If you don’t know how to boost your influence to grow your network marketing business and excel as a leader, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
Not all leaders are influential and not all influential people are leaders. But together, influence and good leadership make it easier to attract customers, build a team, and grow a successful business.
Influence is about trust, and trust is one of the biggest barriers in sales and network marketing. So, how awesome would it be to improve your ability to build trust with others? That would be a powerful skill!
In this post, you’ll discover how to gain more trust from your prospects, organization, and colleagues, which will help you as a business owner and a leader.
What is Influence and Why Is It Important to Network Marketing Success?
According to the University of Florida, influence refers to the impact you have on the behaviors, attitudes, opinions, and choices of others —but not in a manipulative or controlling way.
Influence is based on trust, relationship building, and motivating others, which is why it’s an essential leadership skill. Sure, people may like you. But, if they don’t trust you, your capacity to influence them is limited.
Beyond leadership, your ability to influence determines whether or not you’ll be able to persuade others to:
- make a purchase
- join your organization
- refer and introduce you to others.
Therefore, influence is a big factor in your success.
Since your skills at influence can make or break your business, you’d better understand how to earn the trust of others as a network marketer and leader.Your skills at influence can make or break your business. Learn how to earn the trust of others when you're a network marketer and leader.Click To Tweet
1) Establish Credibility
Credibility is the quality of being believable, convincing, and trusted. So, one way to boost your influence is to establish your credibility to prove that you’re a reliable person with integrity.
Credibility originates from experience and a repeated record of making good on promises as well as being a person of character. If you have a reputation for being unreliable or untruthful, people will not trust you or do business with you. It’s up to you to consistently display behavior that exemplifies trustworthiness.
Here are a few suggestions.
Whether you’re new or experienced, you need to be knowledgeable about the products, services, offers, organization, and business overall. Always be working on yourself through self-improvement and professional development. Train and educate yourself often. Learn from others. Find someone who can mentor you or hire a coach to reduce the time it takes to advance.
It’s not helpful to be trustworthy and reliable only some of the time. Your track record of being honest, following up, displaying leadership skills, and setting a good example needs to be consistent. Do what you say you’re going to do on a regular basis.
Focus on Helping
Aggressive selling and promoting will repel people. To earn trust, provide value regularly. Solve the pain points of your prospects and support your colleagues. Don’t be the person that people go out of their way to avoid! By helping others in an authentic way, you will gain trust and a positive reputation.
Hang out with Credible, Reputable People
People often judge you by the people you hang out with. So, associate with other leaders and well-known successful network marketers. You will learn from them and some of their credibility and celebrity will rub off on you by simply being around them.
To earn the trust of others faster, gather recommendations, reviews, and endorsements. You can brag about yourself, but it’s much more effective when other people do it for you! Here are few statistics about word-of-mouth marketing:
- 88% of people had the highest level of trust in a brand when a friend or family member recommended it.
- 90% of people are much more likely to trust a recommended brand (even from strangers).
- 21% of people will lose trust in a brand, whether they’ve been a customer or not, because of bad word-of-mouth.
- Word-of-mouth is even more effective than paid ads, resulting in five times more sales.
2) Focus on What Motivates Your Target Audience, Not You
People make decisions based on emotions, not facts. They use facts to justify their decisions. Understanding what motivates others will help you to emotionally connect with your target audience, whether that be prospects, team members, or colleagues. That connection will foster trust and boost your influence.
Think about this: if you want people to trust you, their needs should be the emphasis of your business. They must believe that you care about their well-being and understand their concerns. Otherwise, your self-interests will come through and make you look like you’re out to serve yourself. Very few people will do something that benefits you unless it benefits them.
Do some research to identify what your target audience values and how they feel. In doing so, you’ll be able to communicate with them from their perspective, which creates a bond and makes you look less egocentric. And, with their motivations and values prioritized, they’ll make decisions that are right for themselves, not for you. It’s ALL about them, not you!
