4 Secrets of Mastering Influence

By Dr. Arif Pyarali -Senior Consultant, Workplace Relationship & Performance Expert, Learning Minds

Influencing is considered to be a manipulative art by some, for some individuals influencing is only necessary for salespeople and others think it comes naturally to conversationalist and extroverts. However, that is not the case, when two people meet, certain chemistry is generated by rapport, trust, friendship, and confidence.

By identifying and understanding these factors, you can consistently use them to generate influence—not in a manufactured or manipulative way, but in a way that is sincere and feels good. The secret of successful influencing is that someone does a particular thing because you influenced them, but that person accepts it that they did it for themselves.

“It takes time to persuade men to do even what is in their own good” Thomas Jefferson

These 4 Secrets will show you exactly how to generate those feelings in your clients.

Secret 1: Build Everlasting Rapport

The first secret of influencing anyone is we create a rapport with that individual, it’s the cornerstone of influencing. If you are not able to create rapport with your friend, boss, client or anyone you are trying to influence you are not winning. Even if you have best intentions for them, the best product in the market or the best strategy or price they are not listening to you.

Find something in common. When there are certain things in between people which are common, or alike; normally they end up being good friends. When people have differences from each other, they tend not to like each other. Be prepared while you are going to influence someone.  Make sure you have done your homework on their likes and dislikes and how it helps to influence them without you as an individual mis committing or manipulating your way in. For e.g. find something you and that individual have in common, any sport, hobby, political views etc.  Remember, the more differences they think they have, the less rapport they have with you

Match and mirror. The most powerful tool for bonding is the process of matching and mirroring—that is, becoming like the person through the use of your voice and body. Most people try to develop rapport through words, but words represent only 7% of your influencing tools.

Use your facial expressions, body movements, hand gestures and catch phrases to your advantage, observe what the other person is doing the slight changes of power positions and the “Language” they are speaking and use it to your advantage by mirroring it so subtly that the person cannot identify that you are doing it consciously and secondly be careful that you don’t offend them by imitating them.

Secret 2: Influence through authoritative communication

There are a variety of frameworks that help you get your message across to internal and external stakeholders in a clear, persuasive and better way

Firstly, Describe the current state of the discussion and then establish that the person is hurting (they have a problem) and you have the perfect solution for it

Secondly, describe the desired stage where their problem is solved, and your solution worked like magic also called as visualisation of assumed closed state

Lastly, Call to action. Get commitment and/or agreement, Remember that proof of purchase is actually a commitment that you have made and come through on it.

Secret 3: Ask the right questions and then Shut up and listen carefully

Asking right questions has the added benefit of making people feel valued and listened to. When people feel heard, they open up to you with their problems, aspirations, concerns remember to listen to them and provide details and relief accordingly. Structure your ask around their answers.

This secret is one of the easiest one then too people take it for granted

Few of the probing questions are as follows:

  • Illustration questions: Can you share or describe what exactly behaviors you expect from your employees after this particular training program”
  • Clarification questions:“You just said that this product is very important to you. What, exactly, this product does to hold that importance in your heart?”
  • Consequence questions:“If this issue persists, what other issues might it cause?”

Then, shut up & listen to their responses.

Secret 4: Art of Complimenting  

One of the quickest ways to bond with people is through compliments. An effective compliment makes people feel important, appreciated, and noticed but not flattered. To give an effective compliment:

State the compliment.

Tell them something you sincerely like about them.

Justify the compliment.

“I say that because…” provide a reason.

Immediately ask a question.

“How did you become so effective at that?” 

Asking a sincere question makes your compliment more real, it shows you really care, and you get to learn something.

How to Use compliments More effectively 

Give third-party compliments. “Before I called you, I did a little research. Everyone I talked to said these great things about you”

Give compliments about other people. Your compliments will get back to those people, and amazing things will happen.

Write a complimentary or thank-you note. After a meeting, send a note of compliments or thanks via email.

Concluding remarks:

Remember that all 4 of these secrets work together as part of an ongoing process of persuasion & influence. Integrate these secrets into your daily life and start practicing it. I believe you will have massive success in the days to come.

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