Pump up your Influencing

Here’s a nice reminder of a very clever influencing model which helps sales managers who spend much of their time influencing and getting buy in to ideas and concepts. I was reminded of this when my Son, Lewis asked me for some advice of a personal nature.

Now Lewis needed to ask for my advice on a very delicate matter. Intrigued was I until he announced he would like my help on how to ask a girl out for a date. What an honour. However I was never particularly good at it, even Claire my wife asked me out on our first date. No, it was never my strong point; I was quite the shy child at 15.

But I was determined to help out the young lad after all; he was relying on his Dad. And of course, Dads know everything.

So I thought…could one of my influencing techniques work that I teach sales managers work here. I dug out one of my favourite strategies – the Positive Influencing Behaviour Model and applied it to asking a girl out for a date.

Let me remind you of this strategy first of all. Positive influencing is about engaging the person first and then channelling them to your desired outcome.

Engaging is about ensuring the person is receptive, finding out what their needs are and what their motivation to help us is. It focuses on improving the relationship and working together. The two parts are involving and activating – the ability to paint pictures to see the desired end result.

Now channelling is about persuading the person using reasoning, logic, our personality, power. It’s about suggesting the way forward and keeping an eye on your end goals. The two parts are reasoning i.e. how to move forward and asserting – sticking to our needs.

I’d cracked it – the model looked great so I ran through it with Lewis. Lewis was impressed and actually so was I with myself. And best of all I knew it would work:

“What’s your final tip Dad?”said Lewis.

In this subtle situation, Lewis, you need to spend more time on the engaging than the channelling. If you do that you’ll come over as a nice guy not a pushy guy and you’ll be more successful.

And I thought to myself, aren’t these lessons so the same in business? If we influence people, how many of you spend too long on the engaging and never get anywhere but everyone likes you. How many of you spend too little time here and most on the channelling and come across pushy, forceful and aggressive?

Suddenly I realised where I went wrong when I was 15. Apart from having bad 70’s fashion sense it was too much engaging and no channelling – I never actually came out and asked for the date. But at least we were friends. Quick anyone, where’s the time machine?