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Ask Kevin Anything!
Q. Kevin! How many Laws of Persuasion are there now? A colleague was on a webinar with you and said it was over 30!??
A. My chart shows 42. A little more than validating 1 per year and counting. Like Jupiter’s moons, you keep getting better telescopes or go visit the place and you find more than a handful.
Q. Kevin, how do I get a raise… (Lengthy Question)
A. Four months before it is time to ask for that raise, stop by the bosses office and ask for permission to talk about a raise in a few months with her. She’ll say yes to the appointment. You have no laid the groundwork. This is something only 1/500 people do, the people who get paid a lot more than everyone else.
Q. Hey Kev, what are your favorite destinations outside of Las Vegas!?
A. Can’t go to Vegas? That’s like asking what would you like to drink except water…OK, in no particular order, off the top of my head… 1) Barcelona Spain 2) Lake Tahoe, Nv/Ca, USA 3) Yellowstone, USA 4) Cape Cod, Mass., USA 5) Amsterdam, Netherlands, 6) Rocky Mountains, 7) Bellagio, Italy 8) Nice, France, 9) Grand Canyon, Az., USA 10) Prague, Czech. 11) Tryavna, Bulgaria, 12) anywhere in Poland. 13) Hawaii, 14) Australia 15) Tower of London, UK
Q. Kevin, what is your prediction for the Dow, December 31, 2018?
A. A question that is all but impossible to get right? Sure: 31,147.
Q. Kev, why Poland?
A. Friendly people, good conversation, comfortable (for me) balance of conservative and liberal, aggressive and progressive business environment.
A. It’s all scheduled in advance. I “fit” everything in by getting everything done. Everything is done in sequence with projects related to physical activity used as a break. For example, yesterday I wrote an article that required about 9 hours. But I didn’t write for 9 consecutive hours. After a few hours I did an hour of landscaping then returned to the article for a few more hours then took a 40 minute break to go grocery shopping. Then completed the article, saving it for today. Correspondence is typically done after midnight when I can fly through email. I’m enjoying writing fiction, live events are often very fun, and Inner Circle makes it all worth while.
A. The Bible is perhaps my favorite and certainly most studied book in the house. It seems like everyone would be to everyone’s advantage to read from a scholarly and historic perspective. Genesis 1 – Mark 16. Labels? I don’t like labels, except “Medium” when it refers to t-shirt size which I can mostly fit into when I’m at my best weight.
Q. Kevin, I’m engaged to be married. My fiance is a fan of yours, he’s read your books all the time. My question is if his back is to the restaurant he turns his chair so he can see almost everyone in the restaurant. When he does his eyes are off of me. It feels like he’s scoping out other women. It really bothers me and I guess I want your expert opinion on what this body language means.
A. Strong survival instincts and he needs control. I sometimes do the same thing. Animals that always have a “way out” tend to survive in nature. Your fiance is a survivor, will probably live a long time and be successful to boot.
A. OUCH. Come on, the year isn’t over yet. There’s a lot on it’s way. I’m working on a few books, one fiction. There’ll be at least one awesome CD set by the end of the year.
Q. Kevin, who did you learn the most from about persuasion?
A. Eric Knowles, Ph.D., University of Arkansas. Then about 100 others.
Q. If someone uses your Millionaire Mind faithfully, how long will it take for them to become a millionaire?
A. It’s a heck of a good program and a very nice introduction to the Wealth Accumulation System. It depends on what route you take. How many critical daily actions? What is the quality of each of those actions? Online blended with some kind of service? Not long. 4-7 years maybe. Depends on what you mean by millionaire. (Earning? Net worth?) It’s not just the mindset it’s the plan and strategy. Then it comes down to execution. The major actions on the plan and the number of actions on the plan. Someone who does 200 major actions per year is going to make a heck of a lot more money than someone who does 100 actions per year because actions are logarithmic, exponential in growth….not arithmetic. So you can accelerate yourself pretty quickly. Need the plan and strategy…the certainty, big actions within the vehicle and did I mention the big actions?
Q. Kev, when people meet you are they uncomfortable because you are reading their body language or because you are trying to get inside of their mind?
A. They must be, because I get asked this all the time. Fact is I don’t consciously read anyone’s body language and I’m rarely in public long enough to want to get inside someone’s mind.
A. Not something I would do. No upside. But it beats the hell out of “buddy” and “pal,” both which are wimpy butt expressions of little respect and appreciation. In conversation it can be condescending or endearing. In business….I just don’t see a place for it. Seems phony. I don’t like it.
Q. Although I have lots of experience presenting prepared material e.g. behavioral based safety, safety/security orientation for contractors going overseas etc., I don’t have a clue what I can “speak” about. I work as a security consultant in Nigeria and have an extensive background in safety and security. Any ideas to help me narrow my scope. I want to be interesting and entertaining, but I’m not sure my background lends itself to that arena. Regards—- PS- I really enjoyed your book on Covert Persuasion.
A. There are a heck of a lot of companies with monster sized budgets to hire speakers and consultants about safety and security. If you want to develop into an inspirational or motivational speaker then you become expert in those areas and build a career there. Your background seems good to me!
Q. Kevin, I want to break up with my boyfriend. He has a hot temper, so I want to try to have him break up with me instead, so he won’t get angry with me. Can I use a persuasion/hypnotic technique to get him to break up with me, and make him think it is his idea? Thanks!
