Building Your Influential Strategy
In our last section, we talked about some persuasive phrases that we can use. Now, we're going to expand this influential part more into some strategies. So the phrases are kind of like one-off steps that we can use. Now, we're going to start linking some of these things together and building out and completing and rounding out that complete influential conversation map that we've been building throughout these entire three sessions. The first thing that I wanted to briefly touch on with you is the Hourglass Principle of conversations. This is used in a wide variety of ways, and so I'm going to teach you the different sides of this Hourglass Principle. First of all, I learned about the Hourglass Principle when I started studying the field of elicitation, which we talked about in the last session. And basically, how people who are skilled in elicitation view conversations is that we remember what happens at the beginning of an experience and the end of an experience with much more clari...
ty than we do what happens in the middle. So, elicitors, knowing this about conversations, know that they build rapport at the beginning and they build and maintain rapport at the end. And in the middle is when they start to try to get that information that they're seeking for their corporate espionage or spy missions. So it's in the middle of the conversation where they start to try to get a few details about the numbers or the products or the weapons or whatever it is that they're searching for, what the mission is that they have. The way this applies to you is if you are in the intelligence gathering phase of your relationship with your mark, then still focus on your, beginning of the conversation is focused on rapport, and the end of the conversation is focused on rapport, that you don't seem to have any other intention in this part of the conversation. And then it's in the middle of that discussion that you can start to kind of try to figure out those influential vibes that we've been talking about. The other ways that this principle can be leveraged and used is we had an entire section yesterday on speeches. The beginning of your presentation and the end of your presentation are, theoretically, possibly, the most important part. So what we as speakers tend to focus on is the middle of the presentation because that's the content. That is the meat of the presentation. And that value should speak for itself, right? Not so much. I wish that were the case. Your presentation will be perceived to be much more valuable and have much more of a wonderful experience if the beginning of your presentation and the end of your presentation are strong, are engaging, are entertaining, are inspiring. So the middle of the presentation may be the meat of what you are teaching, and it may be that action step, but focus on the emotions of your audience members. The beginning of your speech is more than likely going to focus on those negative emotions, we're trying to anchor in the pain that we are here to solve. And then the end of your presentation is to focus on the positive results, how they will feel, and now the freedom or the knowledge, or whatever it is that you're trying to get them to change towards. And if you notice, at the beginning of this entire CreativeLive workshop, I mentioned those pain points at the very beginning, at the opening of this entire workshop, of okay, influence sounds cool, but I'm an introvert and I don't think that I can do that, so I addressed that potential pain point. And influence sounds cool but I'm not naturally confident, so I addressed that pain point. And then we've gotten into the meat of the conversation. And then hopefully we'll be able to end at a very light and inspiring and good feelings at the end of this workshop. So make sure that you focus on the beginnings and ends. As they say in the standup comedy world, open strong, close strong. Standup comedians always put their best material at the first five minutes of their set and the last five minutes of their set. You should be doing the same. What are your best selling points? What are your best trigger points? What is the best part that you can bring to this that will engage your mark? And leave them with a happy, fuzzy feeling at the end of the conversation, all right? The next influential technique is scarcity. This basically is a way to limit the options that you would provide to your mark. And there's a number of different ways to do this. The reason why scarcity is so effective is because we are afraid to move towards something new, but we also don't want to miss out on an opportunity. So scarcity triggers that sensation of I don't want to miss out on this. So there's different ways that you can employ the scarcity technique. First of all, well, let's just talk about this example right here within CreativeLive. If you purchase the on demand product right now, you can get it for $99. But there is a ticking clock for when that price ends. And once that clock hits zero, it goes up to the $149. So you will miss out on an opportunity to get the exact same value at a lesser price, or if you choose to delay, and that's a perfectly legitimate choice, it's just going to be at a different price point. So CreativeLive is very familiar with this scarcity technique. You can use that as well. We see it everywhere. You know, stores run sales all the time. There's limited time offers on different discounts or credit card rates or you know, loans or whatever it may be. We see it everywhere, so scarcity isn't manipulative or mean or, it's just simply a technique that people use in business. You can also, if we're scarcity, instead of changing your prices, what