Monday, June 11, 2012

Who are you going to influence today?

          The Harvard Business Review recently asked this question: What's your influencing style?  To help you along, the magazine provided these questions to ask yourself:

          1. Do you use logic and facts?

          2. Do you rely on rules, law, and authority?

          3. Do you look for compromises and make concessions?

          4. Do you communicate a sense of shared mission and inspirational appeals?

          5. Do you rely on building support and building coalitions?

          The publication went on with some further questions. How is this working for you? Are you more successful with certain types of people?

          In marketing and advertising, we have the potential of using the same kind of techniques you're comfortable with in your personal dealings.

          Unfortunately, logic and facts are the first to go these days in advertising campaigns. In the interest of "fewer words" we drop them. Too bad. Reasons have always been part of a salesperson's tool kit. They disarm skeptics.

          Personal confidence is important. It's easy to spot, and when it's missing, devastating. Your position, your tone of voice --- everything communicates it.

         Negotiating has a place, too. Your offers reflect this: "Order now and we'll..." Are you willing to give a little?

         Stories and metaphors are the basis of most salesmanship. We all love stories, and the best ads tell stories about products. Check out the Chanel commercial that takes place on the Orient Express.

         Connecting is crucial on social media these days, and relationship-building is the name of the game. People would trust someone on Facebook they don't know more than they'd trust a corporation.  Put referrals and endorsements to work.

         No two companies have the same influencing style. Most have a combination. Maybe we should go over this list now and then, to improve on our own.

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