Excerpted from The Science of Influence (from Vol. 19 & 20)
How do you really convince someone you are the answer to their problems; especially when you are at point zero?
What is it about you that will encourage someone to listen to you in the first place? If you can’t get someone’s attention you have no opportunity to influence that person in any way.
And, why should someone pick you or buy you or buy from you when they have been with someone else for years?
There must be a process; and that is:
- You must get their attention.
- You must hold their attention.
- You must have a bold promise.
- You must detach any previous commitment.
- You must over-deliver on the promise.
- They need to be excited to tell lots and lots of people, whose attention you will eventually want.
Lots of people have skills in their field and lots of people can get people’s attention. The big challenge is to ultimately have what it takes to be skilled and to get the attention of those you want to connect with. O.K. it isn’t going to be easy is it? But you know what? You can do it. You can become the answer. You can be seen as the obvious go-to-guy (gal). Can you guess what happens when you hit critical mass and everyone knows you are the go-to-guy?
Whether you are trying to win the girl, sell real estate or heal the world, there must be a very specific brand image that you must have and that you must be able to live up to.
“Wait a minute!” You said? Win the girl? Heal the world? Sell real estate? “I’m not a company or cup of soup, I’m a person!”
And THAT is why you need to be a powerful brand, easily distinguished from and a far superior option to those you compete with. You eventually want to be seen as the obvious choice.
Wouldn’t it make life so much easier in every respect if you were known as the _____? (You fill in the blank.)
Are you a salesperson?
An entrepreneur? (If you are one you are really all three when you think about it, and I’m not kidding!)
There is an enormous amount of competition “out there” and yet the arena is even bigger.
You need to not only be able to promote yourself but you must have the character and skills to be among the best in your field.
What makes a brand is far more than promotion and marketing. It is the repeated behaviors of individuals over a long period of time. It is the ingredients in the product. It’s the taste. (McDonald’s French Fries) It’s the feel. It’s the look. It’s the sound. If the product is you, it is your character, attitudes, beliefs and who you are as a person.
Still don’t get it? Try this: What is it that makes you special? Different from the rest?
It is your ability to self-promote effectively, efficiently and at a very small expense.
So just how do you “brand yourself?” OK, that is question one.
How do you get people to see “brand you?” That is question two.
How do you get people to switch to you as a “brand?” That is question three?
How do you develop a long term relationship with your new client/customer?
I like to think of salespeople, entrepreneurs and therapists, all as real estate agents. The reason is that the real estate agent can’t sell for long by accident. That means that the agent can’t earn money without making contacts and using effort. That is true for all sales people. It is true for all successful entrepreneurs and it is true for all successful therapists. In addition, the real estate agent must keep a crystal clear middle and long-term perspective at all times. The agent realizes that all effort done today will not pay off for 3-12 months. Then it is up to the agent to constantly keep up with every contact and their home needs.
The real estate agent is a metaphor for almost all businesses. Breaking into real estate, just like starting a therapy practice or your own business or any sales position puts you at position zero. You are starting with no contacts and competition where everyone else seems to be and some cases are selling the same thing you are. Point zero can also mean that you have been in the profession for 20 years but haven’t been active. Same thing.
Answer this: Why go with the new guy on the block when there is a realtor who has sold 150 houses this year in the yellow pages?
Not only is that a critical question for the agent but every person who has a service/product and is a point zero, or close to it on the map.
The first answer is that by being at point zero you have time. You aren’t seeing clients/customers at this time, so you have time to completely and fully help anyone and everyone who comes your way. Not only do you have time to help but you have time to build a true relationship with each client/customer. You have time to do everything you possibly can for each person you work with while you are at or near point zero. That is a HUGE benefit.
Being new in a field (or near point zero) also means that you will work harder for your client than the guy who had 150 clients last year. You’ll probably let your buyer see twice as many houses or give your client an extra half hour per visit when you are new. You are selling service when you are “new.” You are selling your SELF.
- You care. (You wouldn’t have chosen the profession/business if you didn’t!)
- You work hard for your clients.
- You find out answers that others won’t/don’t have time to.
- You have time to differentiate yourself from everyone else in your field and whatever your field is, there are a lot of THEM out there!
- You have time to create a game plan for life and business.
Capturing attention is simple but it isn’t easy. That means that process is very doable but it takes effort. Thousands and thousands of commercial messages compete for your pocket book strings. There are more TV stations available now than there are stars in the sky. These stations all have thousands of commercials. Then there are radio stations, magazines, newspapers, and well, there is a lot of competition for attention.
In a certain sort of backward way, the lack of money to compete with those with huge advertising budgets can be advantageous. Now, don’t think I have lost my mind. Ever hear of Chicken Soup for the Soul? No one made that book a multimillion seller except the two authors. Every day Canfield and Hanson did radio, book signings, presentations, classes, television. They put the world on hold and the result of branding themselves well is publishing history. They started with very little money but had a very strong concept of what they wanted to do. They spent no money on advertising their first book. They put in time and differentiated themselves from every other “feel good” book title out there. It worked.
It doesn’t take money to build success. It does take tenacity.
In fact, most people who have money fall into traps that eventually suck their money away like a Hoover. Those who actually earn their money by offering a great product/service/themselves tend to treat their reward with respect and tend to achieve long term success. Money can actually be an impediment to successfully differentiating yourself. People often believe they can buy differentiation. You can’t. It takes character and qualities. It takes true differences. True superiority in some way or ways. (Then money can be a BIG help!)
The best way to get attention is to model Canfield and Hanson. Whether you are a tax accountant, a therapist or a salesperson, you need to be “out there” all the time. That might mean something slightly different from field to field and profession to profession, but you need to be in front of your potential client as much as possible.
That is the beginning of accessing the attention you need.
That is the first step. Then you have to KEEP their attention and make a big promise. That’s coming next!
Science of Influence Master’s Home Study Course (Volumes 1-12)
with Kevin Hogan, Psy.D.
The ability to influence is the single most important element in communication in business, selling, a professional practice, intimate relationships and obviously in selling. Every useful communication involves persuasion. You want people to believe what you say. You want them to understand what you say. You want your message to be accepted and acted upon. Period. Without effective persuasion and influence none of this is possible.
The Science of Influence is the master’s home study course. What makes the Science of Influence different from every other program about persuasion is that this material is fresh, potent, tested, and has nearly all of what you will discover is new! There is no rehash of past salespeople or scholars. This is the culmination of years of selling synthesized with the last five years of academic research into compliance gaining, persuasion and influence. No one has a program like this designed for you.
The Science of Influence: The Master’s Advanced Home Study Course
Volumes 13-24 More Information