you can do is add more value. So for this time, at the same price, you will get these bonus services, bonus materials, and then the ticking time clock isn't on the price, but it's I'm going to be taking away these bonuses that you could otherwise have had. Scarcity is also in quantity. Limited seating at an event. If you only have 50 seats for people to attend your live event or on a webinar, that's scarcity. Also for clients, you can use this. I personally can only take on a certain number of executive clientele. Seven is my limit. Beyond seven, I can't give my clients the value that they need in my executive package. And so if one client wraps up their session or their package, then I have one space available. And that's scarcity, that oh, if I don't act now, then I won't be able to work with her for who knows when that space might open up again? So even your availability of your packages, of your services, is another option that you can use. Any other ideas of scarcity that come to mind that I might be missing out on? Time, we talked about quantity, I think those are the main ones. Don't think I'm missing out on those, okay. The next technique that we can use is reciprocity. Reciprocity is basically if I give you something of perceived value, you are going to give me something of perceived value in return. This is used clearly in commerce. If I provide you with services, you provide me with money back. If we go back all the way to when our society began to form, it may not have been money, but it was if I give you bananas, you might give me apples. And we exchange these services. If somebody gets too much, like if somebody is just a taker, then society shuns that person. And one of our deepest fears as human beings is to not be a part of the group. To be an exile from the pack is, in a very primal part of our core, very scary. Because we are pack animals. We are not, when we are born, we are creatures that need to stay with our mother for a very long time to survive. Versus snakes and other demons from hell like snakes. They can come out of the egg and never see their mother ever and still survive just fine. So they are lone animals. We are pack animals. And so, that's where the sensation of reciprocity comes into play is that if somebody seems to be a taker and not a giver, that goes against our societal hardwired rules. So how you can use this is obviously, there's the give and take in business of I give you this service, you give me money back in return. But there are other ways that you can leverage this. Like if we do a free 30 minute session on the phone, and you get value from that, will you write a testimonial for me on LinkedIn? And I think that that's a great technique that you can use especially if you're just starting out. If you don't have those testimonials, then instead of just saying, "Could you write something nice about me," it's "If I give you a taste of my services, "will you do this one small thing?" Whenever I speak at like a nonprofit or a group that just simply can't afford my main speaking fee, I will negotiate with this idea of reciprocity. If I do this for you at a discounted fee because you're a nonprofit, will you give me these things that I find to be valuable in return, like sharing on social media, giving me names of other referrals, of groups that I could speak to, writing a testimonial for me? And I've got a list of things that I find valuable to my business when I'm willing to discount my prices for a nonprofit. So, that back and forth of reciprocity, you can use that in so many ways. Yes, Chris?
Is there a danger of it becoming tit for tat and if so, like, are there techniques to avoid it becoming that?
Right, so, specifically with prices is the sense I'm getting that you're saying or what?
Not just with prices, but I'm assuming this is relationship-driven, so it doesn't wanna be exactly like I've given you this, now I want this back, right?
Right, so here are some techniques to make sure that reciprocity is working in a good way rather than somebody having, you know, a little abacus in front of them like well I did this, and now it's off balance, so. Different things that you can do are when you do the favor, or when, what is it? If they say thank you, right, so if you do a favor for them and they say thank you, where most people miss an opportunity is they say, "No problem." Well, linguistically, you have just freed them from their obligation. Oh, it wasn't that big of a deal. So instead you say, "You're welcome, "and I'm sure you'd do the same for me." That's just a nice, simple way to make sure that that reciprocity is at least engaged in their mind. Now, it's up to you if you want to call that ship in. If it's going to be next week or six months, that's something that you have to figure out with the dynamic of that person. But basically, networking is the law of reciprocity. Is that if I make a connection with you, or connect you with somebody that is beneficial for your business, then I feel perfectly fine to reach out to you and say, "Hey, I notice on LinkedIn and Facebook "that you're friends with so-and-so. "I really think that we might be a good fit for this, "this new project. "Could you connect me?" And so then they feel that, and it's not even, I wouldn't even say it's an overt feeling. It's not something that they're consciously aware of, but they are much more likely to help you out because you have helped them in the past. Now, if they don't follow through with that reciprocity, then you know okay, don't do favors with this person because you're not going to get what you need in return. If it's a one way street, then this isn't going to be helping you in your influential efforts. Make sense?
