Influence: The Ultimate Power Tool
In business today, effective influence is essential. Want your ideas implemented? You must influence others to act on them. Want more clients? You must influence people to buy from you. Want more advancement or responsibility? You must influence executives to see the value you offer. And to be an effective leader, you must be able to influence others. In all respects, being able to influence others is the ultimate power tool. So, what makes people say "yes" to your requests? Here are six proven universal principles of persuasion that, when used ethically, can influence others to change their behavior.
Reciprocity is initiated in business every day, even if we don't immediately recognize it. From suppliers sending relevant industry-specific information to clients, to managers providing personalized guidance, to co-workers helping each other meet a deadline, reciprocity can be initiated in many ways. The key to effectively using reciprocity is to be the first to give and be sure that your "gift" is personalized and unexpected.
Have you ever noticed that people seem to want more of those things they can have less of? That's the Scarcity Principle at work. Marketers know the power of this principle, which is why their ads often contain phrases like: "Limited Time Only" or "Limited Quantities Available." Information that is exclusive is more persuasive. The key to using scarcity successfully, whether for a product, service or information, is to not just honestly tell people the benefits they'll gain, but also point out what's unique and what they stand to lose if they don't act on your offer.
Research shows that people typically follow the lead of those they perceive as credible and knowledgeable experts. To ensure that others recognize your experience, first determine what your relevant background, experience and expertise are for the person you are trying to influence. For maximum impact, arrange to have a third party communicate this information. Another option is to direct the person you want to influence to something in writing that highlights your credentials (i.e., LinkedIn profile, your bio on your website, etc.).