Influencers from Around the World – A Short Course in Human Relations

This month our Influencers from Around the World guest post comes from someone who is familiar to long-time readers of Influence PEOPLE – Anthony McLean. Anthony is Australia’s one and only Cialdini Method Certified Trainer (CMCT®). He heads up the Social Consulting Group where he teaches people about the principles of influence. I encourage you to reach out to Anthony on LinkedIn and Twitter to learn more from him.
Brian Ahearn, CMCT®
Chief Influence Officer
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.
A Short Course in Human Relations
A past participant of the
Principles of Persuasion Workshop sent me the important message below. His name
is Peter, and he pointed out There’s
plenty of ‘POP’ in this.” Of course
he was right.
Let’s break it down one line at a
time and let me show you why there is so much of Dr. Robert Cialdini’s
Principles of Persuasion in this short piece.
The six
most important words – I admit that I was wrong.
In the Principles of Persuasion Workshop we teach the Principle of
which says we look to those with extra knowledge or
wisdom on a topic to guide our thinking when we are not sure what we should do.
As part of being an Authority you must be seen as credible and one of the most
important elements to being credible is being trustworthy. If I was to try to take
advantage of you, I would never admit a mistake, let you know I got something
wrong or was lacking in some area of my product or service. But an Authority never hides from weaknesses. They
admit when they are wrong. Why? Because they know how to make it better. So remember,
it’s a mistake to hide a mistake. Admit it, and admit it quickly, then set
about explaining how you intend to make it right. If you don’t, one of your
competitors will highlight it and then your credibility is gone.
The Five
most important words – You did a great job.
Everybody likes to be told they
have done a great job. These five simple words go a long way to triggering the Principle of Liking. Praise is something
that when given genuinely and selectively is a truly valuable tool in building,
repairing and maintaining relationships with others. Therefore don’t throw
praise around all of the time so it becomes common and of little substance. Give
your praise when it is deserved, make it specific and give it genuinely. If at
work delivering praise directly is inappropriate consider influencing the
influencers and deliver the praise indirectly to the person’s boss, colleague
or friends and allow them to deliver the message for you.
The four
most important words – What do you think?
On the face of it you may ask, how
does this question relate to persuasion? The answer is, all too often people
make statements but they don’t ask questions. Firstly this is poor form because
it is more aligned to ordering rather than engaging and, secondly, when you
make statements you remove one very important element from the interaction –
the ability of someone to commit to something. The Principle of Consistency says we encounter
personal and interpersonal pressure to remain consistent with previous
commitments or decisions we have made. If you ask me a question and allow me to
answer, it provides me the opportunity to make a commitment; publicly voicing
my ideas and actively committing toward a course of action. In your next
meeting, think about the questions you ask. Craft well-constructed questions
and give others the opportunity to answer them. Telling someone what to do or
making statements does nothing to engage their intrinsic motivators to drive
the situation forward.
The three
most important words – Could you please…
This line is an interesting one,
firstly because the Principle of Reciprocity says we are obliged to
give back to those who have given to us first. A nuance to the principle is, if
you are struggling to build a relationship with someone, ask him or her to do
you a favor. In doing so they need to have a shift in thinking because we don’t
do things for people we don’t like.  Therefore
by asking them to do you a favor moves them in your direction ever so slightly and
allows for a relationship to commence.
The second point I would make is
to refine the statement. “Could you” and “Can you” are permission statements.
They seek to gain permission or acknowledgement. The problem is if I say to my eight-year-old
son, “Could you clean up your room?” and he says, “Yes,” is he actually
committing to clean his room or is he just saying, “Yes I can, but no I won’t.”?
Therefore in seeking to gain a
commitment to trigger the Principle of Consistency. ask people active questions
that gain a commitment such as “Will you…” then wait for the answer.
The two
most important words – Thank you.
Thanking someone is not only
polite, it’s an important element in building and maintaining healthy
relationships. Therefore when someone does something that you appreciate be
sure to tell them and acknowledge their contributions. Doing so invests in the
relationship and can trigger the Principle of Reciprocity.
The other thing is when someone
thanks you for something you have done you must learn to accept genuine thanks
differently. If someone delivers a heartfelt thank you and you say “no problem”
or “I would have done it for anyone” you are devaluing the relationship. You
are in effect saying, “You are not that important to me and neither is this
Therefore, from now on listen for
genuine thanks from others and recognise it as an opportunity to acknowledge
the relationship you have and highlight that it is not over. Anything you say
will be better than “no problem,” but you must do a better job of accepting
thanks when it is genuinely given.
The most
important word – We.
The fastest and easiest way to
describe a relationship is through the pronoun “we.” It highlights you are
working together and you have things in common. Listen to when people use “we”
in a conversation and they may just tell you when they start to see you are in
a functional, working relationship with them, all through the use of the word
One word of warning though; don’t
use “we” too early in a relationship or with someone you have just met to
describe the two of you – it can come off as not genuine and a tactic rather
than a true reflection of your relationship with the person. Let the
relationship build and use “we” when appropriate to do so.
The least
important word – I.
The biggest mistake I see when
reviewing emails, copy and websites for clients is the text is all about the
persuader and not about the person or group they are seeking to persuade. A
very simple test is to do a word search and see how many times you use “I” as
opposed to the other person’s name or even the words you, your or yours. If you
talk about yourself more than the other person or group of people you have
missed the mark.
The other thing is they should
always appear in your email before you do. I am not talking about their name in
the greeting but in the first line. If you start off with,

