Today I interviewed Dr. Stephanie Burroughs. She is the author of Dating Your Business Prospect. She looks at networking in a whole new light. She calls it 360 networking. She explains how to use social media and expanding you social media with face to face and belly to belly networking. She will answer the following questions on the Maximize Your Influence Podcast
How to you prepare for this encounter with an important prospect?
How do you approach them without looking like a fool?
What does the perfect follow-up look like?
Stephanie Burroughs Bio
Dr. Stephanie D. Burroughs, President of StephanieSpeaking LLC began her minority business advocacy in 1980, while working in the construction industry providing contract compliance monitoring for M/W/DBE programs. She later increased her competencies by providing program development, project management and diversity certification auditing services.
StephanieSpeaking LLC provides speaking, workshop facilitation and business navigation services for minority, women, veteran, and small business owners. The company helps business owners overcome fear, confusion and stagnation by providing clear instruction and easily integrated strategies on how to successfully navigate and compete for government and public contracts. Dr. Burroughs is known for her inspirational, holistic and common sense approach resulting in many clients and audience members experiencing thought-life transformation; thereby changing their outlook and approach to their business and life endeavors.
Dr. Stephanie D. Burroughs is a graduate of Rutgers University and currently resides in New Jersey.
What can you do in the first thirty seconds of your encounter to capture your audience’s attention? Can you prove to them that you are worth listening to? Think about this: Every time you communicate with someone, they are paying with either time or money. Your audience is rooting for you; they want you to succeed. They don’t want their time or money wasted any more than you want to waste it. Then why is it getting wasted?
Sometimes when you’re approaching something new, figuring out what you should not do is just as important as figuring out what to do. Let’s first take a look at some communication “complaints.”
Speaking in a monotone.
Avoiding eye contact.
Fidgeting and other annoying mannerisms.
Using vocal fillers (“uhm,” “uh,” etc.).
Lacking any emotion or conviction.
Sounding mechanical or rehearsed.
Rushing through the presentation, speaking too fast.
Talking down to the audience.
Not finding common ground.
Failing to help the audience see value in the presentation.
Pushing or pressuring the audience.
Overloading the audience with too much information.
Being disorganized, jumping from one point to the next without any flow.
Not checking environment beforehand to limit interruptions and distractions.
Exhibiting poor listening skills.
Saying the wrong things at the wrong moments.
Not adapting to the particular personality or personalities you’re working with.
Displaying nervousness and fear.
Jumping to conclusions.
Pushing a predetermined, one-sided solution.
Not being in tune with audience emotions.
Allowing personal emotions to get involved.
Being knowledgeable in an arrogant way.
The good news is most of these things are easily remedied once they are pointed out. We just don’t realize how often we commit them. Great persuaders have found their presentation weaknesses. They record themselves as they present and talk on the phone. Recording yourself will let you step into your audience’s shoes and give you a true-to-life representation that’s easy to evaluate. Plus, there won’t be any second-guessing—the recording doesn’t lie. Sure, it can be a painful exercise, but you will gain invaluable insights that cannot be found in any other way. Remember what they say: “No pain, no gain.” Great persuaders will endure a little pain to maintain their high income.
After some banter about Steve’s trip to Cabo San Lucas, offending more people, and talking about food, Kurt and Steve discuss a recent article by Psych Central. You know those random “aha” thoughts you get? It turns out they’re usually right!
All human beings yearn for direction and guidance. That’s why someone with a vision is so alluring and influential to us. Charismatics are able to create a strong clear vision of the future. People will jump on board when they can see that there is a solid vivid vision in place that they can touch, taste, feel, or see. No one wants to get on a sinking ship. People want to know: What’s the plan? Where are we going? What are we aiming for? Your goal is to powerfully present how your vision is the solution to their problems. Your vision must bridge the gap between their present situation and their desired situation—where they are, and where they want to be.
Vision is powerful because it keeps us focused on the future objective instead of getting stuck in the current preoccupations of the day. It gives us focus and purpose for the future. It creates a big picture. A cohesive common vision brings people together and unites them toward the same goals and objectives. Charismatic people have a clearly defined vision and are filled with great enthusiasm and expectation. Remember more than anything else in life, vision—whether it’s yours or somebody else’s—dictates your daily decisions. When the vision is clear, the right decisions are easier to make.
