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by Peter Beard 04 Jan, 2018

Next time you are with a prospect, ask them what they really want to accomplish in 2018 and when they have told you ask them what they need to achieve it. Take time to listen to them, really listen to them, and take notes; capture their wants and needs as they express them in their very own words.

When they have finished telling, rephrase what they have told you as a question, but ensure you use as many of their words, idioms and figures of speech as you can.

I can guarantee that the probability of them saying ‘yes’ has an almost linear relationship to the proportion of their words that you use in your question. So if 50% of the wording of your question matches their words then there is a 50% chance they will answer ‘yes’. More excitingly if 95% of the words in your question match theirs then there is a 95% chance they will say ‘yes’.

But what if they haven’t expressed a need for anything you supply? In this instance look on the bright side, you know you need to move on, and not waste any more of your or your prospects time. They will respect you for this, maybe give you a referral and book another appointment later in the year.

But if they say yes you are onto a winner. Select out of their wants and needs that part you can fulfil and ask them again if this is what they need, using their exact phraseology. If your words match theirs you are going to get another ‘yes’. At this stage things are beginning to look good, really good, and if you seize the moment and ask them whether they would like you to give them a quote, once again the odds are in your favour that they will say ‘yes’.

Now if you have been clever while listening to them earlier and had asked them about budgets and delivery times and other critical matters, you will have all the information you need, and their words that you need, to express your quote. Once again the chances of a ‘yes’ will corelate to proportion of their words that you use.

Of course getting the order is never quite as simple as this, but then you need to ask why the prospect wouldn’t give you the order to supply something that exactly matches what they need, when they need it, at the price they want to pay. That reason will undoubtedly will be that you haven’t built up the required level of confidence and trust with the prospect. In other words, they might like what you say but it is too good to be true and not worth their risk.

If you don’t feel you enjoy a sufficient level of confidence and trust, then you need to slow down and start building that trust. This is not difficult, but it can take time.

Meanwhile practice listening to people and mirroring their language back to them. Watch the effect it has on them. This technique has been used throughout the centuries to produce the agreement of others. Its effectiveness has been recorded and frequently researched. A study by a professor Rick van Baaren showed that when waiters repeated back a customer’s order verbatim their tip increased by 70%. That should convince you.

The next Influence and Persuasion masterclass is being held in Stockport on Thursday 22nd February 2018. 

by Peter Beard 14 Nov, 2017

I suspect it is almost impossible to endure any sort of career and not be engaged with a team that goes feral. When white knights on their quest for the holy grail become the four horsemen of the apocalypse, destroying all before them, as they stagger, oblivious to their fate, through the bloody quagmire of internecine strife towards their doom.

The first signs of a problem are only apparent within the team, and are often ignored. There is a desire to ascribe them to external causes, causes that would in time resolve, allowing the issues to disappear. But with each issue the team gradually changes, and begins to polarise between the apparently enthusiastic and the apparently disinterested. Meanwhile some members start to feel marginalised and become suspicious, while the enthusiastic remainder begin to see themselves as the heroic martyrs. It is a downward spiral.

It was during one such downward spiral that I decided to improve my ‘soft’ personal skills and I signed up for an NLP practitioners course. The truth hit hard. It made me realise that my previously-cherished interpersonal skills were more part of the problem than the solution, and that frequently my interventions were more likely to incite and ferment discontent than smooth the waters with soothing oil.

I was not alone however. My worse trait I shared with everyone in the team, and together with them I was oblivious about what was happening, self-bestowing absolution with my ignorance. Our team destroying crime was in making assumptions, often quite critical, about the values, motivation and commitment of other team members, without trying to first ascertain them by talking to them, and listening and understanding what they had to say.

The happiness, motivation and cohesion of the team had become hostage to our gut reaction to judge a person superficially, to make assumptions and categorise them, to rationalise their behaviours according to how they affected our emotional state and either contradicted or confirmed our individual values.

 Anybody who disappointed would somehow be viewed as disinterested and uncommitted at best, whilst those that strode on, conquering all before them were seen as enlightened and dedicated heroes. Our views were affecting how we worked in the team and as a team. It wasn’t quite Lord of the Flies but it was disruptive and mutually self-destructive, and our effectiveness was certainly less than the sum of our parts.

