I came across a wonderful short video from vimeo featuring Simon Sinek. In the span of three minutes Sinek laid out why consistency trumps intensity almost every time when it comes to the most important things in life. I encourage you to invest a few minutes right now to watch the video.
I agree with Simon’s message because I’ve personally seen the results. Having run several marathons and competing in bodybuilding right after college I can attest to the fact that no one workout makes or breaks you. And neither does any one meal. It was the accumulated effect of training and heathy eating that always had me ready to compete.
When it comes to mastering persuasion consistency also trumps intensity. Reading a book like Influence Science and Practice by Robert Cialdini is a good start but it’s not enough. Going to the two-day Principles of Persuasion workshop is a very good investment of your time but it’s not enough either.
In his best-selling book To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others Daniel Pink cited a study of more than 7,000 workers in the United States and found, “People are now spending about 40 percent of their time at work engaged in non-sales selling—persuading, influencing, and convincing others in ways that don’t involve anyone making a purchase.” That means the average worker spends more than three hours a day trying to persuade people to do things!
Pink went on to write, “People consider this aspect of their work crucial to their professional success—even in excess of the considerable amount of time they devote to it.”
Persuasion is like health and fitness. Mastering persuasion can make a big difference in the quality of your life. I’m a firm believer that much of your professional success and personal happiness depends on your ability to effectively and ethically influence people. And just like health, you won’t achieve professional or personal goals by reading a book or just attending a workshop. It requires consistency of time and effort.
At State Auto Insurance I’ve seen the results of consistency firsthand. Insurance agents who’ve attended our Principles of Persuasive Selling workshop the past two years saw their agency sales increase 14.8% in the three months immediately following the workshop! This is about 20 points better than the average of the rest of our agency force! Why such good, immediate success? Because agents who attend the workshop are encouraged to follow up the training by reading Cialdini’s book, taking advantage of one-on-one coaching with me, and they’re given resources (including this blog) to reinforce their learning. All of these keep ethical influence front and center for them so they’re continually looking for ways to apply what they learned.
Whether you’re in business, a stay at home parent, a coach or in any other role, it’s a good bet that your life will be easier, happier and more successful if you understand how to engage people based on the science and research behind the persuasion process. Keep reading this blog because it will feed your persuasion soul weekly. A great next step would be to pick up a copy of Influence Science and Practice. And finally, consider attending a workshop for hands on in-depth training. Doing all three will lead you to mastery of persuasion in time.
Brian Ahearn, CMCT®, is the Chief Influence Officer at InfluencePEOPLE and Learning Director at State Auto Insurance. His Lynda.com course, Persuasive Selling, has been viewed more than 120,000 times! Have you seen it yet? Watch it and you’ll learn how to ethically engage the psychology of persuasion throughout the sales process.