She said no instantly.
She couldn’t have thought about it. Couldn’t have reasoned it out. She just said, no.
You meet with your client and they say…. “no,” even BEFORE they have all the facts about how much you could help them.
They might say, “I’ve got to think about it.”
But invariably that means, “No, but I don’t want to have to say ‘no’.”
Everyone knows that. No one “thinks about” anything in real life.
What’s Fascinating? Their current person, product or service they are using is clearly inferior.
It makes no sense. They SHOULD say YES to YOU!
WHY would they say “no?”
Key Point: When people feel pressured to change…they won’t. There is one exception and it’s about the TYPE of pressure.
The Anti-Authority Message Reaction
Remember humans are reactant. That means your customer could have a $50 bill in her hand and you could offer a $100 in exchange and your customer can and typically will quickly say “no!”
Read it again. It’s the teen reaction that never went away…the anti-authority message reaction.
Remember from our previous work, that people have a gut level “no” (reactance) to anything that is not familiar…and they have a reasoned thought resistance that says “no” until they’ve had a chance to step back and evaluate anything that they don’t regularly experience.
And THEN you have additional reactions to authority.
There can be a lot to overcome between “no” and “yes.”
Key Point: A growing body of research about “reactance” shows that when people are told to do the opposite of what they believe they have a tendency to over-react in the direction of their current behavior.
For example: If someone is a cigarette smoker or abuses alcohol, and that person sees authoritarian messages to not do those things….you got it….the person smokes/drinks MORE.
And that is not just speculation on my part. The research is abundant. The more intense the warning on the cigarette package, the more quickly people go through the cigarettes and the more they smoke.
I travel out of the country quite regularly. When I was in Australia…Sydney…I went grocery shopping (that was an experience that taught me why Americans are fat…I’ll save that for another day).
I went to a part of the store where they were selling cigarettes. I was drawn to the area because there was a big sign that said, “Cigarettes cause death.” There was a skull and cross bones on the sign… and a line of people waiting to buy cigarettes.
There is no logic involved here. Cigarettes simply erase years from your life. But the smoker is not smoking for logical reasons.
By telling the person to quit smoking, you are pushing their anti-authority button. You are telling them they are stupid…or worse…that you are smarter than they are!
If the pressure you use is directly from you and it is perceived as a win/lose, the other person says, “no,” AND they hit the brakes and dig in for a fight, defending their position more vigorously every second of the way. That’s just how it is.
But there is one kind of pressure that does work with women and not men….
DO THIS: Think of yourself as a magnetic field with a field pushing out away from you. And the other person has the same magnetic field coming out of them. In other words, North faces North.
Polarity….the magnets literally repel each other.
It’s a fascinating metaphor because it is amazing to watch it happen on your coffee table with two magnets….just like it is in real life with people…
- So, you can’t pressure in the commonly understood definition of pressure.
- You can’t “push.”
- You can’t have an authoritarian message and expect the customer to say, “yes.”
It won’t happen.
But your pressure could easily cause them to sign a long term contract…with your competitor.
Men typically won’t cave to any type of pressure. Women will yield to ONE kind of pressure. You will be surprised….
Does Everyone Have the Same Response?
What’s interesting is that not everyone responds with the polarity reaction. Generally there are two groups of people who predictably WILL react North to North. (Polarity)
A) People who participate in the behavior you are trying to get them to change.
B) People who are normally contrarian in general or to you or your message specifically.
FACT: After two people have met, reactance is TRIGGERED by OVERT influence attempts that are particularly dogmatic or authoritarian in *content* or *delivery.*
Anything else trigger reactance?
Key Point: A growing body of research shows that “low credibility messengers” (spokesmen/salespeople/etc.) are regularly met with reactance that ties the person being “persuaded” more closely to the status quo.
Key Point: If some part of a person’s freedom is threatened (or perceived to be threatened, which is all that really matters!) in any way, you can know that “North” (polarity) will be out in full force.
What About That Teenager?
And what ENHANCES REACTANCE?
The reactant personality of course!
The reactant person is one who has a STRONG desire to MAKE THEIR OWN CHOICES.
Generally teens have a much stronger tendency to intense reactance than older people.
But of course, reactance is found in all ages.
In one study, the sign, “Danger – Shallow Water: No Diving!” increased kids diving significantly…but only in kids who had dived into the shallow water before. It had no effect on those who had not.
In another study, smokers who saw packs of cigarettes with NO health warnings on the packaging caused no change in smoking behavior. Those with strong warning labels caused the individuals to smoke MORE.
The volume of data here is overwhelming.
