with Kevin Hogan, Psy.D.
Do YOU have a question? E-mail askkevin AT kevinhogan.com
Do you have a question for Kevin? Your question will remain anonymous unless you specifically ask us to post your name! If your question is published, your name will be submitted in a drawing for a gift certificate to be used in our catalog at any time. Dozens of gift certificates have been awarded – submit your question for a chance to win!
THIS WEEK’S QUESTION(S):
Answer: Not possible. The brain does process information while you are asleep. The brain does pick up on some but not all sounds that trigger danger while you sleep. The brain does not learn while you sleep. (Don’t we all wish….)
Question: What does it mean when a man standing on a stage behind a person speaking with his hands in his pocket mean? I may be wrong but I thought it showed little interest and even disrespect. Am I right?
Answer: Certainly not disrespect. People have no rules for what to do or not do when they are on stage behind someone else. This is one reason that people shouldn’t share a stage without a role to play. (Actors, bands, troupes, all good, but not speakers or politicians) There is absolutely nothing to analyze in the experience you mention. …and that is probably a good thing….
But you said, “say.” So here’s an example minus the nuances of voice tone which matter far more than the words!….. “John, it would be easy to walk out of here with a camera but if someone actually did that, the store cameras would pick it up and the person would eventually be prosecuted for the theft of a $400 item. If you ever need to use anything like a camera or some other piece of electronic equipment, we have equipment that employees can borrow for up to 72 hours at no charge”….[I would encourage these kinds of communications to always be one on one, and not stated in any kind of fashion that could be misconstrued as an accusation or threat. If you say stuff like this in a group…you can assure yourself your “shortage” rates will increase.
Question: Is there any way to quantify your procrastination formula? (e.g., Rate each factor on a scale of 1 to 10?) Second, when you divide, what does the answer mean? (e.g., Is a 1 the mean, and anything below an indication that you will procrastinate?)
Answer: Even assuming we have a sound currency (gulp) investing in businesses during times like this simply makes no sense. The markets haven’t ever been favorable to long-term wealth accumulation. I have always kept a portion of my money in some markets, and I still do. But these dollars are in modest proportion to net worth. I wouldn’t have (and haven’t had) more than 25% of my net worth in stocks…ever. If you want to put a few nickels into the markets, find 10 stocks that have a PE of less than 7 and invest equally in all 10 of them. Frankly the DJIA and SP500 are still WAAY too expensive to accumulate wealth from this starting point. I’d want to see the Dow drop to 4000 or 5000 THEN buy it. SP 500, about 450 or so. Then we’d be approaching PE multiples that make sense for long term investment. Look at CD’s and gold. A little bit each month….but invest in yourSELF and your own at home business. THAT is where your best chance of high return for zero risk is.
Answer: It took almost 25 years for the markets to recover after the Great Depression. That’s probably as good a guess as any for what is coming. There were a couple of “false starts” out of the Great Depression where the markets rose and then crashed again. History doesn’t repeat itself exactly but……
Question: I have started receiving the Coffee w/ Kevin Hogan emails, which I look forward to reading each week. There is one main thing i was hoping you would be able to help me with and that is how can you tell when someone is lying which way will their eyes look? My boyfriend cheated on me and we are working through it but upon rowing about it, I told him that he doesn’t even regret it. He replied that he does regret and wishes it never happened, but when he was saying that he kept glancing to his right. When i commented that he was doing this he would say it again trying to look at me, but his eyes kept glancing to the right?
Answer: The idea that people’s eye positions will reveal whether they are thinking constructively or remembering something was a myth. The myth was so compelling that I put it in my book, The Psychology of Persuasion. Unfortunately, I was wrong. When we did a three school research project on this about 9 years ago, we found out that there is no correlation between eye position and constructed or remembered events and there is no correlation between eye position and visual, auditory or kinesthetic images. So, using eye position to tell if someone is telling the truth or not will not be effective.
Answer: Believability is perceived credibility. I don’t know that “radical honesty” (always telling the truth even when it means doing harm to people to the point of inflicting emotional pain) is not necessary or desirable. Simply begin to tell the truth. If you are going to damage a child or someone’s life by stating your opinion, leave it alone. Practice speaking fewer words. It’s almost impossible for the mind to *not* construct “it’s” own mythology as the brain fires off millions of neural connections. People who talk a great deal end up saying things that are made up out of vapor. All of this is done without negative intention. It’s just how the brain works.
