It’s pretty distressing when rejection or “no” is the answer time after time. Whether it’s personal, business, or the government, no one seems to be very helpful, compliant or even encouraging about much of anything. Never has effective influence been more important than in 2014.
Don’t worry, it’s not just you who hears “no.”
“I’ll do it next year.”
“Our budget is short right now.”
“We like to stick with our current supplier.”
“I already have an X.”
It’s the vast majority of people who say “no” to the rest of the vast majority of people.
There is an ocean of people shouting for attention and only a very small few have any idea how to capture that attention they so desperately ask.
Think in terms of what you spent money on today vs. advertising messages and requests for money you’ve seen. Did you make 3 or 4 transactions today? I did before lunch. And how many advertising messages and requests for money were there? 6000+.
5,996 people/bids/requests were rejected, turned down, told “no,” ignored, clicked away from, told “can’t afford it right now,” “gotta check with the wife, kids, uncle…”
Didn’t seem like 6,000 did it? But when you ad up commercials, newspaper ads you’ve seen, donation requests, requests for a date, for time, for just 5 minutes, people knocking at the door it’s 6,000 and change.
If you are actively online the numbers rise quickly. Use Facebook or Twitter and these numbers increase yet again. My best guess is I see just short of 10,000 requests per day.
Going forward, being part of the 1% isn’t going to cut..
You need to be part of the 0.1%.
You must literally and absolutely understand what motivates the specific person or the specific group of people you work with or want to work with.
Once you understand them, then you push all the right buttons in the right sequence and then you can ask them to say “yes.”
That’s not an art.
People are getting rejected more today than any time in history.
There will be four “yeses” today out of 6,000 requests for the average person.
That means there is not a ton of significant competition if you know what to do and how to get your message into her ear in a soft gentle tone that generates a magnetic resonance.
Influence has changed.
I’ve spent all of December putting together the new set of influence building blocks for presentation at Influence: Boot Camp 2014 – Persuasion Mastery.
Today I want to give you a piece of what I worked on yesterday.
These are a couple of effective ways to preclude “no.” On the next page you’ll have a top notch cognition fire off in your brain that you have never considered before. It will change how you influence forever forward.
Thing One and Thing Two…
Listen in on a conversation that you’ve heard before. You’ll slide in as soon as it sounds familiar…
Emma: “I can’t believe you just said that!”
Aiden: “I didn’t say that! What I said was __________.”
Emma: “No you didn’t I heard you say that! What DID you MEAN by that?”
Aiden: “I did no such thing. You are dreaming. I clearly said __________. I don’t even THINK that!”
The last time you had that conversation, you wondered if the other person even lived in the same world as you…
Now you know. They don’t.
It sounds hokey and unreal…but…like everyone else on the planet, you experience the world in a way that really is a mental interpretation of reality.
Your experience is different in varying degrees from everyone else.
If everyone experienced the same world, there would be little need for persuasion and communication.
The differences give us big problems and incredible opportunities in relationships and life. That I’ll speak to at Boot Camp. For now, I want to focus on a just a few ways for you to be more effective with your influence…today.
Aiden and Emma will never find their answer. There is no answer. The two people will permanently represent the event differently. Even when they go back and watch the hidden video they will still REMEMBER the moment in time mostly as they FIRST experienced it. Watching the video will change the memory a little but it will never be as it actually happened.
You can sit with them watching the actual video and they will say, “…that’s not right.”
Constructing People in Your Brain Each person constructs “a picture” of themselves in their own brain. And each of us constructs a picture of other people.
There is no actual video stored in their brain. The brain puts a lot of work into creating that story and once it’s there it will be modified but the feelings and tags of the experience are very difficult to change. Even the cognitive understanding or lesson of the experience rarely changes, even when a literal recording is watched.
Essentially the brain rejects anything other than what it has on file as being wrong.
“I swear it wasn’t like this!”
And it will be that way forever in their mind.
How does this different “reality” succumb to influence? No one ever talks about this. So let’s you and I talk about it…
How do you influence someone who doesn’t see what you see?
The starting point is your instant awareness that whatever you see and however you interpret that “thing,” IS DIFFERENT from what the person standing next to you sees. It all means something different. This ONE cognition alone can change your income or your life, forever.
