Monthly Archives: September 2016

Episode 159 – Mindless Eating with Brian Wansink

The food industry is now more successful than it has ever been.  Food is cheap and readily accessible, and many of us are eating A LOT of it.  On this episode, Brian Wansink of the of the Food and Brand Lab of Cornell University joins Kurt and Steve.

Brian is a leading expert in changing eating behavior – both on an individual level and on a mass scale – using principles of behavioral science. His research focuses on how ads, packaging, and personality traits influence the usage frequency and usage volume of healthy foods. His research on consumption volume has won national and international awards for its relevance to consumers. His findings have been widely featured on 20/20, BBC News, The Learning Channel, all news networks, and on the front pages of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. He is also  the author of Mindless Eating (2006) and Slim by Design (2014) as well as over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles. From 2007 until 2009 he was appointed by the White House as the USDA’s CNPP Executive Director in charge of the Dietary Guidelines for 2010 and the Food Guide Pyramid (MyPyramid.gov). He is a former bad open-mic comic and rock sax player. He lives with his wife and three girls in Ithaca, New York, where he enjoys both French food and French fries.

Episode 158 – Hijack A Negotiation Using Emotions

After last weeks interview with Chris Voss, Kurt and Steve dive deeper into negotiations and how emotions can hijack them.  This has a negative connotation with most…but why not be the hijacker here?  Emotions are a powerful tool whether you’re understanding how others are using them, or whether you are using them yourself.

Worry

When your prospect is worried or preoccupied with something occurring now or could happen in the future. The wrong type of worry can hinder persuasion. Worry is feeling anxious, uneasy, or concerned about something that may happen, or has already happened. Worry creates anxiety which creates tension—a fear that occupies our thoughts, which if encouraged will grow and continue to dominate our thoughts. I have heard worry referred to as “negative goal setting.”

You can combat worry in your prospects by modifying their anxiety. Bring them back to reality by having them realize we can’t change many things in the past or forecast the future. Stress that most of the things we worry about are those very things we can’t change or control and which won’t likely ever happen in the first place. Help your prospects replace their negative mental images with positive ones.  Worry can also be caused by indecision.  Get them to make a series of minor decisions and their worry will decrease.

Anger

Anger is a secondary emotion. A prospect’s anger is usually an indicator that something else is askew and that he needs or wants attention.  When we are angry – we want attention or action now. You can assist in diminishing his anger by determining the key issue he is upset about. It is also often effective to ask for his help, opinions, or advice. This will usually diffuse his anger or even change his attitude and demeanor completely. In some circumstances, you may want to use anger to make a certain point or to evoke a certain reaction. However when someone is angry they are more likely to blame someone else. In their mind it is not their fault. When they are sad they will usually blame the situation.

When people become angry they tend to rely on intuition or an educated guess.  Anger triggers non analytical information processing.   Anger causes us to use mental shortcuts to decide if the argument is right.  An experiment was done that induced anger. The participants that were angry tended to discriminate between weak and strong persuasive arguments more than those in a neutral mood.  In other words, those that were angry tended to be more influenced by heuristic cues (intuition) than those in a sad or neutral mood.

Episode 156 – Solve Objections in Advance

Did you know that money can buy happiness? A recent study published in “Psychology Today” shows just that. Kurt and Steve discuss the ins and outs of this study and how money certainly can buy happiness…up to a point.

Continuing off of recent episodes, Kurt and Steve cover how we can overcome objections before they ever occur in the first place. This concept is called “inoculation.” The term comes from the medical field, where patients are given a weak form of a virus so that their body can develop an immunity to it. This same concept happens on the psychological level. If we can introduce a weak form of the objection to our prospects, they will be better prepared for when the real one comes along at a later date.

For example, do most of your prospects end up looking for more bids from competitors? Or do they end up getting serious resistance from friends and family? Letting them know very subtly that this will happen beforehand helps them avoid the shock and disappointment that will later surface. They’ll think “hey, you know what? He told me that the competitors would say this, or that my family would think that.”

