Posts tagged Self Development

Learn how favor banks can help you influence others

The favor bank lingered with me.

If you are a millennial, then there is a high chance that one way or another, at some point in your life, you were influenced by Paulo Coelho. 

I am a big fan, and I remember during my adolescent years how much I was obsessed with his novels. 

One of the concepts mentioned in
one of his novels, The Zahir, is the favor bank concept. That concept has been lingering with me since I read the novel.

The favor bank concept explains how favors are exchanged. When you deposit favors to someone’s bank, they become indebted to you, and so when, in return, you ask them for a favor, they will have no choice but to accept it. Otherwise, you will not be trusted, without you saying a word about them.

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Amazing negotiation and persuasion tricks to try right now

One of the top needed skills for the job market in 2019 is negotiation skills, persuasion, and influence.

LinkedIn: The Most In-Demand Hard and Soft Skills of 2019

Forbes: The Skills You Need To Succeed In 2020

… and what a better way to tackle this, than making the best of my favorite subject of consumer behavior?
Consumer behavior is the study of how consumers search for, choose, buy, and use your products or services.

Consumers are people. Whether you influence them to buy your products or services or influence them to buy into your ideas, you can more or less follow the same concepts.

Persuasion and influence could be one of the hardest tasks anyone can be assigned to. Some people are skilled, while others are left dazzled, not sure what could be the next step they can take to improve in that area.

I know. I know because I bet you are a bit like me and face this situation every single day — at work or in social settings. After all, I am a nerd, and well, I did study software engineering. This is quite far from negotiation skills if you ask me.

Read: Learn how consulting changed my life

The good news is negotiation skills, persuasion and influence can be taught. Yes. Some people think that only the born talented are the ones who can exceed in that area, but I beg to differ.

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5 Easy tips to simplify your writing

Use the ‘simplicity’ consumer behavior tip to influence others.

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned the power of simplicity, and how it can boost your business. 

Read: 3 Reasons simplicity will boost your business

In fact, it can boost way more than your business. It can help you in every aspect of your life.

Simplicity, especially, when applied in your communication, whether it’s spoken or written, makes others understand you.

When consumers understand what you are trying to say, you are able to influence their thoughts, emotions and ultimately their behavior. If they don’t understand you, then just forget about it.

“Write to the chimpanzee brain. Simply. Directly.” - Eugene Schwartz

… And while it’s always great to know what influences consumer behavior, if you don’t know how to do it, you might as well be as good as those who don’t know anything about the subject.

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4 Consumer behavior reasons to hold off an important decision until you feel “better”

If you are like me, when it comes to making decisions, you would tend to overthink. 

Should I choose this or that? Which one is better for me? Do it now or later? Is it the right thing to do? What does my gut feeling tell me? OK, let’s not be emotional here, what do the facts say? What is the probability of X happening? What happens if it didn’t work out? What happens if it did work out?

Too many questions… and not as many answers. 

If you are not like me, then lucky you! I am a little jealous. 

Got an important decision to make?

There are two types of decisions.

1. Life-changing decisions

2. Non-life-changing decisions

So, here is the thing. When it comes to non-life-changing decisions, it’s fine if you slipped. I mean life will go on. 

However, when it comes to a life-changing decision, the consequences of a bad decision would hit you hard. Recovery could cost you a lot of time, money and energy. You might want to take your time and hold it off if you are…

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A crucial ingredient for building trust with your customers

Are you asking the right questions? 

Whichever your job is, you are interacting with customers. You are interacting with customers unless you sit behind the screen all day and speak to no one -and I mean, speak to one via any means of communication.

Customers could be internal or external. In both cases, you work to gain their trust. 

If you haven’t established and gained your customers’ trust, your day-to-day job wouldn’t be so much fun.

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Easy! 5 Steps to handle customer service agents

Let’s talk a little bit about customer service. 

