One powerful way to increase YOUR influence is by understanding how to best serve the needs of those around you. In business, you need to identify the problems your customers are wanting to solve. Yet, an even more powerful strategy is to identify the ultimate outcomes your customers are desiring and then help them attain those outcomes! This will put you leaps and bounds ahead of the competition because most only focus on solving the specific complaint the customer shows up with, which means the customer will miss out on a lot of untapped opportunities and you will leave a boatload of money on the table that should be going into your pocket!
In order to do this, you must first understand what their actual outcome is, not just what they are asking you for help with. Sometimes people aren’t clear on what they really need. Or they are asking for the wrong thing. For example, my private practice clients often asked for help in curing a symptom like insomnia, procrastination, or emotional eating. Yet, their actual goal was to feel more refreshed, become passionate about achieving a specific goal, or to discover new ways of experiencing connection or variety.
If we only focused on solving that particular symptom, it might improve for a period of time, but then it would return–often becoming much worse. Instead, we’d focus on identifying and clarifying what the most desirable outcome would be and then take steps towards achieving that outcome. This might sound like the same thing as solving a problem, yet it is NOT.
To solve the problem of insomnia, you can grab any pop-culture magazine and discover 5 new ways to get some zzz’s. Establish a bedtime routine, make the room dark, drink a glass of warm milk before bed, etc. Yet, this doesn’t address the fact that insomnia is often a thinking pattern that begins in the morning, not at bedtime!
To improve your sleep, you must improve the way you direct your thoughts throughout the day. Otherwise, you’ll accumulate stressful energy from entertaining and then suppressing anxiety-ridden scenarios that suddenly bombard your conscious mind the moment you lay down and close your eyes.
The solution is to apply mind-empowering strategies that diffuse stress and stimulate the release of calming neurotransmitters throughout the day, so when you lay down to sleep, you actually feel safe enough to slip into dreamland.
Here’s a completely different example. Perhaps you work at a hardware store and someone comes in to purchase a drill. Your goal is to understand WHY your customer wants that drill. Typically, it’s not because they want a drill, but because they want holes. What do they want holes for? It may turn out that your customer is working on a project that would be best served by using wall fasteners rather than drilling holes. If you discover what your customer’s ultimate outcome is, you can satisfy that outcome and you’ll end up creating a customer for life!
This doesn’t just work well in business. It works in ALL other areas of your life. If your spouse is upset about something, your goal is to discover what the belief is that’s causing the hurt or anger. Remember, we do not react to the event itself, but to our interpretation of what this event means to us. In other words, we react to our own reaction, and not necessarily to the event itself because that particular event could likely be interpreted in twenty different ways.
I have learned that when my wife is upset, for example, her outcome is to feel LUV from me (Listened to, Understood, Validated). Her outcome is not for me to offer practical solutions that will solve her dilemma so we can move on to other subjects. That is what I wanted. Yet, if I only focused on the outcome I wanted, it would dramatically undermine the influence I have with my wife. Instead, I focus on the ultimate outcome she desires and work to best serve her needs. This makes her much happier and way more attracted to me, which is awesome!
Therefore, the question you should be asking every person you wish to influence is, “What is your ultimate outcome here?” Or, “What is the actual goal you are attempting to reach?” This often starts an engaging conversation, especially if the person your asking isn’t quite sure of the answer. Your influence will skyrocket just by helping this person gain more clarity. The fact that you care enough to even ask the question will also magnify your personal magnetism.
In my next article, I’ll share another powerful question that will maximize your influence.
Watch for that in the next 2 days.
Until then, make today a Shurr ! Success