Six Principles of Influence: Create Change That Benefits Your Customer

Influence is one of the most important factors in any business from the one-off entrepreneur to the largest global corporations. To understand the power of influence and persuasion, you must first understand the definition of influence.

The best definition is offered by one of the world’s leading experts on influence, persuasion, and negotiation Dr. Robert Cialdini as told in his interview for Guy Kawasaki’s great book “Reality Check.” Dr. Chialdini, a psychology professor at Arizona State University and Phd defines influence:

“Influence means creating change in some way. Change can be in an attitude, it can be in a perception, or a behavior. But in all instances, we can’t lay claim to influence until we can demonstrate that we’ve changed someone.”

Six Universal Principles of Influence

1. Reciprocation: People give back and treat you the same way you treat them

2. Scarcity: People are motivated to “seize the opportunities” of a limited offer that you provide to them if they realize the supply of this offer is rare or in dwindling availability

3. Authority: The greater your knowledge and credibility on a subject is the easier it is to persuade people

4. Commitment: People will feel the need and obligation to “comply with your request” if it is consistent with what they have publicly agreed (committed) to in your presence

5. Liking: The degree to which people know and like you is the main factor in their preference to say “yes” to you

6. Consensus: People love company in most decisions. If you give them evidence that others, just like them, have said yes to you, they then “will be likely” to say yes to you more often than not

Technology and Networking in 1978: My 30 Year High School Reunion a Reminder

Can you guess which one is me?

Excuses are like long term personal contracts that freeze a person’s ability to make change, take action, move forward. One of the worst excuses I often hear people expound upon is the fact that blogging and social media networking is just too time consuming, not effective enough, or over their heads technologically. Bull_hit! It is all about your willingness to learn, expand your knowledge base, dedicate yourself to the task, and remain steadfast on course through dedication.

Back in 1978, there was very little technology that allowed a person or business to network themselves and build their brand. How did I arrive at this subject?

My 30 year high school reunion, Terra Linda High School in San Rafael, CA, is being held tonight and it sparks many memories. One of the biggest memories is how our world used to be and how technology has changed what we can do, where we can go, and who we can ultimately become due to the advances.

In order to appreciate the Web 2.0 world of Social Networking tools, blogging, and the global conversation that is inspiring a seachange in the media and information industry, lets take a look back at where we used to reside: 1978.

You have NO excuse not to network, connect, and utilize the tools of blogging and Web 2.0 to your advantage. Here is what you would have faced 30 years ago:

Technology in 1978: Or what I used to do, what I could not do, and what I never knew I wanted to do

1. Remote Control: I was my father’s remote as I sat by the TV while he pointed and “clicked”

2. Cable TV: We had 4 channels 2-4-5-7; ESPN did not exist, cable TV did not exist

3. VCR-Video: VCR’s were invented but not in the market in my area, Video stores did not exist

4. No MTV: Music videos did not exist

5. Microwave Ovens: no microwaves, no Hotpockets!

6. “Partyline”: no not some 900 number. My grandparents phone service was a party line where 6 families shared the same phone line!

7. No Internet: ?????????????

8. No Personal Computers

9. No Video games: Pong was just around the corner

10. No Cellphones

11. No Answering machines: if you missed the call you were left wondering

12. No Voicemail: same thing but now you could screen calls without screwing up!

13. No Social Media Networking: Facebook, twitter

14. No Niche Media Networking: Linkedin, Plaxo

15. No PDA

16. No Video Cameras: none that were small and affordable only the mass media behemoths

17. Microcomponents: Sterio components and speakers were HUGE

18. CB Radios: They were a national phenom and since technology have gone back to their intended use

19. Ham Radio: Same thing Hamm Operators are a dying breed with the internet, skype, and other technologies

20. Networking: Back in 1978 it was through your family, Chamber of Commerce, Barbershop, or the local rag newspaper

21. Sadly No Active Rain: Are there words to express my gratitude?

Where can you find me if not in the picture above:

1. Active Rain profile

2. Innerarchitect.com/about

3. Linkedin.com profile

4. Facebook.com profile

5. Collegeplanningspecialist.wordpress.com author

6. Plaxo.com me

7. twitter.com deansguide

If you can’t get find me to network with me–you ain’t tryin!