Therefore, speak less. When you are certain in your self, speak with gentle authority. When you are uncertain, ask questions instead of making statements. If you find yourself nervous or anxious when communicating, do a quick “internal scan,” to see why that is and fix it immediately. Normally, being a straight shooter causes you to be perceived more honestly. Become like a solid “brand” where you are consistent every day…..
Answer: I’m sure anyone would take your money, but the fact is that almost no “messages” will work in subliminal video. Only primes, single word cues and images will impact and even those will only be effective in very specific contexts. It’s a heck of a lot more difficult than you might think to create a video with a subliminal image or prime that will direct thinking. Therefore, save your cash.
Question: I have been a automobile sales person for about 6 years now. As you know, automobile sales are really bad right now. I am having great difficulty getting my previous customers to come back in to look at our new models and the floor traffic is very slow.
Question: I have purchased many of your products, which I love. I look at you as an expert, and wonder if you could point me in the right direction. I am looking for a good book or articles on an issue we are having in our organization. (auto dealer)
The business model our company uses has been very successful out West, but falters here in the Midwest. I believe, though I could be wrong, that the culture is different. People aren’t sold the same here as there, because people have been brought up with different belief systems. I look at it the same as people in Iraq have not reacted well to us trying to force our culture on them. Thanks for your time, and the Coffee newsletters.
I take your last sentence and ask you to think, “What car should a consumer buy that will serve them best?” If the answer is truly GM then learn why that is the case. If you can’t convince yourself you will be seen as uncertain, untruthful. Look at yourself as an adviser as opposed to a salesperson. Advise your clients based on the logical and right thing to do so that it is OBVIOUS that it is in their best interests to trust you.
Question: Hi Kevin, I’m writing today to ask you to help me with a sentence I use to make sales, I sell advertising space for a emergency volunteer organization in Australia this all done cold over the phone We have about 30 seconds to get the sale or it never happens we never make a call back. This is the opening question—- After telling them who I represent, I say, “Mr prospect, we’re looking for some help to help our SES Volunteers to continue to save lives and property in the community, can we count on your support to help our volunteers next February( Publication Date )?” 90 % of prospects say NO , the prospect that says YES to this question always buys an AD after prices are explained. Kevin I make about 25 sales a week with this BUT I WANT to make a he*l of a lot more. Can you please help me with this sentence with some hypnotic words that will get more YES’s. Thanks Kevin I am working my way through covert hypnosis I just wanted to see if you could help me with some hypnotic words in my sentence to get started to increase my sales.
If your organization is a tax exempt charity where specific people have been harmed or are hurting desperately, then that will come through in your earnestness and sincerity. Empathize with those you help and your clients. If you’re helping your clients help others do something special, let them know that. Covert influence will make you more influential but you want to look at your product/service/organization first and your self second. THEN let’s talk about cool ways to move the process of selling along….
Question: I’ve been meaning to discover your perspective on my name. Here in New Zealand, I sell real estate. There are several Tim’s at the office, and for that reason everyone refers to me as Red. I don’t know if redheads get the same treatment where you are, but I think it’s cos we’re royalty or something. We get all sorts of endearing titles. ‘Red’ is tame. I’m cool with it. I don’t mind the attention. But I wonder, are my potential clients cool with it? Everyone seems intrigued and many ask if it’s my real name. It’s a great opportunity to joke around with people and generally I’ll let people know it is a nickname.
From day one my colleagues, my boss, even my wife suggested I go by my nickname as a point of difference. Hey, it fits with my company colours too. I was quite hesitant at first – you know, you get quite attached to your given name. And Kevin, I still wonder if it was the best move. Many people in the city know me, and it doesn’t seem to put them off. But could it just be my charming good looks?
More seriously though, what do you reckon, k) are there any negatives and or pitfalls in using this nickname in business? l) do you have any recommendations for marketing using such a name for maximum persuasive effect? h) I’m fairly creative and come up with some tongue-in-cheek ideas for my ads. Could I be at risk of losing people if I’m not serious enough?
Your curiosity is well placed. (I like your KLH by the way, very subtle, I almost didn’t catch it! See the article Covert Influence, Part 1)
Pitfalls to using nicknames: Of course. Names matter. Names are filled with preconception. Problem is I don’t know what “Red” is going to do in New Zealand. In the U.S. it’s probably “a wash.” The nickname isn’t a positive nor is it a significant negative. And “Red” is “brandable” ….you can do a lot with “Red.” Your promotional style is SMART.
If this were my nickname, I’d do what you are currently doing and I’d probably go FURTHER and brand “Red” into everything I do. Red on Real Estate newsletter, Red Light Real Estate Bargains, and so on. That gets you familiarity and familiarity builds your business.
I think what you have done is a good thing. Whether we’d do it all again given a choice? Probably.
Question: In the last Q&A piece you mentioned that panic is very different from anxiety. What is the difference? Public speaking has been a large part of my professional life for the past eight years. Recently, when I’m called upon to speak, give a presentation, or even introduce myself at a meeting – a whole flood of physical / emotional symptoms ensue. My heart races, face flushes, lose my breath, and feel so fearful that I want to run from the room. Certainly not good developments for my career…ugh!
Answer: Panic and anxiety are very different. Yes. Panic is not a generalized fear response. It is a terror reaction. It’s the difference between worrying about your kids safely getting to the bus stop vs. seeing your kid laying in the street. Therapy for panic and anxiety are different. What you describe is indeed panic and not anxiety. THAT said, from a behavioral point of view, you can’t ultimately run away from panic or anxiety. You have to try and walk into the fire and do your gig to retrain your brain that MOST of the time you will do fine.
Like you, I developed panic disorder in 1983. It was not about anxiety. It was full blown panic. It took almost a decade to get under control. And to this day, I still have a “panic attack” once or twice per year on stage in front of a live audience. So, I truly do understand more than you can ever know. There’s plenty of good therapists out there. E-mail me and I”ll recommend a couple privately. There’s also med’s that reduce the number of panic experiences you’ll have. SSRI’s, benzodiazepene’s both are good in precluding panic. And don’t worry about what other people think of you getting therapy or taking med’s. If they don’t have PTSD or PD which are roughly the same thing, they don’t get it.
Question: Kevin, I enjoy and appreciate your hard work. This is strange, so bear with me. A year and a half ago, I came across a treasure trove that was left to me – old notebooks and writings of my grandfather. All I know is that he was regal, mysterious, charming, and artistic, like a renaissance man or something. Others said he was crazy. I think he was brilliant. I have finally translated a group of these from Lithuanian to modern day polished English, 100 quotations of which there are maybe 400-500 total, it’s hard to say. My goal is to publish them in books, 100 quotes a volume. I love them, and I have been researching gift books and ways to package and sell them, such as one a day calendars, audiobooks, periodicals, and other merchandise. I think in the right context, they can be uplifting and inspirational. If you like them too, I am looking to print just one quote a week in weekly publications and newsletters for one year in order to build a fan base for his work, at the end of which I will announce the release of the first volume of his (my) book. This will give me time to raise money, readers, translate more notebooks, build traffic to the website, etc. This is a family legacy that I want to share with the world. I want some of the eventual profits to create a charity foundation in his name. Is my idea good? Are the quotes good? Do you know who I can go to for support? I have no money and no help.
Answer: One a day calendars certainly can be a cool idea. (Beware of thinking you will get rich doing this.) Printing quotes each week in publications is not an easy way to gain recognition but you can go for it. It won’t hurt, obviously. Best idea is to turn the quotes into a book that uses the quotes for page breaks or to offer the summary of a key point on the page. Your grandfather interestingly had the name of a truly great American. Best of success on your project!
Question: I recently purchased Science of Influence 1-12.
I came across an interesting decision when listing an item for sale on eBay and wonder what your opinion is on this situation.
There are two options when listing an item for sale on eBay.
Higher starting price with free postage.
Items appears in listings as:
Book Title $9.95 Free Postage
Lower starting price with a separate price for postage.
Items appears in listings as:
Book Title $3.95 Postage $6.00
I found myself pondering about the relative merits of each approach.
Does the free postage in option 1 reduce the significance of the higher price, or do buyers focus on the lower starting price and ignore the additional postage costs?
I would be interested to hear your thoughts.
Answer: If you had to choose between those two, you’d have to do 9.95 because 6.00 for postage is outrageous. People understand but really dislike paying for postage. And they hate seeing inflated postage in ads or on their bill. For people outside the USA, you can have a postage calculator.
Question: I am writing this having reached absolute desperation in my relentless pursuit to understand the language of the body. I am now 28 years old and for the last 10 years I have struggled literally every day trying to understand just what is going on when people converse in public. I have extreme anxiety when speaking to just about anyone in person, which includes the people I love the most, which is the hardest part.
I just do not feel “natural” when in social situations, because I am “conscious” of every move I make, and to top it off, I have no idea what I am doing or what any of it means. I feel as though people are literally talking in a language I don’t speak. I try and think back to when I was in grade school, and I acted on instinct, but I don’t know how to get back there.
About ten years ago, I started noticing the way people talk to each other was changing, or at least they way I perceived it. I started noticing the way they mimicked and mirrored each other when they talk, and even when they are simply in the same room together. At first I thought I was crazy, but the more and more I paid attention, them I am writing this having reached absolute desperation in my relentless pursuit to understand the language of the body. I am now 28 years old and for the last 10 years I have struggled literally every day trying to understand just what is going on when people converse in public. I have extreme anxiety when speaking to just about anyone in person, which includes the people I love the most, which is the hardest part.
As the internet become more accessible, I started researching the topic of body language. For the most part, there is a lot of very informative theories on the topic, but most of it is very basic. I understand that when we communicate, a very small portion of information is transmitted through the actual words we say. The rest is transmitted from how we use those words (tone, affliction, etc) and the way we use our body. I also understand the very obvious non- verbal cues such as arms crossed, eyebrows furrowed, eye contact, etc. However, I struggle with the more intricate cues such as mirroring and mimicking (matching). This is particularly challenging for me because I simply don’t know how do it, what it means, or if it even exists consciously in the minds of others.
It is my understanding that mirroring or matching is when we “mirror” each others body movements to create rapport. It shows that we are alike, we are in agreement, we are the same, we are together etc… i.e. you cross your legs, I cross mine, I lean forward, you lean forward… etc. But this theory goes a little deeper – you cross your right leg, and I cross my left – or conversely, I also cross my right leg. Is there a difference? Whereby there to “mirror”= a positive signal, and to “match” = a negative signal or visa versa.
This can be noticed in many social situations for example, in formal business meetings people often take “sides” not only with their words but also there gestures. Another example would be in a bar where there is an attractive girl standing with her drink talking to a guy who is also with a drink. She is drinking with her right hand and he is drinking with his left. I want to approach this conversation and obviously send positive signals to the attractive female, how do I do this? Do I “mirror” her or “match” her? I definitely don’t want to send the wrong signals. This is my predicament in a nutshell.
Answer: You also want to read an article on asking concise questions! As I noted with the gentleman who asked a similar question earlier, get therapy and probably medication for the panic you experience. Life is too short to live with untreated panic disorder.
Practice looking right into people’s eyes when they talk, no matter how afraid you feel. Look away every few seconds then come right back to their eyes. Practice this with a television (really) first and THEN with the people you know. Don’t be surprised if you feel a little strange. You probably will and that’s just fine.
Next to start connecting to the world in general, take a walk every day. Approach a tree, preferably when a neighbor isn’t looking out the window. Take one leaf from the tree. Feel the texture of the leaf for about 45 seconds. In that time, if you can, vocalize a description of the leaf and how it feels. This is surprisingly difficult but after awhile you get better at it and start reconnecting with the stuff on the planet.
As far as your thinking about body language, please realize that no one has a dictionary of gestures and cues that they can see and thereby predict what a person is thinking. Body language is more subtle than that. Simple mirroring is a good thing, but it’s not necessary after the first minute or two of meeting someone and when two people start to like each other they often but not always begin to display similar mirror behaviors. That said, don’t get stuck on mirroring because it will happen naturally. Also don’t take the mirroring concept literally as that would encourage you to obsess about it. Use the principle as a principle, a general finding.
Discovering Methods to Making the Right Decisions that Will Finally Lead You to Your Destiny – Success
Seven Week E-Course – Begins January 12, 2009
Decision IS Destiny
If you could point to one word, to one factor, to one element or cause of what happens to you in your life, it is decision.
Obviously, there are plenty of Black Swans (unexpected random events like hurricanes and terrorism) out there to get in the way of what you want in life, but nothing you can control impacts your life more than decision.
Write that down.
Put it on the refrigerator.
That alone is worth $10,000, yes?
Nothing you can control impacts your life more than decision.
How would life be different if you knew you were going to make the right decision, every time?
Did you know that in life, there is almost always a best decision?
What would happen if you had the method for decision?
What would it be worth to have a simple systematic approach to decision making where the guidelines are from your head and heart?
Most people are paralyzed with uncertainty about whether they should:
Ask the girl to marry them.
Make a purchase.
Move from one place to another…
Quit their job…
Decide between committing one person or another.
Start a business…
Ask the girl to go out with them…
Send the letter or not…
Decide between hiring one person or another.
Get a divorce….
Send your kids to public or private school….
Choose between a new car, a used car or no car….
Go back to school to get more education….
Fire the person or not.
Invest in stocks, bonds, real estate and not screw up.
Accurately plan for their future in all areas.
Did you know there is a proven way to make the right decision in each of the above choices?
For the sake of discussion, let’s assume that is correct. There IS a method you can use to make the RIGHT decision just about every time.
It doesn’t take a genius to think or even decide:
“I decide to make more money,”
“get a better job,”
“get married to perfect person x”
KEY: Learning the process of making the right decision involves making that decision STICK, be UNYIELDING and barring a Black Swan, guaranteeing you will follow through.
Over the last 15 years we’ve been fortunate to be given the raw information about how to make laser beam accurate decisions.
I’ve expended an enormous amount of time into accumulating this information and putting it into a workable system that is fairly easy to learn and generally simple to implement. (I’d like to say “always”, but that just isn’t accurate.)
Funny thing is, I’ve read dozens of books that are about decision making or advise people on how to make decisions, and they are frighteningly inaccurate and will cost people their relationships, their chance at finding the girl and making a lot of money.
Quick test: Look at your retirement program. Remember the person who told you how to invest that retirement money. When they talked to you, they said you’d earn x percent per year if you did x…no guarantees of course.
You took your money, you invested it with the person and then…you didn’t get your 15% per year, or whatever. The money didn’t “grow” like they said it would.
Now you’ve lost three years of investing which have been incredibly profitable for people who knew HOW to DECIDE what to put THEIR hard earned money into.
And that’s just the first of dozens of examples.
It’s time to repair the whole process.
This course shows you how to make the RIGHT decisions whether it’s about investing, dating, marrying, getting a divorce, how to raise kids, whether to move, buy the new house now or in three years, and well, yeah, that’s the deal. Everyday decisions that rattle the nerves of people in every house.
KEY: You’ll experience FIRST HAND, how what seems to be an obvious decision, is almost always the wrong one….the costly one…(often the disaster one….)
You can learn how to make decisions that are optimized and are likely to bring good or great results, or you can trust people who always have a vested interest in selling you whatever it is they represent.
My goal is to show you how to make the right decisions and best decisions in the most important aspects of life and then to show you HOW TO STICK AND BE UNWAVERING IN YOUR DECISIONS.
My guess is it’s time to put YOUR brain back in charge of YOUR decisions and YOUR life.
…or you’ll end up with next to nothing and headaches and heartaches to boot.
Why won’t most people find out what they need to know?
Because most people are lazy.
They don’t do the research. (Or read about it)
They don’t test.
Why should they?
They get paid the same no matter what and when YOU screw up, they just say, “you did it wrong.”
Play along for just a moment.
Can I ask you a question?
Have you ever read that it’s been proven that 93% of all communication is body language?
Of course, lots of times. Everyone has read that.
And of course, it’s not true.
(It’s not even close to accurate.)
How could that be, it’s common knowledge…isn’t it?
There was one study done by a brilliant communication researcher 35 years ago that evaluated people saying one word to another, with the other person only being able to see the person from the neck UP.
(that leaves about 90% of the body… out of the study.) In this one specific instance, Dr. Mehrabian found that about 93% of the communication sent was at a nonverbal level. Obviously when people communicate with more than one word and people can see below the neck, all kinds of factors change the percentages.
Problem is people read something in a book written by Person X and they believe what she writes because she says it’s “scientific.”
People look at their lives and think, “I did everything I was told…”
Yep and look at that life. It didn’t work.
The guru didn’t do the research. They went with the party line and taught that.
I don’t care about the party line because I don’t like the people at the party. It torks me off when I see people talking about stuff they know nothing about…and then watch groups of people use that advice to sink their Titanic.
Remember when Benjamin Franklin did his famous experiment about testing each of the virtues (temperance and so forth) for a month so he could eventually become adept at all of them? I’ve heard most motivational speakers talk or write about this. I’d name them, but it would take an entire page…
Anyway…You remember… but he gave up the idea after the first week …he never did the experiment. He wrote early in his biography that he was going to do the project and then soon after decided not to. Basically he said it was impossible to do such a thing.
I’ve never heard ANYONE get that right, either.
But THEY TEACH YOU TO DO IT…
And because you trust them YOU TRY IT and FAIL.
Franklin’s personal challenge didn’t work for all kinds of reasons I’ll show you later.
Question: Why did you believe he actually did the project?
Only one reason: …because someone you trusted or believed, an author, a teacher….told you that it was true.
Want a quick way to filter a crummy guru out?
If they tell you that story, they didn’t get very far in Franklin’s biography. If they tell you that, they’d tell you anything.
By the way…what did Franklin do instead?!
I’ll show you that with Decision Point, too.
The point is that MOST of the stuff people tell you to do…. that is “scientific,” that is based on laws of the universe or proven techniques is nothing more than their imagination having run wild.
…and following their advice will get you the same ultimate destination, every time…
Back to Start.
So why don’t the vast majority of people make good decisions?
They’ve been given crummy information and worse methods for how to choose and what to do.
It’s that simple.
(OK, there are eight other core reasons people make crummy decisions every day, but to pick on your neighbor here is so not cool…)
I’m going to give you a chart (not a computer program, but a simple chart) that you can use EVERY SINGLE DAY to know that once you have made a decision, you have indeed made the RIGHT decision.
And what does the Power of Decision give you in life?
The Ability to Succeed When Most Others Fail
The Ability to Make Big Changes in Life with Ease
Wealth if You Want It
A LOT Better Life If You USE The Power of Decision
Success when you use The Power of Decision.
You’re going to learn it ALL in this 7 Week E-Course.
Nothing will be left for some back end product. This IS IT.
You’re going to discover:
…how people decide
…why most people make almost all bad decisions
…how to KNOW what to do…
…the four factors of luck and how to tilt the “luck factor” in YOUR favor.
…how to beat the Black Swan when bad luck strikes….
…all of the successful strategies for decision including Decision Point: MY PERSONAL SYSTEM
Do you sell something for a living?
Pay attention- I’m going to show you how to analyze how your client WILL DECIDE on buying your product or service…and I’ll show you WHAT is going to happen next…think that might be worth $10,000?!
I’ve never given the system for DECISION POINT to anyone.
I’m not going to write about it in Coffee….ever.
But the time is now to experience a truly transformational experience in an exciting and unique E-course.
I PROMISE YOU:
No one else is going to ever show you this information. You’ll never experience these experiences with anyone else. You can’t find anything remotely similar “out there.”
So essentially, you’re stuck spending seven weeks with me. As with all of my E-Courses, I am your PERSONAL COACH and you don’t have to be at any specific place at any specific time. The program is delivered via audio, video, and text.
*At the end of the course, you will have one cool, big Coffee Table-Sized Manual that you will be able to refer to forever.
A couple things before you apply!
I reserve the right to reject an application for any reason.
There will be a few group projects that are necessary for making decisions where two or more people are involved, instead of just you. If you are unwilling to e-mail one of or more of your fellow participants during these two projects, do not apply.
Everything is yours to keep, but you may not resell or give away any of this information to anyone for at least three years from the date your application is accepted.
If you don’t know me, my reputation, if you wonder if this is a “good idea” then DO NOT REGISTER. It has to be a no-brainer.
If you’re still reading, then I want you to apply. E-course begins on January 12.
Special Offer: $2997. Pre-register now and get a HUGE tuition break! See the application form for details.