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.

Article: Six stats on the importance of trust in influencer marketing

 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.

Direct download: Podcast_236_-_The_Perception_of_Competence_and_Trust.mp3
Category:sales -- posted at: 6:30am CDT

Character is the combination of qualities that distinguishes one person from another. These qualities make up who you are on the inside—not the external front you may sometimes put up. Who are you, really? What do you do when no one is watching, when there is no one to impress? How do you treat people when you don’t need something from them? Character is also made up of such qualities as integrity, honesty, sincerity, and predictability.

I consider solid character to be at the very foundation of one’s ability to succeed. No success is going to be profound or lasting in its effects if it stems from questionable ethics, motives, or behaviors. In his best-selling book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey offers a powerful explanation for how character is crucial to one’s ultimate success:

If I try to use human influence strategies and tactics of how to get other people to do what I want, to work better, to be more motivated, to like me and each other—while my character is fundamentally flawed, marked by duplicity or insincerity—then, in the long run, I cannot be successful. My duplicity will breed distrust, and everything I do—even using so-called good human relations techniques—will be perceived as manipulative. It simply makes no difference how good the rhetoric is or even how good the intentions are; if there is little or no trust, there is no foundation for permanent success.

The right smile could boost trust—and giving

Even if you’re an honest person of admirable character, it is human nature for people to cast sweeping judgments and formulate opinions without all the facts. So, if you want genuine trust and lasting persuasion, you must avoid even the slightest appearance of anything that might be considered dishonest. If you never place yourself in a situation where one might be misled about you or your integrity, then your good, hard-earned reputation will never be compromised.


Direct download: Podcast_235_-_How_Self-Discipline_Affects_Trust_.mp3
Category:sales -- posted at: 6:30am CDT

Whenever someone tries to influence us, in our minds we ask ourselves, “Can I trust this person? Do I believe him? Is she really concerned about me?” We are less likely to be influenced if we sense that the person trying to persuade us is driven solely by self-interest. Trust is the glue that holds the entire persuasion process together. 

Trust is created when you put your audience’s interests and wants before your own. Many times trust comes when your audience feels you are predictable. For some people, trust is a leap of faith; they simply want and need to believe in the persuader’s intentions. Research shows that, deep down, people want to trust others.

 If you can’t assume that your audience automatically trusts you, then your next focus should be on how to acquire this sense of trust as early on in the persuasion process as possible. To do this, it’s helpful to understand how trust works. Most people can’t explain why they trust certain people more or less than others. 

Usually there is not a lot of rational thought behind it; more often, it is an instinct or feeling about the particular person. Your audience will feel you out, trying to discern whether or not they can trust you and how much. Remember it is a sliding scale. This means that you want to be perceived as trustworthy right away, before your audience members even know you (because, fair or not, they’re already making judgment calls about you at this point). 

Then, you can demonstrate that this trustworthiness is genuine through your correspondence and interactions. Gaining and keeping trust for both the short term and the long term is vital to your success as a persuader.

Article: Why we trust some strangers more than others

Direct download: Podcast_234_-_Why_Trust_Levels_are_Fallling.mp3
Category:sales -- posted at: 6:30am CDT

The more a brand is advertised, the more popular and familiar it is perceived to be. We as consumers somehow infer that something is popular simply because it is advertised. When people are buying gifts for others, social proof is one of the most effective techniques that a salesclerk can use."

Many salespeople find great success in telling clients that a particular product is their "best-selling" or "most popular" on hand because social validation increases their credibility of the product. When customers feel that something is more popular, they spend more money to acquire it, even if there is no proof other than the salesperson's word.

So it is with advertising: Asserting that a product is in super-high demand or that it is the most popular or fastest selling, etc., seems to provide proof enough. When consumers perceive a product is popular, that's often all they need to go out and purchase it.

Link to Article:

Making Social Validation Work or Application

The power of social validation can be used to your benefit in any persuasive situation. When your product or service is socially validated, people are most likely to use it or switch to it. People are always looking around and comparing themselves to see if they line up with everyone else. If they feel a discrepancy between where they are and where everyone else is, they will most likely conform to the group standard.

How Can You Increase Social Validation?  Is Your Product/Service… 

  • Best-selling
  • Number one
  • Top 10
  • Fasting growing
  • Most Popular
  • Newest trend
  • Standard issue
Direct download: Podcast_233_-_Do_Guarantees_Work.mp3
Category:sales -- posted at: 6:30am CDT