A set of core steps to establish influence over others in sales, negotiations, or other contexts by leveraging persuasion and influence components.

Kingmaker Influence is a framework that condenses lessons learned from coaching executives and top performers in influencing and persuading others in the most demanding contexts. It combines proprietary knowledge and lessons with techniques from existing frameworks to create an exclusive, elite, jam-packed framework for elite influence and persuasion for the biggest deals and in the most extreme situations.

The Kingmaker Influence has six key steps, which are then split into specific techniques:

  1. Pre-Framing (how you establish yourself);
  2. Priming (warming up and preparing the other person);
  3. Contact (establishing identification and empathy);
  4. Disarmament (pre-empting and addressing objections);
  5. i (limiting their options to guarantee compliance);

If you want to know more about it, you can find my Ultimate Influence and Persuasion course on it, as well as versions for specific verticals:

The Key Components of Kingmaker Influence

Let’s take a look at each of the key components of Kingmaker Influence in specific. The six major dimensions can be further split into specific techniques.

1. Pre-Framing

This is how you establish yourself. In a way, it can be considered branding. But in terms of persuasion, it’s your specific positioning. You want to position yourself as a specialist, providing something exclusive, and with a diagnostic frame – you’re here to logically obtain information and make an informed recommendation, versus being pushy trying to sell something. This increases your authority and establishes you as a trusted advisor. The goal is for you to establish yourself with a powerful, trusted, authority frame to adjust the other side’s expectations going in.

Techniques include three major families:

  1. Exclusivity (being a specialist who can only be accessed under certain conditions);
  2. Authority (having the right credentials and image);
  3. Characterization (drawing out the right traits in people and embodying the same things they do);
  4. Paradigm (if you can, completely changing the paradigm and being in a league of your own)

Useful techniques for exclusivity include:

  • Limited access
  • Specialization
  • Secrecy

Useful techniques for authority include:

  • Diagnosing their needs
  • Non-attachment
  • Adversary transparency
  • Displayed authority
  • Social proof

Useful techniques for Characterization include:

  • Eliciting the right characteristics
  • Embodying similar traits and experiences
  • Polarizing yourself

2. Priming

Priming is all about preparing the other person. It’s about discovering what their specific personality type is, so you can speak to their core desires and fears, and then torquing up desire and qualifying them so they are more receptive to you. Creating indoctrination by making them follow your processes, your rules, your materials is also helpful, shaping their behavior.

The major families of techniques include:

  1. Effort (forcing the other side to prove themselves or put effort in);
  2. Leveraging the person’s desire (creating desire in them);
  3. Leveraging their characteristics and physiology (personal traits and characteristics and/or traits like being tired and/or distracted);

Useful techniques for effort include:

  • Rigidity
  • The Home Advantage
  • Initiative
  • Obstacles/Testing
  • Indoctrination
  • Escalation of Commitment
  • Code of Conduct

3. Contact

This step is about establishing a connection with the other person. You can leverage techniques such as empathy, reciprocity, a personal touch and others in order to effectively connect better with the person. This step is usually split into three major families of techniques:

  1. Empathy
  2. Identity Labeling
  3. Reciprocity

Useful techniques for empathy:

  • Statements of empathy
  • The DISC Personality Types
  • Confirmatory Mirroring
  • Past Implementation

Useful techniques for reciprocity include:

  • Giving
  • Using a personal touch
  • Leveraging the return timing

4. Disarmament

This step is about disarming objections. But even before that, it’s about uncovering them. There are many objections that are left unsaid, and because of that create illusions or false expectations in both parties, just wasting time. The goal is to both be able to uncover objections and then address them.

Disarming objections is usually split into three main stages:

  1. Actually provoking the person’s objections (finding out what’s wrong);
  2. Weakening their conviction in their objections/thoughts;
  3. Responding to the objection to destroy it;

Useful techniques for Provoking:

  • Exclusion confirmation
  • Negative anchoring
  • Starting with the negative
  • Preempting labeling
  • Adversary Transparency

Useful techniques for Weakening:

  • The Possibility Shuffle
  • Value identity contradictions
  • Social identity contradictions

Useful techniques for Responding:

  • “UP Answers”
  • Increasing certainty;
  • The Five Ways Model
    • Reshaping
    • Flipping
    • Accelerating
    • Deflecting
    • Diagnosing

5. Constriction

This step is all about limiting the other side’s options and making sure they play according to your own rules. There are several techniques for this. One is using questions oriented to making the other person work towards your goal – Reticular Questions. Stacking these questions helps tease out false commitments and assure compliance for genuine ones. Other techniques like using consensus against the person or using prospect theory to present your option as the best also work here.

Usually, providing final incentives to close a person comes in the form of two different families of techniques:

  1. Reinforcing your current option (using techniques like Implementers, intent labeling, future lock-in, progress and loss and others)
  2. Limiting the other side’s option(s) (using context manipulation, negative associations, going against the the majority, and others);

Useful techniques for Reinforcing:

  • Streamlining
  • Implementers
  • Intent Labeling
  • Future Lock-In
  • Progress and Loss
  • Presence vs. Details

Useful techniques for Limiting:

  • Context Manipulation
  • Eliciting Multiple Reasons
  • Social Identity Contradictions
  • Removing Exits

Conclusion: A New Approach for Influence

The Kingmaker Influence framework allows you to properly build empathy and rapport with different personality types, and effectively using it to leverage closing deals, effectively building compliance for a request, or others. Each of six steps focus on a specific phase of the influence process, making it a flexible framework for any purpose, from having conversations to old-school sales to personal situations.

It’s a great complement to Kingmaker Performance and Kingmaker Perseverance – once you know how to influence others, you still have to keep performing at your best, and to learn to take the hits you will receive and leverage them.

Find more of our resources on the resources page, or specifically head to books, articles, reports and/or interviews.

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