Online Community Management Tool #1: Mzinga.com’s Free Webinar

Tuesday September 9 is a great day to begin learning or add to your knowledge of Social Media sites, networking, and connectivity. A huge thank you goes to the blog “Blogwell” and their newsletter notice of this upcoming FREE event. Below this information is the coolest matrix I have ever seen (creative common’s license so it is free to copy) for all the places we can tap into

What You Will Learn

  • Key components of effective community management
  • Multiple moderation techniques and advice on which are best for your business
  • Industry statistics on the link between moderation and management and community success
  • Featured case studies from leading brands with thriving communities

Register here

Speakers:

Scott Monty: Head of Social Media, Ford Motor Company
Scott on Twitter

Mike Pascucci: Director of Moderation Services, Mzinga,
Mike on Twitter

Aaron Strout (Moderator)
Aaron on Twitter

9 Tips On How To Become An Expert While Protecting Your Job Security

Wachovia plans to cut 600 more jobs than previously expected; total now 11,350″ -Yahoo.com August 11, 2008

Looming job cuts march on-report: The number of job cuts announced in July jumps 26%. Airlines and financial firms top the list, according to monthly study” -CNNMoney.com August 4, 2008

Deepening Cycle of Job Loss Seen Lasting Into ’09″ -New York Times July 2, 2008

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide-innerarchitect blog article August 17, 2008

Where and when does it end? The speculation over recession, the mortgage meltdown, the banking crisis brought on by greed, and the worries that accompany these problems permeate the national consciousness.

Economic change and political transition are everywhere in America right now. Looming layoffs, election hopes, and uncertainty of our country’s direction have produced a paranoia amongst American’s for the health and welfare of their futures.

Make Yourself Invaluable

1. Your work ethic is the best way to keep your job, if you really enjoy your work, by making yourself an asset that your company can not live without. Be invaluable

2. Be versatile to the point where you can do your job with a high level of expertise as well as other valuable jobs within your organization. If layoffs come, the person with the largest skill set is often in the best position to remain unscathed

3. Ask for more responsibility, more work, and do it now. Make sure your positive attitude is seen as a benefit to the organization–don’t remain undercover instead be your own PR person

Increase Your Expertise

4. Read cover to cover your industry trade publications, online resources, and niche blogs within your industry

5. Read as many books possible about related subjects

6. Take classes and workshops for hands on training and comprehension

7. Utilize the internet search engines for extensive research

8. Attend trade shows and industry conferences

9. Join organizations, professional associations, and niche specific networking groups

Silicon Valley’s Most Prominent Connection CSIX Connect: It’s The People

Today’s CSIX Silicon Valley networking meeting was another example of why I am willing to drive 65 miles through three counties, 60+ minutes of mayhem similar to LA style freeway traffic in order to attend: it’s the “touches.” The personal nature of this meeting is it’s strength as people are given the opportunity to really meet, build relationships, and foster the ultimate connection-friendship.

Hamid Saadat, the sparkling presence with MC qualities and charismatic flair, provided much needed reminders of the importance of a clean-updated resume. He gave away 3 timely handouts: Top 10 Guidelines-Resume; The Eight Worst Things to Say in an Interview; and Networking, what not to do. This dovetailed perfectly with impromptu presenter Pamela Livingston of M Shift.

Pamela a woman of obvious boundless energy, provided what was the best most succinct tips of the day. She spoke of the importance of networking, the idea that nearly every waking moment of the day is an opportunity to network, and most important of all–give value and give often.

As the Vice President of Business Development for M Shift, Pamela related stories of her own employment history, her strategy in becoming more valuable to an organization, and a general approach to life that has a lets get it done together feeling.

