Your ability to be congruent when delivering your message is probably the single most important element when it comes to persuasion and influence.Congruency is when your behaviour (i.e. your voice, tonality, gestures, movement etc) match the words that you are saying.
Even if you threw every other technique, method or approach out of the window and the only thing you did right was to be congruent with your message you would still achieve a higher level of results than the average person.
Many people try to fake congruence; you may have tried this yourself in the past. While this approach may work some times, the majority of the time it will not.
So how do you achieve a high level of congruence when delivering your message?
The answer is simple….
You must believe in what you are saying!
The more conviction you have in the benefits of your message the more persuasive it will be.
Have you ever had a salesperson try and sell you something when it was quite clear they didn’t believe in the benefits of their own product?
Have you ever been on a training course where the trainer is completely disinterested in the material they are teaching?
I would imagine in both cases you were not compelled to learn or take action.
On the other hand, have you ever been on a training course where the trainer thoroughly enjoys and is enthusiastic about the subject they teach.
How much more did you learn during one of these sessions?
A great deal more I’d bet!
Several years ago I was speaking to a friend of mine who worked as a sales assistant for the cosmetic company Clinique. This company sold one of the largest ranges of women’s cosmetic products on the market.One evening when we were discussing her sales technique she revealed something very interesting. She made the point that there were certain products that she personally used herself and there were other ones that she did not use.When she examined her sales record it showed that she had sold an astronomical amount of the products she used herself and very little of the products she didn’t use.
She even admitted herself that she struggled to convince people to buy a product that she, herself, did not believe in.
Put simply, the more you believe in the benefits of your message, the more congruent you will be and hence the more persuasive you will be.
Putting it into Practice : Harness your own Power of Congruence
To help you harness your own natural sense of congruence I have designed the following exercise that I urge you to complete now.
Step1: Pick your OutcomePick one of the situations that you would like to exert more influence in.
Step2: Generate Benefits and ConsequencesNow answer the following questions:
What benefits will the person experience when they are influenced by your message?
How will the person benefit emotionally, physically, financially?
What negative consequences will they experience if they are not influenced by your message?
How would this affect them emotionally, physically, financially?
Step3: Access Feelings of Congruence
When you have finished your list take a look at the first benefit on your list. As you do this, begin to allow an image inside your mind that represents the benefit.
You might even imagine what it’s like to have this benefit fully and completely.
Keep imagining this benefit until you start to feel the feelings that you would get if you are experiencing the benefit.
Notice where the feelings are and allow them to grow.
Now do the same with each of the benefits on the list.
Step4: Access more feelings of Congruence
Now take a look at the consequences.
Sit for a moment and imagine the person loosing out by not taking your advice.
Play a little movie inside your mind of what it would be like if they didn’t become influenced by your message and they experienced the consequences on your list.
As you do those notice the feeling of determination to help them bubble up inside of you.
Step5: Intensify then Deliver
Repeat the exercise 3 times before going to deliver your message. By doing this you will feel a sense of conviction and congruence that will give your message incredible power.