Tag Archives: persuasion

Episode 172 – 4 Power Skills of Persuasion

Summary:

Talking Too Much 

  Being an extrovert, having the gift of gab, or being able to make small talk with anyone you meet can definitely be used to your advantage, but watch yourself. How can you persuade if you are always talking? It will be very annoying to your audience if they sense that you like hearing yourself talk more than listening to their concerns. Remember, it’s about them, not you. Great persuaders listen more than they talk. In fact, great persuaders use their listening and questioning skills to get their audience to persuade themselves. 

 

Often when someone comes to you, she already knows what she wants. She already has something in mind. She just needs to talk through it with someone. Which approach do you think will have better, longer-term results: you persuading your audience, or you helping them persuade themselves? It’s much better if your audience feels as if they have made the decision themselves, without perceived external influences. When you do have to talk, be succinct and to the point. A good rule of thumb is not to talk more than 30 percent of the time. 

Link to article: http://foodpsychology.cornell.edu/discoveries/curse-chinese-buffet

 

Now, with these general guidelines in place, it is worth pointing out that you must always be prepared to adapt and adjust to the personality type of your audience. For some people, talking 30 percent of the time will still be too much. Discussing only what is relevant to the matter at hand and keeping chit-chat to a minimum is best for these no-nonsense types. Your attempts at being their buddy will likely annoy and maybe even offend them. Some people feel that being overly warm and personable is not appropriate when you have just met someone for the very first time. Polite and professional, yes, but warm and fuzzy, no. The bottom line is, don’t get too friendly too fast

Check out this episode!

Episode 165 – NLP and Influence

Well, it’s finally over.  The 2016 presidential election is in the books.  Wow.  Just wow!  Kurt and Steve discuss the election and some of the tactics used by both sides that ultimately led to the victory by Donald Trump.

If you’ve ever conducted research on relieving stress, you’ve undoubtedly come across advice stating that a key factor for reducing your level of stress is to try to live more in the present moment. Most of the feelings that cause us stress, like anger and worry, are born from reliving moments in the past or trying to predict what will come in the future. We’re told to slow down, appreciate the here and now, and let go of the things we cannot do anything about.

Unfortunately for most of us, as time goes by and technology evolves, it seems to become harder and harder to do that. We are bombarded by flashing lights, electronic tones and endless notifications prompting us to think about everything except what we are doing right now, at this very moment. You’ve most likely had at least one notification of some kind pop up on your computer or cell phone in the time it took you to read this far. We are constantly on the move, our minds are continually racing, and we are, mentally, always somewhere else.

Author Eckhart Tolle may have put it best when he wrote the following lines in his book, “The Power Of Now”. Tolle writes, “All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry — all forms of fear — are caused by too much future and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.”

It is possible for anyone to ease stress in their life by simply learning to be more mindful of the present, keeping their mind from running off into the past or the future and focusing on abundance. Except for very few specific circumstances in life, stress does not exist in the present, it only exists in the mind.

Many studies have been conducted, which prove that hypnosis can have outstanding effects on reducing stress and anxiety. One such study looked at the effects of hypnosis when used to deal with stress experienced by first-year medical students as they dealt with exams. Results showed that those students who used self-hypnosis techniques experienced much lower levels of distress during exam periods.

Hypnosis can help you to live more in the moment and reduce the stress in your life by allowing you to reach a relaxed mental state more easily. Hypnosis can help you remove the triggers that cause worry and anxiety, helping to stop runaway thoughts and allowing you to maintain your focus on the present moment. You will be able to enjoy life again, regain that young at heart feeling, and let go of all those things outside of your control that have worked their way into your subconscious.

Episode 164 – Ego and Persuasion

Kurt and Steve start this episode by discussing how we can achieve effective presence as a persuader.  Kurt also laments the end of boating season.  They then continue their discussion about dealing with difficult people…specifically delving into low self esteem.

One easy way to boost someone’s esteem is to offer sincere, genuine thanks.  Show a little gratitude for what they have done or even will do.  Never assume that they know how much you care or appreciate them.  Many leaders feel that the paycheck is enough to show thanks.  Sure most people like the money, but if you look at the complaints of people in the workplace, the top 5 are all esteem and ego related, not money related.  These people will either leave the company or do just the minimum at their job.  One of the main reasons you see dissatisfaction in the workplace is because they were never thanked or given any recognition for their efforts.  At first it might seem a bit unnatural to use thanks and gratitude, since of most of us have not experienced an environment where doing so was common, but it’s worth the energy and effort.  Praise not only is the right thing to do, but gives them sense of job security.

It is important to be able to read people and understand the signals of low self esteem.  It might be the opposite of what you think.  It could be bullying, always having to be right, gossiping, quick to take offense, or resentment of others.   Charismatic people have the ability to read these signs and enhance their self esteem.  There has always been a link between esteem and performance.  Boosting their esteem increases their confidence, they have better attitudes and they perform better.  I am not saying you can never say anything negative or critical.  I just want you to be aware that one negative comment has more emotional impact than ten positive comments.  Just keep in mind that the use of praise affects us to the very core, so use it properly.

 

Episode 163 – Invisible Influence with Jonah Berger

On this episode, Kurt and Steve interview Jonah Berger.  Jonah is a Marketing Professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a world-renowned expert on word of mouth, social influence, consumer behavior, and how products, ideas, and behaviors catch on. He has published dozens of articles in top‐tier academic journals, and popular accounts of his work often appear in places like The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Harvard Business Review. Berger is the bestselling author of multiple books including Contagious: Why Things Catch On (hundreds of thousands of copies are in print in over 30 languages) and Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior. Berger is a popular speaker at major conferences and events and often consults for companies like Apple, Google, GE, Coca‐Cola, Vanguard, 3M, Kaiser Permanente, Unilever, and The Gates Foundation.