Hi Brian,

I want to
write you about the new product I am bringing to the market….

This is wrong – it’s all about
you. Instead put them and their needs first. Such as:

Hi Brian,

It was
great to have met you at the conference and to listen to your thoughts on the
new policy change impacting our organisation. You may be interested in a new
product we are launching. Based on your comments I think it will help you…..

Therefore for a bunch of short
sentences I will paraphrase my friend Peter and say, “There is a lot of POP in


Anthony McLean, CMCT

Influencers from Around the World: The Importance of Preparation Before the Sale

This month our Influencers from Around the World post comes from Marco Germani by way of Italy. Marco has been a guest writer for Influence PEOPLE from the start. He combines great knowledge (he wrote a book about persuasion in Italian) with real world experience (he travels the world selling wine). This month’s post is excellent because I can attest to the need for preparation in sales, or any endeavor in life, if you want to succeed. Read Marco’s words of wisdom and enjoy!
Brian Ahearn, CMCT® 
Chief Influence Officer


Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.

The Importance of Preparation Before the Sale
A professional athlete would never dream of
starting a major competition without any warm-up. This would increase the risk
of getting injured and, in the best scenario, drastically reduce the
possibility of delivering a great performance. Similarly, a professional
salesperson should never approach an important sales call, without the proper
What you do in the 10-15 minutes prior to a
face-to-face or telephone conversation with a potential customer may determine
the outcome of your presentation. It is therefore surprising how most
salespeople completely ignore this principle and too often enter a meeting with
a client having no strategic preparation of any kind. Far too many people just
listen to the car radio on the way to the appointment filling their brain with
commercials, low quality music and what I like to call “chewing gum for the
Let us instead summarize, in three points,
what a professional salesperson should do in the minutes leading up to a sales
The first – and Golden Rule – when we are in
front of a customer is not to ask any question where the answer can be easily
found somewhere else. For example, if I ask my customer information about his
company, which I could have found on his company’s website, I am just showing
him I didn’t care to do my homework before the meeting. This is a very bad
start for any salesperson. If, on the other hand, I say to the customer, “I
understand your company has manufacturing facilities in three countries, sells
about 80% of its production outside the U.S. and is one of the top three players
in the market,” I’m showing my potential customer I’m a professional, serious
and committed person who cared enough to learn as much as possible about his business.
In addition to showing concern it also prevents wasting the prospect’s time.
This is a very good start, which builds trust and opens the door to the
possibility of starting a partnership.
In the minutes immediately prior to the
meeting, it is also a good rule to briefly review your marketing material
(presentations, any samples to show, etc.) to make sure everything is in order.
Mentally summarize the objectives of the meeting, recall any previous contact
with the customer and how you initially met. This is necessary in case you need
to refer to past details and it gives you a clear, ideal picture of how you
wish your perfect meeting would unfold.
Shortly before the meeting put yourself in an upbeat
mood and be sure to establish a positive winning attitude. Picture in your mind’s
eye the best possible scenario, in which everything goes as planned, and the
sale ends in the best possible way, with great benefit to all parties involved.
This positive attitude will be perceived by the customer, who will understand
he is dealing with a sales professional, who is prepared, confident and ready
to help him make the decisions that are in his best interests.
These three simple steps, if carried out
diligently before a sales appointment, can greatly influence the final result.
Often I hear salespeople complain about how hard it is to “bring home” a sale,
or how customers are difficult and never seem ready to make a buying decision.
If they do not do the preparation I’ve described, or preparation of any kind, then
they’re the ones to blame, not the customers! Preparation is 80% of success;
let us never forget about it!

Influencers from Around the World – You Think You Don’t Have Authority? You’re Wrong!

Our “Influencers from Around the World” post
this month is courtesy of Hoh Kim. Hoh has been guest writing for so long I’m
hard pressed to tell you something that hasn’t been said before so I’ll tell
you this – I am very thankful I met him in January 2008 when we trained
together under Robert Cialdini. Hoh and I have remained friends ever since and
I’ve enjoyed our communication and getting to know each other even more. I
encourage you to visit his website, The Lab h, and his blog, Cool
. You’ll also find Hoh on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Brian Ahearn, CMCT® 
Chief Influence Officer
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.

