Monday, 24 August 2015

BRMP Training - Influence and Persuasion - This is the Provider You're Looking For

The ability for a business relationship manager is to be able to influence their business partner and persuade them to adopt a course of action you are presenting is important on many levels. In the seventh BRMP module from ITSM Zone  on communications, I was particularly interested in the section on influence and persuasion. Remember that as a BRM you are working on two relationships, with the provider and business. To be able to do this you must gain trust from both equally. To some, you might see a BRM as being ‘on’ all the time, since they are consistently working on improving the relationships they manage.

The real question is "How do we persuade people?"

You can probably think of a time when you had a great idea that you assumed that once you presented it would be adopted right away. Once you pitched it you may have only heard crickets in the room. Why did that happen? Well it is probably because the idea was only one dimensional. To really persuade people you have to look at it from a multi-dimensional approach, where several angles and methods are taken into account.

The ancient Greeks realized this and called this type of approach Rhetoric. Aristotle outlined that there was three components; Logos, Pathos and Ethos.

Logos, speaks to the logical reasoning behind what we are proposing. This is where many people who cannot get their point across stop and because they do not leverage the other components may fall short.

Pathos appeals to people’s emotions, which is a strong tool. If we can get people to emotionally connect to your proposal through storytelling, for example it will improve your ability to persuade your audience.

Lastly Ethos is the ethical proof that your audience is looking for. Does the business relationship manager have the credibility to pull off what they are proposing?

With these in mind we need to further build out the proposal in terms of details. This would include such things as:
  • Reciprocity – if you give you shall receive.
  • Scarcity – what’s unique in your proposal?
  • Authority – what makes you credible?
  • Consistency – people like consistency so use that to our advantage.
  • Liking – have you ever noticed that people who are well liked can get things done easier?
  • Consensus – people want to follow the crowd to an extent. Show that your proposal is being done elsewhere successfully.

In some cases however, we have to deal with larger issue resolution. It is in these times where the BRM may need to look at managing these in a slightly different manner. The first thing to look at for this issue is to set the tone for who the BRM is discussing. This way the BRM can steer the already heated situating in a particular direction. The next step is to start the discussion. Be sure to manage these tightly to ensure that the critical points are captures and the discussions do not run away. Once the dialog has been captured you can share this to other stakeholders to extend the influence to a broader audience

To summarize the BRM should be able to use these tools to influence and persuade their business partners. They are able to use listening and observational skills to identify opportunities and problems as well as possible services which are needed. They should also be able to influence and persuade your business partners around value realization as well as senior leadership for a culture of value management.


For more information check the BRMI and consider membership to reap the full benefits available.

Feel free to send me questions, comments or any other feedback

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