You are getting ready to have your first conversation where you are the influencer. Do you have it planned out? Have you considered what you will say? Preparing for these types of conversations will go a long way to improving your credibility and ensure a larger chance for success.
Here are 5 things to think about when planning your next influencing conversation and some questions to help you prepare:
- What is your outcome?
- What do you want to accomplish during this conversation?
- Who do you want to influence?
- Who are the people that you need to influence to attain the outcome?
- What is important to them?
- What are their priorities and goals?
- Does this fit in with their plans?
- What questions will they raise regarding this topic?
- What is your ask from them?
- What do you want them to do to help you?
- Are you looking for their support in a meeting?
- Do you need their feedback?
- Do you need them to make a decision?
- How do you want the conversation to go?
- Do you have a way to break the ice and build rapport?
- What questions will you ask?
- Are you prepared to actively listen?
- Do you have answers prepared for the most likely concerns?
Looking at this list of questions, it seems pretty straightforward to prepare yourself for this type of a conversation. So why don’t they happen more often? There may be an assumption that they won’t go well, that the person may say no or you may be too afraid to put yourself out there and ask. This is your moment to stand up and ask for what you want. You will never know if you don’t try. Leverage the trust in the relationship that you have built already. Ensure that you are asking good questions and listening to them. Create a two way conversation that is a win-win for both of you.
Trust yourself and your preparation before going into the conversation. Being prepared and practicing what you will say will boost your confidence. Influencing conversations require you to leverage your credibility and your confidence to be effective. Remember the goal is to get to the outcome that you want and your role is to influence others to help you achieve it.