Great Leaders know things will get better because they know they will make things better
Great Leaders know things will get better because they know they will make things better
What is the difference between Persuasion (Influence) and Manipulation? This is the question I ask at the start of each of my Influence and Persuasion Workshop –
A question which sits at the very crux of being a person who negotiates with influence.
A question worth serious consideration and contemplation for any individual who wants to have more influence over others.
The difference? Strangely enough my research and observation of countless interactions in business and life has found that it in fact has very little to do with the persuasion/influencing technique used and everything to do with the observation and perception of the person on the receiving end of your ‘persuasion’
Pause a moment and think back over the past to a time where you were on the receiving end of somebody asking something of you. A time where although you said yes, you still sat there after the fact with a sense that you had been hoodwinked/taken advantage of. There was nothing sinister about the request, it was all above board however you just knew that you had been ‘manipulated’
This is why Irrefutable Law Eight came into being.
Over the past two weeks I have shared with you my first Seven Irrefutable Laws of Negotiating with Influence. Seven Laws which I know (from my own application as well as testimonials of others) when applied with focus and positive intention result in: More Yes’s; Better, stronger more committed relationships and ultimately improved outcomes for yourself and the important people in your life.
This is where I need to share a cautionary tale – As I started applying the first Seven Laws I still wasn’t getting the results I really wanted. At first I couldn’t figure out where the problem lay until I came across a book (which I share in the tips section) and all became clear. Unfortunately I realised the fundamental problem was that because I didn’t have influence, the application of influence resulted more often than not came across as manipulation
I realise at this point (from watching audiences who I spoken to and shared this message with) that as you read this you are probably scratching your head in confusion thinking “He says I need to influence but because I don’t have influence my influence will risk coming across as manipulation?!”
Write the following down and commit yourself to understanding this
“Being Persuasive is good, but having Influence is magic!”
Whats the key difference? Lets take a look at dictionary definitions of the following words
Persuade/Influence: (verb) The act of causing a person/people to believe or do something
Influence: (Adjective) A power (especially one that operates without any direct or apparent effort) which affects a person to do something
In other words to truly be able to negotiate with influence, you need to also have influence. You will be glad to know that we all are born with influence! Not only that but we all have the ability to develop our influence (refer to Irrefutable Law’s Three and Six for guidance on how this occurs)
Lets take a look at a few tips on how to become a person of influence
With the application of these and may other tips I have slowly but surely started becoming a person of influence and along with the application of the first seven laws am continuously improving as a negotiator with influence
Tomorrow Negotiating with Influence – Irrefutable Law Nine
High productivity and performance is not achieved through compensation. Rather, it is achieved through identifying and and understanding the individuals needs and then helping them achieve these needs
Your people don’t commit to you when they understand. They only commit to you when they feel understood
You read that right! You’ve picked up the courage to apply Irrefutable Law One – You have to communicate what you want, you’ve done it in such a way that sell’s it rather than tells it – Irrefutable Law Two and you’ve even managed to add value – Irrefutable Law Three and the person says no!
Welcome back to Negotiating with Influence – The Ten Irrefutable Laws Day Four :0)
I wish I could sit here and write that if you applied the first three Laws that you would be guaranteed a Yes; unfortunately this would be a lie. The reason – Have you heard the saying that people will say No on average seven times before they are willing to listen/say Yes? Apart from googling The Rule of Seven it is hard to find academic research on this (I have to admit that I did come across a piece and neglectfully didn’t right down the source – will share as soon as I find it) however it is easy to imagine this being the case and here are some pretty valid reasons why
Of course this is purely an example. The main point is If the person says no “Don’t be surprised, accept it as a given – In fact Prof Steve Peters, Author of the Chimp Paradox – The Science and Mind Management for Success in Business and in Life, has this to say about the answer No (Pg 94 – The Guiding Moon (part 2))
“Saying ‘no’ is the appropriate response of an adult who is respecting his or her own exhaustibility or boundaries.”
“Saying ‘no’ is a powerful thing to do by a balanced person.”
“People who are realistic will accept being turned down and appreciate that you have the right to say ‘no’.”
