Kevin Hogan

International Speaker

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The Ultimate Persuasion Interview. Janet Ackerson from The Wealthy Exit interviewed me. Here’s part 1

JANET: Okay, so hi, everyone, and thank you so much for taking the time to join us this evening. This is Janet Ackerson, business intermediary and consultant for The Wealthy Exit. The purpose and goal of The Wealthy Exit is to provide the latest and the most compelling information and strategies for you to build your business to the next level and, eventually, to your wealthy exit.

Tonight, we are training with Kevin Hogan, a master of building business, marketing, and training on influence and persuasion. Kevin Hogan is the author of 19 books. He is best known for his international best selling book, Psychology of Persuasion: How to Persuade Others to Your Way of Thinking …….I really appreciate you taking the time to work with us.

KEVIN: It’s great to be here, Janet. It’s good to hear from you and good to hear everybody out there.

JANET: Now, you have been involved in so many areas of business – personal development, time management, and wealth creation. Can you share with us a little bit of your progression to the area that you’re focusing on now?

KEVIN: Well, part of my life problem is I have ADHD. And so, I get distracted very quickly and I have a very short attention span. So, I might have three or four different projects or books or CD programs or live events that I’m working on, all on the same day; and I’ll switch back and forth in the course of the day. Add research into each field that I’m working on at any given time and you have …a lot going on!

And over life, certain things are more interesting at different places in our life.

And it all sort of evolves for, at least, people like me or maybe Barbara Sher who wrote Refuse to Choose; you don’t have to always have one focus. And if you’re short on attention, you can’t DO “one focus.” I still really love to study influence.

I’ve been doing this now for 18 years, I guess. It’s been a long time and also, how it relates to people’s personal self-motivation to how they get other people to say yes? When people are on the fence…how do you know when it’s okay to do that?

And once you determine that it might be, then how do you know if you should, and if you should, how do you know if that guy really needs your product or not or if they can use your service? And what can you do and not do to get that person to buy your product? And how do you help them make the best decision? All that stuff, to me, is fascinating and that’s where I spend most of my life.

JANET: And bringing up the ethics behind this because I know a lot of people have concerns about this that if you become this master persuader, are you creating a situation where you’re forcing something on a person that maybe they don’t have the strength within themselves to go, “this is not something I really need?” How does a person – or how have you – come to terms with that?

KEVIN: This is the central message of my life. Story: I still go to Poland about every other year. And Poland, of course, was the victim of Hitler in World War II as no one else was. The Jews were treated horribly – Auschwitz, Dachau. And I’ve been to Auschwitz.

On a trip that I did at Auschwitz, I was interviewed by the press over there and wProst Magazine…that means “forward.” And Poland is the great example here because the press, when I first came to town … now, they know me over there but when I first came back, maybe 9, 10 years ago, they were like, “How dare you teach these techniques and these tools!? People will be harmed and hurt …” and all that kind of stuff.

And I totally understood it because they’re exactly right because a lot of the great tools for getting a person to do X, Y, Z are the same exact things that some of the most evil and wretched people on the planet do. Unfortunately, it’s not really the techniques or even persuasion, in general…

There’s nothing wrong with the nuclear power plant but, boy, can you really use it in a bad way if you want to. Nuclear power can power millions of homes. But if you do the wrong thing with it, it can kill all those millions of people, too. So, anytime you have something that’s really powerful that can really change people, it’s going to have the negative side as well as the positive. And, really, it’s all just a matter of choice on your own part.

Kevin Hogan on Success, Achievement and InfluenceEvery time you talk to Bruce or every time you speak to your listeners, every single sentence that your listeners say to their children or to their husband or wife, those are all persuasive messages.

“I love you.”

What am I trying to do? I’m trying to tell you that I love you. Why am I telling you? I’m reminding you? You don’t need to hear that, do you? Sometimes, we do. We need to be persuaded that the person who’s saying, “I love you”, still really does love me.

But if I said it like this, if I said, “Well… I LOVE you,” right now, the other person is thinking, “Hmm, now, wait a second, does he really …”

Now, I have a job to do, right? Now we have a “Chocolate Issue,” a problem…and I need flowers and, say I’m in big trouble. So, the whole thing about influence is to understand that almost …I say almost because I haven’t found an exception yet, but almost every single communication that we have is an influential communication where we’re trying to do something to change somebody else in some way or to shift them.

