Allan & Barbara Pease, Sept 2016

In a world full of online ‘influencers’ we’re often asked the question how to be influential with people across all mediums. Think back a few years and most of your important business meetings were probably face-to-face. Now, much of business is conducted online and an increasing volume of business is both initiated and maintained without ever meeting in person.

Despite this, relationships are still at the top of the list when someone is deciding whether to work with you, buy what you’re selling, or recommend you. In other words, if you want to influence others put relationships first.


The first fundamental of human relationships is the importance of feeling important. The desire to feel important is the strongest constant human urge and is the one characteristic that separates us from the animals. It makes people want to wear brand label clothing, drive upmarket cars, have a title on their door and brag about their children. And the more important you make someone feel, the more positively they will respond to you.

Here’s how to make someone feel important (and this works in every medium!)
1. Others are far more interested in themselves than in you. So your goal when talking with them is to talk about them. In an email, this can be as simple as editing your email before you send it, looking out for overuse of “I” and replacing it with “You”.

“I have attached the documents I mentioned earlier” can be replaced with “Here is all the information for you”

2. If you are face-to-face or talking on the phone, you should talk about

  • their feelings
  • their family
  • their friends
  • their status
  • their needs
  • their opinions
  • their possessions
  • and never about you or yours, unless they ask.

3. When you do someone a favor they will usually watch for an opportunity to reciprocate. If you pay someone a compliment, they will not only like you, they will try to return it. Practice making people feel important through recognition and appreciation every day for thirty days, and it will become a habit that will come naturally to you forever.

(Watch Allan’s Video about the Three Fundamentals of Human Nature)


As you meet someone face-to-face, it‘s natural for most people to smile. A smile communicates “I’m happy to see you and I accept you”. And if you smile to others, evidence shows that responding positively to a smiling face is hardwired into the brain, which means you’re almost guaranteed that your smile will create a positive vibe.

But did you know that you can also smile on the phone? Your smile can be heard in your voice, so smile as you speak and notice the difference it makes to your conversations.


First impressions count, and so does how you present yourself online. Here are the dos and don’ts of video and conference calls.


  • Walk around while on the phone or video conference if you can avoid it. It tells the other person you have more important things to do.
  • Display an untidy area behind you in a video conference. It’s like turning up to a meeting with a grocery bag to hold your papers instead of a briefcase.


  • Dress for a SKYPE or video conference the same way you would if you were meeting the person at their office.
  • Aim for your head shoulders to be visible and in the centre of the screen throughout the video conference.
  • Pay attention to your background. Keep it neat, tidy and professional.
  • Give your full attention. Find a quiet place, keep the door closed and show that you are 100% committed to talking to the other person for the entire meeting.


No matter how you connect with people in business, your relationship with them should always come first. If you want to influence, persuade, and build successful relationships with everyone you meet then treat the phone, text, Skype, or other mode of contact in the same way you would your conference room at the office. Whatever another person can see and hear is how they will form their impression of you.