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Increase your ability to Influence others.

How do you establish yourself as an authority to get people to view you as an expert? Aside from being an expert, here are some things you can do to increase the odds people see you as an expert:

Dress for success is more than just a slogan. Believe it or not something simple like a suit can make a big difference because a suit conveys authority. In his book Influence Science and Practice, Robert Cialdini details a study that proves this point as three and a half times more people follow a man in a suit when he crosses the traffic against the light than they followed a man in slacks and a t-shirt.

Speaking of dress; wearing a uniform can make all the difference depending on the situation. For example, John Doe telling you to do something might not cause you to act. However, police officer John Doe giving the same instructions in his uniform, would probably elicit action from people.

Jewelry, as long as it’s not flaunted in an over the top way, makes a positive difference too. When someone is seen with an expensive designer pen, wearing a Rolex watch or having gold rings, an air of wealthy is conveyed, and wealth usually comes from success.

While these can also be false signs of success, too often they’re overlooked by ordinary people when they could really help. This comes to mind because not long ago we walked by Radio Shack and I commented about a salesman who’d helped us. Jane said the young guy was nice and helpful but he ought to invest in getting his shirts and pants pressed. Most times we’ve seen him he looks kind of messy and disheveled. A few simple adjustments to his appearance would make a very positive impression and give confidence to potential customers.


One sure way to become more persuasive is to read Robert Cialdini’s books Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive and Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.