Steven Twohig has spent two decades being mentored by and studying with some of the greatest minds in influence and human transformation. He spent a decade working under Tony Robbins as the linchpin for his business mastery division. He spent two decades facilitating any methods of change he could get his hands on. He recently started a company called Mastering Change, which is tasked with creating experiential exercises that transform and educate.
His travels have led him around the world, teaching business owners and individuals about how to lead a more fulfilling and impactful life. He is a coach, a guide, a facilitator, and an agent of change helping businesses to transform.
In today’s episode, we’ll discuss change and the seven influence points, along with the shazam moment and our two core fears.
Change and Company Culture
Steven is very passionate about changing and helping people change. He wants to create a world where everybody reaches their true potential, and he wants to make the impossible possible.
Steven worked with a trucking company that made about $150 million in annual revenue. They came to Steven because they were having safety issues with the truckers. As Steven worked with the company’s CEO to learn more about the organization, they discovered that it was actually a cultural issue.
Many of the truckers were newer and they came to the company because they trusted it and wanted to be a part of it. But they had lost some of that spirit. So, Steven started working with the CEO to help him become an influential leader to change the culture to elevate and transform the impact the organization made.
The 7 Influence Points
Over the years, Steven has studied processes such as Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), shadow facilitation, and Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey to create the seven influence points. Here they are.
Tony Robbins, an author, coach, speaker, and philanthropist, says identity is the most powerful force in the human condition. People will do just about anything to stay consistent with the labels they use to define themselves.
Understanding identity is how we can influence as a company. When we understand who our audience defines themselves to be, we can better cater to them and their needs. Once we know our audience’s identity, it is time to look at their narrative.
What is the plot our audience is operating in? In other words, what is the frame of reference they are looking at the problem with?
Steven has taken a therapeutic tool called the stages of change and combined it with the sales model to create what he calls conscious qualifying. This can help determine where customers are at in their view of the problem. Are they in pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, or a maintenance stage? How are they looking at the problem?
If we think about it from a narrative level, a person will not fully buy into a solution until they fully understand the problem. Too often sales professionals engage and pitch to their clients while the client is still trying to figure out what their problem is; they haven’t fully wrapped their mind around it yet.
When we understand how they’re looking at it from a plot perspective, it allows us to develop what Steven calls residential rapport and fourth-level listening. Instead of springing a solution onto our customers, we can build rapport by listening to them and helping them understand the problem.
Now that we know how our customers are thinking about the problem and what stage of development they’re in, the next question is where are they at in the process? What is the story from a hero’s journey perspective?
The hero’s journey is a story structure that most stories follow closely. Harry Potter, Star Wars, Spider-Man, Tom Sawyer, and many more all follow this structure.
The basic structure is that the hero receives a call to adventure. First, they refuse it, but then accept it, crossing into the unknown. They meet a mentor or helper character who helps them on their journey. They go through many challenges, ending up in the abyss, dark night of the soul, or their lowest point when it seems all hope is lost. Here the hero has some sort of revelation, and they are transformed with a greater understanding. They succeed in whatever they set out to do and return to where they were in the beginning with their higher understanding.
This structure is how we naturally tell stories. Steven said, “Stories are the evolutionary tool if you think about it. People say that opposable thumbs are the tool that has helped us evolve, but the story tells us what to engage with [or] hold on to. We all have this pattern in our heads. We don’t think in time, we think in moments, but we store that experience in story form. The format that we’ve all been told, that’s burned into our DNA is the hero’s journey.”
When we know the hero’s journey, we can easily see where our customers are on it. We can see if they’re in the dark night of the soul when it seems like all is lost or we can see if they’re at the beginning of the journey with the call to action. The hero’s journey is often how we make meaning of the things that happen to us.
The next thing we have to ask ourselves is what are our customers’ beliefs? There are three beliefs a customer must have before they purchase: I can solve this, this is the right solution for this problem, and now is the time to solve this problem.
Belief one: I can solve this. A lot of times when we’re trying to sell something to somebody and we say, “Here’s the solution,” they respond with, “Yeah, that works for you, but I could never do that. I’m not good enough.”
We all have two fears: I’m not good enough, and you’re not going to love me. So first, they must believe that they can do this once they know they can solve the problem.