You Think You Don’t Have Authority? You’re Wrong?
Do you ever find yourself thinking you don’t
have any authority because you’re not the boss, a C-suite executive, a celebrity
or something else like that? I’m here to tell you that you do have some
1. Let me ask you this question first. Do you
have experiences? Of course you have experiences. If you have experiences then
you must have some expertise. Seth Godin, one of the world’s most respected
marketing experts said, “Everyone’s an expert (at something).”
So ask yourself, in what area do you have
better, deeper and more experience? One good way to find your expertise is to
write an “experience resume.” A typical resume will show you where you worked,
which school you attended and what jobs you’ve held. An experience resume lists
experiences, maybe up to fifty, you’ve had during your lifetime. It could contain
trips, work, cooking, art, baby-sitting, reading, etc. You will find your
expertise from the list by looking for patterns in the experiences or through
connecting the dots among experiences.
Here is a personal example; I like to teach
and I like communication consulting in business as opposed to working as a full
time teacher in a school or university. By combining those two I became a business
coach. Also, I enjoy workshop facilitation and I like LEGOs so I learned LEGO
Serious Play, a method of using LEGOs for business strategy development. Now
LEGOs are one of the major teaching methods I use during my workshops.
2. Once you identify your expertise you need
to consider what evidence or symbols give other people proof of your expertise.
Without having some evidence your expertise will not be perceived as such by
your customers.
Questions to be asked include: a) What
advanced education or certification have you earned in your area of expertise? b) What awards or recognition have you earned? c) Have you written articles,
books or contributed to other publications in your area of expertise?
Don’t worry if you do not have enough evidence
to support your authority yet. That means it should be part of your plan to
obtain that evidence moving forward. Someone might say, “I don’t need evidence!”
Perhaps. After all, neither Steve Jobs nor Bill Gates graduated from college. However,
most of us are not Steve Jobs or Bill Gates! They now have tremendous evidence based
on their amazing business results and great product innovations. That is the
evidence to support the fact that each is a respected authority. Each of us has
to have some evidence if we want to be recognized as experts in certain areas.
3. Lastly, to build your authority you need to
have E3 = Experiences, Expertise and Evidences. If you’re a manager
here is one more very important tip. One of the key roles for managers is to
help build their team member’s authority. Ask the above questions to your
members and help them to identify their personal authority. If they need more
evidence to support their authority you can come up with a plan to help them,
including training or a project assignment. If you’re good at this you will be
a successful manager.
Here’s the bottom line – Authority is waiting
for you to use! It just needs to be discovered then developed.
Today’s column is based on my recent webinar “The
Cialdini’s Influence Series for Managers.” In that webinar I talked about the
principle of authority and while preparing I received help from two people with
many experiences – Bobette Gorden of Influence At Work and Brian Ahearn.
Hoh Kim, CMCT® 
Founder, Head Coach & Lead Facilitator,

Influencers from Around the World – Alex Ferguson’s Persuasion Secrets of Managing Manchester United

If you’ve followed Influence PEOPLE for any length of time then you’re familiar with Sean Patrick. You know Sean hails from Dublin, Ireland but what you may not realize is he’s moved to London. You can connect with Sean on LinkedIn or Twitter. Sean owns his own sales training and coaching company SPT (Sean Patrick Training), Ltd. I’m confident you’ll enjoy what Sean has to share this month.
Brian Ahearn, CMCT®
Chief Influence Officer
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.
Ferguson: Persuasion Secrets of 
Managing Manchester United

In May 2013, Sir Alex Ferguson or SAF as he’s
otherwise known as, stepped down as manager of Manchester United.  He had just won his 13th Premiership title,
the most successful and highly decorated manager in English football.  This ended his 26th season in charge of one
of the biggest sporting franchises in the world.

