Influencing Skills Training

Find out How to Enhance Your Persuasion Skills with iRascal:

You need a supermarket buyer to meet you on Thursday? You want supply chain to accept a derogation? You’d like your colleague to help you with a project? Persuasion. Some people are good at it, some aren’t. It’s a skill, like any other, that can be developed. The only question is, ‘How much will it help you to be a better persuader?’. Here’s how to enhance your persuasion skills with ‘iRascal’:

‘iRascal’ is a mnemonic combining the legacy of our friends at Apple with the word rascal, which according to one dictionary definition, means to be ‘a little cheeky’. It is this that we believe is at the heart of being more persuasive, a little cheeky. The courage to ask, to put forward your point, or cunningly use a persuasion tool.

rascal definition - enhance persuasion skills with irascal

Persuasion Skills: i is for Image

The old Chinese proverb that a picture says a 1,000 words is never more true than in the digital age. We can describe how bad the problem is on the phone, but it is only when we send a picture, or a short video, of the ‘Cutter 2000’ machine with smoke coming out of its vents that the retailer begins to show some empathy.

A client recently shared with us that their presentations to the retailer had become dull because they were on the ‘Powerpoint Treadmill‘. They chose not to put a deck together and instead selected their single most important point – They were lost as to what the retailer wanted. The Sales Director found an image of an average family car pulling a tattered caravan. The car was the retailer. The caravan was the supplier. The image successfully got the point across that the supplier needed to keep some money to invest and they needed to know where they were going.

Action: Use a carefully selected image to convey your point. In this TED video Chip Kidd humourously helps us understand the power of images to persuade.

Persuasion Skills: R is for Reciprocity

Put simply, if you are invited to someone’s birthday party, you are duty bound to invite them to yours. If someone does a favour for you, you feel honoured to do the same for them.

Action: Do more favours for people who you work with and you’ll reap the rewards. ‘Pay it Forward‘.

Persuasion Skills: A is for Authority

This is the most used of the persuasion tools. ‘I’d like to speak with your manager’. Often used in situations of extreme irritation where we are getting nowhere with a huge downside of trashing your relationship with that person.

Action: To be used sparingly.

Persuasion Skills: S is for Scarcity

Strangely, the less of something and the harder to get it, the more we want it. This is why ‘Limited Edition’ works so well. If there were to be less of a product that you were selling, might more people want it? Be careful not to bluff and lose.

Action: Identify an opportunity to use scarcity confidently to achieve what you want.

Our training course Influencing Skills will help you to get more of what you want. Arrange a call back here to know more.

Persuasion Skills: C is for Consistency

‘Last time I came into this shop you gave me a refund’. We look for patterns in people’s behaviour that give us comfort and predictability. If you acted one way in a situation before, then you are likely to act the same way the next time. Similar to when we watch programmes about courts and one lawyer is able to quote ‘an authority’, which is where a previous case gave a decision by a judge that is similar to the current case, i.e. A precedent has been set.

Action: When you next need to persuade someone, find out if what you want has ben granted before.

Persuasion Skills: A is for All-Together 

People look to the actions of others to determine their own. We’ve all been in a work situation where you want to see what the boss does first because you are not absolutely sure. You are less likely to ‘like’ a company/product on Facebook if it has 3 likes, than if it has 52,000 likes. Most of the time we all want to follow the crowd and be part of the consensus.

Action: Demonstrate to the person that you are trying to persuade that by doing this thing, they are being one of the crowd.

Persuasion Skills: L is for Liking

Research tells us that up to 40% of a sale is based on whether the buyer likes the seller. ‘People like people like themselves’, which is why the tools from NLP are so important because if you can talk someone’s language or act like they do (Mirroring) they’ll feel like you are more like them.

Action: ‘Read NLP for Dummies‘, or at least research the topic to pick up some hints and tips.

In summary ‘iRascal’ are 7 principles that will help you understand how you can improve your persuasion skills to get more of what you want. Here is a great video on the ‘Science of persuasion’.

Persuasion Skills IRASCAL - Image, Reciprocity, Authority, Scarcity, Consistency, All-Together, Liking

What works for you when you are using your persuasion skills? Please share your view by commenting below.

Slideshare – How to enhance your persuasion skill with ‘iRascal’  by Darren A. Smith

Darren A. Smith

About Darren A. Smith

Darren has been working in the world of UK Supermarkets and Suppliers for over 20 years. He began his career as a buyer at one of the big 4 UK supermarkets and after rising through the ranks he decided to leave after 13 years and set-up Making Business Matter. For the last 14 years he has run MBM, which is a training provider to the UK grocery industry. Helping suppliers to the big four supermarkets to develop the soft skills that will secure them more profitable wins.

3 Comments

  • Josh Hoare says:

    I really like the ‘Reciprocity’, as in every environment let alone just business, if you help somebody out and do them a favour then you will indeed reap the rewards even if that is just a relationship for the future or an action, its all positive! Good job on this article.

  • Tom Rees says:

    When trying to persuade someone, I try to focus on a few things, a main one being L for Liking. I strongly believe if there is a good positive relationship and perception between both parties then things are more likely to have a positive outcome.

  • Jacob Donohoe says:

    Being part of a crowd is what influences a lot of people, they want to conform as they know that they aren’t the only ones and that ‘everyone else is doing it’. Liked the inclusion of that within this persuasion article.

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