…you won’t anyway. People are actually pretty tough to influence and most people are fairly set in their ways. But don’t worry, companies are built and elections won on influencing just the part of the population that is available to influence.
It becomes extremely important, then, to figure out what ’thing‘ will affect that segment that is influence-able and then put that knowledge to work; sort out the past to find the patterns. Only then can you make the right offer, the right request for donation or vote to the right person at the right time.
The opening drive of the game is knowing the population well enough to understand the factors that matter. Even more important is using that understanding to anticipate when and how to react. This is the piece that is often overlooked; all of the understanding in the world won’t help if I can’t put it to use.
Great understanding, anticipation and action doesn’t mean all of the dominos fall. It means the right amount of energy makes the right dominos fall more often. Unless you’re selling Coca Cola, that’s enough for success.
Making it work
Doctors can know which patients need intervention (influence) the most to avoid readmission. Retailers can know which customers will respond to particular offers more often. Candidates can know which voters can be convinced to come to their side. It starts with understanding, it relies on anticipation, and it ends with action…the right message to the right person at the right time.
You don’t need to convince everyone. That’s the reality of influence in today’s information-rich world.