A true vision diminishes the fear of failure, negative thinking and promotes synergy. They want to know what is in for them in the long-term. Why should they support you and your vision? How does this affect the whole team? Your vision builds a bridge from the present status quo to the future objective.
We’ve all experienced it. That nervous, unsettling feeling right before we start to negotiate. Leading up to a negotiation, most of us expect conflict. We expect to have to give up valuable things that we don’t want to lose. But does it have to be that way? The answer is sometimes. But in any case, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently found that those who are able to channel the nervous energy of a negotiation are able to achieve better results than those who can’t. On this episode, Kurt and Steve discuss a few ways for doing this and some of the implications it will have for the future study of negotiation.
Kurt and Steve also discuss the concept of “reciprocal concessions” as it applies to negotiation. Can we strategically plan what we will give up and when in order to produce a more favorable negotiation? Absolutely. The key points are first establishing with the other party what you already agree on. This commits them more to the process and lowers their resistance. When you feel like the person you are negotiating with is going to say no, try to avoid it. Try to get them to commit to as many other things as possible. As this happens over time, the chances that they will eventually say “yes” to what was once “absolutely not” go up dramatically. It may not happen right then and there, but it could happen later. Patient negotiators who understand this always win. As the old saying goes: in negotiation, when a person with money meets a person with experience, the person with the experience ends up with the money…and the person with the money ends up with the experience.
Sometimes the best way to learn something is by learning what NOT to do. In episode 5, Kurt and Steve discuss a recent visit Kurt had with the Red Cross as well as the recent news that Delta Airlines is the “least respected brand in America.” They also introduce a new show segment, the “Persuasion Ninja”, where they highlight a recent interaction with a powerful persuader and point out tactics that we can all use.
So what’s the main takeaway from this episode? Make it easy for your prospects to do business with you. There are literally hundreds of objections and obstacles that can spontaneously pop up to derail your influence with a prospect. This makes it important that you streamline the persuasion process by presenting why your prospect can easily do business with you…not why they can’t. This can be challenging given certain restrictions that businesses/governments place on what persuaders can and cannot say. However, creating the right atmosphere, choosing the right words, and effective listening make it easy for a prospect to do business with you.
And as promised by Steve, click <a title=”It’s Not About The Nail” href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4EDhdAHrOg”>here</a> for the hilarious video that illustrates why the real solution to a problem is sometimes just listening.
Listening isn’t just hearing what somebody is saying. It’s about taking in everything with your eyes, ears, and heart. The truly effective persuader knows how to observe the subtle signals given by their prospects. Body language, eye movement, and vocal tone give the best indication of what somebody is really thinking and feeling about your message.
When persuading, stop and think: how can I better pay attention to what the prospect is truly saying? Watch your prospects eyes. When the pupils dilate, it means they are interested in what you are saying. If they give you steady eye contact, they’re interested. But lack of eye contact, fake smiles (where they eyes are not also engaged in the smile), and pupils that aren’t dilated are signs that you’re losing the prospect and that it’s time to change gears.
We all know that “involving” a prospect in a process increases the likelihood of successful persuasion. But when is this technique effective and when is it a total failure? Great persuaders are able to involve their prospects by breaking up the process of persuasion into small commitments. If you notice that your prospects are resisting you, try reducing the size of the commitments you ask of them. This doesn’t mean you won’t get the same result (a sales price, etc.), it just means you’ll get it in smaller doses along the way.
What should you do when you breach a client’s trust …even if it’s not your fault? Kurt and Steve discuss how to repair a broken relationship in today’s competitive environment. Your prospects know you’re not perfect, so pretending to be so will be a red flag in their subconscious mind. Controlling how your prospects perceive your imperfections, however, will allow you to more speedily build trust and convert it into long term, profitable, and persuasive relationships.
How does personal space affect your ability to persuade? What about touch? In various cultures and depending on the sex of the person you are talking to, touch can be a valuable persuasive tool. It lowers mental barriers and puts people at ease. In this episode,
Kurt and Steve talk about some of the time tested proxemics and touch techniques that you can apply today to get more effective results. We will cover how a handshake (touch) can help or hurt your ability to influence.
On this episode, Kurt and Steve discuss the all important topic of Charisma and how it applies to persuaders and negotiators everywhere. They discuss how charisma (or the lack thereof) has influenced the Anthony Wiener scandal in New York. They also dive into subconscious triggers and how they affect our ability to persuade and influence. Charisma is the most power influence skill on the planet.