Selling a product? Pitching an idea? Or just making plans with family and friends?
In almost any communication you influence someone.
Like any other skill, it takes time to master influence. By using the strategies listed in this article, you will improve your influence immediately.
Whether you are talking one on one, in a group or writing, the words you use have tremendous power.
So, what are some of the best strategies to use for influence?
1. Make it about your audience
Use their name – As Dale Carnegie said: a person’s name is to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
You, your - rather than I, myself, we, they…
I know that XY is really important to you.
I suspect you might be concerned that…
2. Grab their attention:
3. Build credibility
Research shows that when we use the word because our audience is 30% more likely to act. This works whether the argument makes sense or not.
Our brain reacts to many words automatically and subconsciously.
Other words to sound credible are:
As a result, …
This proved… A proven way...
Tested (strategy, way…)
In my research/experience, I have found… to be true
4. Use social proof
85% of our teams use this…
80% of our customers also buy…
The marketing and sales department participated in this survey…
5. Use action verbs
Avoid passive voice and replace non-action verbs (be, have, might, may…) by action verbs.
6. Make it easy for your audience to act What conversation are they having in their heads? Probably something like this: “I don’t have time”, “I don’t have money”, “It’s too complicated”.
Address these concerns proactively. Make it easy for them to take the next step and use words such as:
The next step is…
We can solve this by…
Here is how we will do it…
7. Build urgency and scarcity
Make sure you build urgency to get your audience to act as soon as possible.
If we don’t act now, we are at risk…
If we act immediately, we can get a benefit…
Don’t miss it…
8. Use Positive language Positive language is huge. Check out my article on the power of positive language.
The words but, however, and though sound defensive. They stop the flow of ideas. In most situations, we can replace it by and. By seeking ideas and creativity with yes, and... you help someone or something grow.
I understand your point, but I think…
I understand your point and another perspective to consider is…
Use positive words to build an image of a bright future in your audience’s minds:
Investment – cost
Help you acquire - Sell
Own - Buy
Concern - Objection
Challenge - Problem
I’d be delighted to - Not a problem
9. Avoid filler words and weak speak In our day to day communication, we use plenty of language patterns that undermine our influence. The first step is to become conscious of them. Next, avoid them when you want to sound influential.
1. Avoid filler words and crutches
They disengage your audience. Replace them by a pause.
2. Avoid weak speak:
Hopefully, I have convinced you and maybe it is sort of a good idea and I feel that just a little…
Replace these by powerful language:
I am confident
I am convinced
Does it mean that you should never use softer language?
It has its place in some situations, for example when diffusing conflict. Just don’t use it when you want to sound confident. Use these strategies in your day to day communication. Test them and see which ones work for you.
Do you use these words?
Which strategy will you use in your next communication?
What are your favorite words to influence?
Share with us below!