How frustrating is it, when you know you have the solution to somebody else’s problem, but they are ‘too busy’ to listen to your offer it to them?

If I had a pound for every-time I’ve heard the expression “I’m too busy…” or “If only I had the time…” I’d be sat on my veranda overlooking Monaco right now!

I shared a FACEBOOK LIVE on Friday afternoon last week, sharing 2 exceptional tools you can use to gain more of your time back! However, for those you have yet to influence to say YES, and who haven’t watched my TIME MANAGEMENT for ENTREPRENEURS video!

Here are 23 mental triggers you can use every time before you send a message to a decision makers or influencers, or when you prepare for a meeting.

1.    Stories

People love stories, we all do. They are extremely effective sales tools. Every exceptional marketing message is essentially a story. Your vision of the future is a story. Your belief about why the status quo is broken, and the way to change that, is a story. Storytelling has become the new big thing in marketing for a reason.

2.    Event-based

A product launch, for example, is event based. So is one of your visits to a town where the decision maker or influencer resides. If something is event-based, it’s more exclusive because it only happens for a certain amount of time. It’s more scarce. So when you message a decision maker or influencer about a meeting opportunity, make it clear you are not always around, only on a certain date and time.

3.    Community

Much of our behaviour is influenced by the communities we are part of. If that community says it’s a good thing to contribute to a certain social cause, we are more likely to believe so as well. Community also means people want to belong. So if you can make your venture something the decision maker or influencer can be part of and belong to, it’s more likely he will get involved one or the other way.

4.    Social Proof

How do you decide which hotel to book or restaurant to go to? Chances are that you check TripAdvisor, hotel websites or simply look for signals as to which restaurant has more people eating there. We believe that if many people eat at a restaurant, it has to be good. Or if 129 people say this hotel is great, it has to be great. We always look for social proof in our decisions. Testimonials of people who talk about you or your business are a powerful way to reinforce social proof. Having other influencers talk about you is social proof. Having a thought leader in your field on your board of advisors is social proof.

5.    Scarcity

When there is less of something, people usually want it more. Think about diamonds, Rolexes or Ferraris for example. Deadlines are a great way to reinforce scarcity. If you are closing an offer on a certain date, that creates scarcity. If you will only take on one more participant, it makes the opportunity to buy more enticing. Event-based offers naturally bring scarcity with them. When something is scarce, it often reflects social proof as well. If your time is scarce it’s assumed that you are in demand.

6.    Authority

When the doctor walks into the room in his white coat, we respect him. At least, we used to. Authority can be demonstrated by your background or history. It can also be built by knowing what you talk about. If you can demonstrate domain expertise, it shows authority. If people look up to you or listen to you, it demonstrates authority. If thought leaders in your market talk about you, you’re seen as an authority.

7.    Anticipation

Movie trailers are so powerful because they build anticipation. And so do sporting events and product launches. You can build anticipation by sending regular updates to decision makers or influencers about progress and upcoming creations. You can also use LinkedIn connection requests to build anticipation when you mention that you will follow up soon.

8.    Common Enemy

The worst example of where common enemy is mis-used is in war. Revolutions are also started mostly because of a common enemy. Your common enemy is probably the Status Quo. If you and the person you try to get to share a common enemy, it instantly puts you in the same boat and now you’re in this together.

9.    Proof

Do you have proof that your product or service works? Do you have a track record of getting your clients results? Proof is very powerful because people assume if something is done once, the results can be re-produced. You can show proof by having clients, government buy-in or influencers talking about you.

10. Controversy

This is extremely powerful because people love debating. You are challenging the status quo so there is a natural debate happening. Now it’s on you to bring that controversy into the conversation with the decision maker or influencer. You can do this by expressing your belief about why the status quo is broken. You can also challenge the other person on their beliefs.

11. Commitment and Consistency

People tend to act similarly as to how they acted in the past. So if an influencer has endorsed a personal development event, it’s likely he will do it again. You can also build your YES from a small one to a big one by consistently getting the decision maker or influencer to say YES to something small over and over again. This can be saying YES to connecting with you on LinkedIn, then saying YES to a perspective you express and then saying YES to meeting with you. Getting lots of small YES’ dramatically increases the chances for a big YES at the end.

