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How To Influence People: Persuasion And Influence Lesson In A Grocery Store

They’ve been together for almost thirty years, and still my mother knows how to get my father to do what she wants. She really knows how to influence people. Because it’s not just my father she has twisted around her finger. Her neighbors and, at one point, even a random woman in a grocery store, has fallen under my mother’s influence.

It happened just a few weeks ago when we were shopping for groceries. I drove over to my parents’ house for a visit and was immediately roped into helping her buy groceries from the supermarket (see how quickly she got me to do her bidding?).

Anyway, we were passing by the baby aisle when she saw a young mother (around my age, probably) browsing through different brands of powdered milk. Her baby, who was probably around a year old, was playing with some sort of rubber toy in her stroller. My mother adores babies and so went up to the woman and chatted up with her.

Aside from knowing how to influence people, my mother is an easy person to like. She has the kindest eyes in the world – except when she’s mad at me or my father – so it isn’t difficult to trust her. She played with the baby a little bit and told the woman about how I used to be cute at that age, too. They chuckled in unison.

The woman was about to put Brand X Milk Powder in her cart when my mom suggested Brand Y instead because it apparently has better vitamins. And would you believe it, the woman actually switched brands just like that.

She really does know how to influence people. But what is it about her that gets other people to accept whatever she tells them?

My father and I actually had a nice, long conversation about that. Her secret on how to influence people isn’t really a secret. My mother is just a really likeable person. According to my father, she has always been like that, even when he first met her. Chatting people up is very natural for her.

In the middle of our conversation, I realized that what my mother has is the ability to build rapport with other people. And rapport is one of the keys on how to influence people. With rapport comes trust. People are more likely to be influenced by those who they think understand their point of view or share their opinions.

When my mother chatted that woman in the grocery store up, she already established a rapport by letting the other woman know that she herself is a mother and she had gone through what she is going through now. To build rapport with another person, it’s important for you to be sincere and let others know you are just like them. Put others’ needs first before yours. Be a friend.

It’s that easy. Now you know a secret on how to influence people. How would you apply this to your life?

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