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[5 Pillars of Influence Article Series] Article #15 ~ Your Last Chance to Put the 5 Pillars of Influence to Work


If you’ve been following this series, you now know how to close 80-100% of your ideal prospects in 15 minutes.

Knowledge is vital, but to actually start closing those sales, you have to apply what you’ve learned.

To inspire you to do that, here are all five of the pillars again:

Pillar 1: Become Your Own Pillar of Influence

In the context of sales, influence is the art of equating in the mind of your ideal clients the fact that you have the solution they need.

Influence, not pressure, is your best sales tool, because your ideal prospects already want or need your product or service. They may not realize that yet, however, because they’re in a prison of their own situation.

Your job is to bridge the gap between that prison and their solution. But in order to coax someone out of his or her prison, you first have to coax yourself out of yours.

In other words, in order to harness the power of influence, you must first influence yourself. Here are three ways to do that:

1. Get real.
Be honest about any ideological prisons that you’re in. For instance, are you telling yourself what you can’t afford? Or why your clients won’t pay high fees?

Negative beliefs directly impact your bottom line, repel those high-paying clients, and blind you to opportunities.

2. Talk to yourself.
Every sales conversation needs to begin with a conversation with yourself to be sure that you are coming from a place of “influence energy.”

Before every sales call, spend 10 minutes, asking yourself questions like these:

“What is the desired outcome of this call?”
“What energy state do I need to be in, in order to be influential?”
“How will I help this person get out of his/her prison?”
“How am I going to influence him/her?”

3. Gain knowledge at the level that you want to be, not where you are.
Be willing to stretch your mind, invest in trainings, and travel to events. If you won’t invest in trainings for yourself, how can you expect your clients to invest in yours?

Pillar 2: Put Yourself in the Position to Influence

If you want to be able to turn your prospects’ objections into commitments, you have to put yourself into the correct position to influence them. Here are four ways to do that:

It will keep them going when they falter, and sustain them during those dark moments when they confront what they need to confront in order to change.

1. Make it inbound.
Create situations where your prospects come to you. This positions you as an expert who is in demand.

For instance, have your prospects call you for strategy sessions versus you calling them. Speak at conferences, where a host will introduce you as an expert who has helped hundreds of people in the past. After your talk, your ideal prospects should flock to you.

2. Dress the part.
To be seen as a person of influence, dress to impress at business or networking events. Wear clothing that is appropriate to your niche or style, but that makes you stand out and brings out your best.

3. Polarize the conversation.
Rather than responding to introductory questions, ask your own questions to quickly determine if the person you’re talking to is your ideal client or not.

For instance, when someone asks me what I do, instead of answering, I say, “Let me ask you a question. If your annual income suddenly became your monthly income, what in your life would change?”

For more details about how to polarize conversations, or to read any of the other articles in this series, please see my blog.

4. Bring an assistant with you.
Having an assistant with you at networking events positions you as a high-level expert, while also freeing you to move on to the next person, as your assistant puts the prospect into your calendar and builds excitement about your work.

Pillar 3: Attract Your Ideal Client

Your ideal client is someone who already wants or needs your product or service, and is demonstrating an urgency to change by actively seeking a solution.

They’re buying books and going to conferences, seminars, and workshops. Even better is if they’re willing to travel. When people are willing to deal with the inconvenience and expense of traveling to events, they are serious about change.

The key to attracting your ideal clients is to determine exactly where they are demonstrating the want and need for what you do, both online and offline, and go there.

For instance, what online groups do they belong to? Who do they follow? What seminars do they attend? Where do they gather?

Pillar 4: Ask Questions During a Discovery Conversation

You can’t tell your prospects that you’re the right mentor for them. They’ll just get defensive and resist. You have to influence them so that they have that thought themselves.

As you ask your prospects the four questions of the discovery conversation, and lead them to connect powerfully with their own truth, this should happen automatically.

Those four questions are:

Question 1: “What are you looking to accomplish?”

Tailor that question to your specific business, product or service, and then listen to their response. They will tell you what you need to know.

Question 2: “What is the biggest problem in your business (or life) right now?”

With this question, you’re finding out what they want and need, but, more important, they’re beginning to get clear about their problem. They’re also bringing it from some nebulous future into the present, where they can finally face it and see their solution.

Question 3: “Why do you think you have that problem?”

If their answer to this or any of these questions is incorrect, don’t tell them that or argue with them. You’re not going to draw clarity out of them if they feel defensive.

You want to listen, but more than that, you want to really hear them.

If you can hear what they’re saying with your own feelings, and then express that empathy while asking the fourth question, you will influence them every time.

Question 4: “How badly do you want this to change?”

If you’ve asked this question with empathy, while also conveying a tone of authority, your prospects should feel permission to be authentic and tell you the truth.

This will likely elicit emotion, which means that they’re committing to you emotionally.

With their laughter or tears, they’re asking you for a directive as to what to do.

Secure the Sale and Create Momentum.
What you do then is solidify the commitment. While staying emotionally connected to them, say, “Let’s get this going,” and ask for their credit card number, or tell them you’ll be turning them over to your assistant, who will get the number and get them started.

In either case, before you get off the phone, create momentum by giving your new clients an immediate taste of the transformation that’s to come, such as by assigning them an exercise to complete.

And then, apply the last pillar.

Pillar 5: Transference of Belief

The sale is your new clients’ first step toward finally having the life of their dreams.

Believe in their greatness and be excited for them, so that they will be excited as well.

Your belief in their greatness will help keep their own doubt at bay and will sustain them during dark moments.

And while you hold the vision of what’s possible for them, you begin to see that much more is possible for you too.

As you apply these 5 Pillars, and work with your new clients, you step beyond prison bars you didn’t even know were there, and begin to walk your own path of greatness as well.

David Neagle, The Million Dollar Income Acceleration Mentor and author of The Millions Within, teaches entrepreneurs and commission-based sales professionals how to quantum leap their current incomes past the 7-figure income level, often in less than 12 months. As a world-class speaker, sales trainer, and success-mindset mentor to some of the globe’s top CEOs, David also privately mentors big decision-makers in their pursuit of quantum success and peace of mind.

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