Leadership is Influence. It’s a powerful tool that impacts the subconscious brain. Hence, people do not realize why they respond the way they respond. Influencers use influence to trigger the desired behavior. For instance, you respect and follow people in uniforms, such as Lawyers, Doctors, and Policemen, even when they may be wrong. For this blog post, I am using the sales context to show how you can use influence your customer’s decision and beat your competition.

1.      How to influence a prospect who requests you to meet him 10 days later? : Your first step after the call should be to log on to LinkedIn and send him an invite. Now, since you will be meeting him in 10 days period prepare and begin engaging him on his intent data. Share meaningful industry content (your blog posts or curated content) with your prospect. Now, when you meet him, he will have high recall and you have created an advantage over your competition in your prospects mind. Remember “Engagement creates visibility and visibility creates opportunity

2.      Experience: CEB now part of Gartner conducted a survey of 5000 C – level executives to research what constitutes customer loyalty. The outcome was as follows:

Focus on creating an exceptional Sales experience by asking, listening and teaching your prospect.

3.      What precedes discussions determines the outcome: Would you ask your boss for a raise when he has just finished a heated argument? Of course not. You will wait for an opportune time when he is happy or has scored wins. We use the same principle with our customer – Selling is the transfer of enthusiasm to your customers. Hence, begin your discussion with a positively upbeat note.

4.      Customer meet: Get your customer out of his office. Else, try breaking the meet into multiple small meets. Begin the meeting in the office and extend an invite for a coffee at Starbucks followed by a meal if possible. This may or may be difficult during the first meet but with regular practice, you can achieve this milestone. Your principal strategy is to break your meet into two segments. When you break the meeting into more than one location site; in the customer’s mind, every site appears to be a new meet, thus, giving you a head start over your competitors and improve your success rate.

5.      Like: People do business with people they Like. There are a number of tactics to create a LIKE factor.

Finally, an important piece of advice “The most likable person wins the race.” So, work towards being the most likable person.

6.      Language: The first few words of your sales pitch can make or break your sale. What comes to your mind when someone says “May I help you?” or “Is it the right time to speak to you?” It smells of a sell and people don’t want to be sold to. Naturally, the prospect stops listening. Hence, use powerful phrases to open your customer’s mind such as (For more information Check out YouTube of “ Magic Words – Tom “Big Al” Schreiter Presentation” 

  • I am curious …
  • I just found out …
  • Would it be ok ..
  • Most people ( Customer would prefer to be part of most people)
  • There is an old saying – anything that follows is considered true
  • Everybody knows or everybody thinks (so customer must know or think so)

7.      Education: It’s important to educate yourself on the triggers that impact selling. And the best sources are books. If you are not fond of reading you can listen to Audio books or watch YouTube videos on book titles. I highly recommend the following five books on Influence & Persuasion, Creating sticky content and Networking.

  • Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
  • Small is Big by Dr. Robert B. Cialdini
  • Made to Stick by Dan and Chip Heath 
  • Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger
  • Your network is your Networth by Porter Gale 

Learn the Art of Inlfuence and re-write your customers decision-making software