Instead of telling people, “see, that’s a…,” you say, “what do you see?”
You are about to be amazed.
Most of the time people will tell you something either about the actual image or what it means than you would have predicted.
People see slightly different colors than you do.
People hear different sounds than you do.
People smell different smells than you do.
If you go to another country, people say words that you cannot say because you cannot hear all the sounds in the word. You literally have to be trained to hear them!
All of this is just the tip of the “representation” iceberg. It does go much further.
Imagine how people will look to you when you ask to know what they see instead of being constantly told that they are wrong. You begin to see the differences almost immediately.
Questions are power.
Questions eliminate your errant misrepresentations of what they are actually thinking.
At Influence: Boot Camp 2014, I will go into great detail in showing you how to use questions effectively to bring people to “yes” without ever “persuading.” Let’s take a peek right now…
Most of the time when you say “Ah, that’s an X,” your idea of X is NOT what they were thinking. About half of the time you will be surprised to hear the difference between what you think and what they think. That means one of the three things.
1) You are wrong.
2) You are stupid.
3) You are lying.
Can you imagine how important it is to stop people from thinking any of those things about you?! I can’t think of a more valuable tool.
But asking the question(s) causes more than raising your level of perceived honesty, trust, confidence and credibility. It puts you in a far more unique category of people. Asking questions causes you to appear intelligent. It means you are honest. It means you are RIGHT.
People have a tendency to think that influence is about telling people to do something and then they do it. There is truth to that. But only a fraction of the time is that how I want you to influence others.
Imagine that instead of asking questions you show people an image, or perhaps create a mental image for them.
This typically isn’t as effective as them generating an image but let’s say that you do show them a powerful image.
For example, you seek a donation for fundraiser for needy children. You show the CEO or owner a picture of a starving child. It is unquestionably a powerful image.
You might think that seeing 500 such children gives you a much more powerful image…but it really doesn’t.
The fact that people don’t understand the significance of an image of one person vs. that of an image of thousands of faces is why YOU successfully can compete against people who make outrageous claims.
I’ll come back to this in a moment. Let’s look at how the scope of a problem can be made to be almost meaningless in the result of trying to influence someone.
Here are three statements and all three are true for current taxpayers in the U.S. I want you to notice how you FEEL about them.
- You owe the government over $3,000 to repay the national debt.
- You owe the government over $30,000 to repay the national debt.
- You owe the government over $300,000 to repay the national debt.
When you read the first sentence, it makes you a bit upset. You read the second sentence and it makes you a bit disgusted. You read the last sentence and you might laugh.
And that’s what happens within the brain. It can easily “understand” $3,000 – that’s probably in your checkbook right now. It can get around $30,000 because you have about that much saved and it gets pretty upset about the idea that the government is going to grab those life savings.
But…$300,000? $300,000 is almost FUNNY because the brain can’t get around that number. There is no frame of reference, AND, there’s no way the government could ever extract that much money from you. If you live in a middle income family the last number represents reality.
So, you see that $30,000 does raise the blood pressure a bit more than $3,000, but when the number becomes SO BIG, it becomes COMEDY and there is not only NO GREATER FEAR…but.. THE FEAR DISAPPEARS.
It should make your heart pound, cortisol to be released, your breathing rate should increase. None of it happens.
When the brain can’t get around something, it has no way to code that kind of information in for the purpose of using that information in the course of life.
The brain doesn’t get it, therefore there is no sense of impending doom for those who aren’t prepared.
For this reason, you have to be very careful about what pictures you try and paint for others when you are attempting to influence them.
When you communicate your message, spare the exaggeration. Be accurate and truthful. That makes you trustworthy and believable. An accurate message grows trust. Exaggerate or seemingly exaggerate and you lose far more.
How do you communicate the message if you can’t use numbers? You have to put it in story form…one middle class family’s upcoming struggle. Your struggle. Their struggle. Personalize numbers.
Always be accurate. If you exaggerate beyond someone’s ability to comprehend OR experience your message becomes impotent. AND you do NOT know where that limitation is.
ALWAYS be precise.
Always seek to understand their interpretation of reality through gentle questions.
