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Brian Ahearn: Illustrating the Principles of Influence, Ep #283

Brian Ahearn’s first book, “Influence PEOPLE: Powerful Everyday Opportunities to Persuade that are Lasting and Ethical,” is a heavy psychology and business book. Brian points out that a lot of people won’t pick up a sales book, like his second book, “Persuasive Selling.” So he decided to try his hand at writing a business parable, “The Influencer.” He wanted to teach people the same principles of influence but do so from an entirely different angle to reach a whole new audience.

Brian spent 30+ years in the insurance industry. He began to study the work of Robert Cialdini, the “Grandfather of Influence.” He connected with Robert in the early 2000s and was certified to teach his methodology. Three years ago, Brian left his corporate position to coach, train, and consult on the science of influence full-time.


Outline of This Episode

  • [2:09] Learn more about Brian’s new book
  • [5:20] How to consistently implement the tools of influence
  • [8:55] Step outside of your comfort zone to be an influencer
  • [11:30] Embracing the principles of influence is a way of life
  • [12:51] Begin to implement the principles of influence
  • [15:23] The power of learning to like others
  • [17:40] How to connect with Brian Ahearn

Brian’s new book: The Influencer

His book follows the life of an ordinary guy named John Andrews. He’s an average individual born into a middle-class American family—not a star athlete or a straight-A student. Nothing about him would make you say he’s wired for success.

He simply took a psychology class in college, where he learned about influence. After his first year, he promptly forgets what he learned—until he graduates and begins to interview for jobs. He finds the old notes from his psychology classes and decides, why not give it a shot? He’s pleasantly surprised to find the strategies work well.

He began a journey to learn from coaches, mentors, and clients. He’s no different than anyone else, but he did do something everyone is capable of: he put into practice what he was taught. As he realized success, it bred more success.

Embracing the principles of influence is a way of life

The principles of influence can be learned as “one-offs.” Or, you can look at these principles as a new way of approaching life. Brian points out that if you take hold of the principle of “Liking” and spend time getting to know and like the people you’re working with, that will inform your giving.

The more you get to know someone’s likes and dislikes, the more you’ll know what’s meaningful to them. It can also inform your use of social proof. If you’re going to talk to someone about people that are similar to them, you have to know them. The foundation of everything is the principle of learning to like others and build relationships.

The power of learning to like others

Learning to like people is important. In the book, John learns this when he’s doing a ride-along with his mentor, Ben. He saw that Ben’s customers really liked him, so John asked what the secret was. Ben said he didn’t do anything. He does everything he can to get to know and like the people that he’s supporting. How?

By connecting on what they have in common and paying them genuine compliments. That subtle mind-shift allows you to build a foundation—which allows you to build the house. Without it, you’re building something that will blow over in the wind.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Brian Ahearn

Connect With Mark

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