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Why Do People Say Yes?

Most people will probably associate the words ‘influence’ or ‘persuasion’ with the sales process. However, influencing, in other words, getting another person to accede to your requests is at the core of most soft skills …

Most people will probably associate the words ‘influence’ or ‘persuasion’ with the sales process. However, influencing, in other words, getting another person to accede to your requests is at the core of most soft skills – leadership, negotiation, teamwork and sales – all of these functions require us, at some stage, to influence and persuade others.

It may be influencing customers, colleagues, friends, even our children to buy, to do, to accept or to believe in something or someone. The ability to influence others – in an ethical manner – is a greatly under-rated competency and one that many of us are poor at. However, new research has highlighted that persuasion skills can be learnt by almost any individual. Enter, Dr Robert Cialdini.

If you want to sell anything, influence anybody or motivate action I urge you to read Cialdini’s brilliant book, “Influence, Science and Practice”. Cialdini is a psychology professor at Arizona State University. He is the most cited Social Psychologist on the subject of persuasion in the world.

As the book’s title states, the content is based on science – Cialdini’s has examined hundreds of psychological experiments on persuasion to form his core thesis. But what is really impressive, is that he actually took three years off and went and worked as a “spy” in a number of jobs to understand how that science works in the real everyday working world.

Cialdini’s influencing theories centre on six key constructs – they are easy to learn and apply – they are: reciprocation, commitment and consistency, social proof, likeability, authority and scarcity.

Let’s have a brief look at each.

Reciprocity

People are more willing to comply with requests (for favours, services, information, concessions, etc.) from those who have provided such things first. This is the old ‘give and take’ scenario – if I do this for you, maybe, in the future, you will do something for me?

This form of influencing is used in many ways – gifts, concessions and exclusive information are common tools of reciprocity. One place you see this tactic used is in supermarkets; merchandisers offer you free food to taste, you reciprocate by purchasing. The key concept here is, when giving make it a gift, not a reward! Your actions must not contingent.

Commitment/Consistency

People are more willing to be moved in a particular direction if they see it as consistent with an existing commitment. A good example of the commitment principle is used in retail sales – notice how a good sales person will try to get you to try something on – once you are committed to try, you are closer to buy.

People will very rarely go against their own values and beliefs. Once a person makes a choice, or takes a stand they will encounter interpersonal and personal pressures to behave consistently with what they have previously said or done. Now you can understand why the power of getting a small “holding“deposit from a potential buyer works so well – they are now committed to move forward.

Authority

People are more willing to follow the directions or recommendations of a communicator to whom they attribute relevant authority or expertise. For example, an expert witness talking in technical terms has more persuasive powers with juries than a lay eyewitness.

A tactic used a lot in advertising is to have recognised experts endorse products. Having Dr or PhD linked to a name adds persuasive power. Dan Carter sells a lot of men’s underwear to women who are buying on behalf of men. A double whammy here, Dan has authority and attractiveness (see below). The biggest symbols of authority are automobiles, clothes and titles.

Social Validation

People are more willing to take a recommended action if they see evidence that many others, especially similar others, are taking it. We live in a busy world with no time to fully validate our decisions, so many times we rely on what other are doing – if many people are doing it, it must be right – or is it!

Have you ever noticed how a small group will attract a crowd and a crowd attracts a mob – If a street performer can get 4 or 5 people to stand and watch, I guarantee there will be 20 or 30 people there within a minute or two. If two or three people throw money into the hat, many other coins will follow – that’s why buskers always “seed” their violin case with notes and coins.

Here’s a little test you can perform. When next in a crowded area with a couple of mates have the three of you all look up into the sky – I guarantee everybody around you will start doing the same.

Scarcity

I love this one; it sucks me in all the time. People find objects and opportunities more attractive to the degree that they are scarce, rare, or dwindling in availability. Air New Zealand’s current ‘grab a seat’ campaign plays on this scarcity principle. Think about the one-day sale or tickets to a popular concert/event that last sold out in 30 minutes.

The interesting psychology working here is that people fear loss more than they want gain. Telling someone they will lose $1000 a year if they don’t take action is more powerful than promising they will make a $1000 by taking action. Another tip, numbers are more powerful than time as it creates competition.

Liking/Friendship/Attractiveness

Yes folks, beauty does sell. People prefer to say yes to those they know, like, find attractive or are similar too. It’s a proven fact that voters will be more swayed by an attractive, friendly candidate than policy. I’ll tell you one thing, there were many election billboards littering out streets in the recent election campaign that helped people to vote against a candidate!