Attendees with Expertise

1. Barbod Varjavandi- An irrepressible charismatic man with fantastic communication skills, Barbod’s expertise includes: Engineering Operations; Software Engineering; Product Management; Release Engineering; Information Technology. Barbod is the type of person every organization should have in order to prosper. Contact Barbod at barbod@varjavandi.com and 408 802-9120

2. Nobuko Isomata- Nobuko is such a joyful intelligent woman. She is fluent in English and Japanese and her background specialty is Asian Market Entry and Product Launch. Her consulting services, Market Entry Experts, provides a full array of market to market management and strategy. Contact Nobuko at nobuko@marketentryexperts.com and (650) 922-1786 or 240-0460

3. Joyce Phillips-Joyce is a Human Resources expert with a focus on H.R. Management and Business Partnership. She is looking for an opportunity with a large company. Joyce has the savvy and warm intelligence to relate to any situation as well as substance factor. With companies facing an ongoing battle for human capital “assets”, Joyce would be key acquisition for any organization. Contact Joyce at jelp444@gmail.com

4. Susan Siegel-Susan is an intelligent communicator who I only had a moment to connect with at our meeting. She impressed me as well spoken and hard working in her approach to business and networking. Susan can be contacted at smsiegel1@aol.com or (415) 602-1120

5. Bill Gascoyne-A man of substance he is an ASIC Engineer, a corporate technical trainer, and an amateur Physics lover. Bill is the type of guy who can train and relate to an audience of experts, hold their attention, and most important of all–be effective communicating complex theory in the most effective manner. Contact Bill at bill@billgascoyne.name and 408 497-5682

6. David Strom-David is a Technical Writer with expertise in API, software, and digital video. David’s strength is not only his substance factor but as an effective communicator through both the spoken and written word. Contact David at davestrom@mac.com and www.davestrom.com

7. Barb Kinnune-Barb is a Career Consultant with experience as a Personal Coach. Barb’s focus is talent management, career mapping, resume building, and networking. With experience in Silicon Valley, Barb would be an asset in order to move employees forward with a plan for success. Contact Barb at bkinn_1@yahoo.com

Finally me, Dean Guadagni, I have 23 years of business development experience. I am utilizing my substance factor as a blog consultant, free lance writer, and agent to author Susan Hanshaw. I am the Business Director of Inner Architect and Inner Architect Media. I represent Susan Hanshaw’s newly released book “Inner Architect: How To Build The Life You Were Designed To Live” our workshops, keynote speeches, and products are aimed at providing the platform for you to become your own life coach, identify your passions, and plot a new destiny built upon your passionate interests.

“Expert vs Expertise”: How Are You Perceived In Your Business Niche

The most powerful tip I can give anyone who needs to believe in themselves or someone who needs to be knocked down a peg (been there and done that in both cases) is to understand the difference between the words “expert” and “expertise.” In order to build your confidence in your business become an expert or educate yourself further which will raise your level of expertise.

Are You a Expert?

The word expert is bandied about and utilized far to often and out of context. It makes the person claiming to be an expert look foolish if they do not understand the definition.

Answers.com an expert is “a person with a high degree of skill in or knowledge of a certain subject.”

Wikipedia.org describes an expert the same way as answer.com with this added requirement “someone widely recognized as a reliable source of technique or skill.”

Analysis: If you wish to claim to be an expert then you should have a rich portfolio of news articles, blog articles, media interviews, or any guest appearances on substantial programs related to your expertise and niche. Essentially you have to be recognized as an expert by the public at large

Do You Have Expertise?

Expertise is knowledge and skill in a particular subject without being recognized as an expert by the public on a regional or national scale.

This is the right way (in my opinion) to present yourself, and the method I choose, when discussing your knowledge level.

Note: There are differing levels of expertise and almost everyone has expertise in some subject or skill

Final Final

You can actively become more educated by taking classes or seminars in your niche. The work you put in to raise your level of knowledge has 3 big benefits:

1. Confidence-you become more confident as your continuing education makes you “smarter” within your niche

2. Recognition-your clients and peers will recognize your hard work and your higher level of knowledge which could lead to articles or spotlights done on you by outside media sources

3. Credibility-you become more and more credible as a source of information and skill within your niche. Along with credibility comes the added benefit of trust. Clients and peers trust you as a go to source of information

Is Your SEO “Expert” Really An SEO Expert: 3 Keys To Verify Their Substance Factor

I am no SEO expert, no marketing expert, and no blogging expert but I do have expertise in all of these categories. In my travels around the SF Bay Area I attend upwards of 10 networking meetings or keynote events per month.

The hot topic is Web 2.0 SEO aka How to drive traffic to your site.