That could be getting your son out of the street when he’s three years old. About nine years ago, a car was coming toward him. It’s a good thing I’ve always trained my kids to listen, to pay attention, and they were actually pretty good at it or else he would not be here. I said, “Mark, get over here now!” Most kids just look up and look around. Well, fortunately my son came. And so, being influential with people and getting them to act now…instantly in fact… is not just a “sales tool.” It can be a lifesaving tool. And that’s why I want people to be effective when they attempt to influence.

The person listening to this call is obviously not a bad person. The person listening to this call is almost certainly a good person who is not interested in harming people in ANY way or doing anything that’s going to be negative.

Kevin Hogan on Success, Achievement and InfluenceAnd if a person is fearful of influence, they’re fearful of the wrong thing. I sit down with some of the most amazing people on this planet. I’m very fortunate to meet some pretty cool people and about a third of them will ask me, “So, are you reading my body language and are you influencing me?” And I say, “Of course, I am! Isn’t that why you brought me to this country? Come on, guys. This is what you’re paying me for.”

You know, when I used to go to schools and get kids off drugs, they would bring me in because I was the guy who would “go inside” to get them to stop using the drugs…and that was me because it was my skill set…

And so, we’ve trained other people now and I do it worldwide. And I’m pretty careful about who I teach some specific information to. But the fact is, is that the negative IS going to happen because there are negative people out there. There are bad people. That will never change.

But the thing is, more people are good than bad. And so, most of the people that utilize effective communication, that are good at influencing other people will actually get good results and they won’t say, “I LOVE you.” They’ll say, “I love you”, instead and they’ll know that that’s how you cause that person’s heart to feel good about you right now.

JANET: What I’m hearing then is that it may very well be a misconception that if you don’t know these tools, you’re actually being led without knowing it.

KEVIN: Exactly. One of the neatest, most fascinating things of living in the year 2010 is you turn on your computer, you go get your email, and when you get to your email, there are all these little advertisements on the side. It’s remarkable. They all say …for me, the unstated message of course is, “…go stay at the Mirage Hotel”, or, “…stay at the Bellagio. You’ll love the Bellagio. Here’s a special offer…,” Another theme that pops up in my e-mails is “Get your latest Beatles CD,” and I think, these people are just so randomly smart.

Of course, YOU don’t see any of these ads that I see. You see a totally different set of ads because advertisers have now smartened up to the point where it’s only worth advertising to the people who want to buy our product.

The Mirage doesn’t want to go and advertise to somebody over in Rome. They have plenty of stuff to do over there. But The Mirage, for people who are like me who like to take a working vacation. It’s like, “That’s a great place for me to go. I get to work all day, and I get to play all night, and it all works out perfectly.” So, we’re able to target our messages more and help people make the decisions. If I were a bad target customer for Hotel X or for Automobile Y, you can almost be sure that company won’t be target marketing me. I love target marketing because I don’t see a bunch of ads that I’m not interested in. I become a better consumer by seeing all the ads that are actually interesting to me, where I’m thinking, “Oh, that could be fun; that could be interesting. I really the need that insurance,” and all that kind of thing.

Yes, we’re being influenced all the time, and it’s actually okay. I want people to say, “I love you.” That’s really important to me and I want people to come up and say, “Kev, can you help me out.” Elvis Presley, one of the great singers of all time … they used to ask him, “So, do you ever get tired of all the people coming up and asking you for autographs and just driving you nuts?” And he looked and he said, “You know, when they stop doing that, I’ll be in big trouble.” And that really is the thing.

And so, when people stop influencing you, you become unimportant in that person’s life. And that’s not a good place to be. So, I want people to influence me. I’ve loved it. I don’t go around thinking, gosh, I want to try and stop this person from influencing me. I want as many people to say, “I love you” as possible.


JANET: And so, what do you specifically do then to be effective from the standpoint … a lot of times, you’re doing calls and recordings and writing where you’re not in the same room with that individual where you could see their body language or see how they’re reacting to you, how do you get your message across effectively in that kind of situation?

KEVIN: We’ll talk about the telephone and we’ll talk about email.

Email – if you want to be influential by email, say fewer words and use lots of smileys. The research on email, for example, shows that people who write long emails actually … this is one of my personal challenges… I’m trying to tighten everything up to twitter-like little sentences.