Okay, the next one is social proof. We've talked about this quite a bit, but basically the idea behind social proof is that we, as much as we may not like to say it out loud, we do what the pack does. In a lot of ways, we are lemmings. We don't like to be the first one out of the gates. There are people who are like early adopters in certain instances. However, for the vast majority of situations, people want to know if I do this, I will not, you know, walk away upset or sad or feel like I've missed out. I need social proof that this has worked for other people. So how we can use social proof, we've talked about quite a few examples already, are testimonials on your website and your sales pages. Also, when you are in that discussion with somebody, quoting what clients have said in the past. Other things that you can do to be creative if you have a business online and have a website, is take video testimonials of people after they have taken part of your services, or they can even like, call and do a voice recording of what they have experienced with you. And then with the video and audio, you can easily transcribe those, and put them in written form as well. So it gives just a little bit more of an engaging sensation when there's the video and audio. Plus, what some people do on their websites is they just, oh, this is a big one. So some people will just write a quote of just, Shari Alexander's wonderful, and there's no name attached to it. You want to have a name or a position that that person held because it seems definitely much more genuine. Because if you just have quotes of randomly throughout your page, then it's like, well, you wrote that about yourself, right? So you need to have a name, assuming you can use their name, or at least the position or the company, different ways to at least anchor this in truth, that you're not just making this up. Shari Alexander's mother says she's phenomenal. No, I almost did that once just 'cause I thought it'd be funny. All right, other ways for social proof are if you have awards, accreditations, you know, designations. Social proof, having those, those letters at the end of your name can be important in certain industries. You see people use that in their offices. They have this social proof of all the diplomas and certifications that they've gotten. That's because they're trying to leverage this social proof of look, I know what I'm talking about, look at all this documentation behind me proving that I know what I'm talking about. Because if that weren't up there, potentially, the conversation could be, well tell me about your experience, you know, where did you go to school? Depending on the conversation and the situation. The next type of influence is authority. So when somebody is in a position of authority, they instantly are already influential. So, there is a famous experiment that is a little controversial, and there's different ways to look at it. I'll just share the more common version of this experiment. No need to delve into the nuances for our purposes here today at CreativeLive. But there was an experiment where one person is in a booth with like a dashboard of options in front of them. And then on the other side of them, but on the other side of a mirrored wall, is somebody who's sitting in a chair who's strapped up to some electrodes that gives them an electric shock. And next to the person at the dashboard is somebody who's wearing a white coat, who looks like a scientist, and who is saying that part of our experiment is that I just simply want you to shock the subject at the other side. Interesting experiment, but all right, let's roll with it. It's the '60s, why not? And so they start off with a minimal shock, and the subject in the chair doesn't seem to react. They say okay, turn it up further, and they give a little bit more of a shock, and then you start to see the subject wince a little bit. And then the person in the lab coat keeps prompting the person, the subject, the test subject, the true test subject to keep going stronger and stronger. And it gets to the point where the person that's getting the electric shock is screaming in pain. And at one point even passes out. And the entire experiment, as far as the test subject could tell, is we're just trying to see how much pain the human body can endure or whatever it was. So what was interesting was people followed what this seeming authority figure said. They would give pushback, but simply because this person seemed to be placed in authority and they said, no let's go further, go higher, we must complete this experiment, and kept saying these, and these were phrases that they were told to say, they couldn't deviate from certain phrases. And so, the true experiment was how far will this test subject go? Because little did they know, the person sitting in the chair getting shocked is an actor. They weren't experiencing any pain whatsoever. So the true test was how far will somebody go to potentially inflict pain if an authority figure is telling them to do so? And the results were fairly shocking, that they went further than most people would've expected. If there are people in the chatroom who are familiar with this study, there are also different takes on this that aren't widely shared in the media 'cause it's not as interesting or sexy, but it provides some other interesting insights, and I definitely recommend that you kind of check that out. But so the idea being that somebody who is in a place of authority can actually be more influential because I'm sure if that person was just in jeans and some Timberlands or something, then it probably wouldn't have yielded the same results. So taking this one step further, an even more influential place to be in is a place of authority and social proof. And that's why I highly recommend that people take advantage of speaking to groups. Because once you step on the platform, you are in a place of authority. And you have social proof because you have a pack of people in front of you, sitting, listening, being attentive. And the thought is that you would not be up on that platform unless you had proven your worth prior to this speech. So if you are an industry expert of some sort, I highly recommend that you look into finding local associations where you might be able to speak to groups. Yes, you may be speaking