Real influence has nothing to do with tips, tricks, or gimmicks. There is nothing that you can do in 8 minutes that has anything to do with real influence. While you may be able to persuade some of the people some of the time, there is no shortcut for the kind of influence you need to succeed in sales.
To create the influence you need to succeed in sales, you need to be someone worth following. You need to be someone worth being persuaded by.
This is not something tactical. There is nothing wrong with what Dale Carnegie long ago outlined. It has nothing to do with neuro-linguistic programming. This is about something much deeper and much more fundamental. It has everything to do with who you are at the core. It is about building your influence on a platform of honesty and integrity. It is about all of the other nine attributes that make up the first half of this series.
It is about having a visible, iron self-discipline, an unshakable optimistic outlook, a sense of competitiveness that means you bring your personal best to every endeavor, an unwavering ability to take the initiative, the creative powers that make up resourcefulness, a steely determination and will to succeed, a sincere and felt caring for others, the empathy and communication that builds rapport and trust, as well as communication skills that are built on listening and seeking to understand.
This is the stuff that trust is built on. And trust is the foundation of influence, persuasion, and sales. Period.
This is what it takes to create true influence. There are no shortcuts, and anything less is building your house on sand.
I have started the work on this one for you with my list. But it is my list. You know what you need to be to be a person who is worth being influenced by. You know where improvements need to be made. Make you own list, then get to work on it.
2. Build a Record of Proven Results
You create influence and more easily persuade others when you build a record of proven results. A history of results proves that you have the experience necessary to be able to know how to repeat your successes and avoid your failures, even though failures often teach us far more.
Some of this shows up in the second half of this series on foundational sales skills. You build the situational knowledge and the business acumen by working to create results and outcomes. This education gives you the knowledge base and the experience to be able to influence and persuade others by demonstrating that you know how to deliver results.
It doesn’t mean that you are perfect. It doesn’t mean that you haven’t failed. Sometimes talking about your failures openly does more to persuade others than pretending that you don’t have any, as long as the failures came with lessons that taught you how to produce better results. Failures are the scars you carry that prove that you are battle tested and all the wiser.
Make a list of your personal accomplishments. Write down the things that you have done that have given you the experiences you need to be trusted to create results for others. Make a list of your failures and what they taught you (if you haven’t taken time to codify these lessons, you can thank me later).
The questions that these two points answer are: “Why should I buy from you? Should I be persuaded? Should I be influenced?”
Who you are coupled with your proven results answers these questions. It answers them whether the answer is in the affirmative or the negative.
Real influence, the real ability to persuade others, is based on the foundational attributes of success. They aren’t tactical, and they are what make you someone worth listening to. Build on these two points to build influence and persuade others.
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