Unfortunately time and time again when I do my due diligence on the speaker’s background, their substance factor, and how their blog or websites rank I have recently been surprised by the results. Many speakers are knowingly misrepresenting themselves in regard to their credentials. Often times these speakers are leveraging their business accomplishments in other categories, unrelated to SEO or Web 2.0, as a means to securing these speaking “gigs.”

Cost

Simply put the average networking event keynote speech here in the Bay Area runs anywhere from $30-$65 per event. That adds up quickly and is of great concern when I am choosing events to attend

3 Key Factors To Check

When an “expert” claims they are going to speak about methods to increase your site’s traffic, Google rankings, and add links to your site you MUST perform some background checking if you want to understand if the speaker can deliver on his/her claims

#1 Alexa.com: Alexa.com (free service) remains one of the easiest, most telling sites in measuring traffic (page views and unique visitors) to a site either website or blog. Go to Alexa and input the url of your “expert’s site” for instant rankings. Alexa will return Global traffic, US rankings, and a mix of page view and unique visitor numbers.

Note: If an expert claims to be able to make your traffic “explode” then they better have an Alexa ranking of UNDER 1,000,000 at the very least.

Note 2: Alexa.com like any other measurement tool can not capture all web traffic. It is best to combine other traffic measurement tools with Alexa for a solid idea of a site’s traffic. Try Quantcast too

In my last two due diligence investigations on SEO “expert” speakers the first one came back with an Alexa ranking of over 19million which equates to about 10-20 visitors per day to their site. The second guy had a ranking in the 6million range which might provide 30 visitors per day

#2 Technorati: Links are considered the measurement of a site’s Google authority and a big part of the SEO formula. If you go to technorati.com (free tool) you can input the url and check on the number of hyper links which are coming into your “experts” site. If your expert has fewer than 10 links and they are old–he probably isn’t writing a worthwhile blog or he is not writing with consistency

#3 Evaluate their site: Do they write a blog? How often do they write per week? What is the date of the last blog post? Do they have a blogroll? Do they have widgets like mybloglog directory on their sidebar? Does the platform look dated? Do you like the way their sites looks?

Hits Myth

If your “expert” begins to speak about “hits” you might just want to bail. The term hits, although that is the only traffic measurement widget offered on wordpress blogs, is out dated and misleading. Hits can refer to any visitor who arrives at your site, clicks on any pictures, articles, or other documents. Each item is tallied as a hit.

You want to understand how many page views your expert’s blog-website receives; how many UNIQUE visitors, and their over all traffic ranking

Remember

If the “expert’s” site does not measure up in these 3 critical ways then how can the expert teach others how to increase their traffic and SEO power?

CSIX Silicon Valley: The Best “Human Capital” Networking Meeting In The Valley

The days of displaying your resume in local newspaper want ads, employment sections, and even the online venues are beginning to change. With the power of Web 2.0 networking, real world networking meetings for people in transition have taken on a new role: channel to employment.

The most powerful, networking meeting for people out of work, looking to change, transition from industries, or human resource-organizational development recruiters is the CSIX Connect Group.

CSIX Logistics

CSIX networking meetings are every Tuesday 10:30-1:00pm, include lunch, and are held at iRestaurant at 20007 Stevens Creek Blvd in Cupertino. The cost is an amazingly economical $12.

CSIX Meeting Format

The crowd of 25 was split between 3 tables of 8 attendees. The meeting begins with a short introduction of new attendees. Job leads anyone has are then presented. Then in what is a simple but a brilliant idea, each attendee is given the opportunity to ask for a “contact request.” Simply put if anyone has a connection within a company that somebody else is trying to connect with they are asked to provide a warm contact. In my 5 years of networking meetings, I have never seen any group or organization utilize this strategy. It is brilliant and very powerful! After this initial business is completed, a second 15 minute networking break is taken so that you can mingle with people at other tables aka part 2 below.

1. New member introductions, job leads, contact requests, and announcements
2. Networking-15 minute break to network with members not at your table
3. Speaker’s presentation followed by lunch 12:00

After having the chance to learn important information from that meetings guest speaker, the reinforcing of networking breaks and opportunities is really solidified over lunch. The final hour to hour and a half are spent getting to know people networking over lunch.

