The subjects of influence and persuasion can be complicated. While the principles are easy enough to define, the application of those principles takes on multiple forms.
The Best Book on Influence
Perhaps the most well-known book on influence was written by Robert Cialdini and is appropriately named Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. In the book, he lists six principles.
- The Principle of Reciprocity
- The Principle of Scarcity
- The Principle of Congruency
- The Principle of Consensus
- The Principle of Authority
- The Principle of Liking
Cialdini addresses each principle by providing supporting evidence and research that he and his colleagues accumulated in their decades of work on the subject. Cialdini is, without a doubt, one of the foremost academics on the subject. But what about the practical applications of his research?
For example, if our goal is to gain authority with the intention of moving a prospect through the buying process, how do we do this? Do the techniques differ if we’re doing a training video on YouTube versus a face-to-face meeting? Does the industry matter? Does the age of the person matter?
The answer is yes…and no. All humans make choices the same way. We are all irrational, emotional creatures who make our decisions based on how we feel, and then justify those decisions using logic.
Irrational Human Nature
The good news is, while we are all irrational we are “predictably irrational” (which is also the title of another great book on human nature written by Dan Ariely). So, we may change the language we use when talking to a senior citizen rather than a millennial, and we may adjust how we dress when talking to a group of real estate agents rather than musicians. But the fundamental principles of what we do as influencers don’t change because human beings don’t change. What worked a hundred years ago for the catalog salesman works today for a coach or consultant.
When I have this talk with my clients, it’s at this point their eyes glaze over and a confused look settles on their faces. Let me break it down for you. As you can imagine, humans like guarantees. We want simple formulas and step-by-step instructions.
We cling to headlines like:
The 3 simple steps to mastering influence regardless of your niche…even if nobody’s ever heard of you.
Learn the ONE SENTENCE I Used to Generate over $9,368,532.87 in Sales from A Coaching Program I Created 10 Years Ago!
Humans don’t like to wait. We want instant (and, if possible, effortless) results. Without them, our interest wanes. So let me try to explain influence in a way you haven’t heard it discussed before.
(By the way, you’re probably wondering if I made those headlines up or if there are really three steps to mastering influence and one sentence that can generate all that money. The answer is yes, and if you read to the end of this article, I’ll reveal them both to you.)
Shifting Reality to Wield Influence
What are we doing when we attempt to influence people? Simply, we are trying to shift someone’s reality. Now, I hear you saying, “Jason, you can’t change reality. Reality is what it is.”
I understand why this might be confusing. Certainly, the sky is blue, gravity works, and the Cleveland Indians haven’t won the World Series since 1948. Those are facts, and you can’t change them. But that’s not the bulk of what creates our reality.
Two things form our reality.
The result of Experience and Education (what we have seen/done and what we have been taught) make up our historical programming. It is this programming that forms the framework for the reality in which we live.
Let me give you an example by asking you your opinion on a few things.
What are your views on money? Is it hard to get or easy? Is there an unlimited supply or is there a finite amount?
How do you feel about people with money? Do you assume the ultra-rich got their wealth through hard work and providing value to society? Or did they get it through nefarious means?
I could ask you the same questions about time, work, religion, health…literally anything. My point is, you have an opinion about the way the world works (reality), and your experiences and education formed that opinion.
When we influence, we are attempting to change the way someone views the world. It may be something small. We may be trying to convince them they are capable of more than they have achieved. Or we may be attempting to create a massive reality shift like convincing people it’s possible to create a cost-competitive solution to fossil fuels.
Whatever it is, influence requires you to successfully change the way someone currently views the world, and get them to form new beliefs based on their interaction with you.
When you think about it this way, you realize we literally influence people every day.
The Power of Influence in Sales
My job is to teach you the most effective methods for influencing your prospects and clients so you can sell more, sell at higher prices, and eliminate the stress and frustration that comes from trying to sell to a stranger.
Imagine if you could sell your product for literally any price you wanted, even if you’re in a market with heavy competition.
Imagine never having to make another cold call or hold another pitch meeting. Instead, clients come to you ready to buy, and your biggest problem is how you expand your business quickly enough to handle all the people standing in line to give you their money.
Imagine all of your competitors slamming their fists down onto the table wondering how on earth you charge so much for what you do and still have people ready and waiting to buy from you.
Most importantly, think about how good it will feel to have everything you’ve ever wanted. Each night you can sleep soundly knowing you gave value to the world that far exceeded the ridiculously high fees you charge.
That is the power of influence. That is what happens when you learn to create a positive reality shift in someone’s life. That is what I teach people to do. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the greatest job in the world.
P.S. I almost forgot! I promised to reveal the secrets to the two headlines I created.
Here’s the first:
The 3 simple steps to Mastering Influence regardless of your niche…even if nobody’s ever heard of you.
What are the three steps?
Step 1: KNOW WHO YOU ARE.
Your ability to influence has a great deal to do with how close you are to your core identity. The more aligned you are with who you really are, the easier it will be for you to influence others.
Step 2: KNOW WHO IT IS YOU’RE TRYING TO INFLUENCE.
In this case, we need to know them at a deep level. We need to understand their core identity, what they want, and why they want it. This allows us to communicate with our prospects at a deep and often subconscious level.
Step 3: KNOW WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO DO.
If you don’t know your destination, it’s tough to lead people there. A good influencer knows precisely what they want their prospects to do. The process to get them there may be complicated and lengthy, but the destination is always well-defined.
Learn the 1 SENTENCE I Used to Generate over $9,368,532.87 in Sales from A Coaching Program I Created 10 Years Ago!
This secret is a bit of a letdown, which is why I would never use it in my marketing. The headline, however, is 100% truthful. I created my first forex training course in 2008, and in eight years or so, I sold well over $9,368,532.87 of products. Not all of it came from the course, but a huge percentage did. It was the course that brought people in the door.
So what’s the sentence?
“Click Here to Buy.”
I warned you, it’s a bit of a letdown. But facts are facts. If I hadn’t told people where and how to buy, they would never have bought. It’s a command, and it only works if you have influence over the people you give it to.
Commands are great. They’re even better when they aren’t obvious. How do you make a command cryptic? Well, that’s going to have to wait for another article. I’ve revealed enough secrets to you for one day.