Your reliable robust self confidence is always there for you. Except when you really need it. Like when you’re about to have that key interview or VIP presentation and you feel that pesky pain in your stomach. And your voice wavers ever so slightly. That’s when it pays [literally] to channel your inner Sherlock.
Here are 8 tiny details you can research and use to win over a decision-maker person, or group of people. Knowing these details enables you to transcend those nerves, whether you’re interviewing for that juicy job or pitching your idea to key investors or stakeholders.
There is research that has to be done, but it’s mostly matter of paying close attention to minute details, like you’re Sherlock Holmes when he must get that information from Irene Adler in A Scandal in Belgravia.
This communication approach naturally favors the introvert because of her superior powers of observation.
Before reading any further, think about any Very Important Conversation you have on your calendar, or one you’d like to have on your calendar. Have that Decision Maker in mind as you go detective to discover these tiny details. [Ask her assistant or other people who work with this Big Kahuna.]
1. What are this person’s professional priorities?
Key corporate investments or movements? What direction does he want to take the company? What does he always talk about in his meetings?
2. What are this person’s personal interests?
Let’s say she’s a golfer. Where does she usually play? How well? What brand of clubs does she use and what kind does she want to use?
3. What are this person’s favorite words and expressions?
You can gather these from acute listening, or talking to people close to him. If he’s published anything, read it and see what words stand out.
Does he say “large” or “huge”?
Does she say “fabulous” or “great”?
Everybody has their favorite words and those are the words we love to hear. It’s surprisingly effective how someone can open up to you when you say those witty words he’s fond of.
Now. With what you have up to now, you are already prepared to put this person in your pocket. You somehow tie your project to his professional priorities. You use examples from her favorite sports or hobbies. And of course you use their words. Even a corporate drone can transform into a fascinating speaker using these details.
It’s a form of mirroring. It happens naturally when people have affinity for each other. You’re just being intentional about establishing this affinity. Star sales professionals do this without thinking about it. It doesn’t [always] come as naturally to analytical types.
Use the following and you’ll have this person begging you to meet for dinner!
4. What kind of energy is present?
Whether she’s a fast-talking high energy person or a more modulated character, adjust your style accordingly. It’s not that you’re being fake, you’re taking the trouble to craft a message to be in alignment with this other person. That’s how influence happens.
5. How does this person dress?
Wearing a dark suit that’s just the thing for big bankers is not going to impress anyone at Google. Within any company, most people dress in the range of average, but notice specific dress preferences of the person you want to win over. If she’s a spiffy dresser, trust me, you need to up your sartorial game before that meeting. (She will notice!)
Now you’re in the room together. No time left for studies.
6. What’s his body language?
Put your arms and hands in an almost identical position. This helps you be on the same wavelength at that key person. It mayactually happen naturally because of all that great research you’ve done.
7. Pause before answering the questions.
Breathe. Count to 2 very slowly. Then say, “That’s an excellent question.” Now answer it.
Now the meeting is over. Here is your final task.
8. Follow up.
Write a note, email and/or connect on Linkedin. Your work together is just beginning.
And on that off chance that you do all of the above, in spades, and you still get a “no,” fear not. Your thoroughness now puts you in the company of champions and will soon be breaking all kinds of records.
Write down the name of the Decision Maker who can help you with a specific project. Write down these five things about this person:
1. Overriding professional project at this moment.
2. A specific detail about her hobby.
3. Three words or expressions you’ve heard this person use (or write.)
4. What’s a word to describe her personality?
5. What’s a word to describe how he dresses?
Now you’re about to sign up a brand new member of your Fan Club. Congratulations.