Let’s talk about how you can be more influential.
Get ready because I am about to teach you a critical cornerstone framework that I use in my speeches, for my clients, and what I teach everyone I work with on how they can become more influential.
Let’s start at the beginning.
If you didn’t already know, there are three steps to being influential. First, you observe, then you connect, and then you influence.
So, if observation is our very first step in influence, then the next question is, well, what do I observe? What should I pay attention to? What should my little antenna to be on the lookout for?
Answer: The Influential V.I.B.E.S.
These are the five critical observations that will help you find your influential message – for any person, for any situation. And I’m going to walk you through them, right now!
First, let’s break down what V.I.B.E.S. stands for:
Secret goals and desires
We begin with what is important to your influence partner (or target market).
Values are the core operating system of who we are as human beings.
Your values help you determine what you perceive to be right and wrong, or what’s good, and what’s bad. They have been shaped by your upbringing, your experiences, your culture, your religious beliefs (or lack thereof), and possible traumatizing events.
Your values drive your decisions. Just as your influence partner’s values drive theirs.
Therefore, when you can align your influential goal with their values, you’re more likely to get them on board.
Everyone’s values are valid to them.
Meaning, as influencers we must suspend our judgment if someone’s values don’t align with our own. This observation mindset means you’re staying curious, and you cannot be curious and judgmental at the same time.
The moment you begin to judge someone’s value set is the moment you lose your influential power.
Some examples of how nuanced this can be:
One person may value family and the relationships in their life. While someone else might value freedom and independence; they don’t want to be tied down. In another case, a person could value their career over starting a family.
Who is right? Who is wrong?
Neither and no one.
In life, we run into a clash of values all the time, with coworkers, family members, friends, and significant others.
You might value routine, habit, and dependability; they might value spontaneity, creativity, and “shaking things up.”
You might value humility; they might value vanity.
You might value fairness; they might value winning, maybe at any cost.
Obviously, values are very nuanced, but I’m sure you can see how clashing values lead to a mismatch in communication and expectations. However, when you can connect your idea or offer to their values, that’s when the persuasive magic happens. You will visibly see your influence partner perk up, lean in, and want to hear more about what you have to say.
Let’s take a look at how a small adjustment in your target market niche would include a change in values, and therefore how you communicate your offering.
Let’s say you work in the health/fitness/wellness industry. One target market avatar is parents in their 60’s whose kids are grown up and starting to have kids of their own, and who is starting to feel their age creeping up on them. Their values are family, staying healthy so they can stay active with their family, and to live the remainder of their life gracefully without pain.
Now, in a different corner of the health and wellness market is the college-aged dudes. Their value is most likely going to be vanity! They value looking good, feeling good, and getting some action. They want to look good for the ladies (or other fellas).
So, you’ll present the empty-nesters with the health aspects, and the college dudes with the vanity pitch. You’re selling the same thing, but using different language to sell it.
Our next part in the VIBES is Identifiers.
How does your influence partner view themselves? What descriptions do they identify with? What labels do they put on themselves? For example, would they call themselves an entrepreneur or business owner? Would they consider themselves a “family man” or “career minded?” Would they call themselves a believer or a skeptic? There are a plethora of possible personal identifiers; discover the ones that your influence partner connect with.
Since the goal of observation is to get into their reality, once we see the way they refer to themselves, we can then figure out how to reinforce those identifiers.
(Yes, there are times when you don’t want to reinforce identifiers, but that’s a longer, more in-depth discussion.)
Next in our VIBES is Beliefs.
Beliefs are the stories and meanings we apply to our experiences.
In essence, beliefs are, “This means that.” So, what does your target believe to be true?
One person may believe that if someone shows up late to a meeting, then that person is being disrespectful. Another person may think nothing of someone showing up late. So, two people can have two different meanings attached to the same thing.
So, when you’re selling an idea or selling your services, you’ll want to know the current beliefs your influence partner has.
In addition to finding your influence partner’s general beliefs, you also want to discern 4 specific areas of belief:
- What do they believe about the problem? – Do they believe there is actually a problem? Do they believe the problem could be fixed in a short amount of time? A significant amount of time? Do they think it is a big or small problem?
- What do they believe about your proposed solution? – Do they think your solution will be expensive or cheap? Do they think the solution is reliable or cutting edge? Do they believe the solution is easy or difficult? Do they believe a bunch of people will be needed for this, or do they believe a small, specialty team can handle it? Do they believe this is a one-person job? Do they believe the solution will be quick or lengthy?
- What do they believe their role is in the problem and/or the solution? – Do they believe that this isn’t their issue? Do they believe they should be an active or passive participant in the solution? Do they believe the problem directly affects them, or someone else?
- What do they believe about you? – Do they believe you have their best interest at heart? Do they believe you’re an expert or a newcomer? Do they know you or are you an unknown factor? Do they believe you’re just looking to get something from them? Do they trust you or are they skeptical?
Next, we have Emotional Triggers (the “E” in VIBES).
Emotional Triggers are the stimuli that trigger either a negative or positive emotional response within your influence partner.
Just like beliefs and values, one trigger might create a positive emotional response in one person, while also creating a negative emotional response in another person. This is why you must stay observant.
For example, your boss might love talking about his kids. Any time his kids are brought up in a conversation, he lights up. His kids are a positive emotional trigger.
On the other hand, your assistant doesn’t seem to enjoy talking about his kids. There are troubles at home and he prefers to avoid that topic. The topic of kids is currently a negative emotional trigger. So, if you want to put your boss in a positive emotional state, you’ll ask about his kids. And if I want to put your assistant in a positive emotional state, you need a different topic to bring up.
You can leverage both positive and negative emotions. So, your goal is to identify the emotional triggers and categorize their response (positive or negative).
SECRET GOALS AND DESIRES
Last, but not least in our VIBES is Secret Goals and Desires.
Ok, so, to be honest, I call them “secret” goals and desire because it sounds sexier, but the truth is, these absolutely can be stated goals and desires. Finding your influence partner’s hidden dreams and paying attention to the dreams they share can be one of your best influential leverage points to make your offer compelling to them.
When you can align your idea with the vision your influence partner has for themselves (either personally, professionally or both), you have a very powerful motivator at your disposal.
If you’re a business coach, your target market may just want to be able to pay their bills with their businesses. Fantastic! Another target market may now desire to scale their business. Great! And even another target market has the dream to leave their business. You may be able to help all of these people, but first, you must know their specific goals and dreams for themselves and their business. Knowing their goal changes how you communicate your value.
Get a sense of the target their shooting for so you can help them get there.
Your influence partner has Secret Goals & Dreams for:
- Their loved ones
- Their free time (vacations, projects, etc.)
- Their relationships
- Their career
Also, be careful that you don’t assume that everybody has the same goals for the same reasons. Someone might have the same goal, but are motivated by different reasons – which will reveal their Values!
The Influential VIBES are Values, Identifiers, Beliefs, Emotional Triggers, and Secret Goals & Desires.
When you tune into these 5 observations, you will be able to shape the conversation in a powerful and persuasive way.