Kevin Hogan on Success, Achievement and InfluenceIt’s much easier for people to like you and to understand you if you use emoticons, the little smiley faces or frustration faces and things like that so people know what you’re REALLY trying to say because, a lot of times, you get an email from somebody, you read it, and you filter it through the emotions that you’re currently feeling right now.

And so, the big problem that we have with email is that I have no idea what the state of mind of the person who I’m writing is going to get to. So, if I want that person to change, the first thing I’ll think about is I want the message to be really, really clear when I’m giving it; and I always want people to see a smile on my face to let them know that I’m not angry, I’m not upset, I’m not frustrated, I’m not hurt – everything is okay, a smile is there. The world is good. And I start using it and I finish it like that, too.

So, that’s number one; and the second thing is, I realized that if I have a bigger message like my e-zine every week … I publish Coffee with Kevin Hogan. That’s a huge part of my business; probably about 25 hours a week, I put into writing and preparing and making this e-zine not only valuable but also influential.

So, I’ll write an article and I’ll write a promotional piece for something that I’m doing that’s coming up; and then, I’ll go back after I write it, and I’ll see if it says what I want it to say to the people who I know read me, who are interested in my work. And then, I’ll go back and I’ll think, okay, just assume this person is under stress, that’s A, because if the person is not under stress, they’re not living in 2010. That’s the first thing.

Then, I’ll go back and I’ll make sure that I match that sense and that feeling for that person like I know you are really overwhelmed today. So, if you want to read this article, do this now and I’ll tell them to do it now if it’s going to be valuable for their day. It’s not, I’ll say, come back to it tomorrow, or something along those lines.

But, little things like that make a difference. As soon as you show people that you understand them … you know, there are certain experiences that we all have like people hurt; their back hurts. Everybody on this phone call, if you think about it, this week, your back hurt. I don’t know why. I don’t know what bruises you had or what vertebrae was out of place or what chiropractor you plan to see this week, but your back hurt. Why is that? That’s just human nature. It’s the nature of being human.

We hurt. We all are concerned about the person we love. We’re all worried about the people who are angry with us right now. We wish they were not. They didn’t understand. We’re all concerned about money; and if it’s not money, we’re concerned about what we’re going to be doing five years from now to have money which is really an important thing because if you don’t have it, it makes it so much harder to eat and to do the relatively important things like that and to get your kids in college.

So, we have universal experiences which feel really personal to me, Kevin Hogan, or to you or to your husband or to your listener. But the fact is, these personal experiences … you fly on an airplane, you look down from the airplane, and you see we all do the same thing no matter where you’re flying all over the world; there are cars, there are people getting out of the car, people go in the house, they go in, they turn on the TV, they kiss the wife, they sit in the same chair they always do.

We are unique people. We are wonderful people. But we also have very common powerful ties from person to person. So, if I recognize this and I think, “Oh, my reader is hurting today. They’re overwhelmed. They’re concerned about money. They’re concerned about the things that I’m concerned about.”

I’m a writer. I’ve written 24 books; that’s a lot of writing…

JANET: That’s a lot of writing.

KEVIN: Now, think about that for a second. And then, all of a sudden, you start hearing this word “e-book,” and then, you start seeing your book available at some place on the web which shouldn’t have your book for free.

Kevin Hogan on Success, Achievement and InfluenceIt’s like, hmmm, wait a second, Science of Influence. That book was downloaded at one point two million times last year for free. It’s the number eight downloaded book on the planet earth. And I don’t get the royalties on that, unfortunately, because it was downloaded illegally.

So, I’m always thinking … okay, where will my income come that’s currently coming from royalties on books? Where is that going to come from in 10 years? And this is part of your business – trying to help people see the back-end Exit Strategies.

So, for an author, it’s not the same as it used to be. In the old days, you write a book; if it’s evergreen, if it’s good forever and people are going to buy it forever, well, great! But now, it’s not good forever. Now, people are going to go to a download site quite often and pick it up for absolutely free; and, all of a sudden, what you had planned for your retirement and for your kids schooling is no longer for your retirement and college for your kids.

You’re constantly thinking what they’re experiencing and what their concern is. And you can pretty much estimate that most people’s major concerns are similar across culture, across all lines that you can think of. And that’s makes you a better influencer because you understand that the person you’re looking at really is, in a lot of ways, just like you or just like me. And so, when I write, I often just write or speak to myself because I know that the frustrations and the fears that I have are really very, very similar from person to person. Did that help?