“People respect those who can say ‘no’
Remember I shared the first time I formally asked for a raise? and the response was a resounding No! Well the challenge I had (and still struggle with – something to do with fear of failure) was that I accepted that as the final word and kept stumm after that.
Which brings us onto why Irrefutable Law Four is so critical to apply
That’s right. I don’t think there is any other rule that I have to dedicate myself to applying in every situation (apart from Irrefutable Law One) as Irrefutable Law Four. No matter what it is imperative that I (and any of you wishing to Negotiate with Influence) handle the no!
Why is this such a critical Law to apply? Because for 1), this is where true negotiation starts and 2) If I don’t ‘handle’ the objection the conversation comes to an end and I miss out on the chance to work the magic 3) Handling the objection shows assertiveness which demonstrates self belief and confidence which in turn generates respect!
Here are a few tips on handling the objections
Here’s how to handle the objection
Ask “WHY?” ….
Wait! Come back!
This is really the key question which uncovers everything. Obviously I wouldn’t ask it quite like that (although I have to admit that is what I am developing towards) as I have very limiting belief that the question in this form is far too confrontational and that this question would damage the relationship. I know this worries more than 50% of people facing this situation, so here is an outline of how to ask why in a more ‘non-confrontational’ manner
Pause for 10 seconds (shows you are considerate of their response – silence is power)
Thank them for the the opportunity to communicate (This shows respect)
Ask “why?” (if you are not comfortable with this word you could ask something along the lines of “what is the reason for this?” or “what is the primary barrier to you saying Yes?”) you could also using a bridging technique as in “No…. because!?” or “No….meaning!?”
Once they give you the first answer, ask “what else is stopping you/in the way/preventing you?” keep asking this until they say “nothing else” Note – This may feel very uncomfortable but it is essential that you keep digging up the barriers. Failure to get all of them will bight you in the proverbial behind later down the track
Once all barriers have been identified ask “if all these barriers were not a consideration, then it would have been a Yes?” This question has two purposes a) It tests whether there are any more barriers b) it is an influencing technique
If the answer is “Yes” start to establish the needs
Once needs have been established ask ” if these solutions were in place would you be willing to move forward?”
If “No” re-start the process; If “yes” ask to work together on creating the plan to accomplish this
There you have it, Irrefutable Law Four of Negotiating with Influence – Handle the Objection
Have a fantastic Weekend, see you Monday
I was on the receiving end of one of the best introductions to a sales call I have had in while this morning. Typically telesales calls are shocking! Why? Because when I answer the phone the introduction goes like this
“Hi, can I speak to Mr Weber please?“
What really grabs my goat about this start to a call is that I know it’s a sales call and immediately I am on the defensive with my automatic internal response being “Who are you? What company are you representing? What are you trying to convince me into buying?” with an immediate block to any message from there on out. What comes out of my mouth “Who is this please?” and typically ends one short minute later
What made this morning’s call special? The caller started with who they were, where they were calling from and why before they asked to speak to Mr Weber, and the clincher – it was an organisation I had recently interacted with and was interested in. My response “It is Mr Weber with a warmth to my voice” conversation continues
The reason that I share this little story is that yesterday in my post Negotiating with Influence – The Ten Irrefutable Laws, I shared Irrefutable Law One – You have to communicate what you want. A quick recap being
a) If you want anything you need to ask
b) There can be no negotiation without setting out your stall
c) People don’t ask/communicate with one major fear being they are scared of damaging the relationship (other fears being: coming across as incompetent; not getting what you want)
Which leads us beautifully into Irrefutable Law Two and the reason for my opening gambit.
That’s right! As important as it is to communicate what you want, it is equally as important to ensure that you communicate it in the right way and this means selling it, not telling it.
Let me put this into context. I have never been very good at communicating what I want mainly because I had an unhealthy and unrealistic fear of damaging the relationship and a host of other things I am working on. Thankfully I am working on this and proud to say that I’m getting better ;0) My first memorable ask was my first attempt at negotiating a raise in my first sales job. Picture this – End of a long day, my boss and I are having a few post work beers and out of the blue I blurt out “I feel I deserve a raise!”
