Have you ever met someone who always seems to be able to get their own way? They can instantly bring you round to their way of thinking, without very little effort. They’re influential people and they always seem to do well in business. If you want to be one of them, then here are their secrets.
1. Be Engaging
Many people think that to be influential you have to win others around to your way of thinking. They then think this is all about them. However, in order to be influential you really have to be engaging. You have to be able to make people want to listen and also build trust. This doesn’t come easy! Becoming an engaging person means you need to both talk and listen. While also having something interesting to say. Those who just jabber on for the sake of it, aren’t being engaging. This isn’t about talking, this is about having something to say. Practice being engaging and the influential part will come almost naturally.
2. Mirror Someone
In order to make someone feel more at ease with you, it’s a good idea to mimic their movements. We’re all subconsciously drawn to those who are similar to us. If you mirror someone then they will feel as though you’re on the same wavelength as them. On the other hand, if someone mimics our movements we know that they like us. We do it without even realizing, sometimes. So, it makes sense why this would work in order to influence someone. It’s a good idea to be subtle when doing this, however. Being overly obvious can make someone feel uncomfortable. Leave a slight delay between their movement and your mirroring.
3. Return the Favor
It’s well-known that if you want someone to be nice to you, then you need to be nice to them. Kind of like “Treat others how you want to be treated.” This means that doing something good for someone could lead to them doing something good for you. We’re not saying that you have to give in order to receive; always make sure you’re doing it with the right intentions. However, if you go out of your way to help someone in business then that person could easily return the favor. This is also a great way to build up a relationship, which can then lead to someone being more influenced by you as a whole.
4. Be Confident
Those who are confident in themselves and their pitches are far more likely to be successful when it comes to influencing people. Those who break up their speech with words like “um” will make us seem less confidence in ourselves. If you don’t have any confidence in you, then how do you expect anyone else to be confident in you? The key to being persuasive is to make someone else believe that you have all of the answers. Be fluid in your speech and in your mannerisms. It can make such a huge difference. Practice talking without hesitation in front of the mirror, about menial topics. It will soon become second nature.
This is something you see a lot in politics, and is all down to the words you use. Emotionally charged words can bring people around to your way of thinking, so consider this when writing pitches. It can also have the opposite impact, so consider the words you use carefully. For example, the word contract can make people feel uncomfortable. It brings up all sorts of negative connotations. Instead of contract, use the word agreement. It’s more positively charged and will win someone around to your way of thinking. Do your research into the use of language and framing. You may be surprised at which words you’re using, that could be having a negative impact on your influence.
6. Make it Scarce
If you’re trying to sell someone something, then this is an age old tactic that works (almost) every time. The key is to make someone think that what you’re offering is scarce. If someone believes they could come back to you in a month for the same product at the same price, they’re not going to be as interested. However, if it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity then people are likely to be more keen. Marketers and salespeople have used this tactic for years; both online and offline. It can increase your influence on potential customers, tenfold. It can also be used in everyday life, even if you’re not selling anything.
7. Say Yes
If you can get someone to say yes over and over again, then they’re far more likely to say yes at the end of your sales pitch. This is an incredible psychological technique that seems to always work. When winning someone over, consider asking them questions that you know they will say yes to. “So, you want to make a lot of money?” Yes. “And you want a bigger house?” Yes. “Which means you should invest in our product, right?” Yes. It really is that simple, for the majority of cases. Unless you’re trying to influence a sales person; in which case, they’ll probably see right through this technique, unfortunately.
Following on from the last point, the more in-depth secret is called congruence. Many people like to remain consistent in their answers and their behavior. If you can convince someone to agree right at the beginning of your pitch, then you’re onto a winner. This is why you may see salespeople shaking hands, before they’ve even got to the end of the deal. It’s a way of getting people in an agreeable mood, before they talk about the nitty gritty of what they want from you. Clever stuff, right? This works in so many different elements of life. Try walking your friend to the cinema, before they’ve even decided if they want to go. They’ll soon agree it’s the best course of action.
9. Pick the Right Time
People tend to be in a more agreeable mood when they’re a little bit tired or mentally exhausted. Once someone has done something that’s hard on the brain, they will almost instantly say yes just to get away from the situation. For example, asking your friend if they want to pay for pizza after a mentally tiring chess game. Chances are they will be too exhausted to kick up a fuss. This also works in business, although it can be a bit of a tricky one. How do you mentally exhaust your clients before selling them something? Well, that part is down to you! We’re just giving you the secrets, for you to put into action.
10. Be the Leader
The fact is, a lot of people just want to be told what to do. They would much rather be the herd than the shepherd, as it means an easier life. Look around you and notice how most people will be part of the herd. We are all born to naturally follow someone with strong leadership skills. If you want to be an influential person then you need to break away from the herd. You need to learn how to become a leader; and a strong one, at that. There are no real ‘natural born leaders’, it is something you have to work on. Many of the tips above will help you on your way, but the rest has to come from within you. Only you know if you can lead.
Finally, we’re all far more likely to be influenced by someone we like. Either that, or someone who we trust as an authority. In order to influence people you need to build a rapport with them. This could be on a friendly basis; making them feel comfortable in your presence. It could also be as an authority figure. If someone believes you’re at the top of your game, they are far more likely to listen to your advice. Pick your tactic carefully, however. Some people don’t like authority and others don’t particularly want to build a friendship. You have to be able to handle both, for different people.