Apart from people liking you, people will also be moved to say “yes” to your requests if you show them (naturally and sincerely) that you like them. All of us are suckers for flattery!

Measuring, Predicting and Learning Influence

The science of Influencing can be learned; however a person’s ability to influence successfully is heavily driven by their personality, and as such, if they don’t have the personality traits like resilience, optimism, assertiveness etc, no amount of training will make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear!

Personality can be measured. Influencing skills can be taught – you can’t have one without the other. So, if you are hiring or developing staff that need influencing and persuading ability (sales persons, outbound call centre operators, leaders, managers, marketers etc) it’s important to ensure they have the innate personality characteristics to drive this competency.

Assessing them through a valid personality profile will give you this important information. Then, introducing them to Cialdini’s 6 core principles of persuasion will be analogous to putting a strong sea breeze into their Kevlar racing sails.

The science of influencing is very powerful. Those who can understand the theories will be better equipped to generate change and growth in their businesses. But a word of caution – your influencing tactics must be ethical; people who use unethical strategies may win the first round, but will surely lose the match.

Sales articles contributed by NZ Sales Manager e-magazine.

BusinessBlogs is the popular online Hub for quality business articles. We publish unique articles and share them with our social followers.

New Zealand

Trump’s Triumph Crashes Immigration Website

Canada and maybe New Zealand will be the top beneficiaries of exiting Americans unhappy with Trump’s triumph victory in the US Election. Canada’s immigration website crashed once news spread that Trump’s victory was likely and Reuters reported New Zealand’s website also had a spike in interest from visitors looking for information on residency visas.

Canada and maybe New Zealand will be the top beneficiaries of exiting Americans unhappy with Trump’s triumph victory in the US Election.  Canada’s immigration website crashed once news spread that Trump’s victory was likely and Reuters reported New Zealand’s website also had a spike in interest from visitors looking for information on residency visas.

We published an article less than a week ago on How to move to New Zealand & get a job in 31 easy steps. This is an extract from a book written by an American woman who sailed to New Zealand with her husband and two daughters in 2012.   Sara and her family have now settled into the kiwi lifestyle and Sara’s tips on how to move to and get a job in New Zealand is timely.  The Brexit vote and now Trump’s triumph has many residents of the UK and America seeing their future somewhere else.

Canada has been quick to embrace the interest in their country saying:

“In Canada, immigrants are encouraged to bring their cultural traditions with them and share them with their fellow citizens.”
@Canada

The list of celebrities whom have said they will leave America is if Trump becomes President includes the likes of Barbara Streisand, Cher, Miley Cyrus, Samuel L Jackson, Jon Stewart and on Twitter

Locally, NZHerald reports many Hollywood celebrities are commenting on twitter and Instagram saying they will leave America.

“I’m freaking out too but, together, we are gonna be OK, we got each other, animals, don’t lose your s***. Worst case, let’s all move to New Zealand,” wrote Kesha alongside a selfie on Instagram, before editing her post.

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New Zealand

How to Move to New Zealand & Get a Job in 31 Easy Steps [Book Extract]

If you plan to work in New Zealand, the time to start looking into getting a job is long before you arrive. While you may not begin your official job search until you are in the country, there are a number of things you can do to kick-start the process.

New Zealand work visa

If you plan to work in New Zealand, the time to start looking into getting a job is long before you arrive. While you may not begin your official job search until you are in the country, there are a number of things you can do to kick-start the process.

We were still in Tonga, aboard our sailboat, and not planning to arrive in New Zealand for another three months, when my husband, Michael, polished up his curriculum vitae (CV) and sent it along to friends in Auckland. They forwarded it to their information and communications technology (ICT) contacts and to recruiters with whom they’d worked. A number of the recipients responded immediately, asking Michael to get in touch again when he landed in country. Although it felt like he was jumping the gun at the time, the tactic appears to have worked. Within a week of arriving at the Bay of Islands, Michael had a job interview scheduled in Auckland and a job offer in hand a few weeks later.

Getting a job in New Zealand is a lot like anywhere else. It’s all about who you know. I’d say it’s even more so in New Zealand as there is only a degree or two of separation between people due to the small population. This is a tight-knit country. So if you do know someone down here, it may pay to leverage that contact.

On the other hand, it’s certainly not required to know anyone. Michael landed his current ICT gig by applying for positions advertised on seek.co.nz, the most thorough job listing website in New Zealand and Australia. This is the best place to start researching the jobs that are available and where they’re located. (See Step 11 for choosing which part of the country to live in.) Many New Zealand companies advertise open positions on LinkedIn.com.