For the moment imagine that just the ONE LESSON of asking questions to understand their reality is going to replace mindless and almost certainly deal breaking talk on your part…or theirs. That ONE LESSON changes your world.
Now here is a secret:
When they speak, simply remember that they are exaggerating.
Not only does your client literally see, hear, feel, taste and smell a different world than the next person, they also literally misrepresent the importance of almost everything in the world.
People misrepresent the scope, the importance, the significance of almost every experience in life.
Sometimes they do this intentionally. Most of the time there is no motive.
People do not think in terms of Problem ===> Solve.
All of this causes persuasion to be much more than a game of logic that has an “obvious solution.”
Listen carefully: There can be no obvious solution because the other person LITERALLY sees a different world than you do.
What happens in everyday conversation that you can change to bring on agreement?
What do you do to cause them to say “yes” to you?
Perception of Exaggeration
What happens when these differences come up in everyday conversation is that one person will attempt to re-present the picture or problem to someone using exaggeration. Their strategy fails because of the Oops Factor.
The Oops! Factor
Exaggeration can be briefly persuasive but by the time someone pulls out their wallet to do business with you, they have changed their mind because exaggeration brings out a flurry of nonverbal cues that are often read is lying.
Exaggeration also primes the communicator to exaggerate again about something else.
What might have been compelling, fails and sends you home.
People believe exaggeration will be effective because they sense it will make them look bigger/better than the competition. But instead it reveals desperation and need for something that is other than what is in the best interest of the listener.
Here’s an experiment that is triggered in my mind if I even have a hint of going down that path…
There is an interesting phenomenon in human behavior which you can call “scope neglect.”
In a nutshell, Scope Neglect could be described in a scenario like this:
A fund raiser is taking place. (Actual research study) Some people are told that their donation will immediately help save the lives 2,000 birds. Another group is told their donation will help save 20,000 birds. A final group is told their donation will save 200,000 birds.
It would seem that the latter group should give far more money to the charity than the first group…it would seem….
- Group one averaged giving $80 per person.
- Group two averaged $78 per person (!!!!!).
- Group three averaged $88 per person.
What about research in an area other than birds…. ?
Residents in four western states were asked to make donations to save either one or 57 listed wilderness areas. Theoretically the group asked to donate to save 57 areas should give a LOT (57 times as much?) more money than those asked to save one area. This wasn’t the case. In fact, the group asked to donate to save a total of 57 wilderness areas gave only 28% more money than those asked to help save one wilderness area.
Lesson? People neglect the scope of a problem because they develop a representation of it. They don’t take the time to put every piece of information up on the board and analyze them all detail by detail. They get a “picture” or representation in their mind, then believe that that is the representation that is reality…and of course…it isn’t…the scope of the situation is neglected, and usually dramatically so.
Because of this uniquely human thinking process…there are many ramifications for those who influence others.
$10,000 Key: Exaggerating benefits or possible results from something is unnecessary and you take an enormous risk when contrasted with relating facts. If someone were to find out you were exaggerating, it could destroy your business. Never exaggerate.
And then there is this and it is scary…
Hold your breath
Scope Neglect: Extension
In an experiment related to scope neglect (this example is called “extension“), people were asked to estimate how many murders took place in Detroit last year. Another group was asked how many murders took place in Michigan last year.
The first group offered a median response of 200 people murdered in Detroit. The second group offered a median response of 100 people murdered…in Michigan.
I don’t have to tell you that Detroit is one city in Michigan. One city. But Detroit has a reputation of being dangerous and violent. Michigan has a reputation of being a cold state in the Midwest (or East) depending on what part of the United States you are from.
People thought there were twice as many murders in Detroit than in Michigan and Detroit is only a part of Michigan!
But think…about how people think. People don’t think in any logical fashion. They think in terms of biases.
What this means is that the painted picture is far more important than any logic when it comes to whether the person will decide on one thing when compared to another. People base their decisions based on the pictures in their mind and not of the real life experiences in the real world. Therefore you need to be able to find out what those pictures are, so you can communicate clearly with your counterpart.
Talking about what “is” or “is not” will not make you more persuasive. Finding out what representations your client has will, …and this is where you can make dramatic steps forward in the process of persuasion.
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