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Influence lessons courtesy of Greenpeace

Today I’d like to share with you some observations I made after being “caught” by a membership canvasser for GreenPeace.

Now normally I must admit that I avoid such uninvited sales pitches but today I voluntarilly chose too listen to their pitch and I have to say I was impressed. So impress in fact that I thought I’d share some of my observations with you because we can all learn from good practice irrespective of the source.

So here’s what I noticed:

  1. The pwer of a smile!  – The young lady in question engaged me witha warm smile and strong eye contact before she ever started to speak.
  2. Confident handshake – After saying hi, she introduced herself and offered her hand. I shook it and immediately felt a higher degree of connection with my enthusiastic canvasser.
  3. Infectious enthusiasm – Sharia was clearly enthusiastic about her cause.  I could see it in her eyes and body language  in her voice and  and I could her it in her voice and vocabulary.
  4. Establish common ground – By asking some great questions early on, she ascertained by interest in and knowledge of Greenpeace and its activities.  She then went o  to deepen that by exploring my views on environmental issues.
  5. Utilise the influence principle of comittment and consistency – Once she knew how interested I was, she managed the conversation in such a way, using great questions, so that I was encouraged to publically express my pro-environmental views, thus making it much mopre likely that I would act in a consistent way to these stated views by signing up for Greenpeace
  6. Tell an emotive story – Sharia was a natural storyteller and she had a repertoire of powerful short stories that clearly brought the work that Greenpeace do to life for me.

Get the picture.  So perhaps you can think about how you could  utilise these same principles to increase your ability to persuade and influence others.

1 Comment

  1. Simon - presentation skills trainer on 18/12/2008 at 13:29

    I couldn’t agree more! And it’s soooo nice to see this kind of thing rather than the sterile list of “do this” and “don’t do that”. For all that they might be good lists they don’t work because they don’t tell people *how* to do things. This kind of list is something people can acually use in their presentations.

    Simon

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