How to Influence 

The world of sales is always changing, with new fads, approaches and techniques coming into and out of favour all the time.  Tom and Jerry believe that the savvy buyers of today actually represent a huge opportunity for those that are prepared to step up to the challenge and think differently.

Learning how to influence better can undoubtedly get you ahead of the game. It is the one area where you can make the biggest positive impact on your sales performance right now.  At a time when there are so many factors outside your control in the sales environment, by focussing on something you can directly control – how you think, how you act and how you engage – in order to improve your ability to influence people will bring rewards both financial and in your career.

Here are Tom and Jerry’s foundations of influence, based on their research into the habits of over 200 highly successful sales people.  Understanding the three elements and developing your abilities in each area is a powerful way to become skilled at influencing people.

If you would like to increase your power to influence CLICK HERE to find out more about Tom and Jerry next half-day open programme.

The C3 Model of InfluencingTM

Everyone is confident in some situations but it is important to be confident in all of our influencing situations. This is sometimes difficult if we have a big deal to deliver or a prospect with whom we find it difficult to communicate. There is a distinction between surface confidence and deep confidence. Surface confidence can be created ‘in the moment’ through applying approaches such as diaphragmatic breathing and visualisation whereas deep confidence comes from your beliefs. The good news is that both can be developed.

Credibility comes from the Latin Credo which means ‘I believe’. Credibility is communicated by your knowledge, experience, position and credentials. But it is also communicated in your body language and voice tone. The voice tone of ‘credible’ is more monotone with sentences ending in a downward inflection and the body language uses palms-down and face-on stance. There are simple techniques you can use to make yourself appear more credible.

Connection is about creating common ground or rapport with the person you need to influence. You do this through matching body language and engaging in conversation about things you both enjoy. Connection is also demonstrated by more variety in your voice tone and body language that uses more palms-up and a side-on stance in communication.

How to Use the C3 Model

Highly effective sales people know how to influence people and have all three of these components in their tool bag and they consider when they need to show or build credibility or connection. For example, at the beginning of a sales call they build a little credibility first – perhaps by summarising their credentials or asking an insightful question – and then they focus on developing their connection by seeking some common ground. When the conversation approaches a decision point the sales person uses credible voice tone and body language to put the message or question across.

The key to this model is the ability of the sales person to adapt. Each of us has a preference (often one that we are not consciously aware of) towards either credibility or connection and we tend to approach relationships through this preference. So, if I have an unconscious preference for connection I will tend to focus on connection more than credibility in my sales relationships. This might lead to relationships that feel very comfortable but fail to deliver when they need to in terms of business. If my personal preference is for credibility then I might more easily develop relationships with other people who filter for credibility but my relationships with connection- oriented people might lack the warmth and sense of common ground that would support a prospect opening up and engaging with me over a period of time.

Developing your skills

  • Understand your preference: credible or connection?  Think about those people where you have an ‘easy’ relationship. Are these relationships based on common ground or credibility?
  • Be curious about the other person: look for clues that will help you gauge the communication needs of the other person – are you a credible communicating with a connector or a connector communicating with a credible?
  • Adapt – one step at a time: pick one or two aspects of your approach that you wish to develop. For example, if you are a connector, consider how you can build even more credibility through your voice tone and body language and commit to trying something different.
  • Reflect: A key aspect of developing skills and behaviours is to reflect on something you have adapted and consider the result of that change

CLICK HERE to find out more about Tom and Jerry next half-day open programme.