How to be a Great Influencer
One of the greatest learnings I’ve had over time in what it takes to become a great influence is understanding how the human brain works when it comes to influencing decisions.
There are four fundamental questions that must be answered in order to be a successful influencer.
We know from my previous blog posts you need Credibility and Curiosity in order to influence people.
Also thanks to the diffusion innovation curve we can see how likely we are to influence someone into adopting new things.
We now need to look at how we can be a great influencer.
What we need to do to be a great influencer is that we need to stimulate the right side of the brain (Cerebral Right)
The right-hand side of the brain is the one your kids activate every time you ask them to do something, “Why?” It’s a hardwired human response that everyone has to deal with
The WHY is the most important starting point.
· Why should someone do business with you?
· Why should they buy your product?
· Why should they engage your services?
· Why, why, why.
If you can’t answer the why, you cannot influence anyone.
When we look at influencing people there is an order to follow as we stimulate the right and left-hand sides of someone’s brain.
The order of influence you must follow is as follows:
The Sequence of how you influence people is extremely important. People are hardwired to ask why, a long time before they ask what.
Why Start with Why?
The reason why you need to start with the why is because if you start with the why then you connect with someone’s belief.
Then when you connect with someone’s belief you can begin to influence them.
Just like our kids, we are hard-wired to ask why a long time before we ever ask what.
If you think about it the last time someone said you needed to buy something your first thought is why, not what.
You immediately drive towards the why, why do I need to buy that car? Why do I need to get fit? If you can think of anything where you were asked to do something your first thought is always why?
The Second Question You Need to Answer
The next question to answer is the How.
How answers it literally, how am I going to make a change, how am I going to purchase a new car, how am I going to get the clients I want.
How is not what you are buying or doing.
When influencing people the how you answer, is your customers how.
The Third Question – Who?
Once you have answered the Why and the How, you need to answer the who.
Who is who is going to buy, who is going to sell, who is going to perform a service. “Who” is answering any question relevant to what it is you are doing that involves someone.
The Fourth Question – The LEAST Important thing people care about
Finally, the last question you answer is What.
What is it they are going to buy, what is it they are going to change.
This is where the specific what is answered. This is by far and away the least important question to answer because once you have connected with belief the what is a lot easier to answer.
Start Putting the Four Steps of Influence into Practice!
Let’s say for example you are selling fertiliser. Below is a simplistic example on how you would influence someone into purchasing fertiliser from you.
1. WHY – You need to purchase fertiliser because it will enable you to run more dairy cows on your property which in turn increases your income from milk sales. In short, purchasing fertiliser allows you to have more to spend on the things that make you happy.
2. HOW – You can buy it online, payment terms are 20th of the month, and then you can organise a shipping company to move the fert from our bulk store to your farm and then a spreader truck needs to be organised to spread the fertiliser on your farm. This should be done a day or two before it rains.
3. WHO – The fertiliser should be purchased from us, the spreader company we recommend is “XYZ Fert Spreaders”. The shipping company we recommend to get the fertiliser to your farm is “ABC Shippers”
4. WHAT – The fertiliser we recommend you purchase is our fantastic Nitrogen fertiliser. This will deliver all the benefits above and can be managed exactly as recommended above also.
As you can see from the above very simple example, despite my very rudimentary short hand language it makes for a very elegant way to communicate with people and influence them in the right direction that is good for them.
For those of us who have a tendency when talking to people to jump to the what, you can help train yourself out of this habit by stimulating the right side of your brain.
One way this can be achieved is to start drawing with your left hand – especially if you are very left-brain dominant. This will start to open neural pathways in your brain that you have left dormant.
The greatest influencers connect with the Why a long time before the What.
When you connect with the Why, you connect with people’s beliefs and that is powerful.
Start thinking about how you are talking with people when you are trying to influence them and instead of telling them what you want to do, tell them why and see how your conversations shift.
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