In this blog we look at 7 key strategies and tactics to influence others. These can be used in sales and marketing,  when managing people, building relationships with other people and in some cases even parenting!

So here are what I believe are 7 important strategies for you to use when influencing other people to make a decision. Remember that you should use these ethically and never push people down a path that you don’t believe is right for them.

1. Build rapport – There are a whole raft of techniques around building rapport with people.  First and foremost, take note of their body language, tonality of voice and the words people use and then adapt your style to suit this. People like to do business with people they like and with people who are like them to a certain degree too. Look to adapt your style to create rapport between you and the person you are trying to influence. 

2. Stay “You” focused – Focus on the other person. Ask them great open questions and listen closely to what they have to tell you. Ask them and find out what is important to them – their “hot buttons” – and make sure your response or solution addresses theses areas clearly. Show genuine interest in the problems and issues and be fully present when you are having a conversation with them.  

3. Use silence – Sometimes it is great tactic to remain silent. This is especially true in a sales environment. Very often, when there is a silence, the first person to speak leaves the other person in a stronger position. Put a solution and a proposition to someone and if they are thinking it over, simply wait and leave the silence. I have lost sales in the past by speaking too soon and not leaving people with an uncomfortable silence that could often result in a “yes”.

4. Scarcity – Make whatever you have to offer have some form of scarcity. This can be based on a) only so many being available, b) something only being available for a limited timeframe, c) a price only being available for so long or for so many sales. As humans we tend to move to a decision more speedily if we think we may miss out, so use this to your advantage.  

5. Social Proof – People like to do based on the opinions of others. You only have to look at Amazon to see this is true. Most of us will have a quick look at the reviews of others to ensure we feel more comfortable with a purchase. So ensure you have good testimonials on your website and marketing collateral, strong recommendations on Linked In and possibly look to use video testimonials too. Also remember to build results and outcomes into these testimonials as much as possible. 

6. Use an agreement frame – When someone raises a form of objection, you can try using “the agreement frame” to respond to this. So rather than saying “I agree with what you are saying, BUT …………”  try using the word AND instead. Using the word “BUT” negates the first part of the sentence. In fact you don’t agree with what they are saying! So “I agree with what you are saying AND that is why I think the best course of action for you would be to …”. This is an effective way of handling objections as you don’t put people on the defensive. You can look to “reframe” the situation in a more positive way. 

7. Be persistent – It is said that people need to see your message 7 times before they get it, so whether it be in marketing or pursuing someone for that all important sales meeting, don’t give up! You may not be a top priority for this person, as we all lead such busy lives. But by being well mannered and perseverent, you will most probaly be the one who gets noticed and wins that all important meeting or sale. 

Use these with integrity and look to influence people in direction that are good for you both.