Before you can get people to believe in you and what you’re doing, you first have to believe in yourself – so I will show you some examples of influencing others and how you can get people to believe in you by emulating successful methods other entrepreneurs have used.

So how do you manage to build a reputation and be perceived as a big company? James Caan hired a broom cupboard which was just big enough to fit a small desk in – this was done so that he could have a prestigious post code. When his clients called the office reception he would tell them that all the meeting rooms were busy and then would take them to the Ritz. He managed to build a great reputation based on other people’s perception of him and what he was all about.

Arnold du Toit is a qualified design engineer, with passions lying in both engineering and golf. He’s the man behind RolleyGolf and a Virgin Media Pioneer. When asked what advice would he give someone who thinks they have a great idea but they aren’t sure what to do with it, he responded, “That ‘not sure feeling’ isn’t your mind or your personality, the curiosity and idea that you have is the real you. So any fear should be used as encouragement and transformed into positivity to succeed.”

Examples of influencing others
Examples of influencing others

He continued, “A practical exercise to play with would be your pitch. You’ve got to believe in your idea so much that it becomes infectious. Remember the world will and has to fight against it. Think of it as breaking rules, but rules that simply shouldn’t have existed. If your idea is good then be prepared to pitch to non-believers every day. The art of articulating your idea will create followers and curious people like yourself. That’s the start of building an empire. The rest is just business.”

Self-belief

As I mentioned earlier, self-confidence is a key trait in becoming successful. You have to know for sure that your product or service is something which the world needs and wants, even if they don’t appear to agree as yet.

Research has shown that this trait is known as ‘task-specific confidence’. And you will develop this when you know that you’ve conducted the correct research and done the necessary work in knowing what your intended audience has a problem with. People buy from people, so knowing what problems your demographic faces means you can provide them with solutions, rather than trying to just ‘sell’ them something.

Jason Apfel, founder of FragranceNet.com said, “You have to have a lot of self-confidence. Be willing to take a risk.” His company now has around $145 million of sales annually.

Getting others to believe in you

So how do you manage to convince others that your beliefs are correct and that you have something which they want or need? Much research has been conducted into the psychology side of this and there would appear to be 6 factors which are crucial in influencing others’ behavior:

Reciprocation: People are more willing to take a course of action if they feel as though they are returning a favor. This action also means that they are already in ‘your debt’ and that they are willing to do something in exchange. So offer small ‘freebies’ to potential clients by emailing them an interesting article or making a lucrative suggestion to them which in turn could help their business.

Be consistent: People respect others who are consistent with their commitments. So make sure to always do what you say you’re going to do – always be punctual, follow up when you say you will, make sure to answer any queries promptly, deliver on the small promises, and people will already have faith in you if you ask for a larger commitment.

Social confirmation: Behavior can be almost ‘sheep-like’ –they look for others’ opinions on what they are about to get involved in, so if they see that others have already ‘liked’ something on Facebook, for example, they will be more likely to go for your product. Be sure to use this fully when deciding on your marketing plans. Ask for ‘shares’ and ‘likes’, offering something in return, such as a free eBook.

The weight of authority: For example, people like to think that the work-out gear they wear is also being used by top athletes or they like the idea that ‘four out of five hairdressers’ would recommend a certain brand of shampoo. You need to use this ‘authority’ by being seen as an authority in your own field by giving factual, up-to-date information and telling people what you are doing, through telling your story through your blog. You can also ‘borrow’ authority by asking notable people if they would endorse your product.

Be likable: Think about it – who do you respond well to? The waitress in a restaurant who smiles and welcomes you; the car salesman who insists on speaking your name every sentence; or the sour-looking store assistant who just holds their hand out for your money without speaking to you? Mirror their movements and actions as this shows you are interested in them. The more people that like you as an influencer, the better, as it means that in turn, they are more likely to comply with any requests you make of them.  So make sure that you are genuine and likeable in all your dealings with others.

Scarcity: It’s human nature to want what you can’t have – make people think that time is running out or that they can have something today before the price goes up tomorrow, and you are generally more likely to make a sale. Many will also respond to a ‘ticking clock’ on a website – we all like to think we are getting a bargain before everyone else does.

There are many examples of influencing others which you can learn to use to your advantage, and if you enjoy psychology-based behavior, this could be the way for you to go.