Tag Archives: steve olson

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 169 – Dealing With the Angry Prospect

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 168 – What Puts the “Brakes” on Success

Willingness to confront your fears is critical to mental programming. Great persuaders have mastered their fears. You will be tempted to leave your fears buried, but they will invariably come back to haunt you. It is much better to deal with fears directly, especially considering that whatever we fear most is never as bad as we think. Human infants are born with only two fears: fear of falling and fear of loud noises. A newborn baby fears nothing else. All other fears are learned. The good news is that if we can learn fears, we can unlearn them.

How do you unlearn a deeply ingrained fear? You must face it. That’s right—you must deliberately put yourself in the situation where you are confronted with it and there is no escape. Any new skill comes only through extensive practice. There is no way around it. Let’s say you have a terrible fear of public speaking. If you want to be a brilliant public speaker, then you’ve got a lot of public speaking to do. You must force yourself to present to others over and over again. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld jokes about how people are more afraid of public speaking than of dying. He says they would rather be in the casket than delivering the eulogy! The truth is, we usually find out, once we’ve stepped up and faced a fear directly, that it wasn’t so bad. Most of our fears are exaggerated doubts or they are based on unrealities. How will you ever come to this realization if you don’t look your fears in the face?

Episode 167 – Interview with Matt Powell on “Brain Wiring”

On Episode 167 of Maximize Your Influence, Kurt and Steve interview Matt Powell.

Matt asks an important question other personal growth planning books never ask: what if you are choosing the wrong goals? Having taught thousands of students and selling thousands of books on learning methods, Matt brings his systematic approach to achieving goals and changing your future. The best planning process in the world won’t help you if you are choosing the wrong goals. After cutting through the reality of the ‘why’ we fail instead of the ‘what’ we fail doing, Matt shows you how to stop failing in the future, a full proof method of choosing the right goals, and then build on your success.  Matt’s book gives you one of the most in-depth ‘how to’ methods you’ve ever experienced…taking you from last year’s successes to fixing your failures, from understanding your routes to success to setting your calendar up for achieving goals. Topics include – How to ‘undo’ the past – cutting ties with the failures – The keys to understanding why you fail, not what you fail doing – Success planning for all areas of your life – Creating attainable goals you’ll be able to achieve – The psychology and neurology of failure and how to change quickly – Learning from failure – how avoiding failure is a failure – How to reduce stress and increase time management – Understanding and using the four kinds of ‘success capital’ you have right now – Productivity planner and planning using the Hierarchy of Attainability – A method for achieving even the hardest goals immediately…plus much much more.  Check out the interview to see how Matt’s power packed information on “Brain Wiring” will better help you achieve success!

Episode 166 – Double Your Referrals With Donald Kelly

If you’ve been in sales or business for long, you know that a “referred” lead is 10 times better than most cold calls.  On this episode, Kurt and Steve interview Donald Kelly, the Sales Evangelist about how you can double your referrals!

Just like most of you, Donald Kelly is a real life B2B sales professional hustling in the world of software sales. If you’re like him, you had no clue how to really sell when you started in sales. Over the years, Donald has received training/coaching from some of the industry’s leading experts. He applied what he was learning and started seeing a significant difference in his performance and income. He started doing “BIG THINGS”! He personally feels that when you find something of value you should share it! That’s why he love sales so much.

He became very passionate and started “evangelizing” about sales and was dubbed “The Sales Evangelist”. Donald offers some of the top training on sales and referral generation in the market today!

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 161 – The Science of “No”

On this episode, Kurt and Steve read some listener mail from an business owner who finds himself dealing with a lot of calls from prospects just wanting quotes.  They discuss how the power of “no” can draw prospects into a conversation where actual value can be established. This then unfolds to a discussion about the power of questions.

Of all the tools in your persuasion toolbox, questioning is probably the one most often used by Power Persuaders. Questions are used in the persuasion process to create mental involvement, to guide the conversation and to find out what your prospect needs. Questioning is a very diverse and useful tool. An important study observed hundreds of negotiators in action in an attempt to discover what it takes to be a top negotiator. Their key finding was that skilled negotiators ask more than twice as many questions as average negotiators.

How do you form a good question? First, design your questions ahead of time. The structure of your questions dictates how your listener will answer them. When asked to estimate a person’s height, people will answer differently depending on whether the question asked is “How tall is he?” versus “How short is he?” In one study, when asking how tall versus how short a basketball player was, researchers received dramatically different results. The “how tall” question received the guess of 79 inches whereas the “how short” question received the guess of 69 inches. Words have a definite effect on how people respond. “How fast was the car going?” suggests a high speed, but “At what speed was the car traveling?” suggests a moderate speed. “How far was the intersection?” suggests the intersection was far away.

