Here are excerpts I gave for an interview about persuasion last month. Edited for easier reading.
DM: Thank you for this. I think this will be invaluable for our readers – influencing is such a vital consulting skill.
I will open with a statement on you, your writing and your work around the world. So if there is anything in particular that you would like to come to the attention of others let me know.
DMQ1: Good influencing skills can be a game changer for managers, marketers and salespeople. Like a close up magician most of them find themselves speaking, pitching and negotiating with small groups.
What specific skill or technique separates people who can do this successfully?
KH: When you combine the Pygmalion Effect with Certainty you have a good start.
The Pygmalion Effect is a scientifically proven phenomenon. Your expectations of another person or group shape and mold that person or group. So if we are talking and I think you are an idiot, as we communicate you will come to behave more in that direction. On the other hand, if I think you are brilliant, you will begin to behave more in that fashion. This is pretty amazing stuff that not very many people know or think about.
If you are seen as a driving force, as a “leader,” you are, on average, going to behave more like a leader; all of this while NOT being told what these people are thinking.
People often become the label that is attached to them. When told their “diagnosis” of a mental or emotional problem, the symptoms often become more pronounced. Sadly if there was a misdiagnosis originally, there will be real indicators now. We mold people in our image.
You’re angry with your spouse so you pick up a book about Borderline Personality or Bipolar, for example. Regardless of whether the spouses’ “diagnosis” (if any) is right or wrong, people see what they want in other people and as they behave as if the person has that diagnosis, they help shape that diagnosis.
The same is true for all aspects of psychological and social psychological experience.
If I am absolutely certain that you will behave in a certain way, the probability that you will do so is increased significantly and, indeed, if you weren’t going to behave that way originally, you very well might now.
DMQ1A: Always? This sounds like magic.
KH: There are preconditions.
You must be seen as important or as credible, an authority, significant; or your attitudes and behaviors will not be influential.
It’s socio-neurobiology, not magic.
Certainty is defined as what I have coined: “grocery store certainty.”
If you are certain to the degree that you are certain you have the ability to go grocery shopping, that you are capable of pushing a cart and don’t require affirmations to get home and put the groceries away….that is the level of offhanded certainty that is persuasive. When people say, “I’m going grocery shopping,” you believe it, you don’t question it, you assume there will be food in the cupboard in a couple of hours.
That is the certainty that persuades.
DMQ2: Do you think the skills and abilities needed for good influencing ability have had to evolve with the information age? Or is it still best practiced as a contact sport?
KH: Good question. There’s lots of mediums for communication and influence.
Originally we had face to face.
Then we drew on walls in caves.
Then we threatened with weapons.
Then we learned to write compellingly, starting with the most influential document in the world, The Bible.
Then radio and television shaped society and culture.
Now myspace, facebook, youtube and the results at google help shape thinking, beliefs, attitudes, lifestyles. Mediums influence in and of themselves.
Think about it.
A guy killed his wife when she changed her Facebook status last week. That’s pretty intense. Now obviously the wife was sending a message but to send THAT message in public in front of your friends is much different than calling the husband and telling him “his status.”
I would encourage everyone to THINK about the medium as well as the message.
Influence and persuasion happen in all venues and locations. It’s not just a contact sport.
DMQ3: Many of our listeners are in sales, a private practice, marketing, building a business, or contemplating a move to private consulting. How can we frame the current economic situation to help increase revenues?
KH: The biggest reason people are suffering today financially is that people trusted the wrong people. We trusted banks and insurance companies to take care of our money and secure it. We trusted investment groups to manage our money. Greed took over and the people who got creamed were the people who were trusting.
Now the same people that hurt people are being “bailed out.” It is an irony.
So in a world where the new frame is that if you succeed you will pay dearly for the laziness, corruption and greed of others you DO have a REAL FRAMING PROBLEM.
If you are in business and you want to be bold, point out the fact that this is how the world got to “here” and that you get it, you’re not going to let people down and tell them why. You either give a damn or you don’t.
People need to do business with people they don’t feel concerned about. They want to do business with people they are CERTAIN about.
Certainty and authenticity combine for a powerful one two punch of persuasion and influence.
There’s no reason people can’t build thriving businesses in the recession and perhaps soon to be depression. People will get their food from someone. They will buy their clothes from someone. They will buy soap and tissues from someone.
If you want to be persuasive, realize that fear kills your business. So walk into the fire and meet the fears you have head on.
Fear causes salespeople to press. To push, to shove, to cause themselves to look “needy.”
If THIS sale means THAT much to you, you aren’t going to make it. You’ll need to think a little longer term and a little more about your customer than you ever have, or you will fail.
DMQ4: The elevator pitch is vital for us. Introductions and chance meetings are regular events.
KH: Right. So as you meet this important person for 2 minutes, and you need to impress them to the point where they will meet you again, what sorts of techniques are of use there?
Decision makers make decisions in their field of expertise shockingly fast.
