Persuasion Power

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“I don’t need to persuade anyone.  The quality of what I do is self-evident”

So runs the mantra for many technical and professional specialists.  Somehow, the world (which includes clients or prospects who may not be able to experience the intangibility of what they offer) will see the light: of course, quite often they don’t.

Persuasion is an art which can be learnt, and which has some underlying basic principles.  Here are three that can help.

Give before you get  A tough one this, in that it involves unravelling years of conditioning for those who have had it drummed into them that hours and minutes are ALWAYS TO BE CHARGED FOR.  Most people want to return a favour, so if you give them something, they will usually want to give something back.  There are variations on this theme when trying to attract new clients e.g.  “For the trial piece of work, deliberately, we gave them more than we were paid for; they recognised it, liked our attitude, and they are now a significant and very profitable client – 10 years on!”

See 3P…oooh!  So that’s what it’s about…Positive Peer Pressure.  Canny professionals and/or those who do business with the public sector see the power of this one.  Some people (in fact, many professionals) are better convinced to do something if others are seen doing it successfully.  In the public sector, the more local authorities that you are heard to work for, the more powerful is your case.  And in the private sector, if the firm’s name is associated with successful industry authorities (e.g. market leaders), then you can get a double whammy….as long as you use it.

Seek out common ground  People do more business with people that they feel they like.  A large part of such liking is about the amount of common ground that is established between individuals.  Successful professionals know this, which is why sporting activities – soccer, golf, cricket, rugby etc. – are such common pursuits.  Sadly, many do not venture outside of these, their own obvious likes.  Successful networkers know that it is possible to establish common ground with just about anyone.  But it needs this realisation and then practice to achieve.

James Newberry is a coach and trainer who helps professionals and other technical experts exert more influence to do more business….and enjoy it!  Have a look at http://www.peoplescope.com to know more.

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Three more rules for networking excellence

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So your professionals know why they are at the seminar.  Now all they have to do is  perform.  Most of them know the drill backwards when it comes to the work that they do.  Unfortunately, many lack such a drill for business development when attending your expensively-wrought events.

“I don’t know what to do”  “How do I talk to someone I‘ve never met before?”

Here are three things to help at the ‘crunch’ points.

Upon entering a room….panic, make a bee-line for the safety of your colleagues, or just look like you’d rather be anywhere else.  That’s how many behave when entering a room full of strangers.  There are a number of tactics to employ to help achieve the aim (meet new people, develop prospective client relationships etc.) and to give confidence.  Like them all, this one is very simple.  Most events contain people who are in exactly the same boat as you and your people.  They are often alone, don’t know anyone, nervous, uncertain of how to behave – and very grateful when someone talks to them.  These wall-flowers represent the best opportunity for first conversations.  So target them.

Breaking in  There’s someone you want to meet – but (s)he is engaged in conversation with two others, and has been for some time.  What do you do?  Well first, you need to assess the intensity of the conversation (body language here is the indicator).  If it looks heavy, then best to try another time.  If not, approach and join the group, making eye contact first with its members, listen, and then join in if you have a contribution.  Of course it’s a bit more complicated than that – but not much.

Breaking out   Being stuck with someone – who is not relevant as a potential client or intermediary and/or is just plain boring – appears high on many people’s networking nightmare list.  The best get-out clause we know is to tell a palatable truth.  For example: “It’s been nice to meet you, but there are a number of people in the room that I must talk to before they leave, so I’m going to have to go”.

James Newberry is a coach and trainer who helps professionals do more business.  Have a look at http://www.peoplescope.com to know more.