Influence is learning how to convey one message in multiple ways.
Everyone has their own communication style. Saying the same thing in the same way to different people doesn’t work. There will be a mismatch, and you will miss out on opportunities.
Communication flexibility builds persuasive power. Tweet This
When you develop the ability to communicate a single message in many different ways, you discover more freedom in your communication. You won’t be beating your head against the wall wondering why something isn’t being conveyed to the other person. If you feel blocked when selling a concept, it’s likely because you’re stuck in your communication style and patterns.
This is where influential techniques can save the day.
Influence techniques help you find more connection points with the person you want to influence, simply by making small adjustments to your language.
That’s why I’m so excited for this series I’m putting together for you.
I’ll be sharing some of my favorite influential techniques by showing you “before and after” examples of what a request or pitch might look like when you don’t use techniques versus when you do. Throughout this series, you will see how influential techniques train your brain to approach a single message in many different ways. These methods will help you find the persuasive angles and build faster connections.
Let’s get started!
Let’s start simple. By adding one word, you can elevate your next influential request.
I’ve written in depth about this one technique here. Check it out if you want to learn more about the psychology behind this method and why it works.
For this example scenario, let’s say you want to recruit a coworker for a project. You could say,
A. Hey Amy. Would you be interested in joining the marketing task force for our new product?
This is a straightforward request. It’s how most people approach simple requests. This is technically a very efficient way to communicate this message. However, it is not effective.
Notice how this request creates a yes or no response. It doesn’t elicit much if any, conversation. You also haven’t controlled the framing of the request. Which means, Amy is basing her response of yes or no purely on her current perception of the project – which might be good or bad. So it’s a bit of a roll of the dice by making requests in this manner.
By adding the word because, you create helpful context and elicit a conversation, which sets up additional opportunities to continue influencing the situation.
So, let’s improve this request by adding the word because…
B. Hey Amy. Would you be interested in joining the marketing task force for our new product, because I thought you’d really enjoy the creative development process and adding your creative voice to the discussion.
C. Hey Amy. Would you be interested in joining the marketing task for our new product because this is something that looks really great on a résumé!
When you add the word because you include your reasoning for the request as well as context (benefits) that make the request more enticing. Notice how much more draw options B and C have in comparison to the bland, easy-to-ignore option A.
BONUS NOTE: In options B and C the because was followed by one of the VIBES (Emotional triggers and Secret goals and desires.)
If you want to know which specific benefit statements you should use, it’s vital to know your mark’s influence type. Find out the different influence communication styles, and which influence type you are, here.
This is one of my favorites.
In this example, let’s say you want to sell a productivity system. If you try to sell the way most people do, you might say something like:
A. This system is a proven method that has worked for thousands of clients just like you.
Interestingly enough, the above example does have a few influential technique attempts woven into it. By saying that it’s a “proven” system, you are using assumed authority. And by saying that it’s worked for “thousands of clients,” you are utilizing social proof. Both are influence techniques that most people are familiar with.
However, even with these influence attempts, it still falls flat. It feels boilerplate and impersonal. The half-and-half technique can amp this up.
The premise behind the half-and-half technique is that when the person you want to influence identifies with part of what you say, they are more likely to agree with what follows it.
Let’s say you sell your productivity system to entrepreneurs. By adding the simple label of “entrepreneur” at the beginning of your statement, you transform the message.
B. As an entrepreneur, you want a system that has been proven to work for thousands of others just like you. Anything else would just be guesswork.
By starting with a label that your prospect instinctually identifies with (an entrepreneur), it because more difficult for them to think they wouldn’t want a system that’s been proven and used by thousands. Within milliseconds, they ask themselves: Why wouldn’t that be a good thing? And if I don’t want a proven system used by thousands, does that make me a bad entrepreneur? If I do go for an unproven system, wouldn’t that be foolish?
The same message, said a different way, can trigger a more effective psychological response.
BONUS NOTE: Notice how when you use the half-and-half technique, it forces you to use more “you statements,” which makes your pitch feel more personal.
You can use different identifiers for the half-and-half technique and still create excellent results. Let’s say that your prospect is a mom as well…
C. As a mom, you want a system that has been proven to work for thousands of others just like you. You probably don’t have the time to try something out. You want it to work, work efficiently, and work fast!
All of a sudden your benefit statements pop! This is night and day to just saying “this works efficiently and fast.” That sounds like an easy-to-block sales pitch. However, when you add the context of being a mom, now it feels like what you’re proposing is a fit and exactly what your prospect needs. That’s the power of the half and half technique.
Keep an eye out for more from this series of blogs in the future so you can see additional “before and after” examples with even more influential techniques. Throughout this series, I hope you notice and learn that there is no magic script. There are no magic words. The words themselves have no influential power. Instead, by knowing techniques and using them as frameworks, they make YOU – the influencer – think differently.
Let’s Sum this Up
By adding the word because you’re forced to create more context.
By adding an identifier with the half-and-half technique, you’re forced to include benefit statements that match your mark.
THAT is how influential techniques make you a more persuasive person.
Pick one of these to try out today and let me know how it goes!