12. Interaction / Conversation

People are more engaged in a conversation than in a lecture. Also, people rather talk than listen. Make your messages a conversation by asking questions even if they are just rhetorical. This will grab and hold the other person’s attention much longer.

13. Reciprocity

If you give people something, they often want to give something back. That’s why sampling works so well in marketing and sales. There are lots things you can give. Your perspective, an insight, a compliment, a thank you or a question. You can thank the decision maker or influencer for building a business that makes a difference or congratulate her on an accomplishment.

14. Surprise / Unexpectedness

We love surprises but only positive ones. As much as we love steadiness, we also love unexpectedness. You can build in surprises in calls, messages and meetings. Say something shocking, something unexpected to grab the other person’s attention even more.

15. Likability

People buy from people they like and trust. The more likable you are, the better you are off. If you can relate to the person you want to reach in some way, you build likability. If you are in it for the greater good, you build likability.

16. Credibility

This has a lot to do with authority. People are bombarded with sales messages every day so they believe strangers less and less. You build credibility through articles and books you write or through interviews and speeches you give. You build credibility by demonstrating that you can make things happen. Past achievements show credibility. When meeting with an influencer or decision maker, you build credibility by showing up confident, being clear in your communication and knowing what you talk about.

17. Being Interesting

When you have a different perspective than most people have, you are interesting. You can demonstrate “being interesting” by speaking up. When you give an interview, this demonstrates you are interesting. Thought Leaders are interesting. Being different is interesting so your USP matters a lot. Doing something nobody has ever done before is interesting.

18. Reason Why

Simon Sinek talks about this quite a bit in his brilliant book “Start with Why” and his TED talk. This can be extremely simple. Just by adding the word “because” and then a reason why behind a sentence has a big effect on the outcome. In Robert Cialdini’s book “Influence”, he talks about an experiment he did with students and a copy machine. One set of students were asked to stand in line at the copy machine and ask the person in front of them “Can I cut in front of you?”. The compliance was something like 50% and the person in front of them said “Yes, sure”. The other set of students were asked to do the same thing but ask “Can I cut in front of you because I need to make some copies and I’m late for class?”. The results were astonishing. More than 90% complied and said “Yes, sure”. Your reason why does not have to be perfect, there just has to be a reason. So when you say “I’d love to meet you for lunch”, add “because I’d love to learn more about you and your perspective” or something like that.

19. Competition

Especially in sports, people are drawn in by competition. The same happens in business when there is friendly competition in a team or between teams. You can also let decision makers or influencers compete with each other. This requires a good deal of confidence from your side or a powerful position to be in. If you can honestly say “We have a few discussions with potential collaborators, but I’d like to add you to the conversation”, competition is activated. This is one reason why start-up pitching events draw so many people. It’s like the Olympics with winners and losers. It’s exciting for the entrepreneurs because there is a chance to win the jackpot but also for the investors because entrepreneurs must compete to work with them. See how powerful competition is?

20. Take-away-sale

This is where you come from a very powerful position. You basically say, “Take it or leave it”. Often, when you do this with confidence, people want what you offer even more. It’s like a little kid that is tired of playing with a toy. When you attempt to take the toy away, the kid wants it more than anything else. This sense of take-away never leaves us. If you are confident enough to express “We’d love to have you, but we don’t need you”, you communicate from a very powerful position.

21. Simplicity

If you explain things in a simple way, people don’t need to invest mental resources in order to understand what you actually want to say. We are overloaded by decisions we have to make every day. From grocery shopping to hiring new team members, we have to make so many decisions that we are naturally looking for ways to simplify things. By making your messaging simple to understand, you make it easier for the other person to make a decision. Unconsciously, she really appreciates that and is more likely to say YES.

22. Specificity / Concreteness

Get to the point and don’t use generic language. Storytelling can help with this and so can painting a picture. For example, it’s more effective to say “91% of our customers would recommend us to a friend” than “More than 90% of our customers would recommend us to a friend”. It just makes it more believable. Make sure you apply this when talking about what you do as well as when explaining

what you want. Be extremely specific. Re-read your message and ask, “Can I paint a picture that reflects this message?”

23. Emotion

Getting decision makers or influencers emotionally involved is extremely powerful. Going from emotionally involved to financially involved is a much smaller leap than going from zero to purchasing decision. Get them excited. Share your progress with them. A great way to get influencers emotionally involved is by asking them for inputs and feedback on something they have expertise in.