1. Give your “audience” what they want and desire.
You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase, “what’s in it for me?” And most of you reading this have thought or even said it yourself! We all have. If something doesn’t make us happier or our lives better, we are not very interested in it. So in order to persuade your “audience” (whether it is an individual or an audience of 1,000 people), you need to tell them how it is going to benefit them. If you just focus on yourself they will tune out. If you focus on helping them achieve their wants and desires, they will be ready to sign on the dotted line.
2. Make the change for your audience something doable.
Change is hard for most people. Our brains are hard wired to like things to stay the same. After all, we expend a whole lot less energy to maintain the status quo, than we do to make a change. So as an influencer you will get the best results if you show your audience how small the gap is between where they are and where you want them to be. Anything that is perceived as too much work will likely deter others. But when your audience knows that it will really be quite simple to do what you want them to do, they will gladly come along. And remember people need to be exposed to a message multiple times before they even consider changing their attitudes or behaviors.
3. Make your audience like you.
Let’s say you are out at a furniture store to buy a new couch and love seat. A sales person comes up to you and starts up a conversation. You knew what you want but you weren’t yet ready to buy. If the sales person makes a genuine connection with you, asking you about your family and how you spend time on your couch, you are much more likely to trust them. Ultimately you may even decide to whip out your credit card and buy the furniture if there was a strong connection. You want to be authentic and draw people to your side by finding out about the other person. This builds your likability factor.
4. Make your audience trust you.
Would you vote for a political candidate you didn’t trust? Would you lend money to a friend if you didn’t think she would pay you back? Of course not! People are more easily persuaded by others that they trust. That is one of the reasons Oprah has the “golden touch.” If she recommends a book to her audience, it automatically becomes a best-seller. Why? Because they trust Oprah! They trust her opinion, so they will automatically do what she says to do. So in order for you to get people to do what you want them to, you need to gain their trust as well.
5. Use emotional strategies to influence them.
One of the easiest ways to persuade someone is to use emotion. Great examples of this are the television commercials that show the starving children in third world countries. They ask you to donate money to them on a monthly basis so they can have clean water, food, clothes, and schooling. The visual images are very sad, and so it makes people want to give money to help them. Even in personal relationships, we use emotion to influence. However, make sure you are genuine in doing this. People can smell fake emotions a mile away. But appealing to positive emotions like love, happiness, belonging, or togetherness is a great way to get your “audience” to agree with you.
6. Use logic to influence your audience.
Not everyone is an emotional person. Some people might be turned off by using emotion to persuade them. So it’s important to remember to use logic sometimes, too. If your “audience” is one person, try to assess their personality as best as you can. See if they seem to appreciate logic and rationality over emotion. But if your audience is a large group of people, you will have a mixture of different people. So the best thing to do is to combine logic with emotional appeals. That way, you will likely influence everyone in some way.
7. Use your personal qualities.
If you are an expert on the topic, make sure the audience knows. Dress the part. Look the part. Act the part. Be dynamic. Be engaging. Your audience will be much more persuaded if you give them reasons why they should pay attention to you. People are very easily influenced by people they know or respect. That is why advertisements use celebrities so often. They are recognizable, and many people will buy a product simply because that particular public figure is telling them to. So selling yourself from a place of authenticity is key to influencing others.
We may not always be conscious of the fact that we are trying to influence someone to do something. Sure, if it’s in a business situation, then it’s obvious. But regardless of what context you are in, we all try to get people to comply with our wishes on a regular basis.
Sometimes influence can be easy. Sometimes it’s difficult. But if you keep these 7 tips in mind, you will be much more successful in getting what you want.