In April, James McEntire came to talk to us about The Art of Persuasion. He spoke to us about 4 particular things that stood out and garnered some conversation amongst the members.
The first was the Law of Reciprocation. The basic principle behind this one is that all of us in business should always look to see what we can do for others before thinking about what they can do for us or how we can work with them. This in turn makes people feel they owe you something, and that can prove to be very beneficial to your business later on. Your motives need to be genuine, without the expectation of people owing you on the back end; thus, it takes a lot of courage and a good heart.
The second followed up on the first, which he called the Saddle of Obligation. In this case, the concept goes deeper because someone might need help or a favor that you help them with that has nothing to do with business whatsoever. What happens is that most people feel obligated to find ways to help you, even if it's just recommending you to other people they might know who can use what you have to offer.
The third flows with the first two, and doesn't fall into a tidy phrase. His recommendation was that when you meet people at networking events, try to figure out how you can help them. This follows up on a principle Zig Ziglar stated which goes "If you want to achieve your goals, help others achieve theirs."
I felt this one personally because I remembered when I was first in consulting I couldn't get anyone to talk to me, even though none of them were in my field of expertise. Afterwards, when I got my bearings, I made it my mission to always help by giving advice when asked by anyone trying to become independent, even if they could potentially be competitors.
The final piece was to work on being an authority or expert in your field. That sounds pretty easy and yet many people don't figure out how to get that done. We all find it hard to talk about ourselves, to the extent that we might minimize just how good we actually are.
In essence, what's our unique proposition; what sets us apart from others who do what we do? As Peggy Klaus said in the book "Brag", we have to learn how to toot our own horn because we can't always rely on others to do it for us.
These are all good principles for anyone who's self employed or works as a consultant.