The secret sauce in finance is being influential

The secret sauce in finance is being influential

October 25, 2016 by Tom Nisevic

Reo Group recently presented a keynote to the University of New South Wales finance faculty on how to find your secret sauce in finance.

The presentation revolved around how the industry continues to evolve with it becoming increasingly important to move away from simply “counting the beans.” Instead, companies need to focus on being strategic influencers and shaping business performance with partners. Here’s why and how influencing is an essential ingredient that gives us that secret sauce.

Why is our ability to influence in finance so critical?

The presentation started out by explaining why your ability to influence is fundamentally connected to being a trusted business partner. Growing trust requires being able to both deliver good results and to have good rapport with your business clients.

UNSW finance faculty

Reo Group recently went to the UNSW finance faculty to give a presentation on how to be influential in finance.

While there is a tendency to namely focus on building our understanding of the business to create partnerships, understanding people is even more important. What drives financial acumen and delivering results? It all comes down to how well you leverage your relationships with your business partners and discern who they are and how they think so that you can effectively influence them. Therein lies your secret sauce.

Without an ability to influence, you fall short in being trusted business partners

How to nurture your finance secret sauce

There are strategies that you can learn for being an influential person in business.

Robert Calidini, author of the book “Influence: Science and Practice” and a professor of Psychology at Arizona State University, has set out six principles on how to be influential. You can start building your influencing skills by using Caldini’s six principles of influence:

  1. Remember to reciprocate. Give your partners useful information and a positive experience and they will want to give you something in return.
  2. Provide social proof. In times of uncertainty, people tend to look at those around them to guide their decisions and actions.
  3. Be committed and consistent. People strive to be consistent and committed. We’re more likely to do something after we’ve agreed to it verbally or in writing.
  4. Simply be likeable. People prefer to say ‘yes’ to those they know and like
  5. Project an image of authority. Giving the appearance of authority actually increases the likelihood that others will comply with requests.
  6. Reminding them of scarcity.  The less there is of something, the more people want it.

What is the flavour of your secret sauce?

Without an ability to influence, you fall short of being trusted business partners. To be considered trustworthy, you need to strike a balance between delivering good results and striving to understand the people. Blend these elements together to find the flavour of your secret sauce. This really requires putting our ”sales’ hat on. Build a deep understanding of the business to get results and the people around you to be that trusted business partner in the following ways:

  • Be connected
  • Show creativity
  • Have courage
  • Be curious

Leveraging Calidin’s principles and finding ways to connect with your business partners can make all the difference in accelerating your career. To find out more about how to be influential in finance, contact Reo Group today.

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