Truly being influential is not only about how you show up but what you leave behind.
Many mistakenly believe that having influence during an interaction or conversation is enough to achieve the results they are after. True influence Monday to Monday® requires much more.
With the demands in today’s business world and the quality of our competition, you need to have influence that lasts longer than living in the moment. To truly impact results and profits, every conversation needs to have impact, energy and purpose beyond one conversation or encounter. Your goal should be to move people to act on your recommendations during and after the interaction.
This is the first key to influencing action. I refer to this level of influence as Influence³ – moving people to action three days, three weeks, three months, even three years after an interaction.
Influence Monday to Monday® is genuine, authentic and enduring. It is the key to getting the results you, your team and company work toward. Influence3 keeps the board, executive committee and organization committed to following your vision. Influence3 is how you get consistent, discretionary effort from team members. Influence3 is the way to retain customers in a competitive market. Influence3 is what compels a prospect you long forgot about to pick up the phone and contact you.
What happens when your interactions are over? Does your influence continue? Are you able to move people to action even when you are not physically present?
To achieve Influence³, start asking yourself these questions before and during your interaction:
· What value can you bring to the conversation to make it worth your listeners’ time?
· What needs to happen after the interaction to make sure influence occurs long after the interaction?
· What can you do and say to build a long-term relationship?
· How do you want your listener to feel during and after the conversation?
These questions go beyond a face-to-face conversation. Since your reputation is being judged through every conversation you have, ask yourself these questions before every social media post, every email you send and every virtual conversation you have.
The second key to influencing action is to create a standout experience that is unique and memorable and based on an experience between you and your listener. What you leave behind is determined by how you make people feel. Creating a positive, standout experience enables you to command the attention of any audience and leave a lasting impression.
It is no coincidence that some of the most influential leaders of our time are masters at creating a standout experience. Have you ever experienced provocative thought leader Daniel Pink, groundbreaking researcher Brené Brown, world-renowned orchestral conductor and leadership expert Benjamin Zander, or creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson? There is a reason their TED talks have been seen millions of times and are some of the most viewed in the world. I encourage you to watch these influencers in action at Ted.com. You can learn a great deal from observing others. Experience for yourself how they make their message stick and leave a lasting impression long after their presentations are over.
Do you create a standout experience that keeps your listeners and readers engaged? What kind of lasting impression do you make? Is it something unique and memorable or the same experience they get from everyone else?
Many business professionals believe that what makes them stand out is being an excellent speaker, an effective communicator or a dynamic leader. The truth is that these are simply the minimum standards for doing business today. Creating a standout experience includes a set of learned skills and behaviors. You will separate yourself from the crowd when others consistently perceive you as trustworthy, credible, confident, knowledgeable, authentic and passionate – the six key characteristics of influential individuals.
The third key to influencing action is how your listeners respond to you. You will know you have made an impact on your listeners by how they respond to you. They will be attentive rather than distracted by their technical gadgets. They will be actively engaged, asking questions and dialoging with you on a deeper level. They will trust that what you are recommending is the right choice for them and that they are in the right hands. They will promptly reply to your phone calls, emails and texts. They will engage with you through social media.
In the long-term, your relationships will have more meaning and depth. The trust that your customers, colleagues and team members have in you and your capabilities will grow. When individuals reconnect with you, they will still refer to the experience they had with you. At some point in the future, they will think of you when they:
§ Want to partner with a reliable and trusted resource;
§ Have the budget to purchase the products you sell;
§ Join a new company and need the services you offer; and/or,
§ Need to hire or promote someone.
Effective leaders can achieve results in the moment. Influential leaders who live these three key how-to’s will achieve results Monday to MondayÒ and beyond.