During his time at Old Trafford he won 38
titles including two UEFA champions league trophies. Ferguson took control of
the club at a time when player status was more important than winning titles,
over the course of four seasons and under severe pressure to deliver, he
transformed the club from the inside out.
He employed countless talent scouts to find the best youth players at
grassroots level and developed an academy that produced one of the most
successful teams in English football history.
Every season a major development was installed inside the club that
cemented United’s ability to find and retain the best playing staff.  Ferguson was well known for having his finger
on the pulse in every area of the club.
Only Matt Busby, a legendary former United manager had any such
influence across the entire club.
So how did he do it?  Ferguson was well known for his ability to
psychologically influence the players around him and rival managers.  Ferguson believed that the key to success was
to make sure that every player put in 100% during training.  He never allowed a bad training session as
this proved a player would find mediocrity acceptable, he knew bad habits form
quickly.  He ensured that every player
who under-performed at half time became aware of their poor performances thus
the legendary motivational skills reared itself in the dressing room.
Former rival manager Jose Mourinho claimed
Ferguson was the master of the ‘second game’, sing the media to motivate his
team and to begin, as he put it, ‘to play the next game before it starts’.
The club and everyone around him knew he was
the authority figure.  If a player tried
to take over the dressing room or put in a poor performance he was either
swiftly removed from the club or was given a severe face-to-face screaming
which had become known as the hairdryer treatment.  His authority was without question embedded
into the organization. Over the course of his 26 season reign he made difficult
choices and this came in the form of releasing established world class players
such as Roy Keane, Jaap Stam and David Beckham to make room for untested
younger players such as Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo who became medal
winners at United.
There was another side to Ferguson, he was
liked and respected.  He was treated
respectfully by senior management and back-room support staff and reciprocated
respect by demonstrating fairness and his ability to empathize.  These skills were tested during the season of
1995-96 when maverick player Eric Cantona attacked an opposition supporter
Kung-Fu style and consequently given a heavy suspension lasting several
months.  Over the course of this period,
Ferguson mentally coached Cantona, firstly to retain his services and secondly
to mentally motivate and prepare the player for his return.  Subsequently, Cantona blossomed to become a
model player and became club captain helping United secure more silverware.
This method of psychologically preparing and
motivating players culminated in United’s first UEFA Champions league title in
1999.  They faced a tough fixture against
Germany’s Bayern Munich.  At half-time
United were trailing, he reminded his players that if they lost the match they
would not as much be allowed to touch the trophy, just amble past at a safe
distance wearing their losers medal.  One
of the players later recalled that Ferguson’s inspirational speech turned
fearful men into world-beaters.  During
that same season, United became the first side from a major league to win the
treble of Champions league, English Premier league and League cup in a single
Ferguson understood the importance being
consistent. One of his key skills in improving the preparedness of his players
was his use of story telling and being to talk to each player
individually.  He liked to change the
themes of his team talks with regularity.
“I once heard a coach start with ‘this must be the 1000th team talk I’ve
had with you’ and saw a player quickly respond with ‘and I’ve slept through
half of them!’  If a player was to sit
out a game, he gave a personal and very frank conversation that conveyed
empathy and instilled confidence in the player.
Ferguson emphasized on the use of instilling
confidence on the training pitch.  “There
is no room for criticism on the training field’.  ‘There is nothing better than hearing ‘well-done.”
Cialdini “Influence”
 Would you like to learn more about
influence from the experts? Check out the Cialdini “Influence” Series featuring Cialdini
Method Certified Trainers from around the world.


Influencers from Around the World – Hardwired Humans

This month our
Influencers from Around the World guest post comes from Anthony McLean,
Australia’s one and only Cialdini Method
Certified Trainer (CMCT®). We owe Anthony special
thanks for taking time to share with us because his busy schedule last month included
a trip to the States to meet with Dr. Cialdini. I know you’ll enjoy what
Anthony has to share.
Brian Ahearn, CMCT® 
Chief Influence Officer
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.
Hardwired Humans
Why would
a Global Healthcare company like Philips undertake a change management program in
a zoo? The answer is they were following research revealed in Andrew O’Keefe’s book
Hardwired Humans.
Australia/New Zealand, Philips had undergone four change programs in as many
years preceding the unexpected global change program announced in 2009. Managing
director Harry van Dyk and HR director Jo Hilyard admitted the company was
suffering from “change fatigue” and a vastly different approach was required to
that used previously.
happened next was a little unexpected for many. Philips took 30 of its leaders
to Taronga Zoo in Sydney for a workshop that introduced them to the role basic
human instincts play in the workplace. The workshop looked at nine hardwired
instincts of humans and the leadership implications including the management of
change. In one part of the program the leaders were addressed by The Jane Goodall Institute and its chimpanzee program to demonstrate the social and
hierarchical structure off chimpanzees and the implications this has for modern
business. Unexpectedly for the participants they discovered the comparisons
between chimp and human social structures were numerous and provided a whole
new perspective on resolving workplace challenges.
One of
the key insights was that the conventional wisdom that claims people resist
change is wrong. We learned that humans, rather than being resistant to change,
are actually hardwired to avoid loss. Upon hearing about a change people
instantly screen their environment for the risk of loss. If we detect loss, we
resist the change. If we detect gain, we support the change. If we are unsure
about the impact of the change (and this is the big swinger), then we assume
loss. This means that for organizational change we often have people
unnecessarily erring toward loss and resistance, merely because people were
unable to make sense of the impact of the change for them at the moment they
first learned of it. (HR Monthly,
March 2011, p30)
The Persuasion Implications
The implications
for persuaders are clear. Through scarcity, we know that loss framing
is more persuasive than focusing on the benefits of a thing. The final part of
the above quote is very important because it highlights that under conditions in
which the risk cannot be assessed the subject will assume loss if they have no
other means to assess the risk.
You may
say great, scarcity is at play without you having to do anything to get people
to take action. In reality the targets of influence, under this assumed loss,
will employ coping mechanisms and strategies to protect themselves from that
loss rather than take healthy proactive workplace behaviours.
For example,
in a change management project if the targets of influence assume loss because
they have no other basis to assess the risk, they will then react against the
project, at times for no other reason than they associate loss (i.e., of
position, status, pay, etc.) with the project itself.
who has managed a change project will tell you the reluctance at times seems
unnecessary and ill informed; now you understand that it is a hardwired
response to the subjects’ inability to assess risk, so they assume loss and
react accordingly.
Steps to Counter Perceived Loss
If we
know that people scan for loss in any situation before moving forward, it makes
sense to manage this situation and brief the relevant staff fully on managing
the default towards loss and reacting against the situation unnecessarily. By
providing this briefing it is more likely to trigger reciprocity because you as the
change agent have given them the information they require to assess the risk
for themselves. Potentially it may even increase liking if you are then
required to work together and you have already opened up the channel for
cooperation. The warning however is, that left unattended to the development of
a loss aversion mindset, this reaction may cause the audience to take a stand
and trigger consistency, towards the negative
and this could be all the momentum that is required to drive consensus in the wrong direction.
So ask
yourself these questions: 
1. What risk is involved in your project, service or request? 
2. Is it real or perceived?
If the targets
of influence are unable to assess the personal risk of loss for themselves
(i.e., the risk is not clear or able to be easily understood), they will most
likely assume loss and react against you and your project, service or request.
Brief the
targets of influence appropriately so they can adequately assess the
risk from an informed position and give yourself every chance of success
rather than having to start the influence process on the back foot. It may also
be prudent to lobby support from others who already understand the project and
during the briefing ask them to discuss the implications for their business area
and support for the change. This simple step uses consensus to show others are
already moving in the direction of the project not away from it and as we know
when we are unsure of what we should do we look to the behaviour of others like
us to guide our decisions.