The scientific research is crystal clear. On a recent book Jimmy Speakman and I used the subtitle …”in 8 minutes or less.” The fact is that was an exaggeration. It doesn’t take 8 minutes to make a sale. It takes less than 17 seconds.
Seventeen seconds. That’s it.
“Hi, I’m Kevin Hogan, I speak at corporate events and teach cutting-edge influence and communication strategies that are geared toward increasing clientele and the probability of purchase by those clients. I’m the author of The Psychology of Persuasion. What do you do?”
The guy has bought me or he hasn’t.
In a sense we are ALL in the world’s oldest profession. People buy and sell YOU, or not, long before they know what products and services you have available.
If you’re on the elevator with that decision maker, that is how it works.
If you’re at the blackjack table or in the bar, it’s a little different and you’re better off asking questions to discover valuable insights into the other person. You can then create a frame and a message. Otherwise you’re playing a game of random communication.
I don’t do random well. When the chips are down, successful people add elements of control to the situations they experience.
DMQ5: You are a world renowned expert on body language as well as influencing. Can the two work together, and what sort of benefits do you typically see from businesses like ours when we focus on developing our influencing skills?
KH: Nonverbal communication includes body language but it also includes much more. It includes where the person just came from…the bathroom, church, a play, a movie, the store, getting groceries. All of these things prime the person’s very next behavior and you are intersecting with all of these non-word experiences.
The problem is people believe that their words make this huge difference. People want to know how to wield words because they are concrete. But the fact is that people who learn the words to the song can’t sing it without the music and the setting and the band.
The context of where persuasion (communication with a purpose) is taking place is more important than the body language of the person and the body language is more important than the words.
People need to quit trying to figure out the words and learn the tune, the acoustics, the chords, the notes, the auditorium and where everyone just came from. The last experience and the next after they leave you, all impact that person’s experience of you long before you see that person.
The problem is that most people are terrible abstract thinkers. People want a script. They don’t want to be told to stop being stupid. They want to be told PRECISELY what to do, when and with how much force.
Unfortunately that kind of thinking gets you pushed to the bottom of the totem pole quickly. It causes burnout, stress and well…economic disaster.
People who think HOW can I apply THIS to THAT and then think of 10 ways to do so ultimately become the leaders, the effective leaders, the great salespeople and the great marketers.
DMQ6: Thanks Kevin, we really appreciate your time today! Kevin Hogan is the author of over a dozen books including The Psychology of Persuasion, and The Science of Influence. You can find his books in your local bookstore anywhere in the world.
ATTENTION: Discover The Tactics & Techniques of Persuasion
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Principles of “Mind Reading” Revealed
In 1999 one of the world’s finest mentalists (someone who “reads minds” for entertainment without lying to you…it’s magic…) agreed to show me how to calibrate to almost anyone’s thought processes with a quick look at the person and the expression on their face. It took me all of a couple of hours to “get it.” All he asked in return was to tap my mind on the latest in persuasion. It was a match made in heaven.
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More that will be revealed to you:
* Credibility: 7 things you MUST do to be seen as credible by your client.
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What will you receive?
Vol. 13: The Delta Mind Control Paradigm of Influence (Part 1)
Vol. 14: The Delta Mind Control Paradigm of Influence (Part 2)
Vol. 15: The Influential Secret of Oscillation
Vol. 16: Credibility: The Pivot Point of Persuasion
Vol. 17: Utilizing Metaprograms for Persuasive Impact
Vol. 18: How the Brain Buys Brand: YOU!
Vol. 19: You can’t Hear “Yes!” if You Can’t Get and Keep Their Attention. How to Rapidly Build Brand You.
Vol. 20: Mind Reading – How to Know What They are Thinking
Vol. 21: Psychographics – Why Your Client Buys…and How to Know in Advance Vol. 22: Optimizing Persuasive Messages
Vol. 23 & 24: Here they are: 59 Persuasion Tactics That Gain Compliance!
The Beginning, the Middle, and the End
In the Master’s Home Study Course Part One (V. 1-12) you learned an enormous amount of cutting-edge material now coming to light in the field of influence. Many consider the Science of Influence the Win Friends and Influence People for the 21st Century! Now you are going to gain access to truly advanced information about social influence and the persuasion process that has never been released to the public, ever!
“Imagine how powerful you would be if you actually knew all the persuasion tactics in existence. Imagine. What would you do? How would you influence others? What would you want?”
Ready? They’re here. All 59 Tactics of Persuasion!
In order to complete the second series (13-24) in the Science of Influence Home Based Program, I’ve decided to give you my secret compendium of all the tactics of persuasion.
A tactic is a very specific maneuver or plan for attaining a very specific goal. A number of tactics usually combine to form a strategy and a number of strategies…spell success. The verbal tactic is the atom. It is the smallest component in verbal persuasion.
The greatest aspect of having all 59 tactics at your finger tips is that you can determine the best tactic for each and every situation that you are in where you need compliance. (That means, “Yes!”)
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“If You Don’t Know the Tactics, You Simply Cannot Be Persuasive to Anyone or Any Group in the Long Term!” Kevin Hogan
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