What do Miss Hawaiian Tropic, keeping a diary or journal and Average Joe instantly teach us about becoming more influential, earning far more money and having better relationships? Be prepared to be stunned….and take notes. You’ve never read about these influence secrets before. I guarantee it….
Over the last 10 weeks here in articles and on this website, you’ve learned more about the art and power of persuasion than any in-house sales training or influence course could ever have given you. Why? Because this information is new, thoroughly researched and proven in the real world.
You’ve discovered that the more choices people have, the less likely they are to “buy” or make a decision.
You now know that the more choices people have, the worst decision they are likely to make.
You know that the more choices people have, the more likely they are to be dissatisfied with you and your product/services/idea.
You have learned that the fewer choices you give to people, the more you are going to sell and the higher volume you will achieve.
Now, that should be enough for a lifetime of increased sales, success or compliance. But of course… we can’t stop there!
I want you to understand how to apply this in your profession, career and personal life. How? Read on…
Have you seen or heard of this goofy TV show called Average Joe or Average Joe: Hawaii? I watched a few of the shows in the first installment. Concept: Good-looking girl in a reality TV show will get to whittle down 16 average Joe’s (men who are average guys) to one guy. (I don’t have any idea what the ultimate “prize” was.)
At first this girl is appalled. These guys are not what she signed up for. After the initial shock, she gets familiar with the guys to the point where they are very acceptable to her. More: She actually starts to like some of them and enjoy their company quite a bit. She “adapts” to these “Average Joe’s” (which is a good thing or the show would have been very short lived I guess!) and that word, “adaptation” is one you are going to want to become familiar with over the coming weeks to process what I share with you here.
Just as you think there is justice in the world, the former-cheerleader is brought a half dozen sleek bodied guys to compete with the average Joe guys for her attention. The comparison effect is now recalibrated and ultimately there is no contest. Sleek bodied guy easily beats out average Joe (sorry guys). The average Joe guys simply couldn’t visually compete with the sleek bodied guys.
Three key points:
A) When the setting was all average Joes, she was very much interested in a number of them. There was no frame of reference outside of the average guys for comparison.
B) When the sleek bodied guys arrived, all the average guys were sharply contrasted and all suffered by the new comparison.
C) Even among the sleek bodied guys, many of them suffered by comparison to each other.
Now, let’s delve a bit deeper before we get to applications.
Have you ever watched a beauty pageant (Miss Universe, Miss America, Hawaiian Tropic)? 50-100 absolutely stunning women take the same stage. Then under careful scrutiny, as the women stand side by side, then come into view by themselves, you and I begin to see flaws in each of these women! Enough that viewers will say, “she isn’t THAT good looking” or similar. These are not your average Jane women. These are women who come in at 9.8 on the Richter scale that is hardwired into all men from birth. But….side by side you become fooled into thinking that Miss 9.8 is really closer to a 7.0 and barely worthy of being on your TV screen. (This is true of both men and women, and by the way, women are the primary audience for these shows.)
Critical Concept: If the most beautiful women on the planet suffer through adaptation and the comparison effect, what is going to happen with you when compared with others, your service with others, your product with others? Keep reading and I’ll show you precisely what and how to take care of the huge problems than can come up because of this!
Fact: Everyone suffers from comparison when we are stacked up next to many other choices. A few? You can maintain your projection and perception of status, prestige, beauty. Against the backdrop of many applicants, available future partners, etc.? You sink fast, and so do all the others!
Imagine you sell a product. Imagine it has tons of competitors. Imagine you have two sheets of paper. ALL the competitors products should be compared to each other on the first page. Your product should be the ONLY product on the second page.
Key application concept: If you place your idea/product/service in with 20 others it becomes just another piece of the stew. If you set it off by itself it shines.
Key application concept: You work in a cubicle with 20 other people in the same room/office? You are part of a sea of faces. All begin to look alike after a while. If you are going to differentiate yourself you LITERALLY need to find ways to separate yourself from the crowd if you are going to advance, become valued and important.
