Last updated on May 6th, 2021. Posted in Increasing Business Sales.
Here's a strange quirk of human psychology: Most people tend to listen to and follow the instructions of people who are in positions of authority. I'm sure you've seen the prank videos where the guy walks around in an orange vest and white hard hat with a clipboard in hand.
Here are links and resources mentioned in today's video. Enjoy!
He starts telling people they can't be in this area or whatever, and people dutifully follow his instructions. Have you ever encountered this personally? A lifetime ago when I was leading corporate software classes, that's when I ran into this phenomenon the first time.
I'd tell the class, "okay, turn to page 24 in your workbook", or "alright everyone, be back from the break in 15 minutes." I mean, I was just this young, early-20s kid giving instructions to grown adults with professional whitecollar corporate jobs...and they all did it!
Sometimes I'd push it a little further to see what would happen: "Okay, turn to the person on your left," or even "Alright, everyone stand up for a second." Without fail, an entire room of grown adults with impressive sounding job titles would follow everything I told them to do.
This is the power of establishing authority. And it's crucial to establish this for yourself and your online business. And it's important to note that this doesn't happen immediately. Instead, establishing authority takes time. You have to develop trust, rapport, and credibility first.
You have to demonstrate to your audience of potential customers that you're skilled, knowledgeable, and can help them solve their problems. That's really what authority is.
The reason why professional corporate employees, many of whom were twice my age at the time, would listen to me and follow my instructions way back then was because I'd already spent time establishing my credibility.
Yes, I was young and didn't have their credentials or experience...but I could help them solve the specific problems they were taking this class to fix. And because I was dressed very well and taught confidently, they trusted me...which helped establish authority.
Years later I dug further into this phenomenon and discovered how it all works and why it's so important for online business owners and marketers: Here's how it works...let's break this down. Let's get crumbly for a sec:
People are inherently self-interested right? It isn't a flaw, it's just our survival mechanism. We view the world around us as it relates to us. We have things we want, objectives to reach, and problems we want fixed.
If someone comes along, and they've established a reasonable amount of credibility and authority for us and established that they can help us get the things we want, then we listen to their instructions and follow what we're told to do because of what's in it for us...
...because we believe that their instructions will help us get to the result we want for ourselves faster. Said succinctly, following the instructions of a credible authority figure creates a mental shortcut for us.
If you were briskly walking down the street because you wanted to get home in time for dinner...and you ran into a guy wearing an orange vest with a white hard hat carrying a clipboard -- well, he's established a reasonable amount of credibility and authority just by what he's wearing right?
And then he says to you, "Hey you can't walk here, it's dangerous. You'll have to cross the street," you'd cross the street right away...because NOT crossing the street isn't in your best interests. What you want is to make it home in time for dinner.
So following the instructions of people with credible authority is, for us, all about efficiency. And your customers are no different. they want a result, and they want that result as quickly, efficiently, and painlessly as possible.
So if you can honestly and genuinely establish a reasonable amount of credibility, expertise, and authority, then this goes a long, long way to influencing your potential customers.
You could say that demonstrating your skill and knowledge shows your target audience how acting in their own self-interest will help them get the results they want for themselves.