Anthony McLean, CMCT® 

From A to
Zoo, HR Monthly March 2011 p28-30
A (2011) Hardwired Humans Roundtable

The Cialdini “Influence” Series is Coming Soon!

Are you interested in learning more about the
science of influence directly from the experts? You’re in luck! Beginning
February 13, a seven-part online series begins where you’ll hear from individuals
who’ve been personally trained by Robert
Cialdini, Ph.D
Dr. Cialdini is recognized as the world’s
leading expert on influence and persuasion. His book Influence Science and Practice is on its fifth edition, has sold
more the two million copies, and has been translated into 26 languages. If that
isn’t enough, Influence was also
named “the top sales and marketing” book in The
100 Best Business Books of All Time
There are only 20 Cialdini Method Certified
Trainers® in the world today and you’ll get to hear from seven of them for 30 minutes each in this online series. Here’s your schedule of trainers and topics:

Anthony McLean, a guest blogger for Influence PEOPLE, will cover The Foundation
– What Is The “Influence Difference” And How To Prepare For Persuasion.
March 6 – Dan Norris, the
trainer who led me through my first workshop, will discuss The Principle Of
Reciprocity – How We Can Use This Most Effectively.
March 27 – Brian Ahearn. I
will introduce you to The Principle Of Scarcity – The Hidden Aspects That Can
Help…Or Hurt Our Messages.
April 17 – Hoh Kim, also a
guest blogger for Influence PEOPLE, will talk about The Principle Of Authority
– How To Use It When You Might Not Think You Can.
May 8 – Steve Martin,
co-author of Yes 50 Scientifically Proven
Ways to be Persuasive
, will share thoughts on The Principle Of Consistency
– It’s Right In Front Of You…If You Know How To Use It.
May 29 – Debbie Hixson will
talk about The Principle Of Liking – Helping A Decision-Maker To Like You…It’s
Just Half Of The Equation.
June 29 – Matt Barney
concludes the series with The Principle of Consensus – People Proof…Using The
Power of Many.

There’s no better place to learn about the
psychology of persuasion than from the influence experts. I know many of the
trainers and can say with certainty; you’ll learn a lot about the influence
process and leave with ideas you can implement immediately. Interested? Sign up today!
Brian Ahearn, CMCT® 
Chief Influence Officer

Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.