A. Hmmm….Lion and prey. Use hypnosis on lion, prey gets killed anyway. You aren’t trying to change a feeling for a moment, you are trying to sever an umbilical cord and have the other person be OK with it. I’d expect anger, frustration, desperation, and because context will generally control behavior of anyone except sociopaths, break up with him in a busy well trafficked store, restaurant or similar place with well established social conventions.
Q. “Chemistry”: How can I gain it with anybody, anywhere, anytime? I am not the most attractive man, but I see unattractive men with beautiful women, or even broke men that have success. I can talk the talk, but getting the actions is more difficult. Any ideas, cd’s, tips, for this?
A. Three Disciplines is a program I developed a few years ago that puts the puzzle pieces on the same table. Chemistry has a lot tangibles like accelerated heart rate, perspiration, endorphins pounding out in the brain. There are intangibles too. Part of it is raw attraction. A lot of women are attracted to men who, if they had a good relationship with their Father, look like their Father. And then there is the possibility of joint enthusiasm for the same thing/person/idea/philosophy. It takes a lot more than a book to detail everything. All of the above can help create chemistry. Irresistible Attraction certainly is a good starting point along with Three Disciplines.
Q. Kevin I have been listening to your cds and reading your books and seemed to have identified a way that people will reject you without saying so. This is the way that it goes in any given sales situation the other prospect may say things about another product or another company but not actually gotten excited about what you are selling. Even with using every persuasion tactic I know I can still not get them to move forward. The best example would be when someone tells you, “Good luck with ….(fill in the blank)”, as you are leaving. They are not doing business with you, so you might as well find out why and go back to see if the client can be saved. When asking people why, they have decided to not do business with me they are always surprised that I know. So I guess my question is would this be considered covert rejection or would this be considered leaking?
A. People don’t move “forward” because they don’t identify with you in the first place. You never got past reactance or resistance and you certainly haven’t hit the right button. A lot of sales people assume there is one reason people do or don’t do something…money. Some people are driven to achieve status, or to have exciting experiences…..As far as going back and finding out why, that might help in some industries or fields but think about the time when the girl broke up with you. Did she tell you “the truth” as to why or did she make something up for one reason or another? Leaking? Maybe, in some contexts. Covert? No. That’s pretty overt.
Q. In one of your articles you said “If you say something negative about your competitor, your client WILL remember your competitor. It may not be good or bad…but they’ll remember …and if you haven’t put a greater degree of emotion on your own product…they won’t remember yours at all…. NEVER mention a competitor or anything about them, except in the context noted above”. In other words pretty much never mention a competitor. In another article in this week’s Coffee, you mentioned that, “Studies have accumulated in the past few years and they clearly reveal that resistance is derailed by being able to point out weaknesses in one’s own self, platform, service or product and being able to say something good about the competitor if anything at all. ” In other words, it may be a good idea to say something Good about your competitor. Kevin, which do you think is better? Saying nothing about your competitor, or saying something good about them?
A. First, the way I do business is not “normal.” I’m not always trying to make “the sale.” I make the sale when it makes sense for the client or potential client to do business with me. People have long memories and everything I do is long term.
If McDonalds says, “Burger King is terrible buy our burgers,” that’s going to cost them bundles…but…if McDonalds says, “Ya’ know Burger King has improved lately, but if you still want the best of the best….” that will be helpful.
Q. In my quest to become an a first rate facilitator, negotiator and conversationalist, I read Psychology of Persuasion and Covert Persuasion. I put up amazon reviews for both books. I found both books insightful, applicable and continue to put lessons I learned to practice. One challenge I find from a majority of persuasion books is the imbalance between theory and not enough real life applications. This is where your books stood out. From Psychology of Persuasion I found the lessons around seating arrangements and sentences to use in certain situations to be very insightful and a lesson I could put to practice. From Covert Persuasion it was some of the newer techniques I had never seen and some of the older one’s dealt with in ways I hadn’t seen, even the nuances you offer about mirroring and synchronizing. First question: Do you think the persuasion techniques you teach only work with acquaintances and clients or good friends/family? Where I’m getting with this questions is, if people know someone is very familiar with persuasion techniques do they put up a wall that makes them less easily persuaded or are these techniques more powerful than the conscious mind?
A. Persuasion techniques that I use are based on observation in the real world, research and studies that show how the brain decides and what it will decide. It’s not about “Will it work,” it’s about “When do you want it to work?”
Think about the old tie down closes in sales, “isn’t it,” “wouldn’t it” I think it’s kind of cute when people use those ancient tricks. I don’t think any less of them. They’re doing what they are trained to do by their sales manager. Unfortunately they aren’t going to be effective anymore.
None of the strategies I teach in persuasion have anything to do with something that can be defended against. We all are influenced by priming, flagging, spatial orientation, FITD. See Science of Influence Part II: The Tactics & Techniques of Persuasion.
Q. If I remember right, you have predicted the Presidency right most of the time since I’ve read Coffee.. I also remember twice you predicted Bush and both times the media had him as losing easily. Got any predictions for the donkeys and the elephants at midterm (and really want to step out) and who for the general???? Hope you don’t mind nosy questions from the peanut gallery!!!
A. The next elections will show a lot of new blue on the map.