Fortunately, as I discovered, the silver lining is the antidote, listening. Listening to other people is the best way to discover what they are about, their motives, values, aspirations for the future. It beats guessing.  Best of all listening has many other uses because when you know what a persons’ aspirations are you know how to motivate them, how to influence them and consequently how to lead them. Listening and understanding build the trust and create the affinity that become the cement required for cooperation.

The more you ask and listen the more you will understand that we are all significantly the same, each and every one of us. Our aspirations all include freedom and security, prosperity and health. And who doesn't want happiness? This awareness is also empowering because, once you know you share the same goals, it becomes easy to work together for everyone’s mutual self-benefit.

Listening and understanding are among the fundamental precepts of the techniques of Influence and Persuasion. Find out how they can be used to motivate your teams and boost morale and productivity at https://www.influenceandpersuasion.co.uk/ .

by Peter Beard 24 Oct, 2017

Imagine if each of your conversion rates, along your lead-to-sales pipeline, were all to increase by just 5%. It doesn’t sound very much does it? But a 5% increase for each stage of a four-stage pipeline, for instance lead; qualified lead; quote and sale; your total sales would increase by a whopping 21%, and that is an increase to take notice of.

Yet these increases are all possible without changing your marketing strategy or your sales process. Simply applying the techniques of Influence and Persuasion will cause your potential customers to like and trust you, to find your offer compelling, and most importantly, want to do business with you.

So come to the interesting, and extremely useful workshop on the Techniques of Influence and Persuasion and treat your company to some extra profits.

by Peter Beard 22 Oct, 2017
I have finally decided to take the plunge and add a blog to my site. I have always wanted an easy way to share information with visitors and I’m super excited to start this journey. Keep coming back to my site and check for updates right here on the blog.
by Peter Beard 22 Oct, 2017
Anyone can make one:
For better or worse, anyone can write a blog post about anything they want. Everyone has a voice and the best voices will rise to the top.

The writer can show their personality:
In blog posts, the writer has more leeway to add in their voice and personality than other types of writing.

Blogs are a great form of mass communication:
You can help people, learn new things, entertain your audience— the possibilities are endless and amazing. Blogging opens up all of these to a very wide audience.

You can make money:

Get the right blog going and you can make a lot of money through advertising and sponsored posts.

It allows people to craft better thoughts:
Instead of reading haphazard, uneducated Facebook statuses, it’s much better to see people’s thought process in a well-written blog post.

You can establish a community:
Blogging allows you to connect with other individuals who share the same interests. Sharing ideas and opinions within your community helps establish yourself as a thought leader.

Good for SEO:
Keeping content on your site fresh and relevant, you can use your blog to boost the search engine ranking (SEO) of your site and your business.

It brings people back to your site:

If your blog is strong enough and updated regularly, people will come back looking for more and bring traffic back to your site as well.

It’s free:
It costs you a grand total of zero dollars to post to the blog, so if you have something to say, there’s nothing to stop you.

You can establish yourself as a thought leader:

A blog is a great place for your original thoughts, and it can be a wonderful way to show off your individuality. If people like your ideas, you can become a thought leader in your industry!

What else do you love about blogs? Let me know!
by Peter Beard 04 Jan, 2018

Next time you are with a prospect, ask them what they really want to accomplish in 2018 and when they have told you ask them what they need to achieve it. Take time to listen to them, really listen to them, and take notes; capture their wants and needs as they express them in their very own words.

When they have finished telling, rephrase what they have told you as a question, but ensure you use as many of their words, idioms and figures of speech as you can.

I can guarantee that the probability of them saying ‘yes’ has an almost linear relationship to the proportion of their words that you use in your question. So if 50% of the wording of your question matches their words then there is a 50% chance they will answer ‘yes’. More excitingly if 95% of the words in your question match theirs then there is a 95% chance they will say ‘yes’.

But what if they haven’t expressed a need for anything you supply? In this instance look on the bright side, you know you need to move on, and not waste any more of your or your prospects time. They will respect you for this, maybe give you a referral and book another appointment later in the year.

But if they say yes you are onto a winner. Select out of their wants and needs that part you can fulfil and ask them again if this is what they need, using their exact phraseology. If your words match theirs you are going to get another ‘yes’. At this stage things are beginning to look good, really good, and if you seize the moment and ask them whether they would like you to give them a quote, once again the odds are in your favour that they will say ‘yes’.

Now if you have been clever while listening to them earlier and had asked them about budgets and delivery times and other critical matters, you will have all the information you need, and their words that you need, to express your quote. Once again the chances of a ‘yes’ will corelate to proportion of their words that you use.