Episode 162 – Dealing With Difficult People

We all have them in our lives: difficult people. Admit it…when you heard “difficult people” you automatically thought of a couple by name, didn’t you!

So what is a difficult person?  This person is difficult by nature and/or disagrees with you and may even actively work against you.

For a difficult person, use these techniques:

  • Find a common belief and establish a common ground.
  • Use appropriate humor to break the ice.
  • Don’t start the presentation with an attack on their position.
  • You are only trying to persuade on one point; don’t talk about anything else that could trigger disagreement.
  • Because of your differences, they will question your credibility. Increase your credibility with studies from experts or anything that will support your claim.
  • They will try to find reasons to not like you; don’t give them any.
  • Don’t tell them you are going to try to persuade them.
  • Express that you are looking for a win-win outcome rather than a win-lose situation.
  • Show them you’ve done your homework.
  • Respect their feelings, values, and integrity.
  • Use logical reasoning as clearly and as carefully as possible.
  • Use the Law of Connectivity and the Law of Balance. (Maximum Influence)

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 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

Episode 154 – 3 More Keys to Persuasive Presentations

If all my talents and powers were to be taken from me by some inscrutable Providence, and I had my choice of keeping but one, I would unhesitatingly ask to be allowed to keep the power of speaking, for through it I would quickly recover all the rest.                                                                            —Daniel Webster

Have you happened to notice the dramatic changes that have evolved in presentations, communication, and training over the last twenty years? The basic focus used to be on education. Now, the latest research is all about how to grab your audience’s attention and then maintain their interest. We can no longer focus simply on educating; we must now entertain. We must keep our audiences mentally engaged.

Great persuaders can maintain the attention of their audience. Research shows that people’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. You don’t have to be a stand-up comedian, but you do have to make sure your audience sticks with you, your words resonate with them, they pay attention, and they understand you. The moment you lose their attention, you can no longer persuade them. You could have a great Website, be a sharp dresser, publish a great brochure, or have any manner of impressive credentials. The reality is, however, that the number-one persuasion tool is you, and a big part of how you present yourself is through your communication. Long gone are the days of counting on the subject matter to speak compellingly for itself, compensating for your inadequacies as a presenter. Nowadays, you’ve got to get inside your audience’s minds, and you’ve got to get there fast. It can take only seconds before people’s minds start to wander. To combat this tendency, you have to educate, inspire, and entertain with passion, compassion, and purpose.

Great persuaders are great communicators. Well-known motivational speaker and best-selling author Jim Rohm said it best: “When I learned how to effectively persuade and communicate, my income went from six digits to seven digits.” Your communication skills are critical for your success, yet this is another set of overlooked skills that are not effectively taught in school. Communication includes phone skills, face-to-face interactions, group presentations, and even email.

Most persuaders feel, incorrectly, that they have above-average communication skills. Are yours “above average” too? Our research shows that 34 percent of persuaders feel they have mastered the ability to effectively communicate. However, by talking to your audience, we know that your presentation and communication mastery was rated at only 11 percent. Great persuaders work on their presentation skills on a continual basis. There is always something to fine-tune and improve.

The studies show that, on average, a persuader communicates six to eight features of his product or service to his audience, but the average person will only remember one, two, or three of them. In over 40 percent of cases, the person will remember one of the features incorrectly. In 30 percent of cases, the person remembers a feature that was never even mentioned by the persuader. (Ouch!) We also found that 93 percent of persuadees misunderstood some part of a persuader’s message. The worst part is that most of them did not ask a question or even try to seek clarification. Remember, a confused mind says no. A “confused mind,” has to think about it. A “confused mind,” will get back to you. A confused mind is hard to persuade and influence.

Episode 151 – Debra Fine on the Science of Small Talk

You can use conversational skills as a tool with which to build new connections, while avoiding awkward pauses and uncomfortable conversations. After all, making a good first impression is all about making others feel good when spending time with each of you. Great conversationalists are made, not born.

The following tips will help you make a positive impression every time:

  • Don’t rush through conversations. Take your time, and be sure to remember names and use them frequently during conversations.
  • Show an interest in every person you meet. By showing an interest you are creating a favorable impression of yourself. People, even shy ones, like to talk about themselves, so let them.
  • Be prepared. Before entering an event, take a couple minutes and think of at least three conversation topics. Remind yourself of what you may already know about fellow attendees. Their hobbies, activities or interests. If you happen to encounter an uncomfortable silence, these conversation points will always come in handy.
  • Always maintain eye contact. Eye contact is an easy way to make others feel comfortable, important, and special.
  • Act confident through your body language, even if you are not. Nervous body language {twisting your hair, slouching shoulders, constant hand rubbing} can make others uncomfortable and anxious. Try to be aware of your body language when interacting with others.
  • Be a careful listener. By listening intently to what others are saying, you are not only making them feel important, but you can gather cues you need to keep the conversation going and bridge to new topics.
  • Don’t interrogate a conversational partner. Questions like: “Where are you from?” “Are you married?” “What do you do for a living?” can stop a conversation before it ever really starts.
  • Be respectful of the opinions of others. Not everyone agrees on things, and friendly disagreements can be a gateway to a great conversation. Offer your opinion of your favorite football team, the state of public education today, or the future of the space program. Be sure to follow up with “What do you think?”, or “Tell me your opinion.”
  • Have exit lines prepared. You will probably want to mingle with several people around the room.