influence  Influence is the ability to have an effect or impact on someone’s character, behaviour, actions or options. It can be based on many things, including position and ability though wealth and class can also be part of it.

As a small business owner your ability and knowledge of your products and services can influence your customers, preferably in a good way, by leading through example, providing information and focusing on their needs.

Your influence communicates itself to your customers through your ideas and their ability to trust you. You are able to have a conversation with them and understand their interests and how they would like to see your products evolve. Influence also means being able to persuade people to buy by showing them how what you are selling is something they need and is of far superior quality to anything similar that may be on the market.

You are able to make people like you; through your confidence in yourself, your ability to admit when you’re wrong and your availability to your customers. Leadership comes easily to you and you’re able to focus entirely on a customer’s problem, conversation and communication. Decision making isn’t difficult and neither is supporting your employees, community and others. You influence your customers by knowing the difference between assertiveness and aggression, are knowledgeable enough to be humble about your achievements and honest as to how your attained your success.

Customers are influenced by a business owner who can identify with them and isn’t pushy. Quality is always more important than quantity and knowing when to step back and away from a request is as important as knowing when to move forward. Following through on promises and showing that you mean what you say creates an atmosphere of trust and believability with your customers and enhances your reputation.

Influence and leadership are all part of becoming a successful business owner. You can’t have one without the other. Influential does not mean unreachable, it means that you can, through your position, create a great experience for those who purchase from you.

© Chris Draper, DemGen Inc. 2015

image courtesy of sajigroup