A Good Way to Spend a day in November


This month’s guest post comes from South Korea’s
Hoh Kim. I met Hoh in early 2008 when we went through the Cialdini Method
Certified Trainer® training week together. In addition to his CMCT® Hoh
also has his masters in communication from Marquette University. Find out more
about Hoh by visiting his website, TheLab h, and his blog, Cool Communications.
I encourage you to reach out to him on LinkedIn, Facebook
and Twitter.
Brian Ahearn, CMCT®
Chief Influence Officer
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.
A good way to spend a day in November
In December 2012, the Harvard Business Review published an interesting article titled “Your
Company’s History as a Leadership Tool,” by John T. Seaman Jr. and George David
Smith. In the article, there was a story about how Kraft Foods successfully
managed “fierce resistance to the acquisition” from Cadbury’s, a British
Many employees of Cadbury worried about the
loss of their long and valuable tradition. First of all, Kraft Foods respected
the tradition of Cadbury, and started to look for what they had in common. Their
research uncovered “similarities” in both companies in terms of their quality
tradition, founding spirit of giving back to the communities, brand history,
etc. They kept promoting the similarities via a new intranet they called “Coming
Together.” They also used training sessions, speeches, press releases, and so
on, and it proved quite effective in reducing the fear from Cadbury employees.
Earlier this year, I attended a presentation
workshop in San Francisco. There was a slide indicating the 12 most persuasive
words in the English language. 11 persuasive words from the number two through 12 were: Money, Save, New, Results, Health, Easy, Safety, Love, Discover, Proven,
and Guarantee. What would be the number one? It was YOU.
The word YOU as the most persuasive word gives
us pretty good insight and the Kraft Food case shows the lesson in action. Kraft
first respected the Cadbury’s tradition (YOU), and started to find what the two
companies had in common which allowed them to start to building trust based on
similarities – the principle of liking.
If Kraft Foods simply focused on its agenda
without thinking much about Cadbury’s tradition and concerns, the results surely
would have been different. Stewart Diamond, author of Getting More, and a negotiation expert from the Wharton School of Business
at the University of Pennsylvania, says the other party at the negotiation
table is the most important party, then
comes you or me.
Another way to describe the importance of the
other person comes from one of my favorite quotes from John C. Maxwell, “People
don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Let me change
this quote a bit to a persuasion context – “People will not be influenced by
you until they know how much you care about them.”
One of my friends who just joined a new firm asked
me how he can increase his influential power within the company for years to
come. As a Cialdini Method Certified Trainer®, my answer was simple – “Do not focus on you.
Focus on others. The best way you can increase your long-term influence is to
help others whenever it is possible and as much as possible. When someone asks
you to help, that’s an opportunity to increase your influential power. Help
them. They will reciprocate sooner or later.”
As we approach year-end, here’s a way you can
apply the lesson during November. Fix a day in November when you don’t have any
appointments. Here’s what you need: 1) your calendar, whether it is a Google
calendar or your diary, showing your schedule in 2013; 2) 20-30 thank you cards
or nice blank paper; 3) your contact list. Review your schedule from January through
October 2013 and list the top 20-30 people you want to thank. Write a brief,
authentic letter to each and try to include a short story that shows why you’re
truly thankful for each person. Show them that you sincerely care about them.
That will make them feel nice and warm and they will again support and help you
whenever they can moving forward.
Of course, what’s more important is this:
Every day or every week, even for five minutes, whenever you find someone you
can truly help, approach them and help them. You might not get back the direct
benefit of reciprocity, but, some of them will help others as they received
help from you. That will make a world better place to live. Click here to watch a short
video that exemplifies this.
Hoh Kim
Founder, Head Coach & Lead Facilitator,
Address: THE LAB h, 15F. Kyobo Bldg. Jongno 1,
Seoul 110-714, Korea
Phone: 82-2-2010-8828


Influencers from Around the World – Child-Like Influence

It’s always a treat to hear from Australia’s only Cialdini Method Certified Trainer® Anthony McLean. Anthony is the founder of the Social Influence Consulting Group. I follow him on several social media sites (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) and can tell you he’s doing outstanding work! If you’re a parent you’ll really appreciate this week’s post.
Brian Ahearn, CMCT® 
Chief Influence Officer
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.
Child-Like Influence
Have you ever watched a child walk into a new environment such as a park, a playground or even a new school and wondered at how quickly they are able to integrate into the group and make new friends? I have three children and have noticed that my youngest, Ryan, never has a problem making new friends. No matter where we go, he always ends up talking to or playing with someone new. My eldest, Samara, possessed this skill when she was younger but now as a pre-teen it doesn’t come that easily to her anymore. Why?
The thing that Ryan does that Samara has stopped doing is always being willing to make the first move (reciprocity). He will walk up to a child on a swing and say hello. If someone is playing on a climbing gym he will go and join in and mimic the climbing style until he can master the apparatus for himself. As an ever more self-aware pre-teen, Samara is less likely to take the first step to talk to someone new. Instead she will look around for those she already knows and in a new environment that is not always possible.  So she sits back and waits.
It is with this simple observation that I started to reflect on persuasion and why some people are successful at it while others find it harder. Now I’m not suggesting there is just one factor involved, but a fundamental tenant for success is that great persuaders are nearly always willing to go first.
Just like Ryan, they will take the first step to say hello to someone and not wait for someone to say hello to them. They will offer their services and invest in others, often without being asked, thereby commencing a relationship where none existed before. They will uncover the things they have in common with others and use this common ground to forge a new relationship.
As a child, I moved to different schools several times, once in primary and once in secondary school. Both times in a sea of unknown faces I knew I needed a friend, and that they must be out there. Without exception I look back on the friends I have made in life and realize that those I approached were often the most like me (liking). They played the same games I did. They were my age. But it still took someone to take the first step. Sometimes it was me, sometimes it was them. Either way I am glad one of us made the effort.
So the implication for you is, regardless of where you are in the world, if you want to influence someone, take a leaf out of the book of a small child. Put your fear aside and make the first move.  If someone is walking toward you in hallway, if you look down and say nothing chances are they will do the same. But if in that same hallway with that same person you look up and say “Hi!,” chances are they will immediately smile and say hi back…but you have to go first!
Look around and find those who are most like you and start there. Uncover the things you have in common and start a conversation, you never know where it might lead.
Of course you don’t have to do this, but as I am now finding out with my daughter, if you don’t, it will quite possibly lead to comments like, “Nobody wants to talk to me,” or “Nobody wants to hang out with me.” As I am now gently pointing out to her, if you don’t make the first move chances are nothing will change. So stop complaining, get off the chair and do something about it. While this is often met with rolling eyes or protests of complaint, she is always happier at the end of it. 
Through this blog, Brian has brought you many great tools, concepts, ideas and research to help you influence others. The key to it all, though, is you must be willing to give it a try! 
Good luck and I will look out for you next time I am in the sandpit of life!

