A Six Step Approach To Influencing Decision Making in Your Favor Part Two
The C.L.I.E.N.T Promotion System
The purpose of this system is to help identify opportunities to promote and validate the decision to choose you and your organization time and time again. Regardless of what you do, the greatest measure of success is the ability to gain valuable business and keep it. To be perceived as the provider of choice regardless of what else is out there. To be so regarded by what you do, that those you serve have embedded in their minds that they have no reason to look elsewhere; they are yours for life!
Here we go!
Communication: Clearly how we communicate with those we serve impacts their decision. Are we proactive or reactive? Proactive initiates and prevents, while reactive defends and repairs. Communication can be difficult. People communicate in many ways, both verbally and non-verbally. The little things you do without saying a word such as eye contact, a friendly smile, your energy level when you see me, all impact decision making! A proactive approach to communication is the first critical step to influencing the decision process.
Listening: Don’t you wish there was a magic pill you could take that would insure you never missed a critical element to a conversation? Unfortunately there is none BUT, you can greatly influence the decision process by being a great listener…on purpose. Here are a few tips for great listening:
- Listen with your eyes: When a client is talking to you, telling you about their plans, dreams or problems, you validate to them you are listening not with your ears, but with your eyes. You see physically you can be in the same room with someone, but mentality, you are on a Caribbean island enjoying the ocean breeze.
- Restate their statement. Once your client has told you their “story”, restate the highlights. Such as “So what I have heard you say is that…” and tell them what they told you.
- Listen on purpose. I can’t tell you the importance of this attitude. No matter the topic or your interest level in it, listen like you mean it. If you need validation of this concept, please go to my blog and read my post on “Learn to Listen to Stories About Cows”. Being a good listen on purpose changed my life and it can change yours!
Identify: Now that you have heard what the situation is, and you have a great knowledge of what you provide, you can now identify the best solution to meet the desired needs and wants. I know you know this but as a reminder, when identifying the right solution, focus on the benefits of making the person’s life better as described in part one of this post rather than the features. As one person we worked with put it, “Lead with benefits and the features will follow nicely along”.
Educate: Time to take action. This part of the promotion system clearly communicates what the next steps are to fulfill the need. This is where you ASK to make the decision. Educating reinforces the benefits as identified above and details what happens next. This is what you can expect from me and here is what I need from you to get this started. It is important to know that you must ASK and not ASSUME. A proper education will facilitate this.
Networking: Once the decision is made and your client is satisfied with your performance, you earn the right to ask for introductions to others. The most overlooked opportunity is a referral. If you believe that what you offer including you is as good as it gets and you prove this, you are granted permission to ask to be introduced to others to influence their decision making process in your favor too!
Thank You: These are not mere words, this is reassurance! Thank you means that not only did you get a great product or service, but you also purchased a culture that will value you from now on. No matter who you encounter from our company, anytime, anywhere, we will treat you as priority number one! This reassurance does more for the final piece of the decision making process-Would I do the same again?- than any other. This gives the client a sense of security and confidence in their decision!
So there you have it. Great proactive communication, listening on purpose to find out what matters creates the opportunity to identify a solution for a need or want. This allows us to educate on what happens next to get started (Remember we have to ASK) to finalize the decision process. Now that we have a happy client we earn the right to network, to gain introductions to other decision making opportunities to influence in our favor. And finally, with the deal inked, we reassure our client that this is not the end, this is the beginning and no matter who you come in contact with at our company, you will feel valued. This is because Thank you is more than words…it is our validation to you that we truly want you as our client…a regular customer that chooses us time and time again!