Strategies and Tactics: Flip the Influence Tactic

Strategies and Tactics: Flip the Influence Tactic
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So, far we talked about our first strategy which is the minimize the biases that enable the others to influence us. We use several examples, we use social proof, we use availability and we use the liking to illustrate that strategy of minimizing those biases. Now, I want to talk about the second strategy for protecting yourself, and that really is to flip the influence tactic on the other person. So, the idea here is, when they use the influence tactic on you, you can You can actually reverse the tactic and use the same tactic back on them to protect yourself from that influence. So, let me give you a few examples. I’m going to go back to liking to begin with.
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So, we talked about, for example, the engaging in dialogue prior to backing requests. And how to minimize the impact of that dialogue by minimizing the, The opportunity for dialogue. But in this case, I wanna talk about how people draw on similarities to use the liking effect to influence us. The idea of drawing on similarities is finding those areas in life. Could be personal, could be professional, where we share a common bond.
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We have a similarity in common and drawing on that to create this relationship and this notion of liking between us, therefore making it more likely that you will comply with a request or my influence attempt, but we can actually flip that strategy of drawing on similarities on the other person, so when the person tries to influence you. Draws on those similarities you can actually reverse that by refocusing the conversation on differences.
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So, if I’m trying to influence you, and I draw on some similarities, I make similarities that you and I have in common, and I make those particularly, salient, or make you aware of those similarities, you can in return, refocus the conversation on yes, we do share those common similarities but we also have some important differences, and making those differences salient or aware actually, Reduces the likelihood of that liking effect having its impact on you in terms of influence. Let’s go back to social proof for example. In our earlier segment on social proof, when we were talking about using it as an influence tactic, we talked a lot about showing Similar others are doing what you’re asking of this person.
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So, everybody else is doing this, therefore you should too. Or showing that others have done the same thing and succeeded, so really drawing on their success. Sharing testimonials of others who are similar to you. So, those are ways in which I can use social proof as an influence tactic. But at the same time if you want to protect yourself from that influence, you can actually flip that tactic on the person trying to influence you. For example, if we just take these here, rather than showing what similar others are doing, you can actually show that similar others are not doing what, in this case, I would be asking of you.
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So, if I give you a couple of examples of people who I think are similar to you and They’re buying the same thing that I’m trying to get you to buy or they’re taking the same action that I’m trying to get you to take. You can very quickly think of and offer examples of similar others who are not doing those same things or not buying that same product or service. To minimize the impact of social proof as an influence tactic. Another thing that you can do is share examples of others who have taken that same approach, and instead of succeeding, actually failed.
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So, if I’m trying to influence you, I give you examples of people who have done this, and they succeed. You turn that around and give me examples of people who have done the same thing and failed. Again, minimizing the impact of social proof. As an influence tactic. Thirdly is, if I try to use testimonials of similar others who took a similar approach and were successful, really focus in on the testimonials, you can do the same thing. Give testimonials of people who are similar but took a fundamentally different approach. So, it’s not that they failed in this case. But then they actually were successful but in a different way.
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So, if I give you a testimonial of someone who took a particular approach and we’re successful you can give me a testimonial in return of someone who took a different approach and was equally or even more successful. Again, quick strategies that you can use to flip the influence tactic, in this case, social proof, on the other person, minimizing that other person’s influence on you, and even possibly increasing your influence on that other person. Let’s give another example. In our earlier segment, we talked about anchoring. Anchoring being that people just psychologically will insufficiently adjust from whatever the starting value might be. So, in that earlier segment, we gave a couple examples of different anchors, whether the anchor was low, or high.
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If you’ve ever negotiated with anybody either in your personal life or your professional life you know the impact of an anchor. If you’re trying to buy my car, or trying to buy my house or I’m selling you a product or a service what we anchor each other at is our starting point, really defines the negotiation that happens subsequently. So, the same is true here so if someone tires to anchor you on a particular number or a price, one thing that you can do is ignore that anchor. So, for example someone comes in and they’re asking for an increase in the IT budget and they say. That last year’s IT budget was 1.5 million dollars. Well you can ignore that anchor.
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Or if someone comes in and says we had a 2.5% increase in number of key accounts company wide. There they’re setting a low anchor and their trying to influence you with that anchor. So, one strategy is you can ignore that anchor. But to be honest that’s easier said then done. That’s why anchoring is an effective influence tactic, is many people don’t even realize that they’re being anchored. So, the second strategy dealing with anchoring that I also recommend is to simply flip the anchor on the other person. So, if that other person starts with a low anchor, you flip it to a high anchor. Or if that other person starts with a high anchor, you flip it to a low anchor.
