6 Levels of Influence

Whether you are selling, negotiating or just trying to convince people to come across to your way of thinking, how do you get them over the line? It all comes down to six powerful levels of influence.  They can make a difference in all areas of business.

These principles of influence are going to be really important not only in selling, marketing and customer service but also if you are leading teams. Influence is leadership.

I think it is really important to understand the triggers and principles of great influence. If you can get a handle on all of this, I firmly believe that you will improve your marketing and your communication.

LEVEL #1: Reciprocation

If I do something for you, you feel like you must do something for me. This is an amazing concept. I have travelled the world and this level of influence crosses boarders, cultures and geographies. It is applicable in every environment that you see.

I was speaking to a very successful car dealer who sells top end luxury products. One of the things that they do when they see a prospect is to give them a cup of coffee. Why do they give them a cup of coffee? There is a likelihood that the customer will feel like they have to give something back in return. The fascinating part of reciprocation is that what you give back in return does not have to be in equal value.  So here is the transaction: You invest $3 to give them a cup of coffee and they buy a $70,000 vehicle. It is a very powerful mechanism that I think everyone needs to embrace.

LEVEL #2: Commitment and Consistency

Once people make a decision on an issue, it is very hard for them to back down. I am going to ask them questions to help them commit. I am going to ask questions, not because I want to give them the answer, but rather, I want them to give me the answer. When a customer gives me the answer, they will not walk away from that commitment. Ultimately I am not leading them, I am steering them. I am actually anchoring the fact that it was “their” idea.

An example of commitment and consistency is this. Many gyms give a 7 day trial. They give you the trial to get you in the habit of going to their gym. That is also why you get engaged before you get married. This is a very important strategy to get involved.

LEVEL #3: Social Proof

This is the single greatest change in marketing.  People no longer believe you; they believe what others say about your product and service. We see social forums like Facebook, Twitter and places that contain ratings and reviews being more important than what you say about your product.

I buy a lot of books. I do not believe the publisher. I believe what other readers have said about that book. When I go to a movie, I do not worry about what the movie people say because they are going to give me their best version of the truth. I look at what everyone else says about the movie. If all of them say it is fantastic and nothing is wrong with it, I suddenly do not believe them. Social proof has to have authenticity about it. Authenticity is solidified with less than perfect reviews.

I have seen some websites where you know that they have fudged the Facebook page. They have taken out anything that could be viewed as negative. I look at them and I know that they are only giving me half of the story. I want the full story. Being open and vulnerable creates authenticity in your marketing.

LEVEL #4: Liking

We buy from people that we either like or want to be like. It is really important to have aces in places. It is really important that you have people that have delightfully sparkly eyes when they are engaged with the public. Misery does not sell. It is really important to have frontline people who have developed the art of how to become a likable person.

LEVEL #5: Authority

This is really important. It is why you never question the doctor, because the doctor knows best. It is why the student never questions the professor.

If you want to really develop your authority, then you have to develop your expertise in a niche. You can become an authority by writing books, creating CDs or writing blogs that are content rich. This helps people see you as an expert. When you are an expert, they will not challenge your authority.

LEVEL #6: Scarcity

There is no doubt that scarcity is a very powerful form of influence. We want something even more when we cannot have it. It is one of the most insanely ridiculous ideas that I have seen. I have seen this work time and time again.

That is why real estate agents would prefer to have auctions rather than private sales. An auction creates the concept of scarcity. It creates an environment where buyers believe that the product is so scarce that it drives up the price.

These are the six very powerful principles of influence. All I am suggesting is that you go through these six levels once again. Then go and equip your marketing, your sales, your customer service and in many ways even the communication with your team with these fantastic tools. If you want to move your business forward, you have to influence your team and your customers in the future. 


The author is founder and Chief Energy Officer of Achievers group. He is a much in demand passionate professional speaker, business educator, author and corporate and business advisor.  He has worked with over 170 businesses around the world.

Website: www.achieversgroup.com.au

Email: tony@achieversgroup.com.au

Phone: 0410 538 521

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