The Law of Expectations AND The Impact of Suggestion
The Law of Expectations uses expectations to influence reality and create results. Individuals tend to make decisions based on how others expect them to behave or perform. As a result, people fulfill those expectations whether positive or negative.
Expectations have a powerful impact on those we trust and respect, but, interestingly, an impact on strangers. When we know someone expects something from us, we will try to satisfy him or her in order to gain respect, trust and likability.
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You know the saying, “What gets measured, gets done.” The same is true for expectations. That which is expected is what actually happens. People rise to meet your expectations of them. This is a powerful force that can lead to the improvement or destruction of a person. You can express an expectation of doubt, lack of confidence, and skepticism, and you will see the results.
We communicate our expectations in a variety of ways. It may be through our language, our word choice, voice inflections, or our body language. Think of a time when you’ve been introduced to someone. Usually, if they introduce themselves by their first name, then you do the same. If they give their first and last name, you do likewise.
Whether you realize it or not, you accept cues from others regarding their expectations and you act accordingly. Similarly, we all unknowingly send out our own cues and expectations. The power is in using the Law of Expectations consciously!
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A great persuader can connect with anyone in thirty seconds or less. First impressions take only seconds to form, but they last a lifetime. This is a critical skill to develop because the cement dries fast.
How do you ensure that you’re making those early seconds really count? That first judgment or opinion about you is vital to your success. In this fast-paced world, you probably won’t get a second chance?you have to make it happen the first time.
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Rapport is equivalent to being on the same wavelength with the other person. Rapport is the key to mutual trust. With rapport, we can differ in our opinions with someone else yet still feel a strong bond. Rapport can even exist between two people with little in common.
Many persuaders can’t tell if they’re connecting. They think that they’re doing everything right, that they’re doing all the stereotypical rapport-building things: being friendly, enthusiastic, or fun. But the reality is that in most cases, they are not building rapport and are failing to connect with their audience.
Studies show that not only do 75 percent of people not like all the “gushy, chit-chatty stuff,” but 99 percent of them won’t even bother to stop you when they’re annoyed. The proverbial bad salesman comes to mind here. He acts too chummy and tells stupid jokes, all the while thinking everyone loves him.
You’ve probably met him. What did you do when you met this person? If you’re like most people, you politely endured the encounter, made up some excuse to get him off your back, and then swore to yourself that’d you’d never get stuck talking to him again. Reality check: This annoying person could be you.
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Research demonstrates that 81 percent of persuaders talk more than necessary during the persuasion process. They are talking too much,7 and you are likely talking too much.
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When we talk too much and fail to allow our audience to ask questions, it increases the thickness of the brick wall of resistance. Consider the doctor analogy to persuasion, meaning you have to listen and ask questions before you can diagnose the problem. The doctor does not come into the examination room and try to sell you on a prescription without first asking questions or trying to discover what you really need. Like a physician, you need to step back and be able to absorb and evaluate everything your audience is saying. While monitoring persuaders, I have found a constant epidemic of overpersuasion and regurgitating too many features.
Ask yourself the following questions to determine whether or not you ever overpersuade or flood them with too much information:
- Do you interrupt your audience in your eagerness to highlight another point before they have finished?
- Are you worried about making the sale or satisfying a new customer?
- Do you ever lose their eye contact or get a glazed look?
- Do they seem stressed, indifferent, or agitated?
- Does your audience seem overwhelmed or confused?
- Are you concentrating on what you need to say next instead of listening?
- Is your audience giving you excuses and objections that you’ve already covered or that you know aren’t really true?
- Do their nonverbal signals tell you they are getting ready to run?
- Are you talking about yourself instead of discovering their needs?
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