You really get a chance to hear a person’s story, find out their substance factor, and then assist them in finding what they are looking to achieve. The 3 chances to network make this, easily, the most powerful networking format I have every experienced.

Attendees With Expertise

1. Linda Alejandro-Dumont-Linda has 10+ years Human Resources and Organizational Development experience in a large well known Silicon Valley firm. Email Linda at lindaadumont@gmail.com

2. Ken Weidner-Ken has 10+ years as a credit analyst in Silicon Valley. His experience would be a benefit to any firm looking for proven expertise. Email Ken at kaweid@pacbell.net

3. Bill Cascoyne-Bill is an engaging and well versed technical trainer. He has the personality to capture an audience and the intelligence to be considered an expert amongst a room of experts. Email Bill at billgascoyne@earthlink.net

4. Rebecca Kieler-Rebecca gave a very practical and thought provoking speech. Her delivery engaged the audience and she is a solid choice to perform keynote or workshop duties. Email Rebecca at rebecca@kielercareerconsulting.com

5. Oliver Barrett-Oliver has experience and substance factor as a Electro-Optical Test Engineer. He has 10+ years design/development experience, electronic and optical instrument programming, and test software methodology development. Email Oliver at orbs@triangulum.net

6. Barbod Varjavandi- Barbod’s experience is software engineering including engineering operations, product management, release engineering, and information technology. Barbod has the technical background and positive personality to provide leadership and value to any team. Email Barbod at barbod@varjavandi.com

7. Nobuko Isomata- Nobuko is easily one of the most intelligent and charismatic individuals you could hope to meet. The owner of Market Entry Experts, www.marketentryexperts.com, Nobuko is a dynamic sales and business development expert. Market Entry Experts handles all aspects of transpacific market development. Whether you are an American Company looking to develop the Japanese market, or a Japanese company looking to develop the U.S. market–Nobuko and her team can handle the job.

Email Nobuko at nobukoisomata@yahoo.com

Final Analysis

I met another 5 people who I apologize to for not including them in this piece. This is a testament to the power of the CSIX platform, the willingness of it’s participants to share their stories, and the complete cooperation from attendees to help everyone who asks for assistance.

A truly remarkable experience. I highly recommend this group to anyone in transition, connected to the employment field, or any professional wishing to increase their connections in Silicon Valley

Realtor’s #1 Tool To Expertise: Economic Research Institute

salary surveys

The best source for Realtors to find free “calculator” tools and research, to help people decide the best cities in the US to live, are provided by the Economic Research Institute. The best page to find these valuable tools is the ERI “Career and Cost of Living Comparison” page. In addition a number of valuable reports are available for purchase.

Understanding Your Niche and Choices

As a Realtor or broker, you can elevate your perception with consumers as well as become more knowledgeable, if you are willing to research. Some of the best research available on cost of living, relocation, and economic conditions can be found at the Economic Research Institute. The information is global in scale and very detailed nature.

2 Career Cost of Living Comparison Tools

1. Salary Potential 2023: This tool “reports the estimated annual mean salary potential for 5,634 positions in the Year 2023.”

2. Cost of Living: This tool is a fantastic point of reference. It calculates cost of living for cities around the world and in some cases neighborhoods within the cities.

In my example I found the following information about San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood: “Student Cost of Living for Consumables as a percentage of the U.S. National Norm: 125%”

There are many more detailed reports comparing cities globally and nationally, cost of living conversion rates and economic condition calculators. Although these reports are not free, the descriptions of the reports can give you a starting point to becoming an expert.

When An Interview Goes Bad: “Technology” And How You Can Hurt Your Perception

Consumer confidence often hinges on perception. The perception of competence, expertise, and professionalism are vital to a Realtor. If your consumer targets do not believe you have any of the above you will lose every opportunity to remain in business.

The Real Estate industry, primarily agents, faces an uphill battle everyday to prove that they are technology savvy, progressive, and willing to provide the most up to date information to their clients. The perception remains, even though their are more tech savvy Realtors, that this industry is far behind.

An interview with 2007 NAR President Pat Combs, as featured on therealestatebloggers, does nothing to dispel this perception. Unfortunately it perpetuates it. The trouble begins at the 2:05 mark of the following video when a fax, copy machine, scanner, and typewriter are featured tools and uttered in the same breath as the word technology: