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  • Mary Foley

5 Keys to Influence Others in the Workplace or Marketplace

What if you realized that, as a woman, you have the perfect setup to be very good at influencing others – for all the right reasons?

If you are already…

  • Asking questions for understanding

  • Listening more than talking

  • Thinking about how you can help others

  • Sharing useful resources

  • Deciding to stay positive and upbeat

…then you are doing what it takes to be good at influencing others.

Daniel Pink, author of To Sell is Human, determined from research that on average we spend 40% or more of our time getting someone to say “Yes!” Want to get better at it?

Here are five keys to influencing others in the workplace or market place you can use right away.

1. Focus on being authentic rather than being liked

Women are good at a spotting fake, someone who is trying to be someone he or she is not or simply trying too hard to impress or fit in. We’re immediately turned off.

We all want to be liked and feel accepted, but influence isn’t about being liked. It’s about being authentic. The more you know yourself and are comfortable in your own skin, the more you attract those who are like-minded and can build a trusting relationship – which is fundamental to influencing others.

What is one defining characteristic of your true, authentic self?

2. Fill a need

It’s easy to sell a pair of fabulous boots to a woman who is looking for them. It’s not as easy to sell an idea to a project team or influence a business owner to consider your software package.

Too often the focus is on how you should structure your pitch or coming up with the perfect words to say. The only words that really count and the only perfect words a prospect cares to hear are the ones that help them solve their problem.

Instead focus on asking questions to understand their problem and what they really need.

Then speak to helping solve that problem using your own words. Better yet, use their words, the ones they used when explaining their challenge. Personalized content has more impact than “professional” delivery.

Have you asked enough questions to truly understand what the other person really needs?

3. Give first

If you want to meet a new team member, extend your right hand and introduce yourself. If you want a potential customer to trust that you have their best interest in mind, send them an article with helpful ideas related to your conversation. If you want someone to donate to a cause, share a short video on the organization’s impact.

To get, first be a giver.

When you give, the law of reciprocity kicks in. If they feel you are genuine, they will want to give back in the form of sharing more information about their situation, an introduction, or even a compliment.

Continue to give in a meaningful way and you will get the opportunity and privilege to move them from where they are to where you want them to be.

What do you do to give first?

4. Offer options

When looking for that new pair fabulous boots, would you rather have three terrific options to choose from or just one? Then do to others what you want done unto you – offer several options or ways you can get a “yes.”

One choice may meet your needs, but three choices helps you consider more carefully what’s more important to you and why. Is it the color, the heel height, or the price? When you make a final choice you feel more clear and confident.

Imagine presenting three clearly stated options with pros/cons to your manager or a potential client regarding a project. “We can do it this way, this way or this way. Each has advantages and drawbacks. All would move us forward, but this particular one would move us the most. Do you agree?”

If your manager agrees, terrific! If they don’t, chances are you will find out why and get more insights to come up with an option that works.

Do you regularly offer 3 options to increase your “yeses?”

5. Keep moving

You won’t always get a “yes”’ so plan for it. How do you bounce back more quickly? According to Dan Pink, it’s about your perspective on rejection.

In one research study sales people had a 37% increase in sales when they viewed rejection as temporary, when they limited the rejection to the specific situation, and when they believed the “no” was due to external reasons rather than a personal character flaw. In other words, don’t take it personally…and keep moving!

Do you can bounce back from rejection by seeing it as temporary, specific, and external?


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