How to gain influence

EarChange, no matter how good it may be, is normally met with some resistance. As an example, let’s say, your company is looking for a new telephone provider. You’re brought in to help with the decision. You’re leaning towards TDS’ managedIP Hosted business VoIP system. But your boss hasn’t been sold. So how do you make him or her see your viewpoint?

Earlier in the week this article appeared in USA Today. In it author of Maximum Influence, Kurt W. Mortenson says, “The key is listening carefully to garner enough clues to use the right techniques so the other person is moved to trust you and believe what you’re saying.”

In 2010 Charles H. Green, founder and CEO of Trusted Advisor Associates LLC, wrote in a blog, “How do I convince my boss that I’m right? is entirely, 100%, the wrong question. Really—completely wrong.” He goes on to say if you want to influence your boss you should first listen to what he/she has to say. Green says, “This reciprocal listening must have a genuine quality about it. It can’t be just, ‘OK I’ll let you blab for a while as the price for letting me give my pitch, so let me just grit my teeth, OK off you go…’ ”

Green says you should go to your boss and ask him or her to explain their position. When your boss is done he suggests saying thanks and being prepared to walk away. Green says if your boss has any interest in your point of view he or she will ask to hear it.

Finally, make sure you’re prepared to clearly and concisely express your view point. According to a blog that appeared on SearchITChannel if you’re trying to sell a VoIP business solution like managedIP Hosted you should know how your business or organization will use the product, you should be able to tell your boss how the product will benefit the organization, and you should know the system.

So, listen but be prepared to speak when or if you get the chance. Feel free to follow me on @barclaypollak. You can also join in the conversation by following TDS Business @TDSbiz or liking us on Facebook.

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