Belief two: this is the right solution. Next, they must believe this solution, the solution we’re giving them is the right solution for their problem. If they don’t believe in our product, they’re never going to buy from us.
Belief three: this is the right time to solve this. If our customers believe it will be better to solve their problem at a later time, they won’t buy from us, and they may not remember to buy from us when the time is right.
If they don’t believe in themselves or our products or services and don’t believe it’s the right time, the customer will just float around asking questions, trying to solve the problem in their mind but never actually acting on it.
The next point is emotion or energy. What is the emotional resonance the client is meeting us with? What kind of energy are they looking at us with? How do they view us?
For example, a car salesperson has one of the least trusted professions. So when someone steps onto a car lot, they’re going to be thinking, “Is this salesperson trying to rip me off?” We need to meet our customers where they are at and understand the energy they have towards us.
The next influence point is decisions. Decisions are strategies. What are the strategies we need to use, the decisions we need to make to get the right outcome? What are the different variables we need to put in place?
Lastly, we have actions. Actions are the habits and the rituals that we do on a regular basis to create the outcome. Identity drives the narrative, the narrative leads to the story, stories turn into beliefs, beliefs then load the emotion, which then leads to decisions, which causes the actions or the result we’re looking for.
The Shazam Moment
In regard to the hero’s journey, Steven said there is a moment on this journey which he calls the shazam moment. In Spider-Man: Homecoming, this moment happens when Peter Parker is buried in the rubble. He looks down and sees his reflection in a puddle, one half of his face covered with the mask, the other half as Peter Parker. He hears Tony Stark’s voice saying, “If you’re nothing without the suit, then you shouldn’t have it.” Peter realizes that he is Spider-Man, and he’s able to free himself.
Steven said, the shazam moment is “a moment where, for a brief period of time, I lock into what’s really going on and gain this heightened character. . . . We think that we need more resources. I need more clients. I think I need more of this. I think I need more of that. No, you have to step back and access that deeper part of yourself.”
Just like our heroes, we and our customers need this shazam moment to become bigger, better, and bolder. This moment is when we evolve into a better version of ourselves.
2 Core Fears
Earlier we discussed the two core fears everyone has: I’m not good enough, and you’re not going to love me. We start to realize these fears when we’re just babies. When we’re born we are dependent on our caretakers. We notice our caretakers’ reactions to different things; they’re happy when we smile, but they don’t like it when we make a mess.
When we realize they aren’t happy with us, the first fear starts. Our caretakers aren’t happy, so we must not be good enough. The second fear follows closely. If we’re not good enough, they’re not going to love us. If they’re not going to love me, how am I going to survive? Steven said, “Our number one survival tool is love.”
So, how does this apply to business? As entrepreneurs, we have team members that work for us. We need to help those team members feel that they are good enough, and we need to help them feel that they are loved and they belong.
Steven worked with a client who had a receptionist who was frustrated. When this person was hired, the expectation was set that they would be able to move up in the company, but they weren’t qualified to move to another position. The receptionist was frustrated because they saw other people being hired and moving up. They felt like they weren’t good enough and weren’t being loved.
We need to make sure we set proper expectations in situations like this and show our employees that they are appreciated and that they are doing good work. Our environment should set up those kinds of feelings.
We should also be giving our team members and employees room to grow and make them feel like they have a purpose. If they don’t have a purpose, they will feel like paycheck employees—only working for their paycheck, and they may leave for a better paycheck.
Thank you so much Steven for sharing your stories and insights with us today. Here are some of my key takeaways from this episode:
1. As Tony Robbins says, “Identity is the most powerful force in the human condition.” People will do just about anything to stay consistent with the labels they use to define themselves.
2. Stories are one of the most powerful ways to connect with our ideal customers and move them to take action. The hero’s journey is one of the most powerful storytelling models.
3. There are three beliefs a customer must have before they purchase are: I can solve this, this is the right solution for this problem, and now is the time to solve this problem.
4. We should strive to help our customers have shazam moments. These are the moments when we evolve into a better version of ourselves.
5. We should be building an environment that will help our ideal customers and team members counteract their two core fears—that we’re not good enough and that we won’t be loved.
Connect with Steven
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