In the case of using “fear” in messages specifically, that would need a separate article…or book…but in general it works like this:
Fear and Reactance
Fear is only useful and effective when used “mildly.” Messages that contain “strong” or “intense” levels of fear cause reactance and CAUSE the opposite behavior.
Key Point: There are exceptions but in general, a little fear goes a long way…and a lot of fear kills the message…and causes that which you want to change…to become more grounded.
Soften Your Message
Obviously we all experience reactance, and often, but depending on personality and circumstances, a lot of people will react much more intensely than others.
If you had to adopt only one idea to increase success in persuasion and influence it would be to SOFTEN YOUR MESSAGE.
Softening the message will influence men.
That isn’t going to work with women.
Women require knowledge that authority figures they respect have concluded that what you are proposing is what the authority figures have approved of. When women know that authority figures they respect, both men and women, have overwhelming concluded that the idea on the table you are presenting is the best “way,” THAT is the ONE and only kind of pressure that will predictably turn “no” into “yes.”
Most types of pressure simply can’t work with 90% of people and that is why salespeople talk about “numbers” and “percentages.” With the CD program, Covert Influence: The Hidden Persuaders, you can reduce that 90% by half because it wires into the predetermined decision making rules of thumb each unique person is driven by.
That’s for next time. For now, recognize that women change their minds in dramatic fashion when they know the respected authorities overwhelmingly agree with a proposal….and…for men…they do not care what the respected authorities overwhelmingly think…and only message softening is effective on the pressure/no pressure continuum.
Most people believe the opposite to be true, but that’s why most people can’t get a “yes” from someone….they don’t know how people think and don’t spend the time to learn.
Where can you get more about reactance and the persuasion process?
Well, you are in for a treat, because have I got an influence program for you!
Science of Influence III: Reducing Resistance and Reactance in Persuasion
Science of Influence Part III focuses on the newest information available about reactance and resistance in persuasion. You’ll find cutting-edge research that you haven’t seen yet which shows that there are four specific manifestations of resistance (unconscious instantaneous resistance).
You are going to learn how to utilize the other person’s resistance so that it works to the favor of the persuasion process. No one has ever talked about this before.
Obviously, that information alone would be enough to justify any “price.” But you know me…
Did you know that putting reactance into a story reduces or eliminates the resistance? I’ll show you what the research says and how to do it. Raising unconscious resistance (reactance) can help eliminate (in part or whole). I’m going to show you how.
Discussing bogus information from sources that lack in credibility can raise your ability to influence or send resistance through the roof. I’ll show you how to avoid the train wreck and make it all work.
Your wishes have come true. A number of devoted students and masters of influence asked me to give you my proven applications of the selling and persuasion techniques that you have learned about in the Science of Influence Library. These full length CD’s accomplish an outcome no one has ever been able to achieve. You will learn the absolute most cutting edge material in sales techniques, belief change and influence then learn how to apply them. Bonus?
What can you learn that no one has shared with you before?
- An integrated template that allows you to model a successful sales presentation utilizing techniques learned in the Science of Influence.
- The absolute single most important factor in influence. Learn how to make it part of your personality…because it probably isn’t…yet!
- Your counterpart needs to be in a very specific frame of mind the moment you ask the big question. I’m going to reveal specifically how I do it, then give you the research showing other proven modalities.
- Six specific ways to keep resistance at bay. Once you’ve overcome it, you need to stop the tide from rolling in again…and it will if you don’t handle it with these six techniques.
- The single most important determining factor in reading their mind.
- I take you through numerous step by step processes for applying everything I have uncovered in the field of persuasion and influence and make it manageable for you.
- The 5 most common mistakes experts make in influence and persuasion. I promise you do all of these things. I did. When you eliminate them…well you tell me…
- The reason that the prescription you prescribe that will at first seem perfect for your client will cause them to bolt. Stop it now.
- Learn how to overcome desperation on your part or the client’s part. Desperation is the single biggest killer in one on one influence.
- Secret: Persuasion is most effective when it is interactive. Here is how to accomplish that!
- Dealing with buyer’s remorse in advance…and when it happens. How to turn buyers remorse into long term permanent loyalty.
- Why telling your counterpart the most sensible, easiest, fastest way to accomplish their goal will kill your sale. How to beat the problem before it brings out the ax…
Of course there is more.
You don’t need to have listened to the prior CDs to gain full benefit from this program. If you have mastered the prior library of CDs, I absolutely guarantee you that this program will make you wonder how you could have possibly had more to learn, to utilize, to create change, to solidify your expertise and become the ultimate master of persuasion.