My other favourite job listing sites are:

  • Trade Me (all types): trademe.co.nz
  • New Kiwis (all types of skilled work): newkiwis.co.nz
  • Kiwi Health Jobs: kiwihealthjobs.com
  • NZ Education Gazette (teaching positions): edgazette.govt.nz>

For an extensive list of job websites, browse careers.govt.nz/job-hunting/job-vacancy-and-recruitment-websites. Check out the rest of careers.govt.nz too. It’s chock-o-block full of job hunting, training, and general career advice for New Zealanders.

Finally, have a look at the government’s Skill Shortage Lists (skillshortages.immigration.govt.nz). On these, you’ll find occupations that New Zealand needs more people to fill, either temporarily or long-term. If your occupation (or one of them) is on one of the skill shortage lists, your work or residence visa application is much more likely to get approved, and more quickly.

This leads to one of the most common questions people ask me: Do I need to be in New Zealand to get a job? The answer is…it depends. If your occupation is on the skill shortage lists, you are much more likely to be successful in applying and interviewing from out of country. But even if your occupation is not in demand, and you find a job that’s a perfect fit for you, apply.

According to one hiring manager I spoke to, they often interview applicants who are outside New Zealand. He says: “It’s difficult to find people already here that have the ICT skills we’re looking for. After we offer the person the position, they start the work visa application process. When their visa is approved, they move down and start working.”

For some positions, such as seasonal or temporary work, you are likely to have a better chance at scoring a job if you interview face-to-face. As I wrote earlier, Michael began seriously applying for work after arriving in New Zealand, but having a good idea of what’s available with a CV ready to go was key in making this process as short as possible.

This post is an excerpt from How to Move to New Zealand in 31 Easy Steps by Sara Dawn Johnson.

Sara Dawn Johnson, along with her husband and two daughters, moved to New Zealand in 2012 by sailing their home, a 38-foot sailboat called Wondertime, across the Pacific Ocean. Sara is also the co-author of Voyaging With Kids: A guide to family life afloat.

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New Zealand

Is Your Website Your Best Salesperson?

Businesses who fail to look after their website and online presence do so at their own peril. There are many real life examples of businesses large and small losing market share and in some cases going out of business altogether due to their poor online presence.

Their competitors however probably engage a professional SEO company and as a result they’re reaping the rewards with more customer leads and revenue.

Businesses who fail to look after their website and online presence do so at their own peril.  There are many real life examples of businesses large and small losing market share and in some cases going out of business altogether due to their poor online presence.  Their competitors however probably engage a professional SEO company and as a result they’re reaping the rewards with more customer leads and revenue.

Google doesn’t care if your business earns millions or even billions in revenue.  Google only rewards websites that are well designed.  A mobile friendly website is not a luxury like many out of touch businesses believe, it is a fundamental requirement.

Start up businesses with well designed websites can get a jump on established firms and grab market share.  They appear to be overnight successes while steadfast market leaders can appear to go out of business just as fast.  We don’t have to look to far either to find lots of examples all around us especially in the retail sector.

Summarily if your website design is not mobile friendly it’s not going to be found by prospective customers who use Google for their research.  When your business fails to show up in the search results consumers set their sights elsewhere.  Consumers now almost rely exclusively on online research.

MYOB released a report a couple of years go stating 86% of New Zealanders were using the Internet every day and 80% of us are searching online before buying a product or service.  New Zealand is one of the most Internet savvy countries globally with four out of five homes connected to it therefore your website really should be your best salesperson!


This blog article was written for BusinessBlogs by Mobilize Mail.

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Management

How You Can Get The Best From Your Team Meetings

The benefit of regular (preferably weekly) team meetings should NEVER be overlooked. From a results-driven point of view through to team morale and a common purpose, these meetings can be pure gold for your business. Some businesses we come across don’t have regular meetings with their team. It’s just not something they’ve thought of, or perhaps they’ve considered their business is too small.

meeting

The benefit of regular (preferably weekly) team meetings should NEVER be overlooked. From a results-driven point of view through to team morale and a common purpose, these meetings can be pure gold for your business.

Some businesses we come across don’t have regular meetings with their team. It’s just not something they’ve thought of, or perhaps they’ve considered their business is too small. In my book – two counts as a team. So unless you’re really a solo flier – team meetings are relevant for you too! They provide a valuable forum for you and your team to update, communicate, handle any issues, and set the scene for success and achievement in the business for the week to come.

Getting your team together at the same time each week might seem impossible at first – but once the habit’s set you’ll find yourself and your team beginning to look forward to the meeting. It doesn’t need to be a long meeting – anything from 30 minutes to one hour max.