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So, the examples I give you here If someone talks about they’re trying to reduce the IT budget and they say last year’s IT budget was $1.5 million and you’re asking for$2 million, for example, for the IT budget. And they’re trying to anchor you lower by saying, but wait a minute, last year’s budget was only \$5 million. You can come back and flip that anchor by saying something to the effect of Yes but our competitor spend 2.3 million dollars. Similar size, same IT systems, but a much bigger budget, in this case, 53% higher than us. That’s a very effective strategy for flipping that anchor, and minimizing the impact of, in this case, the low anchor had on the negotiation.
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Or for example if someone is trying to talk about key accounts in this case, they say something to be effective. There was a 2.5% increase in the number of key accounts company wide. But you’re trying to increase the number of key account even further. You might use a very specific example. So, in this case, our Chicago office increased key accounts by 9% which, in this case, would be a 260% over the average company-wide. Again, you’re simply flipping the anchor in these cases low to high. You can do the same thing high to low. Again, just flipping The influence tactic on the person trying to use it on you. Another example, in our prior segment we talked about framing.
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When an option is framed as a gain, we become risk-averse. When it’s framed as a loss, we become risk-seeking. Same thing’s true here. So, these are the same examples that we talked about in that earlier segment whether it’d be about market share or Get this new product or don’t miss out on this new product and we learn that when we frame something as a loss or missing out on the opportunity. If we do this we could go out of business. Those are losses versus the gain that we could gain market share, we gain the new, the benefits of the new product. Again, here again, you have two strategies.
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You can one, ignore the frame which as I said earlier with incurring. Much easier said then done because many people don’t even recognise that the conversation is being framed as a gain or a loss. But what you can is if you can pick up on what framing’s being used, whether it’s a gain or a loss, depending on whether you want people to be risk adverse or risk seeking. You can actually flip that frame from a gain to a loss, or a loss to a gain. So, for example, the example I give you here, if somebody comes in here and says, we should enter this market because we can gain 11% in market share.
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Potential for risk aversion there is pretty high. And if you want people to be even more tolerant of risk. If you want to protect your team from being risk-averse, too conservative, the thing you could say is, yes, but if we do not enter this market, we could actually go out of business. And if we go out of business, we lose everything. That reframing of the same decision, will move you from gain to loss, from risk aversion to risk seeking. That’s an example of how you can flip the frame. Flip the influence tactic to protect yourself, protect your team from that unwanted influence. One more example just to illustrate.
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We talked a lot about scarcity in the earlier segment, the idea that when quantities are limited, when there’s a limited inventory, that scarcity, we are, we’re actually influenced where we are much more likely to buy the product or want the product. And we talk about different tactics that people use to activate scarcity and use scarcity to influence emphasizing somethings uniqueness. Emphasizing that quantities are limited or that time is limited or constrained. Those sorts of tactics that people use. Marketers use these tactics all of the time to get you to try and buy different products and services. So again, how do you protect yourself from other people using scarcity on you?
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So, the first thing you can do is to show how that product or service or that request is not actually unique. Someone emphasizes that its unique, you actually demonstrate with evidence, That it’s not unique. It’s actually more common than they are proposing in this case. Or you actually to the limited quantities point, if they try to suggest that something is limited quantity. You have to buy it now, or it’s not gonna be available. You can actually use evidence to demonstrate that quantity is not limited. One of my favorite examples of this is, we have a furniture retail store here in Ann Arbor Michigan where I live.
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And this store has a going out of business major sale in the window a sign as is going out of business sale buy now. All of the time. And I’ve lived here since 2007 and they’ve had the exact same sign in the window forever. And so a wonderful piece of evidence to demonstrate that quantity is not that limited is that it doesn’t look like they’re going out of business any time soon. And so why should I buy now when quantities clearly are not limited? Thirdly, what you can do is draw on prior examples to show that limited time offer will be available again in the future.
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In many cases, retail outlets run the same sales over and over and over again. And so, it’s actually not limited time offer. So, you actually show that time is not as constrained. So, these are some things that you can do in a work setting when your boss comes to you or somebody else comes to you and says hey you know we only have this much time. Very limited amount of time to do this. You can actually demonstrate back to them that no time is not as constrained as we think it is.
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Or if somebody comes to you and tries to pitch you on an idea or a new company and they say this is such a unique offering or there’s only one of these in the entire world. To the extent you can show that it’s not unique, it’s not limited that will minimize the impact of scarcity s in influence tactic so again through these examples I’m hoping that your being able to pick up how you can take the influence tactics that we taught you how to use to influence people and then when somebody tries to use those same tactics on you Whether it’s liking or scarcity, framing, or anchoring, how you can then flip that tactic on the other person to minimize their influence and increase your influence in that situation.