Influence is a tricky thing. If in striving to be influential you succeed, at what cost. If failure is your outcome what can you learn? In either case it’s worth asking “was it worth it?”. No problem with influence here, but influence is best when it is a result of other business and marketing activities. The reality is, many strive for influence to get the sale, what can often be overlooked is that the most profitable influence happens after the sale, when customers have experienced results of your product or service.
It’s true, there are many over-promised and over-hyped Internet marketing products, viable prospects are looking for a reason to dismiss offers in many markets. Yet those new to Internet marketing can be subject to influence gone wrong.
For those striving for influence, it may be that they don’t have it at all. If successful, is it influence, or something else? Important as influence may be in business and life, in my experience it begins to break down when authenticity is compromised.
In marketing, a good principle to consider is giving them (visitors and prospects) what they want on the front end, and what they need, on the back end. Show them you understand the pain in their world, and that you have a working solution, and you have influence.
Recently I attended a seminar where some ideas shared about influence, specifically when working with clients:
1.) Establish Trust- People are influenced only by someone they trust.
2.) Educate- The more your clients know, the better.
3.) Explain Why- “It worked on my last three projects.” (demonstrating experience), or “It would cost less.” (demonstrating partnership). etc.
4.) Do it in private – If there is something you need to share that is likely to be mis-understood in a group setting, do it in private, it’s less confronting.
5.) Show them, then sell them – This is the “free sample” strategy. Could be a case study of what other clients have experienced.
6.) Balance the give and take – Recognize that sometimes you have to give a little to get something in return.
7.) Sooner is better than later – Clarity is important, but no matter what you do there can be unknown expectations. These get firmed up the longer they are left alone. Deliver services as soon as possible, so any unknown expectations come to the surface and adjustments can be made early in the process.
These tips seem to fall in line with common sense in most areas of life, especially business. Sometimes in our quests, however, they can get lost…so they can get lost.
Caution: A problem arises when we focus on being influential. The 7 items above can serve as influence indicators if you like. They are a partial list of attributes of those who influence.
How do you react to this? What are attributes of those who have been influential in your professional experiences? Love to hear from you in the comment boxes below.
Image credit: Just_Bryan