5 December 2011

TFPL Connect: Achieving Prosperity

The last TFPL Connect event of the year was a little different from the usual and was the better for it.

It was billed as "Achieving Prosperity, how to grow with what you have" and promised an entertaining but insightful look at best practice for making a difference through utilising the soft skills of negotiation, and that is a pretty fair description of what we got.

We got it in the Crowne Plaza City hotel, a familiar haunt for TFPL events as it is close to their former offices in Blackfriars (TFPL are on their third office since I came across them).

The familiar venue was balanced by the unfamiliar format. Gone was the usual panel of speakers and instead we had just one.

Nick Davies of The Really Great Training Company was our guide for the evening and he delivered a lucid, flowing, insightful and entertaining talk on the 4 - 6 - 2 of persuasion.

And as you can see from the photo, he did this without the overused crutch of a PowerPoint presentation.

First we had the 4 mistakes that people make: being too tough, being too logical, treating it as a once-off (rather than part of a relationship) and trying to satisfy (stated) wants rather than (unspoken) needs.

These fail because buying is an emotional decision made by people. The success of the John Lewis Christmas ad is a case in point and an example that most of us are familiar with are making a major purchase like a house or car on emotion (it has character) and then trying to justify it on logic afterwards (it's close to a good school).

The 6 things you can do to influence the decision are to provide social proof (other people are doing it), show authority, sell scarcity (this offer is only available to you, exploit their consistency (once they have bought a little of something it is easier to sell them some more, e.g. increasing a standing order to a charity), be likeable (a hard one to fake but people only but from people they like) and offer them something first so that they offer something back in reciprocity.

And finally, the 2 things you need to build above all else are creditability and trust.

We had a short Q&A session at the end and I asked one about the Dark Side of faking interest in the buyer's interests and the steps some companies go to to find out what those interests are.

Then it was an extended session of wine, nibbles and networking. I managed to spend some time talking to various people I know from these and similar events and had some really good conversations. KM people know the value of conversations and allow plenty of time and space for them.

This was an excellent evening and I am now eagerly awaiting details of the TFPL Connect programme for 2012.

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