Communication is the soul of selling. Great communicators have the power of influence with their message. The good news is that science has discovered key tools of influence so that you could possess this power with the right words at the right time.
Robert Cialdini is one of the foremost experts in the science of influence. In fact, he has written an international bestselling book entitled “Influence” which is revered by many successful business people for its essential tools of persuasion. According to Cialdini, the keys to influence are commitment, social proof, liking, reciprocity, authority, and scarcity.
While Cialidini’s book is masterful, it focuses primarily upon the research and principles of influence rather than its application in real world settings. To remedy this, I have created a user friendly version to how you can possess the power of influence. Because the best communication is a win-win situation with both parties reaching the pinnacle of success, I call this technique ALPS. I teach this in my courses as well as coach business professionals as to how to use this powerful technique. ALPS stands for Appreciation, Linking, Perspective, and Synchrony and the following illustrates how each of these keys has influence:
Appreciation: We all want to be appreciated. The old saying “Flattery will get you everywhere” is true because it is a human need to want to be appreciated. When you give appreciation in some form, that person will like you more. We are influenced by people we like.
Linking: To survive in a hostile world, our ancestors had to form groups. We formed groups with people who were like us. Linking is about illustrating how you are similar to the other person. Being similar to that person increases your influence.
Perspective: Empathy is taking the perspective of the other person. When you empathize with someone, you are giving them respect. We like people who respect us, and thus empathizing with another gives you greater influence.
Synchrony: When you act and speak like the other person, they like you more. This relates to such factors as how you dress or the speed of your speech. When you synchronize with the other person, you will have greater influence with your message.
To illustrate the ALPS process, let’s say your client objects to buying your product because money is tight and he fears the economy may get worse. You would open the door to influence by starting with, “I appreciate that money is tight for you right now (A). At certain times in my life, I too have limited my spending (L). I can see how you can be fearful about the future as well as your funds, but all signs show that the economy is rebounding wonderfully (P)”. If your client dresses very casual (e.g. never wears a coat or tie), then you may want to synchronize with him by dressing more casual as well (S).
ALPS will give you the power of influence and will open the door to your success.
Bio: Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a professor of human performance at APSU. He is a motivational speaker who lives in Nashville TN and he is the author of the Washington Post bestselling business book, “Full Throttle.” Steinberg speaks about emotional toughness to Fortune 500 companies. Visit www.drgreggsteinberg.com and see his TED talk about super-resilience at http://tinyurl.com/o2anxsz