Maximize Your Influence

  Competence is your knowledge and ability in a particular subject area. True competence comes from lifelong learning and experience. Competency exists on many levels. When we are observing someone from a distance, or when we are meeting them for the first time and our experience with them is very limited, we subconsciously perceive and assign them a certain competency level.

These assumptions are usually based on external things, such as their title, their position, their height, how they dress, their demeanor, which kind of car they’re driving, the décor of their home or office, how they talk, their tone of voice, how they carry themselves or even things like what kinds of electronic devices they use. These initial impressions are important, because they can influence whether or not someone will pursue working with you.

But then you have to be sure you possess true competence—not just perceived competence. Can you really do what you say you can do? Can you deliver? Does your audience think you have the skills, the knowledge, and the resources? Whether or not you have this deeper level of competence becomes glaringly obvious as people interact and work with you.


One of the key ways to keep your competency on track is to be a lifetime learner. We consider others to be competent when we see them continually learning and advancing their training and education. I can remember going to buy computer products and discovering that I knew more about the product than the sales reps did (and I didn’t know much).

In an attempt to cover up their lack of knowledge, these ill-informed salespeople tried to bluff their way through my questions. If they had kept themselves educated about the product, the field, and the industry, then they would not have lost my trust in them as competent professionals—and they would not have lost a customer. Learn to become the best in your field. Demonstrate you know your area of expertise.

Direct download: Podcast_232_-_5_Ways_to_APPEAR_More_Intelligent.mp3
Category:sales -- posted at: 6:30am CDT

Optimistic persuaders outpersuade pessimistic persuaders every time. Not only is optimism essential to influencing others, but is also a critical for success in life. Optimism is more than a positive mental attitude. It is not constantly saying positive things to yourself and then hoping they will come true. Rather, true optimism is a state of mind that dictates how you look at the world. An optimistic view of life and the world around you can inspire hope and courage in others. We all want to feel inspired and encouraged. When a persuader can deliver this type of message, we want to follow that person. This tendency is how optimism helps you in influencing others.

Pessimism on the other hand is always taking the negative view. Others will consider a pessimist as irritable and always looking for the negative in every situation. Pessimists are the ones who will be the first to complain and tell everyone else that nothing goes right. As a result, they never get the success or recognition they deserve.

 Article : A little anger in negotiation pays

Countless studies have shown that optimists do better in school, persuade better, have more friends, perform better in their careers, and live longer than pessimists. Pessimists, on the other hand, frequently battle depression, have fewer friends, find it difficult to persuade, and give up faster and more easily. To illustrate this point, in one study, those who sold insurance were monitored on their optimistic or pessimistic outlook in relation to setbacks. The optimistic persuaders sold more policies and were half as likely to quit. 

Great persuaders have what we call “influential optimism.” This means that they see the positive in all situations. Rather than focusing on disappointment, cynicism, or negative feelings, they look for ways to move forward. People want to be persuaded by individuals who have a positive view on life. As an optimist, you see the world as a series of exciting challenges. You inspire positive feelings about everything you stand for. People want to be around you because they live in a very pessimistic world. The optimistic mindset is contagious and helps to empower other people to believe in you and in themselves. As an optimist, you help others see failure or setback as temporary. You have no doubt that success will happen.


Direct download: Podcast_231_-_The_Secret_Sauce_of_Influence.mp3
Category:sales -- posted at: 10:01pm CDT

Even for the strongest individuals, their commitment level or willpower is not always constant. Willpower is like a battery. As you exercise your willpower throughout the day, the battery power starts to decline. What drains your battery? Fatigue, negative emotions, low blood sugar, suppression of emotions, and even peer pressure will drain your willpower battery faster than anything else.

An interesting study gives more credibility to this idea that willpower may actually be made stronger if given periods of recess. Researchers had college students arrive to participate in an experiment regarding taste perception (or so the students thought). The students were instructed to come to the study hungry by abstaining from foods for three hours prior to their arrival.

When they entered the room, they were greeted by the scent of freshly baked chocolate cookies, which were piled high on a side table, next to a bowl of freshly washed and trimmed radishes. As they entered the room, they were divided into two groups. One group was told they could only eat the chocolate chip cookies and the other only eat the radishes. They were then left alone to walk around the room as they waited for the researchers.

Obviously, the radish group of students had to exercise their willpower to refrain from eating the chocolate chip cookies and only eat the plain radishes. After five minutes, the students were told that they needed to wait for their sensory perception of the food to fade before performing a new task. This next, unrelated assignment (or so they thought) was to solve a puzzle. Unbeknownst to the students, the puzzles were unsolvable. The researchers just wanted to see how fast the subjects would give up on the puzzles.

Remember that the researchers were suggesting that willpower and self-discipline would weaken after doing sequential tasks, much like an overused muscle that has been strained to fatigue or a battery that has lost its charge. In looking at the two groups—one that ate cookies (requiring no willpower) and one that ate radishes (exercising their willpower against the tantalizing cookie smell)—the results proved interesting.

The cookie-eating group worked on the puzzles for 18.54 minutes before they gave up while the radish-eating group worked on the puzzles for only 8.21 minutes before giving up. In other words, the radish group, the one that had exercised willpower, gave up 2.25 times faster than the group that did not exercise any willpower at all. The bottom line is the more we sequentially exercise our willpower, the more we have drained our battery.

Why mental health is deteriorating

Direct download: Podcast_230_-_How_to_Accomplish_10X_more_in_Half_the_Time.mp3
Category:sales -- posted at: 6:30am CDT

Understanding different types of audiences will also help you determine their acceptance level. Following are some different categories of audiences and how to deal with each of them.

The Hostile Audience

This group disagrees with you and may even actively work against you. For a hostile audience, use these techniques:

Find common beliefs and establish a common ground.

Use appropriate humor to break the ice.

Don't start the presentation with an attack on their position.

You are only trying to persuade on one point; don't talk about anything else that could trigger disagreement.

Because of your differences, they will question your credibility. Increase your credibility with studies from experts or anything that will support your claim.

They will try to find reasons to not like you; don't give them any.

Don't tell them you are going to try to persuade them.

Express that you are looking for a win-win outcome rather than a win-lose situation.

If possible, meet with the audience more than once before challenging them on areas of disagreement.

Show them you've done your homework.

Respect their feelings, values, and integrity.

Use logical reasoning as clearly and as carefully as possible.

Use the Law of Connectivity and the Law of Balance.

The Neutral or Indifferent Audience

This audience understands your position, but doesn't care about the outcome. The key to dealing with this group is creating motivation and energy—be dynamic. To persuade the indifferent audience:

Spell out the benefits to them or the things around them.

Point out the downside of not accepting your proposal. Identify why they should care.

Grab their attention by using a story. Make them care by showing them how the topic affects them.

Get them to feel connected to your issues.

Avoid complex arguments.

Use concrete examples with familiar situations or events.

Use the Law of Involvement and the Law of Social Validation.

Check out this article.