Guest Blogger

In the overcrowded marketplace customers certainly have the power, an unsatisfied customer can easily go elsewhere. The sheer number of competitors in the majority of industries is a challenge facing many professionals today. People who are empowered to influence and communicate effectively are highly sought-after because they help companies more forward together and are able to share their expertise with the organisation. Influencing is no longer an optional ‘soft skill,’ 2018 is the time to prioritise your ability to influence stakeholders, especially consumers! Presentation coach and author of Unlock Your Business Voice – How to Speak As Well As You Think (£12.99, Rethink Press), Simon de Cintra unveils his top four industry tips to effectively influence consumers which will help any introvert be heard in the land of the extrovert!

As we are in a “Knowledge Economy,” often our knowledge is the only part of our success in a time when our skills to engage, build trust and communicate effectively will determine whether consumers truly listen and are influenced by us! I cannot name a single profession, job or role in a society that does not require us all to have the confidence and skills to he heard. Each of us has an opportunity to be “the best version of ourselves” but this is unlikely to be achieved without first acknowledging your strengths, weaknesses and ultimate goals.

  1.  Don’t Try Too Hard

At the risk of being controversial, I’m suggesting that the ability to persuade others is overrated in today’s world of work. This might contradict everything you’ve been told. My point has nothing to do with the legitimacy of being able to persuade, yet has plenty to with not making that your sole arim or preoccupation. If everything else you’re doing is right and your product or service is robust, then you stand a pretty good chance of convincing consumers, without even noticing you’re trying.

I often demonstrate this idea by asking a group I’m working with for a show of hands in agreement if they enjoy buying things, and usually the majority of hands go up. I then ask whoever has raised their arm to keep it there if they enjoy being sold to. Now most of the hands are lowered, because the gratification associated with making our own mind up to buy something is entirely different to the resistance we subconsciously generate when somebody tries to sell us something.

The same is true for influencing and convincing. Most consumers are open to being influence, provided the final decision is theirs and not reliant on us being convinced by others, particularly if there is even the slightest hint of manipulation.

  1. 5 Key Points To Remember!
  • Concentrate on knowing what’s useful for consumers to get from you
  • Make it your job to be easy to listen to
  • Be present with them as they react to what you’re telling them
  • Match communication styles to create rapport with customers
  • Be Authentic

It is important to remember you will not get very far by telling customers that they have made the wrong decision! To be able to influence it i all about choosing your mindset and therefore your role in any piece of communication that you deliver. This will, and indeed should, vary depending on the situation, but absolutely not according to the personalities involved.

  1. Learn Through Observation

Most of the time, we imitate the behaviours we observe that are useful and help us to communicate in the way we want to. However, on some occasions we probably ‘catch’ not so helpful behaviours from others. Observe your target market and make your observation an active step in learning how to influence your consumers. Record anything that you think may be useful in the future. The trick is to do it little and often, disciplining yourself to not overthink what you are recording. Voice memo apps on smartphones can be very helpful so you can stream your observations and thoughts at any time without much effort.

Great intentions without a plan remain just that, start recording useful and effective moments of communication, whenever and whomever you see them and then set about a strategy to apply these effective tactics and findings to your communication style in order to confidently influence your consumers. Develop a way of working that’s practical to your work and lifestyle. You can achieve even better results for your organisation if you share the process and your findings with colleagues

  1. Prioritise The Customer

Utilise your communication style to make each individual customer feel special and valued by your organisation. This will increase customer loyalty, repeat purchases and most importantly sales. Be assertive and tune into the customer’s exact wants, it is important to have a welcoming persona, reassure when necessary and thank the consumer at the end of the transaction. Think of communication as a Recipe of Ingredients:

  • Begin with the Main Ingredients – what will be your intentions driving the facts?
  • When and how will it be appropriate to spice things up a bit?
  • What taste do you want to leave the customer with?

Dare to be different, be brave have opinions and deliver them with credibility. Take control of intentions when you communicate, particularly during conversations with important customers. Start by thinking about your Recipe of Intention, balancing the main ingredients with sugar and spices. It’s all too easy for consumers to zone out from sales pitches that are too “stodgy” with information. Really consider how you want to affect your audience and build your content around that. To influence, unlock the power of intention and build your content to match the recipe.


About the Author | Simon de Cintra

Simon de Cintra has over 25 years experience in business and provides coaching and mentoring for people who are looking to gain confidence with their public speaking skills or want to learn how to lead and influence others.

In 2006 Simon founded MyFirstTrainers® and has delivered workshops at leading business schools and internationally for major blue chip companies. Simon specialises in personal impact, influencing and persuading stakeholders and public speaking skills for introverts working in complex and highly technical environments.

His varied career inspired him to seek the formula behind authentic communication revealed in his new book Unlock Your Business Voice – How to Speak As Well As You Think (£12.99, Rethink Press). On-sale now from Amazon at £12.99.

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