Influencers from Around the World – How to Ask for a Pay Raise

This week you’ll learn how to persuasively ask
for a pay raise. The advice comes to us to from Italy’s Marco Germani. Marco
has written guest posts regularly for Influence PEOPLE since I started this
series nearly four years ago. I know you’ll enjoy his perspective on influence.
To learn more about Marco, connect with him on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. 
Brian Ahearn, CMCT® 
Chief Influence Officer
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.

How to Ask for a Pay
recently read an article on the labor market in the U.S stating; according to a
study, about 95% of employees never ask their company for a rise, during their
entire professional career. One of the obvious considerations of this finding
is that the remaining 5% of employees earn on average much higher figures than
others! “Ask and you shall receive,” says a well-known passage from the Bible,
but in the field of labor, people often don’t ask because often they don’t know
HOW and WHEN to ask. Lacking adequate preparation, they fear a refusal could at
least complicate, if not compromise seriously, their future stay with the
follows summarizes the advice of many experts in personal development,
including Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar, and Jay Abraham. In my opinion it’s the most
relevant information related to the request for a salary increase.
Who can apply
In the
current economic situation, those who have a more or less stable job in a
company consider themselves already lucky and often see no reason why they
should take the risk of asking their supervisors for a pay rise. This mentality
is unfortunately very common today among employees, who prefer to complain
about the boss, colleagues or their job at the coffee machine rather than
focusing on how they can create more value for the company through a greater
commitment in what they are doing. These people obviously have an attitude and
probably a performance that doesn’t justify a request for an increase.
On the
other hand, those who are constantly focused on performing effectively and
efficiently the tasks they’ve been assigned — those who constantly look for
more responsibilities and are willing to learn new things — should periodically
assess whether the wage they’re currently paid is in line with their true
market value. If not, they should decide to ask for a pay raise. Many people
live in hope that their supervisors, seeing their hard work and great results, will
decide to increase their compensation in the right time. This seldom happens
and asking for a pay raise can be a very appropriate action.
When to ask
timing, in the request for a salary increase is crucial and can determine in
large part the success of the operation. The best strategy is undoubtedly to
make an appointment with your superior (it’s important that you speak directly
with the person who can make this decision, when possible) and simply tell him
you want to make a point of the overall situation on your work, without going
into too much detail. A half hour should be sufficient. When hearing this
uncommon request, your supervisor, especially if you are a “top performer” in
your company (if you’re not it may not be appropriate to take this appointment
in the first place), would probably worry about the fact that you might want to
resign, which will give you some negotiating power in the first place.
The preparation of the meeting
is everything and especially if, as in this case, most likely your manager will
not invest the time to prepare, can give you a big advantage in the
negotiation. In your case, preparation consists in collecting as much objective
data as possible, relating to the results that you have produced for your
company during the past 12 months or since your last salary increase. Ideally,
you should sum up the most important points in a short document in Word or
PowerPoint where, highlighting the concrete results that you generated with
your work.
second field on which you must prepare are the average salaries offered by the
market for positions similar to the one your cover. The important thing is to
provide objective information, citing sources (just search on the internet and
there are many sites that offer this type of information).
The meeting
It’s important
to enter the meeting with a relaxed and confident attitude: you are well
prepared and you are carrying a high value for your company, then you’re in a
position of power. Many find it difficult to ask and this makes them nervous
but this should not be your case! Start saying you want to make a point of the
situation regarding your work and that you’ve prepared a document that
summarizes your results.
discuss it with your boss and ask him what, in his or her opinion you could or
should do better. Now, since your boss 
probably will not be prepared, unless there is something serious and
obvious, it is likely he will be unable to say anything particularly
significant, which does nothing but increase your negotiating power in view of
the request.
You may
proceed citing an authoritative source (website, a head hunter, etc.) about the
average level of salary for your position that is higher than what you’re receiving
and finally make your request, precise, clear, expressed in percentage of your
gross annual wage. “I think it would be appropriate to revise my salary
increasing it by 15% because…” At this point it is essential to remain silent
and wait for the reaction of the boss, which will be positive or negative.
The follow-up
In case
of positive response it’s important you define the terms and exact timing with
which the increase will be allocated. Starting from which paycheck? Will there be
an official announcement? Over what time period? If your boss tells you she
feels your compensation should be increased but, for X reasons, she cannot
change your salary at the moment, then work together to find a formula that
leads to the same result: a prize, bonus, etc. The important thing is there is
something of substance.
If your
boss tells you that he does not consider it appropriate that you receive a
salary increase, ask for detailed reasons, trying to get him to focus on your
performance. Very often motivation is given along these lines, “Your colleague
Tom earns the same salary and increasing your salary could cause a problem.” Of
course an explanation like this makes no sense at all and has nothing to do
with your performance. However, if your boss is really insistent about not giving
you the salary increase right there, sk the following question, “What needs to
happen to allow me an increase of 15%?” At this point your boss is forced to
define an objective condition, the achievement of which, automatically gets the
You just
have to try. Remember, if you don’t ask you won’t get anything. However, even a
“No” might just be a “Not yet.” If you think you are not in the position to
ask, get more engaged in your work and focused on producing greater results,
until you are in the position to ask for a pay rise.

