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Influencing Skills for Finance Professionals

Training course in financial influencing

Practical tools to get ‘buy in’ from senior executives and key clients

Two Day Course

Course Brochure Download
Financial Influencing Skills brochure
  • Understand the nature of ‘power’ and how to use it to your advantage
  • Master powerful techniques for building good relationships with decision makers
  • Acquire strategies for remaining calm and confident in stressful situations

Overview

This programme is designed to give practical advice to banking and insurance professionals about how to construct a compelling argument and present it with confidence and authority so that people want to say “yes” to your proposals. The training is based on applying Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques to managing client relationships and influencing internal stakeholders. The workshop begins by demonstrating how to build a compelling business proposition and then presenting it in a way that captures the imagination of the listener. It will also give participants the tools and techniques to prepare the ground with informal ‘corridor conversations’; defuse disagreements and build rapport with key stakeholders.

Learning objectives

By attending this highly participative two-day course you will:

  • Gain an insight into the ‘golden rules’ and guiding principles of effective influencing
  • Learn a ‘tool box’ of fifteen persuasion strategies
  • Handle questions with confidence and a sense of natural authority
  • Appreciate the power of ‘networking’ in getting people to listen to your views
  • Discover a simple, yet elegant, four-part structure for making your point clearly and concisely

Who should attend?

All banking and insurance employees who want to acquire a methodical and professional approach to influencing the decisions that are made in the work place. It is particularly suitable for people who have an advisory or consultative role within their company or for those people who have to make a business case in order to gain access to resources e.g. Asset Managers, Corporate Bankers, Private Banking experts, Structured Finance experts.


Day 1

The inner game of influencing

The phrase the ‘inner game’ is a term borrowed from sports psychology. It is a reference to the fact that what is going on inside a person’s head (their state of mind) is crucial to good performance. Here we consider the role perception and beliefs of people who are excellent at influencing others.

  • Examining your current beliefs
  • Reviewing expert beliefs
  • Making changes that you feel are appropriate for you

Exercise: identifying strengths and weaknesses in your influencing mind set

Developing self control

It is difficult to make a positive impression on another person if we feel nervous or angry. So before we start to influence others, a useful precursor is to recognise and understand our own thoughts, feelings and emotions in order to build and maintain a calm rational state of mind when working with others.

  • Future Pacing
  • Maintaining self control through ‘counter thinking’
  • The bullet proof glass technique

Exercise: using real life examples to practise self-awareness

Creating rapport

One of the key elements of influencing people is to develop a sense of trust between you and the other person. This is important because people do things for people they like. Here we consider tools for developing rapport with key decision makers.

  • The three factors which cause people to like us
  • Matching and leading values
  • Making use of sensory language

Pairs exercise: matching and leading values

Assertive Communication Techniques

The ability to communicate in an assertive manner is one of the key skill sets of the effective influencer. A person who is assertive has the ability to be honest with themselves and others about what they really think and feel. They have the confidence to be themselves and to ask directly for what they want in any given situation, while taking other people’s feelings into account. They can stand up for what they believe to be right whilst recognising that other people have rights too.

Above all, being assertive means having self-respect and respect for other people.

  • Three Step Assertive Technique (verbal application plus use in letters and emails)
  • Assertive listening
  • Discrepancy Assertion
  • Negative Feelings Assertion
  • Fogging
  • Broken Record
  • Feel/Felt/Found technique

Pairs exercises: using assertive techniques to handle difficult situations and improve listening skills

Persuasive techniques

We can enhance the impact that our comments have on people by adopting strategies that will make our words have extra impact and force. At BMC we call these strategies ‘persuasive techniques’.

  • Metaphors and analogies
  • CIA speech
  • IFAB sequences

Exercise: applying persuasive techniques to real life situations


Day 2 >>

Day 2

Specify clear outcomes

People respond to being presented with clear, specific and well thought out proposals that they can focus on achieving. Here we consider the importance of developing outcomes that can help to create a sense of commitment and forward momentum.

  • Outcome thinking
  • Using positive language
  • The Dovetailing concept
  • Linking the goal with long term strategy

Exercise: setting well formed outcomes

DMU Relationship Analysis

It is often the case that more than one person will be involved in making a decision. For example in getting a major project approved the CEO, Financial controller and Head of Marketing may all have an input into the decision making process. This group or ‘cluster’ of people are sometimes called the Decision-Making Unit or DMU. It is these stakeholders that need to be persuaded that a course of action is worthwhile and so they need to be the focus of any influencing activity.

  • Mapping the decision making unit
  • DMU analysis and the networking principle
  • The importance of reciprocity
  • Networking and career development

Choosing a Power Base – establishing your credibility

People react to a request because they feel that the person making that request has a certain level of power or authority to which they feel they should respond. There are two sources of power that can be used to encourage someone to accept our point of view. These are: personal power (related to the characteristics of the individual) and position power (related to the job the person does.) If the power bases are not strong enough then customers, employees and colleagues will not comply with the influencers’ requests, so building strong power bases is a key part of the work of an expert influencer.

  • Four sources of personal power
  • Five sources of position power
  • Power bases and career development – the PIE model
  • Understanding how we currently use our power
  • Planning to develop and strengthen our power bases

Exercise: self analysis on the use and development of Power Bases

Lobbying

Lobbying involves holding informal meetings and discussions with key personnel. This type of activity helps people to understand the issues involved in the case and ‘softens up’ the members of the decision-making unit before any formal presentation takes place.

  • Corridor conversations
  • CIA speech (the Elevator concept)
  • Relationship building

Exercise: setting well formed outcomes

The 4p’s business case presentation method

There are a number of ways of structuring a business case that is concise yet persuasive, but one of the best known and most effective is the 4p’s method. It consists of four sections, which work together to help to build a compelling argument in favour of a particular course of action.

  • Position - where we are now
  • Problem – what specifically is the issue that needs to be addressed
  • Possibilities – how could we move forward, what are our options
  • Proposal - my specific suggestion
  • The use of IFAB sequences to put the proposal in the most compelling manner possible.

Exercise: building a proposition using the 4p’s format

Deliver the business case

The final activity is to present the business case in a formal meeting. Here we summarise and consolidate the techniques covered in the earlier part of the course by looking at how to open the meeting and how to manage the proceedings so that our proposals are approved.

  • Starting the meeting
  • Control of the proceedings
  • Making the case
  • Concluding the session

Exercise: role-playing a meeting to present a business case

 


Customisation

All our programmes are run on an in-house basis and we conduct interviews and facilitate focus groups to gather information with which to write bespoke exercises and case studies that precisely reflect the culture and work environment of the participants.

Feedback

Feedback is based upon peer reviews using Boulden assessment checklists. Completing the assessment checklists is not only valuable to the people involved in a given case study, it also helps those completing them to gain an in-depth understanding of the building blocks that make up an effective influencing strategy.

Course structure

There is an option of following the workshop with a three month long Action Learning project to link the lessons from the training back into the workplace. If this option is selected there is a closure workshop at the end of the project phase where delegates present how they have applied the techniques learned on the course into their daily work routines.


Contact

Further information on this course is available by contacting
Boulden Management Consultants:
via our Contact form
Tel: 0844 394 8877