Firstly koodos to me! I asked, which was a personal best for me, unfortunately courage to ask isn’t quite enough and the answer was a resounding “No!”. I unfortunately was not very good at applying Irrefutable Law Four at this point so that ended that conversation.
What I subsequently learned over the years was that in order to get a Yes, it is not enough to tell people what you want – although if you do only this consistently utilising the tips shared the odds are you will and do ultimately get more yes’s (at its base its all about the numbers) – what is needed to increase the chance of yes to an even greater level is to put it in such a way that shows value for what you are asking. I.E. You have to sell it.
Here are a few very valid rationals for this
Hence the need to sell and not just tell.
I cant remember how long sales training taught the framework What – Why – How. Simon put this on its head and shows why it is crucial when selling any idea that you start with WHY? then WHAT then HOW
In summary then in order to hope to Negotiate with Influence it is essential that Not only must you apply Irrefutable Law One – You need to ask/communicate what you want but that when you do so as set out in Irrefutable Law Two – Sell it, Don’t tell
Tomorrow Irrefutable Law Three
Have an amazing end of day.
In my work helping organisations and their people flourish, the most recurrent challenges my coaching focuses on resolving is “how to negotiate with influence”.
The 10 Irrefutable laws I am going to share over the next ten days are laws I have learned and continue to put into practice to negotiate with influence. Not only have I used these in my adventures as a budding entrepreneur, but they are the 10 key lessons I have taken and distilled from experiences, observation and study in school, family life, friendship and marriage.
No matter where you are in life, I know from personal experience that if you take these 10 laws and commit to mastering them that you will get “Yes” to more of your requests, build long term value adding relationships and ultimately enjoy a more fulfilling life
“ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE”
I start with this law because of the principle that states “if you don’t ask, you don’t get”
How often have you experienced the following scenario: Either yourself or a person that you know are unhappy about their circumstance. When delving a little deeper the reason for the unhappiness is that you (or they) are not getting what you want; or are doing things you don’t want or would prefer not to do). These things can include but are not limited to –
Nod your head if you can relate to the next paragraph
Typically when I ask clients who are in this situation whether they have spoken to and asked for/pushed back for what they want the answer is No!
I recently had the privilege of sharing these Ten Irrefutable Laws at CapGemini’s Consultant Development Community Quarterly Event in London and in my research I asked the community what their biggest concern was when having to ‘negotiate’. The biggest reasons: over 50% of the respondents replied that they were worried about damaging the relationship with the other person.
This is completely understandable and a very fair concern for anybody who has relationship as one of their core needs. Unfortunately if this is stopping you from communicating what you want this then doesn’t open the doors for negotiation.
Here are a few tips which will help you ask for what you want in a way which will help maintain the relationship
In all communications it is critical that you communicate with the right person. How do you identify the right person? In most cases it is the person who you are dealing with directly however this may not always be the case. It is then a good idea to look for the person who has either the money/power or title (more about this in another post). It is no use, especially when it is about a conflict of interests to speak to others as this may cause more harm than good.
Rule of thumb (biblical principle) –
The right time and right place are just as apt. No use jumping it on the person in the midst of another discussion or when they/you are not in a good mood as this will more than likely cause friction
The right agenda and the right way will be covered in the upcoming Irrefutable Laws two – ten
Ask for far more than is realistic i.e. ask for something which you know in all likelihood will be a No. Two reasons for this
a) If you don’t ask you don’t get :0) You never know they may just give this to you
b) Once they say no, then ask for what you really wanted. the chance of them saying yes to you on this increases tenfold as it is far more difficult to say no twice
Instead of saying “no”, say “thank you for asking, I would love to help. You currently have me working to deliver x and y which you stressed as important. We have this much time frame/budget/resources and I want to ensure that I deliver to a high standard – which would you prefer – that I stop one of these or that we extend the time / budget etc to add this in.”
There you have it – Irrefutable Law One of Negotiating with Influence – You have to communicate what you want. Four tips on how to go about this in a way that gives you the best chance of maintaining and building your relationships
Tomorrow Irrefutable Law Two
If you would like to have this talk (all ten Laws) done for your team or your business please email email@example.com with your request