Subscription Options

October 14, 2008

The Confidence Game

As a consultant your entire career is dependant on your ability to influence people.

Your role is to lead them one way or the other, towards your products, away from dangerous or perilous decisions and towards a better future and so on. You get my point.

Whether you actively sell, market, deliver services or construct solutions you need to influence people at every step of the way.

And the basis of influence is confidence.

  • You need the confidence that you are “worthy” of advising your clients, and that you can help deliver them the future they are looking for.
  • You need to create doubt in a casual manner if you see things heading away from where they should be.
  • And you need to affirm when they are on the right path, inspiring their own confidence in their decisions.

How to inspire confidence?

Dress smart. Not over the top, but smart. Look good at all times. I tend to make even a tuxedo look cheap so it takes me a lot of work to look smart. But when you do people treat you better, inspiring your own confidence.

Ask questions. Always look to the future and to the results of actions. Don’t make statements. That’s just looking for an argument a lot of the time. Instead ask questions that help your client to reveal the full consequences of their decisions.

Be the expert. Develop unique and insightful points of view on subjects ranging from your specialty area, and ranging through all related areas. Views that the client would not have heard before, and views that reinforce your extra-ordinary ability to lead them to value.

Heighten your senses. Learn a bit about hypnosis or psychology. Try to pick up the verbal and physical cues that somebody is lacking in confidence, or that they have doubts in what they are saying. And then develop strategies for dealing with it.

Influence is getting harder and harder to wield in the information age. Extra-ordinary people, like the people who spend money on your services, need extra-ordinary advisors.

Are you one?