Of course getting the order is never quite as simple as this, but then you need to ask why the prospect wouldn’t give you the order to supply something that exactly matches what they need, when they need it, at the price they want to pay. That reason will undoubtedly will be that you haven’t built up the required level of confidence and trust with the prospect. In other words, they might like what you say but it is too good to be true and not worth their risk.

If you don’t feel you enjoy a sufficient level of confidence and trust, then you need to slow down and start building that trust. This is not difficult, but it can take time.

Meanwhile practice listening to people and mirroring their language back to them. Watch the effect it has on them. This technique has been used throughout the centuries to produce the agreement of others. Its effectiveness has been recorded and frequently researched. A study by a professor Rick van Baaren showed that when waiters repeated back a customer’s order verbatim their tip increased by 70%. That should convince you.

The next Influence and Persuasion masterclass is being held in Stockport on Thursday 22nd February 2018. 

by Peter Beard 14 Nov, 2017

I suspect it is almost impossible to endure any sort of career and not be engaged with a team that goes feral. When white knights on their quest for the holy grail become the four horsemen of the apocalypse, destroying all before them, as they stagger, oblivious to their fate, through the bloody quagmire of internecine strife towards their doom.

The first signs of a problem are only apparent within the team, and are often ignored. There is a desire to ascribe them to external causes, causes that would in time resolve, allowing the issues to disappear. But with each issue the team gradually changes, and begins to polarise between the apparently enthusiastic and the apparently disinterested. Meanwhile some members start to feel marginalised and become suspicious, while the enthusiastic remainder begin to see themselves as the heroic martyrs. It is a downward spiral.

It was during one such downward spiral that I decided to improve my ‘soft’ personal skills and I signed up for an NLP practitioners course. The truth hit hard. It made me realise that my previously-cherished interpersonal skills were more part of the problem than the solution, and that frequently my interventions were more likely to incite and ferment discontent than smooth the waters with soothing oil.

I was not alone however. My worse trait I shared with everyone in the team, and together with them I was oblivious about what was happening, self-bestowing absolution with my ignorance. Our team destroying crime was in making assumptions, often quite critical, about the values, motivation and commitment of other team members, without trying to first ascertain them by talking to them, and listening and understanding what they had to say.

The happiness, motivation and cohesion of the team had become hostage to our gut reaction to judge a person superficially, to make assumptions and categorise them, to rationalise their behaviours according to how they affected our emotional state and either contradicted or confirmed our individual values.

 Anybody who disappointed would somehow be viewed as disinterested and uncommitted at best, whilst those that strode on, conquering all before them were seen as enlightened and dedicated heroes. Our views were affecting how we worked in the team and as a team. It wasn’t quite Lord of the Flies but it was disruptive and mutually self-destructive, and our effectiveness was certainly less than the sum of our parts.

Fortunately, as I discovered, the silver lining is the antidote, listening. Listening to other people is the best way to discover what they are about, their motives, values, aspirations for the future. It beats guessing.  Best of all listening has many other uses because when you know what a persons’ aspirations are you know how to motivate them, how to influence them and consequently how to lead them. Listening and understanding build the trust and create the affinity that become the cement required for cooperation.

The more you ask and listen the more you will understand that we are all significantly the same, each and every one of us. Our aspirations all include freedom and security, prosperity and health. And who doesn't want happiness? This awareness is also empowering because, once you know you share the same goals, it becomes easy to work together for everyone’s mutual self-benefit.

Listening and understanding are among the fundamental precepts of the techniques of Influence and Persuasion. Find out how they can be used to motivate your teams and boost morale and productivity at https://www.influenceandpersuasion.co.uk/ .

by Peter Beard 24 Oct, 2017

Imagine if each of your conversion rates, along your lead-to-sales pipeline, were all to increase by just 5%. It doesn’t sound very much does it? But a 5% increase for each stage of a four-stage pipeline, for instance lead; qualified lead; quote and sale; your total sales would increase by a whopping 21%, and that is an increase to take notice of.

Yet these increases are all possible without changing your marketing strategy or your sales process. Simply applying the techniques of Influence and Persuasion will cause your potential customers to like and trust you, to find your offer compelling, and most importantly, want to do business with you.

So come to the interesting, and extremely useful workshop on the Techniques of Influence and Persuasion and treat your company to some extra profits.

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