Check out this video clip from a recent TV programme which shows how retailers are using multi sensory marketing to increase sales. At the heart of what they are doing lies the tired and tested principles of social influence.
If you would like to learn more about social influence and how you can use these universal principles to get more sales, why not take our online course 6 Shortcuts to Powerful Persuasion on Udemy. You can now download the course to your phone using the Udemy app!
No matter what your job is, much of your success at work will rely on your ability to influence and persuade others. In other words, get others to say yes to your requests.
We all have the potential to be influential, although some of us make more use of it than others.
The ability to influence is not simply inborn. We can learn to become dramatically more successful at it. For centuries, the ability to be influential and persuasive has been thought of as an art, but there's also a science to it. And if it's scientific, it means it can be taught. It can be learned. So we all have the potential to become more influential as a consequence.
Have you heard of Professor Robert B. Cialdini? He is the bestselling author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, which has sold over 2 million copies and is listed by Fortune Magazine as one of the ’75 smartest business books’.
In his book, Professor Cialdini defines six principles of persuasion (mental shortcuts). He argues that we use these mental shortcuts to help us make decisions in our busy complicated lives.
The 6 mental shortcuts are:
Reciprocity - we feel obligated to return favours.
Scarcity - we desire things simply because they are in short supply not because they have an inherent value for us. It reflects the basic truth that things difficult to possess are usually better. Another factor is a fear of loosing freedom we already have.
Liking - we are easily influenced by people whom we like.
Authority - we tend to obey authority even though sometimes it doesn’t make sense. It reflects the basic truth that in most cases following authority’s advice makes sense (e.g., we better listen to our doctor).
Consensus - we do what other people do. It is usually advantageous to just follow other people (especially if they are similar to us) instead of trying to figure out what the correct behaviour is.
Consistency - if we commit to something (especially in writing), we are more likely to stick with it because we want to maintain consistency.
Understanding these shortcuts and employing them effectively can significantly increase the chances that someone will be persuaded by your requests.
Want to learn more? Check out our online course on Udemy - 6 Shortcuts to Powerful Persuasion
At the core of this new approach is the idea that we get paid for the value we create for other people. That value may be enhanced life style, solutions to problems, removal of pain, the achievement of goals. Creating value is what makes money.
The idea is not new. In fact, our industry has been touting the concept for years under the guises of “strategic alliances” or “partnering”. But few have managed to successfully turn the concept into reality.
A Joint Partnership is a win:win collaboration between two or more people, sharing resources to solve common problems and achieve goals. In a nut shell, a Joint Partnership is when:
1. Two or more parties bring something to the table
2. They create something of value that is more than what they could have done alone
3. Both parties gain something from the value created.
They are based on reciprocity. It’s very simple. If you are good to me, if you are sincerely interested in helping me achieve my goals and you consistently create value for me, if you go out of your way to assist me and support me, it’s human nature that I will want to find a way to reciprocate.
The term Joint Partnership often conjures up images of a corporate deal involving complex legal agreements and large equity injections. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. You should look at engineering win:win joint partnerships comprising
· Little or no monetary investment
· Limited risk for all
· Quick win implementation
· Limited resource and effort
· Big potential / payoff
How do you go about engineering a Joint Partnership?
Start with “Discovery”. This involves learning about your potential partner’s business, by getting a deeper understanding of the specific goals and objectives for their business and key challenges facing their business. Effectively it is due diligence to find out what it is that they really need, as opposed to what we might imagine they need.
The next stage is “Playback”. Having completed appropriate discovery, you should now be in a position to evaluate where you can best support the potential partner over the short, medium and long term. As provocation you should document and present back where you believe you can partner to deliver value.
Following this comes the third stage “Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)”. The idea here is to formalise the partnership through a MOU which simply sets out the details of the deal, what everybody agrees to do, the duration of the agreed activity and how and when everyone gets paid.
The final two stages are concerned with planning, execution and tracking and involved the development of a joint activity plan outlining the timeline, resources, and activity required from both sides to deliver the MOU. The action plan sets the agenda for engagement going forward. A schedule of review meetings are agreed to monitor progress against plan.
By adopting this approach and taking a consultative business perspective you can start to differentiate yourself and your company by adding real value to “partners”.
Based on my experience, in general, sales people hate planning and struggle with the task. We are doers and much prefer to jump straight in, get out there, meet clients and sell! After all, we get rewarded based on sales and surely anything that distracts us from selling is counter productive! Right?