for free to these local associations that have monthly meetings, but if you structure your presentation in the way that we talked about in the previous section, you can get clients, you can get even more opportunity. Plus, it provides even more social proof because after people see you speak, then they'll give you testimonials, say how wonderful you were. They'll give you business cards, you can follow up. It is a wonderful way to market your services. I really lean towards this idea of using speaking as marketing. I want to teach this to people because I feel like this isn't being shared as much. Most people turn to the online world. And if you are wanting to be influential online, then typically, I'm going to assume that what you have heard is you get people into your email funnel list, and then you create the funnel. And the entire design of the steps of the funnel is you need to validate, or you need to show your credibility in this, you need to provide value, you need to demonstrate that you understand their pain points. And you give them value. And then you ask for the sale. And you go through this process, you know, seven touchpoints, 11 touchpoints, ask for the sale, whatever it is. You can shortcut that entire process by going to a local association with 50 to to 500 people in a room, and demonstrate all of those things, and they have much more of a sense of rapport with you because you're a real person that they have talked to. Not just somebody that they found online. Now please understand that I'm not discounting all the online efforts. I follow the online marketing world as well and am a part of it. I just simply don't want it to be the sole focus that everybody puts their efforts towards. I think there's so much more power and connection when you build your list from speaking. I've been speaking for almost a decade now, and people are shocked to hear how long my people have been on my email list. Because I have very low attrition in my email list. People stay on it. And the reason being is because they have that rapport with me, they have met with me, we talked after the speech. I even have followup phone calls with people sometimes. So I'm a real person, and when they get an email from me, it's like, oh, that's Shari. Rather than, oh that's that chick that I saw online somewhere. All right? So, I hope that that's sort of a challenge that many of you are going to give yourselves is to look for local associations. And lemme go ahead and give you some tips on that and just in case people are wondering. Easy way to find local associations is in, I don't know if you've heard about this, it's called Google. And you go to Google, and you type in association, and then your city. And then you can also, if you're looking for more of like an annual meeting that you want to speak to, then you can type in the city, and then just the word association and the year. And you can see when their annual conference is or convention, and you just add in conference or convention. There is a, not a library, but like an anthology book of local associations. I don't recall the name of it, so feel free to do a little Google search on that and you can find what's around. But I recommend that you look for people who are in your industry as well as people who are not in your industry. I have gotten so many great engagements from going to groups that are outside my world of communication experts because they are my clients. I'm perfectly fine speaking at the National Speakers Association, talking with my fellow speakers. But I mean, they do purchase my services, but not as a high of a ratio as like, my financial services clients or people who are outside my realm. So go ahead and get creative of like, who can use what I have to offer? And then your speech can be educating them in cool insights that nobody else has shared about what you have to do, or what you do, and then how it can benefit them. Okay, questions about that at all? Okay. Next, what is highly influential is likability. This seems almost like a duh moment of the day, but it needs to be said out loud that we are influenced by people who we like. And we like people who are like us. So let us go back in our time machine and recall the entire section on mirroring body language, using their influential vibes, mirroring the words that they have shared. This is creating that sense of I am like you, and they will like you for being like them. And that is influential. Other things that I want to share about likability is people who smile are likable. We've talked about the power of smile. Also, one thing I failed to mention in the last session is that when you smile, not only do people perceive you to be more attractive, they also perceive you to be more intelligent. So just another reason to smile a little bit more. And people who are charismatic, and people who are focused on connecting with the other person, are perceived to be more likable. This again is why con-artists get so many people to fall for their tricks is because they are pleasant to be around, and they're speaking our language, and they are like us. There's a very famous con-artist in the 1930s who was dead broke. I mean, broke, broke, broke, broke, broke. Didn't have a dime. Somehow, like probably through stealing and who knows what, got a very nice suit put together, and would drive up to this swanky, probably like, you know, the Ritz Hotel, and he went to this hotel regularly. And had sort of a posse of people who would just be following him around, and he created this sense of I am important in this place where all these other important people were. And so he created this mystique of I am like you. And then, so all of these other important people started coming to him and talking with him. And then that's when he started to run his con. But he drew them in by being like them. If he had walked into the same space in his broke clothes looking defeated, looking like a nobody, then it would not have worked. And he knew that, so he transformed himself to be like his mark. Now, I do not recommend that you build an alias for yourself with an entire legend of some sort. Instead, I'm just simply advocating that you bring up your awareness about the subtleties of your mark and mirror it back to them. And you increase your influence just simply by focusing on connecting.