Dear Mrs May,
I wanted to take the opportunity to reply to your open letter to the nation asking the public to back your deal and deliver on Brexit, You wrote that you “will be campaigning with my heart and soul to win that vote” and there’s no denying that the next two weeks are going to put your influencing skills to the test as you try to sell your Brexit deal. With this in mind, I wanted to send you a copy of The Influence Book together with some expert advice on how to take your influencing skills to the next level.
Strong influencers set themselves up for success by harnessing their emotional intelligence so that they can communicate effectively and motivate the other person to say “yes” to their ideas or recommendations. So as you embark on your two-week campaign to persuade parliament and the public to support your deal, bear in mind these steps to help you raise the bar.
1. Back Yourself
You’ve already shown the public you are resilient but it’s crucial to stay positive and keep a winning mindset. Confidence is contagious. If you don’t believe the terms are the right terms, then you’re going to be hard-pressed to convince parliament and the nation as a whole to support you. Keep bouncing back from setbacks and remind yourself that when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
2. Put Yourself In Other People’s Shoes
Strong influencers recognise that empathy is the key to understanding what makes people tick. It’s only by uncovering the other person’s needs that can you identify the best way of persuading them to agree to your point of view. So as you go on your tour of the nation, remember to actively listen to what the people you meet have to say. This means being truly present in the moment and reading ‘beyond the words’ – by taking into account their body language and tone of voice you can identify the best way to reassure them and if possible win their hearts and minds.
3. Flex your style
Whilst your communication style is undoubtedly poised and reassuring, it’s important to remember to flex it according to the communication preference of the person you are trying to influence. For example, if you are responding to Donald Trump’s direct and dominant style as shown by his comment yesterday that it “sounds like a great deal for the EU” you need to fight fire with fire and be equally direct in return. However, if you are trying to influence someone who avoids confrontation at all costs, you need to recognise this and adapt your style accordingly to help you find common ground, build rapport and establish trust.
4. Deliver a compelling story
In my opinion ‘telling’ is the lowest form of selling and this approach is unlikely to win people over. So avoid projecting fear at all costs, instead create an influencing story that sells the benefits of your deal in an engaging and compelling way. Always start with the end in mind by asking yourself what’s in it for the other person, then work backwards from there. Draw on your self-control to manage the influencing situation real-time. You need to think live in the moment, so make sure your key messages are really clear in your mind – this way you can dial down any interference in your head. You will then have the head-space to be able to recognize and respond to different interactions as they occur during the influencing conversation.
5. Adopt the principle of plan, do, review
Finally, remember to adopt a principle of plan, do and review as you conduct your campaign to sell your Brexit deal. This means planning ahead and setting specific new influencing goals during your tour of the UK. Then reviewing each influencing conversation to determine what worked well and what could have been improved upon to help you up your influencing game.
Above all, don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need some face-to-face advice on how to set yourself up for influencing success!
CEO of Diadem & Author of ‘The Influence Book’