Let’s go back to our Miss Hawaiian Tropic pageant for a moment. (Don’t I ask a lot?) Miss California steps out, introduces herself and you are a judge. You must start to evaluate her and tell her whether in your mind she should make the final eight. You must justify your reasons. Ready for this? Those who must articulate or write down their reasons most regret their choices later.
The way the human brain is wired, you instantly come up with a decision then begin to come up (or make up) reasons, to justify your decision. Here is an interesting fact: The more people have to create reasons for their decision the more they become disappointed in their choice later! This is true of all decisions.
KEY: When you make a decision you will regret it more later as you discuss the reasons for making the decision!
Key Application Concept: When you get the decision you want from the other person, it is time to shut up and move along. If you ask for all the reasons why they decided the way they did you might just get a reversal in a few days!
Key application concept: Once you have a decision do not encourage people to think about how good their decision was or even set guideposts in the future for them to evaluate it. Be happy they decided in your favor, gave YOU their business or trust.
Now, let’s take a deep breath and think for a second. Middle Class America has never been as wealthy or lived a better, healthier, safer lifestyle than in 2004. (It has nothing to with Bush or Clinton…or any politician for that matter!). BUT: 10 times as many people are suffering from depression in middle class American than in 1904! They are getting married 5 years later than just a few years ago and they are staying at their present employer a small fraction of the time their parents did 30 years ago.
What is going on?
TMC. Too many choices! People are becoming responsible for their choices and it is causing an enormous amount of distress, anguish, regret, anxiety and depression!
Key application point: Take the choices others have to make when working with YOU. If you want your client/customer to be happy with you, make the sale and then get REPEAT business, begin to limit OPTIONS quickly. Do not sell 100 different colored cards. Sell five. Do not sell 100 different CUSTOMIZED computers made to suit their needs (unless you are TELLING them what they need).
Key application point: Find the key one, two or three values or needs a person has as it relates to you and give them those things! Everything else is noise that will cause the person to be less happy with their decision.
I hear someone say, “well then give them a money back guarantee,” “they can always exchange it,” “let them swap it for something else if they aren’t happy.”
Now, this will strike terror in the hearts of…just about everyone but here is a fact based upon recent research:
Scary Fact: When people have the opportunity to reverse their decision, return their product or get a refund on a purchase, they tend to be LESS SATISFIED with their decision later!
Now that runs contrary to EVERYTHING I was ever taught 100 years ago in Selling 101!!!
The odd fact is that when people are buying something or even getting into an arranged marriage (as happens in other countries and was the norm a few centuries ago in most cultures) the people are HAPPIER and the relationships last much longer.
Now, am I suggesting you take back your money back guarantee and make it more difficult to return products at Wal Mart?
I’ll have more to say about this in a future article because this IS big and it is CRUCIAL to your long term success.
During the past two years I have been reevaluating my once firmly held belief that people should journal their lives, their thoughts, especially in terms of their relationships. After all, Ben Franklin did. But, Franklin journaled events, progress on experiments, research, political thoughts and so on.
But to journal personal thoughts and emotions about their relationships? Perhaps not such a good idea. Why? In recent studies it has been revealed that people who write down their feelings and thoughts about their partners are much more likely to fail at predicting the success of the relationship. It turns out that which is easy to put into words is not what helps people predict the success of the relationship. In fact, the opposite is true.
So what? What does this have to do with influence?
It turns out that people who do not (or are asked not to in research studies) analyze their relationships in writing tend to remain in those relationships and the tendency of those who do analyze their relationships in writing tend to not stay in relationships.
Worse? Upon follow up, those who wrote about their relationships later regretted leaving their relationships. As you’re probably already starting to think how this applies in your life and business (especially when tracking employee information!) the ramifications are enormous.
Key application concept: If you are going to ask your client or customer evaluate you, your product, or service, have them do so based on specific preset criteria. This way, when you come back to them they will have analyzed what is crucial about you, your product, your service and not random high and low glitches. This is one way to help your client and keep a customer forever.