Whether you work at a bank, financial advisor firm, real estate company, or your own business, chances are you use influence at some point throughout your day. Maybe you try helping a young couple to recognize the value of investing a portion of their money in stocks. Maybe you try to get your first-time home buyers to envision the possibility of a fixer-upper home in a bustling neighbourhood. Or maybe you’re trying to convince stakeholders that your new, innovative idea will streamline current business systems, increasing productivity. No matter how much you believe in the investment, the fixer-upper home, or your new business idea, if the person at the other end of the conversation doesn’t believe in it, they won’t say, “Yes.” So, how do you get them to believe in your ideas and offers? By strengthening your influence. Here’s how to increase your influence using two influence amplifiers.
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1. Know, Like, Trust Factor
The Know, Like, Trust Factor (KLT) is a common ideology in marketing and sales that depicts people are more likely to work with a brand or person they know and have a relationship with. Psychologically, your customer or client will journey through these three phases before they choose to do business with you:
Your client needs to know who you and your business are, what you do, how you do it, and how your service or product can benefit them. You can think of this as the awareness stage of your marketing and sales funnel.
Now that your client knows your business, they need to reflect your deep beliefs and emotional ties to your mission. This can be done through client nurturing, which can look different for everyone. While typical client nurturing strategies include giving your clients relevant content that answers their questions and addresses their concerns before they voice them, it’s really about building a deeper relationship. Maybe you send them follow-up emails with relevant articles or ebooks, or you invite them out for a cup of coffee. No matter how you build and nurture your client relationships, keep them authentic and holistic. By sending these types of content pieces and having deeper conversations, you can think of this as the engagement and consideration stage of your marketing and sales funnel.
This is the most important phase of this influence amplifier because once you establish trust with your client, they’re more willing to work with you.
According to a 2022 Salsify report, “46% of surveyed customers say they would pay more for brands they trust.”
Maintaining consistent conversations and presenting expertise and transparency is the start of building a long-term business partnership that can then flow into loyalty and advocacy (they’ll start recommending your service or product to their audience). In this regard, you can compare this to the invitation and decision stage of your sales and marketing funnel.
While I mainly talked about the Know, Like, Trust Factor in regard to clients, you can use this influence amplifier for colleagues within your organization too. Your coworker relationships are just as important as your client ones, especially if you want to have a strong influence and make waves in your business.
2. Demonstrating Pain and Gain
As humans, with every decision we make, whether it be purchasing something or settling on an ideology, we’re motivated to make decisions based on pain (what we’ll lose) and gain (what the benefits are). Every person has different motivators, so during conversations in the Like phase of the Know, Like, Trust Factor, gather information on what motivates your client or stakeholder to make decisions and apply this to your future conversations and content.
While you may try to see the glass half full, presenting your client a glass-half-empty scenario may be exactly what they need to partner with you.
According to the National Institute of Health, “pain is a typical stressor that shifts motivational systems by urging initiation of protective behaviors (e.g., escape, avoidance, and hypervigilance).”
If you effectively emphasize the problems your service or product solves and pair it with how it can transform your client’s life and help them be their best selves, they’ll feel a need to escape their current issue and will turn to you and your solution.
Gain will feel like a more natural approach to influencing your client, as you’re not highlighting the negative, but rather all the positive elements they’ll gain from working with you. Emphasize the benefits in a way that outweighs the loss (investment), and your client will be more eager to work with you.
How Will You Apply These Influence Amplifiers?
To wrap it up, the Know, Like, Trust Factor is all about bringing your client on a nurturing journey. When someone knows you and has a credible relationship with you, they trust you. And when they trust you, they’re more likely to listen and work with you, bolstering your influence. Demonstrating Pain and Gain is a strategy to help you present your content in a way that will strongly motivate your client, whether they resonate with the consequence of not partnering with you or the benefits of working with you.
While these influence amplifiers were discussed in relation to sales and business conversations, you can use these techniques in your everyday life for any situation where you want to influence someone.
Just remember: influence isn’t about forcing someone to do something—it’s about helping them to confidently take action that benefits them and helps them, be, do, and have more of what they want.
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