Getting business partners to act on your recommendations can be a real test of influence. We know that things like trust, stress, and relationships can be quite influential in business decisions, and I blogged earlier this year about how influence is one of the 5 skills that researchers can build to improve impact.
That’s why I was excited to find an HBR blog that espoused the importance of brief impressions on influence, and provides some tips for improving not just your first, but all future “next impressions”. Thinking of these interactions as television commercials is a fun way to try to improve your influence on business partners (and is a bit of a natural leap for those of us who conduct research on commercials and advertisements for a living).
- Capture the audience’s attention-ads use humor or emotion to snap the audience to attention; can you use something similar in your next interaction? Past research shows that funny people are more successful in business. And some of our most recent work found that using emotion can help break-down business partners’ pre-conceived notions.
- Convey a clear message-it’s all about knowing you’re message up-front. Know what you want the “viewer” to take away from your interaction. This dovetails nicely with our recent work on embedding customer knowledge, which focuses on having Research inject their insights into the company’s natural learning patterns—don’t fight other information sources, co-opt them.
- Differentiate-understand what makes you different and highlight those qualities. Think of the skills that you bring to the table—insight, business acumen, synthesis, etc.—and specialize to have the most impact you can.
If you think of these things in your daily interactions you can start to brand yourself as a true partner in the organization, one 30-second interaction at a time.
- 5 Skills to Build to Improve Impact, Part 3: Influence
- The Key to Your Success: Humor?
- How to Teach a Know-it-All
Related Member Materials: