Kevin Hogan

International Speaker

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Reduce Resistance Fast – Then use 5 Specific Techniques to Sell 4*

First Impressions Matter

Omega Strategies.

If you don’t use them…you lose…and so do they…

The first impression is instantaneous.

It’s neurobiological.

Resistance begins with that instantaneous reaction of fear, anger, distress, hatred, distrust.

Almost all sales trainers THINK they are teaching people how to sell. But…

Nothing changes for 85% of those trained the material.


Two reasons.

The little reason is FAILURE to IMPLEMENT.


MAKING sales is not about products and services.

It’s not even initially about communication.

It STARTS and more often than not, ENDS with impression.

In English that FIRST impression is really about IDENTITY.

One of two good things can happen on the first glance.

A) The person can be attracted to you because you are attractive to them.

B) The person can identify with you.

That means they experience you in some typically non-conscious way as being similar to themselves.

You belong with them in some context.

A and B are not necessarily the same experience. They can overlap however.

What happens when A or B don’t happen?

One of hundreds of bad things can happen on first glance.

Bad First Impression

There aren’t enough letters. Here’s a couple of basic examples woven into one summation of the DISASTERS that occur every day in Selling and Influence.

You are perceived as a threat, instantly disliked, or seen as an outsider because of some reason that could be triggered by how you dress, your perceived age, gender, what you look like, the color of your skin, whether you have a tattoo or not, the length of your hair, your teeth, a uniform, suit, outfit, color that you are wearing, the wrong kind of shoes, glasses, a hearing aid, a pin.

The vast majority of the time, THIS is the initial response to you.

If you happen to be perceived too skinny or too fat, too tall or too short, too cute or too plain, or offensive in some perceived fashion…that makes things worse.

These INSTANT TRIGGERS of RESISTANCE all turn into “NO” in almost all conversations.

The VAST MAJORITY of the time, most people don’t stand a chance when they walk in the door.

The same is true for what your You Tube Video looks like, how your website appears, whether your business card is a piece of junk, whether your book is in hardcover or paperback.

Pretty much every book, course, program about selling, marketing, business, persuasion and influence doesn’t address the REAL reasons that people are not saying “yes.”

People don’t really default to “yes” or “no” until they have an instant impression of you.

This instant impression could be before you arrive at the door for the first time. It could be before they meet you. It could be before they’ve heard your voice. It could be before they get to your website.

The majority of the time in life, you are prejudged before you are introduced.

When they don’t know you are coming you are judged the second they see or hear you.

Their brain categorizes you into all kinds of boxes and slots before you even make eye contact.

You need to “arrive” IN at least ONE prejudicial “INBOX” or you have likely wasted your time.

Nobody THINKS, “hey look it’s a white guy, I’m not going to say ‘yes’ to him.”

No one THINKS, “hey check out the fat girl, I’m not going to say ‘yes’ to her.”

That’s not how brains work.

Brains have an internal reaction at the level of the reptilian brain. That primal structure has an instant trigger of certainty about you in over 85% of all first impressions/first glances.

And of course that reaction generates FEELINGS which are FELT in the body, particularly in the feeling of the release of adrenaline or cortisol; and, they are felt in the gut.

Sometimes the person THEN THINKS, “I don’t have a good FEELING about this person.”

You never hear a person say, “I don’t have a good THINK about this person.”

“I’ve just met this person and my analysis is that they are fundamentally not the same as I am. They are of a different gender, race, and ideology based upon the cross they are wearing.”

Feeling Before Thinking

People haven’t BEGUN to THINK yet.

As soon as they begin to THINK, if you haven’t done something to swap out the disastrous resistance, you have lost in the vast, vast majority of situations.


Thinking is a process that typically JUSTIFIES a feeling or cluster of feelings, for the purpose of keeping a sense of sanity in the individual.

It’s very difficult to have a BAD FEELING about a person and then have your brain kick in and say, “Wait, that is simply a FEELING. It is based upon biological drives and evolutionary identifications that were critical a million years ago but not all that instantly useful in the 21st century. Therefore I will consider the possibility that my gut reaction is WRONG.”

And this is why people say, “no.”

“Not interested.” “Maybe next time.” “Come back next year.” “Try me again in a week.” “Let me look at the budget.” “Let me talk to my wife.”

They are all THINK CODE for justifying the simple feeling that you are not COMFORTABLE WITH THIS PERSON.


What has to happen is obvious…

Page 2

Some things we can resolve in the context of an article. Some need to happen in February.

1) Stop the instant “No” gut reaction.

Remember, anyone who is meeting you for the first time will have a few different reactions to you.

One will be based upon their perceptions of you prior to your appearing. Then there is your appearance; your looks and how you adorn yourself.

What’s that worth to you?

Think about it.

The key reaction that matters for the techniques of selling is their gut level trigger reaction to you and it is obviously typically negative.

EVERYONE will be at least somewhat distrustful, somewhat disliking, and feeling uncomfortable. Count on it. You were wired that way. “Don’t talk to strangers.”

Every culture has that notion because strangers have proven over the millenia to be unpredictable or unsafe, whereas people you know are more predictable and hypothetically LESS dangerous.

A person doesn’t know the intentions of someone they’ve never met.

They bet consciously and unconsciously that your intentions are likely to be those of self interest. The question is whether or not there is a “their interest” within YOU.

You wouldn’t be there if you weren’t going to gain something, but what about them? Do they also stand to gain?

All defenses are up and they will only be let down if you are aware that they are up and that you are doing everything possible to help bring their defenses down.

You can use a number of The Omega Strategies to bring down their defenses.

What’s an Omega Strategy?

Eric Knowles did the hard work. It’s a strategy (any strategy) that will be effective in reducing resistance. And for our purposes, the resistance that needs to be lowered is resistance to YOU.

Once they are down THEN you can begin to share your message but not before.

Until they are under control, you simply can expect that your attempts to communicate are all going to be shot down.

Omega Strategies often help build security and a feeling of safety in your future client. There are dozens of specific techniques you can use to accomplish this.

For example.

You want to make a great impression on someone so you post a personalized video on You Tube just for them. They watch it BEFORE you meet them, thereby creating familiarity and liking for you and your message in a completely non-threatening fashion.

Of course your video can be a disaster as well. It has to be created itself so that the very first image the recipient has is a POSITIVE FEELING of some kind. Puppy dogs and babies tend to have these universal effects on people. Think about it…

Something that’s less techy?

  • Use a letter of introduction.
  • Use a testimonial.
  • Use a respected third source validation of you/your product.
  • Induce Reciprocity.

Wrong Action…But the Right Idea

The testimonial is powerful…(just make sure you remember you said it!)

Someone wanted me to visit a web page the other day saying, “Hey Kevin, what do you think of this book? Do you really like it?”

I told them I didn’t know anything about it. Then I went to the page and realized that a couple of years ago I reviewed the book, found it useful for a special micro-niche of people, and said so in the form of a testimonial. The very first thing on their website was a picture of me and my testimonial.

NOT a picture of the BOOK.

NOT a picture of the AUTHOR.

They took a decent picture of Kevin Hogan and popped it up there on the page.

Good strategy (though I had them remove the photo as they hadn’t sought permission).

By leveraging my words and putting my face out there they won quite a following. I think is safe to say, that I’m typically read as someone with a rather low BS Factor. Most people will say I’m someone you feel comfortable with, someone you trust and believe. That trust and certainty causes people to immediately drop the instant fear reaction of, in this case, at this web page.

Take the CONCEPT of the person arriving at the site and immediately seeing something they trust, believe in, know to be good and THEN introduce your product/service/you to the visitor.

THAT is an Omega Strategy.

It has nothing to do with the product/service/author/person. It’s all about reducing resistance.

Two: Rediscover Differences and Benefits

Look at your product or service today as if for the first time. Look at it from the experience, eyes and mind of someone using it. What does your client see in your work as it’s greatest benefit, and what do they see that is different?

You look at your work and see something VERY different than your clients and customers. If your customers are return customers, then find out what your service or product is doing for them…and do it soon!

Kevin Hogan Persuasion ExpertExample: Over the years we’ve gotten a lot of e-mails about Influence: Boot Camp.

a) “This made me a lot of money.”
b) “You’re the only one training this.”
c) “I love listening to you and how you present the information.”
d) “I learned so much!”

Now, I take that information and make sure that those factors appear in the promotional copy of anything I write. That’s either done through a written testimonial or through the promises of benefits to the future client or customer.

These are the responses of my customers. The stimulus was their coming to Boot Camp or buying and using a specific program. Don’t I want to hear that even more?

…the next technique?

Three: Leverage Customer Feedback.

Once three people tell you something, make a change if you can. I listen and take action on what my customer or client doesn’t like. It’s business…if you don’t listen, you go out of business….

My customer doesn’t have to have a reason for what she feels, she only has to tell me. (I appreciate hearing a reason, but reasons are usually justifications for reactions which are instinctive. In other words…they matter but not that much!)

reasons are justificationsPeople told us several years ago that one of the CD’s in a set would get delivered scratched…so we had a special sleeve made to hold our CD’s.

People told us that they would prefer to have a CD with a PDF manual on it rather than a manual that would get beat up when shipped from here to Japan. We changed.

Make the changes that you can control when your customers are talking to you.

For whatever reason most businesses don’t listen to their customers and clients. Become exceptional. It should be obvious, but it isn’t.
…the next technique…

Four: Bring Out Your Weaknesses So They Don’t Have To

BurnoutThe best salespeople on the planet communicate their products’ weaknesses early and clearly. Every product has some drawback or even flaw that makes it imperfect. Because people instantly react negatively and look for the holes in your proposal, bring out your products negative feature early in your message. Be bold, Be honest.

A Lexus is a fine car, but it isn’t cheap and you can tell that to your customer. He knows that to be true and, therefore, was already thinking about it.

If you are selling life insurance and your policy is $10 higher than your competitor, point out the fact that your company is rated A vs. their B and that is far more important than $10.

When people are presented with honesty instead of “walking around the weakness language”, they respond appreciatively.

Five: Be Time-Conscious.

Time our most valuable commodityTime is arguably our most valuable commodity. When I communicate with someone, I am very conscious of their time (as well as mine). If I’m in the position where I’m asking someone for their time (not paying for it) then I will have set a razor sharp specific amount of time to communicate my message to that person. Without further permission, I will not take up any more of their gift to me than what I asked. This earns great respect from most people (probably from everyone who can make a decision about anything!). You do the same and your sales and your business will appreciate dramatically.

Never underestimate your intrusion on even one extra minute of time, and always consider the enormous benefit of using LESS time than you suggested. Busy people will only listen to a short, get to the point message.

The very busiest people are the most likely to be your best customers. They are the most successful!

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Author of The Psychology of Persuasion, Irresistible Attraction, and The Science of Influence, Dr. Kevin Hogan is trusted by organizations, both large and small, to help them help their people reach their personal peak performance and maximize influence in selling and marketing. Kevin is an internationally admired keynote speaker and corporate thought leader. In Coffee with Kevin Hogan, he shares his research, observations, and how you can apply them in your life – both in business and at home.

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