This even applies when raising children. Unfortunately we know that at some point kids will be exposed to and given the opportunity to take drugs. Pretending this won’t happen just increases the chances that they will be influenced by a drug dealer and not by you as a parent. Letting them know in advance “hey Jr, at some point somebody is going to offer you drugs. If you say no they’ll call you chicken, they’ll make fun of you, etc. But just say no no matter what and come talk to me about it. It’s okay.”

You can’t, nor should you, inoculate against everything. Just pick the two or three most common objections your prospects have and pre solve them with stories, examples, statistics, and testimonials!

Episode 157 – Negotiation Tips from an former FBI Hostage Negotiator

On this episode, Kurt and Steve discuss the recent bad publicity for Samsung and their Galaxy Note that apparently catches on fire.  Whether it’s true or not, when the FAA warns travelers about your product it can’t be a good thing!

After the Samsung debacle, Kurt and Steve are joined by Chris Voss, author of “Never Split the Difference.”  Chris is a former international kidnapping negotiator for the FBI and shares some great pointers on the podcast!  From Chris’s website, some great excerpts covered in the interview:

Let’s explore the space between offer and acceptance – the space between “yes” and “no” is labels.

“It seems like…” “It sounds like…” “It looks like…”  (Followed by an effective pause.)

It’s critical to not “step” on your label by following it with a question or some sort of an explanation. You’ve got to let them sink in.

“It seems like there’s some flexibility in this package?”

“It sounds like there’s more here?”

“It seems like you have some ranges in mind?”

“It looks like you’ve used certain criteria to come up with this offer?”

Labels are a great way to gather more information and to test positions.  They do it in a way that doesn’t make people feel backed into a corner. They’re effective in place of questions where basically you’d normally be looking for just a “yes” or a “no” and they always get more information. They open up dialog in a really gentle, yet quietly firm way.

Salary negotiations are particularly important because people are testing you as both a co-worker and an ambassador. They really don’t want you to be a push-over and they don’t want you to be a jerk. Salary negotiations shouldn’t be limited to just salary. Salary pays your mortgage but terms build your career.

“It seems like there’s a bigger picture here for this position?”

“It looks like your company has a future vision I fit into.”

“It seems like this position fits a broader need within the company.”

“It looks like there’s some built in opportunities for professional development?”

“It looks like this position fits a critical need.”

These labels can also be expressed as statements or questions (upward inflection – question; downward inflection – statement).

Employers appreciate someone with insight who “gets it”. Labels are a great way to demonstrate competence and insight. Both of these are characteristics that either merit a higher offer now, or position you for one down the line.

Please remember, plan for your success with good terms within the overall package that build your career. Labels help you flesh that out and build the success of both your career and your employer!

Episode 155 – 3 Quick Keys to Rapport

It is human nature to mirror and match, or to “synchronize” with, the people we connect with.28 We don’t even think about it. It happens so quickly and so subconsciously that without a replay, one is unlikely to even notice it.29 What if you were aware of it? Could it be used to help you be even more persuasive? Research says definitely yes. When you mirror your audience, you build rapport with them.

Mirroring operates at a subconscious level and demonstrates that the parties are starting to synchronize and get into rapport. People are inclined to follow and obey those they perceive as similar to themselves. If they shift in their posture, you should eventually do so, too. If they cross their legs, you should cross your legs as well. If they smile, you smile, too. When you mirror them, they will subconsciously feel that you have much more in common with them than may actually be the case. Why is this so? He likes you because you are like him. He perceives you the same way he perceives himself. When using mirroring and matching, you want your audience to subconsciously say, “It feels like I have known you for years.” Mirroring speeds up the process of connecting and effectively communicating with anyone.

Obviously, it is imperative that mirroring and matching come across as natural. Great persuaders know how to mirror or reflect their audience’s actions, not to imitate them. If people think you are imitating them, they may feel mocked and become offended. They will see you as phony, and they will no longer trust you. Instead of directly imitating, just mirror or match the overall tone and demeanor of your prospect. You can safely mirror things such as language, posture, gestures, and mood. The reality is that mirroring is the best predictor of rapport.30

You can develop rapport by mirroring your audience in the following areas:

  • Emotional state
  • Energy level
  • Language
  • Breathing rate
  • Voice patterns and inflections
  • Mood