While it’s a very well-known trend to companies and service providers that now is the era on which they compete on customer experience, some of them still go out of their way to disappoint us, customers. 

I wouldn’t say that this is the company’s strategy per se, but it’s more about the customer service agent that you end up dealing with. 
I don’t know about you, but I personally like to avoid interactions with customer service as much as I can… and if I absolutely have to do it, I opt for the e-mail, online chat, etc. I don’t want to do the phone conversation. Maybe it’s because I am a millennial. Maybe not. It’ doesn’t matter. What matters is that the mere thought of having to repeat my story more than once turns me off. I had times on which I had to repeat the same complaint, like 5–10 times to different people, just to get my issue resolved. 

That kind of interaction gets to you. It definitely gets to me. In fact, I resort to my mom in some situations because she has more patience than me when it comes to those customer service conversations. God bless her. Most of the time though I have to do it myself. 

If I am lucky, I would be dealing with a professional who understands how to handle disappointed customers. For the most part, you call customer service either because 1. you have a complaint or 2. you are asking about some information. 

… And here comes the challenge, if I end up with someone from customer service who practically doesn’t give a damn, then, I am screwed. I bet most of you could relate to that. 

So, then comes a question.

How can you ensure the customer service agent would be cooperative and help you without driving you insane? 

I recently learned a trick. Thanks to consumer behavior studies… and I am going to share it with you.

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Learn how consulting changed my life

Stories. Aren’t they incredible?

A story - you live in it, empathize with it and sometimes relate if it rings a bell. 

Today, I am not going to talk about fictional stories, but rather stories told in a business context - or for that matter, one of my very own stories.

About five years ago I made a career shift from what we, consultants, call “industry” into management consulting. Consulting was my dream job and when I had an opportunity to jump in it, I took it and dived right into it. Consulting was my dream job for one simple reason:

You will constantly surprise yourself with what you are capable of.

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Insane psychology “run” test that will forever change the way you think

A few weeks ago I attended a training for leading successful engagements - and during that training, I learned about the psychology “run” test. A very eye-opening test and I am here to share it with you. 

You see, self-development is an on-going process and I always think of myself as a WIP (work in progress). While learning about consumer behavior, I learned tricks that can help in self-development. At the end of the day, what motivates us as consumers, might motivate us as people. 

In fact, one of the key concepts that are utterly used in marketing is scarcity. Do you know where else that works best? Dating. I am not only talking about self-development here, but relationship talk… and well, God knows, I am not by any means eligible to talk about this topic. However, it is a well-known theory, that when you are not that “available”, your partner finds you more attractive. Be it a woman or a man - the same theory applies. 

So here I am, doing it the other way around. I learned something about self-development and I pretty much see how it impacts how you as a business owner could think of your customers. 

What is it? 

It’s called the run test.

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3 Reasons smiling is not bad for you

Do you think smiling could make you look less professional?

I have encountered people who think smiling may impact the way others will perceive you, and not in a good way - in a professional setting, as in a work environment. You might not seem serious, they think. 

To tell you the truth, when I heard this, I was astonished to learn that some people may consider smiling could hurt your professionalism.

So here I am. 

In the classic, “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie, Carnegie had a whole chapter dedicated to “Smile”. 

A smile is definitely a good thing, but here is the thing. When done properly, it would maximize its impact - in that professional setting.

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5 Consumer behavior tricks you can use with your boss

A few weeks ago, I was asked what advice would I give someone just starting off their career. 

I didn’t have to think, it was emotional intelligence. 

I have seen so many people advance in careers even when they are technically inadequate because they know what to say and when to say it. That might seem unfair to some people, but as Bill Gates said: 

“Life is not fair - get used to it.” - Bill Gates

While learning about consumer behavior, I couldn’t help but notice those tricks that were originally meant to seal a sales deal, but isn’t your relationship with your boss yet just another deal? Perhaps you could also use them with your date. 

So, what are these tricks anyway?

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