It helps to time your weekly meetings to occur just before a deadline (eg. lunchtime, 1 hour before closing, … or 1 hour before starting!) This will reduce the chances of running overtime.

Once your meetings are scheduled, our 7 point checklist will ensure you and your team get the most out of each and every meeting:

7 point checklist for weekly team meetings

1. Have an agenda
If you’re going to make this meeting productive and effective, have an agenda and stick to it. (Make sure you’re aware ahead of time of anything and everything that needs to be covered).

2. Set the meeting up
These meetings are often about addressing challenges, what new stuff has to be done next week and what wasn’t done in the last week. This can sometimes feel like hard work. So set the meeting up by starting “upbeat”. Have everyone share one specific good thing that happened during the week (personal or business). As well as offsetting any negativity, it’ll help to get to know eachother and give everyone a pat on the back. At first this can feel a bit uncomfortable, but stick with it and make sure everyone takes part.

3. Reporting the Results
Go over the results for the week. Make sure your statistical reports are standardised. Graphs are a great way to do this. Your team will be able to see the trend in the numbers and whether or not they are hitting targets.

Beware of targets that haven’t been met as this can cause a reaction within your team (not to mention you!). It’s a good idea to acknowledge the breakdown and it’s a great time to look at what can be done to remedy it – opportunities to build on it … what’s going to make the difference in the next week. But remember – this is not the place for “beating up” a team member that is repeatedly under-performing!

A note on reporting the results: Create some milestones along the way – don’t just wait until the end of the project for you and your team to celebrate!

4. Customers and Team
Review whether there are any recurring problems that your team or customers are dealing with. These can either be handled on the spot (if it’s an easy fix) or you’ll need to investigate it later (but not too much later) …. and make sure you let everyone know the outcome.

5. Brain storm
If there’s a problem or something your business is grappling with – use the combined brainpower of your team. You’ll be amazed how many new ideas you’ll end up with … and your team will feel pretty good about contributing in this way.

6. Keep a record
Don’t forget keep a record of who said they were going to do what and by when.

7. Finish on time
At the end of the meeting let everyone say a brief word or two that represents how they feel about the meeting. This gives everyone an opportunity to “complete” the meeting and move on.

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New Zealand

How To Secure Your Home Wifi & Systems

Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce with Mobilize Mail Limited are hosting a one hour non techie presentation in May 2015 on how to keep your home wifi and systems secure. Most of us believe we have someone in the household savvy enough to secure our home IT systems. However it’s probably not so – when we use Wifi the unthinkable can happen, i.e. your password can end up with someone else.

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Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce with Mobilize Mail Limited are hosting a one hour non techie presentation in May 2015 on how to keep your home wifi and systems secure.

Date: Tuesday 19 May 2015, 9.30am – 10.30am
Place: Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce, IT Engine Training, Level 3, 15 Daly Street, Lower Hutt, Wellington.

Most of us believe we have someone in the household savvy enough to secure our home IT systems. However it’s probably not so – when we use Wifi the unthinkable can happen, i.e. your password can end up with someone else. During this presentation there will be a live demo on how easy it is to have your home wifi password stolen and what you can do immediately to prevent it from happening to you.

Unfortunately it isn’t any safer using free wifi hotspots – they too can be fraught with security issues. This presentation will show you how to use free wifi and what to avoid doing whilst you’re online.

Date: Tuesday 19 May 2015, 9.30am – 10.30am
Place: Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce, IT Engine Training, Level 3, 15 Daly Street, Lower Hutt
Presenter: Mobilize Mail Ltd – HVCC Silver Sponsor
Fee: Members – $45 + GST     Non-Members – $75 + GST

 

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Marketing

Less is More in Email Marketing

Expensive data plans and image loading time are two reasons to carefully consider your use of images in email marketing.

The use of mobiles to view emails has increased however the data plans are not dropped in cost so images in emails can be blocked from downloading. Therefore avoid using just one image as the entire marketing message.

email prospecting

Expensive data plans and image loading time are two reasons to carefully consider your use of images in email marketing.

The use of mobiles to view emails has increased however the data plans are not dropping in cost in some countries where the volume is low, so images in emails can be permanently blocked from downloading. Therefore avoid using just one image as the entire marketing message. While this may save you time and investment it’s not a good look when the email message area is empty before images are downloaded.

Use a good mix of colour (created in HTML), text including Alt-txt (words that show in the image box before images are downloaded and also add a relevant image or two. Remember a picture speaks a 1000 words and conversion is higher when images are present. We recommend linking all images, and titles to the relevant click-through pages as well as the usual ‘click here to read more’ text links.

 

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