One facet of questioning is the use of leading questions. Stanford professor Elizabeth Loftus researched how leading questions influenced eyewitness testimonies. In one project, her subjects watched a one-minute multiple-car accident. One group was asked, “About how fast were the cars going when they smashed into each other?” The second group was asked, “How fast were the cars going when they hit?” The third group was asked, “How fast were they going when they contacted?” The first group estimated that the cars were going about 40.8 miles an hour, the second group estimated 34 miles an hour, and the third group estimated 31.8 miles an hour.  The same question led to three different answers just by using different words.

Leading questions not only alter the way we interpret facts, but they also influence what we remember. In another study conducted by Loftus, subjects who were asked, “Did you see the broken headlight?” were three times more likely to answer yes than subjects who were asked, “Did you see a broken headlight?”

When you are probing for information, it is a good idea to ask open-ended questions. It is too easy to respond to a question that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” For example, instead of saying, “Do you wish you had decided differently?” ask, “How did you feel after you made that decision?” Then the person’s answer can be used to lead into your more detailed questions—”Why did you make that decision?” or “What do you wish you could change about your decision?”— without seeming to intrusive.

A good rule of thumb is to start with the easiest questions first. You want to draw your audience into the conversation and help them feel relaxed and comfortable. People are encouraged by answers they know are right. Begin the conversation by starting with a general topic instead of a specific subject. You need to get the wheels in your listeners’ minds rolling before you ask them to answer the more specific questions.

Episode 160 – Why Small Talk Stinks

On this episode, Kurt and Steve interview Rob Kendall, of www.conversationexpert.com.  Rob has devoted his life to understanding how humans converse with one another and what makes them go wrong…and right.  Rob its the author of BlameStorming and WorkStorming.

If you know that you need to have a challenging conversation, it’s worth preparing thoroughly for it. The preparation time may be disproportionate to the length of the conversation itself, but if the conversation’s important enough, your preparation will rarely be wasted. As a friend of mine was always told, ‘Prepare thoroughly and deviate with confidence’.

There are a number of things to consider:

1. Time and place.

What’s the appropriate time and place for the conversation? If you squash it in between other meetings, you have no leeway for it to overrun. Is it best to have it now or later? And is it best to stay in the office or would it be more conducive to have it outside?

2. Set it up to succeed.

Would it be beneficial for the other person to know (broadly) in advance what it’s about, or not? At a minimum, you may want to make sure that they’ve cleared enough time in their diary, so they don’t arrive and say they only have 15 minutes free.

3. Set the context.

Once you meet up, make clear to them what you want to speak about. If you beat about the bush too much, the other person will wonder what on earth’s going on, and may not even be clear what you’ve said.

4. Make your commitment clear.

This is vital and can often be missed. When you start a difficult conversation, you need to set the context. Take this example of Mia, who’s given some feedback by her boss. She’s highly regarded at work and is seen as someone with the potential for promotion in the coming year, but her boss assumes she knows this and starts their conversation by saying:

As you know, we’ve gathered some feedback from your colleagues and there are a few areas that have come to light that I want to discuss.’

Mia’s immediately on the defensive, while her boss is surprised that she’s not being more constructive. It would help if he began by saying:

‘Mia, you’re highly valued and we’re really keen for you to progress to a more senior role. You’re already exceptionally strong in some areas, and need to develop in others.’

5. Make the distinction between ‘facts’ and ‘stories’ or ‘opinions’.

A fact may be: ‘You’ve been late 3 times in the last 10 working days’.

A story or opinion would be: ‘You’re unreliable.’

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with having opinions, but it’s better to state it this way: ‘I have an opinion that you’re unreliable.’

6. Acknowledge their perspective.

Ask them questions so that you can understand their perspective (this doesn’t mean you have to agree with it). And then listen. If you’re not prepared to listen, don’t bother asking, but don’t expect much engagement from them either. Prior to a meeting most people spend their time thinking about what they want to say, but it may be even more important to consider what questions you want to ask.

7. Get clear what’s going to happen next.

Obviously this depends on the situation, but it’s worth agreeing together a clear action or a date to review things after some reflection time.

8. Be aware.

Lastly, be aware that – however well you conduct the conversation – what you say might come as a shock to the other person.

In her 1969 book, On Death and Dying, Elizabeth Kübler-Ross introduced a hypothesis based on her work with terminally ill patients. In the majority of cases she found that patients went through a spectrum of different emotional states: beginning with denial then leading to anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

Her model has since been adapted to fit a broader set of situations where someone receives unwelcome news. The instinctive response is often to deny it, followed by feelings of anger, withdrawing to lick their wounds, and finally coming round to acceptance. You may need to give someone room to go through this process, while remaining available to speak to them if other questions and concerns arise.