build positive influence over time, rather than instantly
6: develop likeability: people not only like people who are like them, but also like people who are likeable. Build, develop and use ‘befriending’ behaviours – the little things that, consistently delivered over time, makes people attracted to you, rather than repelled by you
7: Develop affinity: find things in common to share: these can be ‘surface’ factors such as hobbies and interests, but also deeper factors such as principles, values and philosophy
Reciprocity is a key influencing skill
8: understand reciprocity: people generally do not like to be in others’ debt: so people who, for example, have a favour done to them often feel ‘one down’, and thus feel the need to equalise the relationship by offering a favour back. So some sales people deliberately offer favours – freee gifts, loss leaders – to create this sense of ‘indebtedness’. Be aware of others using this on you, and also, understand that sometimes your well intended generosity might create unintentional and discomforting ‘indebtedness’ in others, and explain their urge to repay you in some way. At its worst of course, feeling indebted can cause resentment….
9: have an influence strategy: ever wondered why some people get more than others? One factor might be that such people have conscious ‘influence strategies’: they have a ‘target’ individual or group, and work out how best to influence them – ie who, why, what, where, when, how….
10: impression management: this top 10 is about ‘influence’ as a specific strategy. Of course, separate from this, we are influencing people all the time, every second, by how we present ourselves. We separate this from ‘influence’, and call it ‘impression management’ – a topic for another Top 10 sometime…