** To vote for Robert Cialdini, President of Influence At Work, for the Top Management Thinker of 2013 click here


Influencers from Around the World – The Crazy Effect

This month’s Influencers from Around the World post
comes from Yago De Marta. Yago has been a
guest blogger at Influence PEOPLE since I started this series. Originally from
Spain, Yago now spends most of his time in Latin America working with clients
to help them speak more fluently and persuasively. To learn more about Yago
visit or connect with
him on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

Brian Ahearn, CMCT® 
Chief Influence Officer
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.

The Crazy Effect
weeks ago I met 50 of the most talented young boys and girls in Latin America.
They have accomplished their objective – to get the best qualifications of
their country. And now, they are called to be the next leaders of their
continent. There I was, I had to give a speech about what I would do if I were
them, how I would strive to capture an audience’s attention.
I told
them, “Speak easy.”
I told
them what happened to me five years ago, when I realized of the meaning of “the
crazy effect.”
I was in
Bolivia because I was working for the presidential campaign when I heard the
singer Julio Iglesias was in that country and his next concert would be in the
same city where I was staying. I felt very excited because Julio is the
greatest Spanish singer, and with more than 350 million CDs sold, he is one of
the best-selling artists in the world.
When I
arrived at the concert the stadium was full of people! I could feel how eager the
crowd was as they waited for Julio Iglesias to sing his songs. He started the
concert singing the sound track of our lives. These were songs people had song
in their minds thousand of times before. The audience became excited, then
happy. They were listening to songs that they loved and they felt as if they were
But, here
comes “the crazy effect!” Julio started singing songs he first sang in the 1990s.
Those songs are in English so most people couldn´t understand the lyrics. Worst
of all, those songs were not hits in Latin America.
As he
sang “Caruso,” and “To all the girls I’ve love before,” people stopped singing,
and some started to whistle (the equivalent of booing in America). Then he sang
One of
the greatest artists in the world was “losing” the audience and I realized how
many times I’ve seen the same effect with businessmen. People forget that a speech
(or a concert) is not yours; the audience owns the speech.
You can’t
say whatever you want. What you say must be:
  • Important,
  • Interesting,
    and most of all,
  • Relevant

 If you
speak about things that only your care about and don’t make it relevant for the
audience somehow, some way, you’re dead!
So when I
finished to give my speech on “The Crazy Effect” to these young, super talented
girls and boys, two guys stood up and told me they wouldn’t dumb down their speaking
just to be understood by more people. They were not meant to give people “what
they needed” because that’s what they call “populism.” In other words, their
speeches would not be about the audience, they would be about them (the
Well, oftentimes
people don’t know really what they want, they only think they do. However,
reality is people need to live a moment that’s worth something to them. So they
need things that are interesting, important, beautiful or thrilling…to them. In
other words, they need to feel that the speech is “about them.”
You can
talk about whatever you want but you have to be understandable, credible and
memorable. Whatever you are talking about you have to make sure it touches the
people because it has to be about them.