3) Be a Good Listener
To figure out what motivates your target audience and to connect with others on a more human level, improve your listening skills. As Greek philosopher Epictetus pointed out, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
While it’s true that speaking is a big part of being an effective communicator and leader, listening is equally important. In fact, one study showed that good listening skills increased influence more than talking did since listening builds trust and helps people gather information.
According to Forbes, listening is the “single most crucial skill in communicating and building your business.” When you actively listen, you focus intently on what the other person is saying as well as engage and respond to it. Listening puts the speaker at the center of attention, which shows respect and genuine interest. Think about how you feel about the person who pays attention to you and the one who doesn’t.
In today’s distracted world, people will really appreciate you if you really listen to what they’re saying. And, consider the valuable information you’ll collect! Listening reveals what other people think and care about, their feelings and emotions, and what problems they need help solving. This insight will help you build relationships, become a better leader, and grow your business.
Here are a few tips to be a good listener:
- Maintain eye contact and stay engaged
- Ask good relevant questions
- Avoid interruptions and distractions
- Display nonverbal cues to show you’re listening
- Respond and provide feedback
4) Give to Others for Free
Another way to build trust with others is to share information and other items of value, such as free trials, digital/physical products, or giveaways. When you give something to someone, they feel obligated to give back to you. This is called “Reciprocity” and is one of the principles of persuasion that guide human behavior, according to psychologist, author, and persuasion expert Robert Cialdini.
Think about this: when someone does a favor for you or invites you to a party, don’t you feel obliged to return it? When it comes to social obligation, Cialdini points out that people are more likely to say yes to those who they owe.
For example, a series of studies conducted in restaurants showed that waiters giving a free gift—a mint—to diners at the end of a meal influenced higher tips. Here’s what they found:
- A single mint increased tips by around 3%.
- Two mints increased tips by 14% (quadruple!).
- A 23% increase occurred if the waiter gave one mint, started to walk away from the table but paused, turned back and said, “For you nice people, here’s an extra mint.”
The last point shows that how the gift was given influenced the tip versus the gift itself. By making the diners feel special, the waiter had even more influence.
When applied to your business, giving to others can affect how people perceive you and how they respond, which could be a powerful tool in your own organization and business.
5) Share More About Yourself
While we are on the topic of Cialdini’s thoughts about persuasion science, let’s address his Principles of Liking and Authority, which say that you’ll have more influence when people like you and perceive that you’re an authority in your industry. That’s why you’re always hearing experts emphasize how valuable the “know, like, and trust” factor is in the customer’s buying journey.
People tend to like others who are similar to them and share mutual goals. They also “follow the lead of credible, knowledgeable experts.” To get people to decide whether they like you and view you as an expert, you’ll need to share more about yourself.
I’m not suggesting you tell confidential secrets or super intimate details! But sharing your expertise, personal stories, and values can be an important factor when it comes to people making a connection with you.
To gain trust as an authority, you’ll need to consistently show that you’re experienced or knowledgeable. For instance, offer training, articles or other forms of information to educate your audience while illustrating your expertise. It’s even more effective to have other people highlight your skills, experience, and qualifications.
To attract people with similar characteristics and goals, don’t be afraid to express your beliefs, personality, and feelings. Being yourself will also repel those who aren’t meant to be in your community, which is a good thing.
Whether you’re leading an organization or prospecting, likeability and authority impact your ability to influence and persuade others. So, don’t overlook the importance of interacting with others frequently to build relationships and foster trust.
A Few Last Words About How to Increase Your Influence
In the end, the list above really highlights one fact: to be more influential as a business owner, prioritize human beings and their feelings. Today more so than ever, people long to be valued, respected, and noticed. By taking a less self-centered approach to leadership and sales, you will go a long way in building trust, increasing influence, and reaching the next level in your business.
As with most skills, it takes time and practice to get better at interacting with others. It helps to have a good leadership mindset and to develop good leadership habits. Don’t forget that I’m here to help you to become a better leader! As a business coach and mentor, I help you to “be more, do more, and have more”—whether you’re a network marketer, entrepreneur, executive, or small business owner.
However, if you’re not ready to invest in coaching, be sure to check out my free leadership training that shows you how to avoid some common mistakes so that you can grow your team.