JANET: Oh, that definitely helped. You know, that’s an interesting concept that someone could get a hold of a book like that and just simply take it away from you because that’s a published book or was that one that you had originally self published?

KEVIN: No, published by the world’s largest business book publisher. That’s Wiley Publishing in New York.

Kevin Hogan on Success, Achievement and InfluenceUnfortunately, most books are available are illegally nowadays. And this is part of the culture now that we have. It’s fueled by the younger demographics but the older demographics are starting in as well. They’re able to get a copy of Batman before it comes out or Avatar and bring it home. And the movie hasn’t been released to the theaters; but if you’re willing to do stuff that’s not legal, you can go on the Internet and just grab a copy of it right there and watch it on your television.

That’s a pretty amazing concept and something that artists and people who make movies and celebrities and people who make CDs and DVDs … they’re constantly thinking about that. That’s why Paul McCartney goes back on the road nowadays. That’s why the Rolling Stones and the Who and all the folks back from sixties, the seventies, and the eighties whose careers would have been solidified forever … you know, their music … just been able to live on at their royalty fee. Everything would have been fine for them but they all have to think about a different wealthy exit now because the world changed and they didn’t know it was going to change.

And so, thinking about the end is really relevant and I always tell people … it’s like what happens if that isn’t the case whatever the case is? What happens if people aren’t reading books in 15 years? “Oh, they’re always going to be reading books.” I know. Of course, they will, but what would happen if they weren’t? Let’s just come up with our second line of defense here.

And that’s part of influence, too, because a lot of people just want to rely on, “Oh, well, the government will take care of me when it’s all over.” Really! Have they ever taken care of you in the past?

JANET: Right!

KEVIN: Think about it. That’s part of our role as influencers. It’s to get people to change to do things that are going to be more effective for them; and it does require that you really care about people and that you’ve actually thought about this person, their needs, their values, and the things that they love more than anything else; and it’s like, where do you fit in the plan?

You don’t fit in everybody’s plan. I don’t, but I fit in a lot of people’s plan and for those people, I want to be able to be the go-to person for them in teaching them how to help their business grow or how to influence other people to use more of their products and services.

JANET: So, what would you consider then one of the best business tips out there that you think that a business owner should be looking at maybe even on a daily basis?

KEVIN: Wow! That’s a very tall question with lots of different little teeny cups to fill you there.

JANET: Well, or just your favorite, how’s that?

KEVIN: I like people to talk to other people … okay, here it is. It’s one that everybody can go, “Oh, I already knew that.” It’s authenticity. You know, the most interesting thing in the world is when you let people be who they are and let them be okay with it.

So, in the eighties, when Madonna came out and she was who she was, we thought, oh, she’s just making that up. She’s really not like that.

Kevin Hogan on Success, Achievement and InfluenceBut you know what? She’s 50 today and she’s exactly the same way. She loved how she was and she just was who she was.

Now, there are lots of people who go up there and go, “I don’t like Madonna. She’s terrible, she’s evil, she’s whatever.” But the fact is, because she was authentic, people fell in love with her music, and they fell in love with her, and they’re like, “gosh, this is a really cool person.”

And as you look at all the people who are successful in life, almost all … there are exceptions; there are bad people in business, you know, the Enron/AIG/Shearson Lehman/Federal Reserve stuff and all that where the authenticity is not relevant for these people. But for people who are listening to this call, for you to find out who you are and think, “gosh, when people talk about me, what do they say??” When people are talking behind your back, you want it to be good, right?

JANET: Oh, absolutely!

KEVIN: So, what the heck are they saying about you? “Oh, yeah, that Kevin Hogan, he’s a real X, Y, Z.” Well, I think about those things and I want my clients to think about what those X,Y,Zs are, too. So, when people think about me, they think, “Oh, Kevin Hogan, he’s that guy who actually teaches you to program in your entertainment and luxury stuff before you do everything else in the course of the week?”

For example, I love the TV show, Lost; I also enjoy Survivor. I like TV, in general. I like to program my entertainment first thing every week. The very first thing I do is I say, “I’m going to watch Survivor this week. I’m going to watch Lost. There’s a new TV show called Caprica. That’s going on my list.”

And one of the things that people get worried about is they think, “Oh, gosh, I won’t have time for my life if I start my own business. To heck with that! Plan the time with your kids in your life and your husband first. Put that in; that goes on the schedule first. That’s the very first thing you do.

And then, as soon as you’ve filled up all those slots, you’ve taken your kids to the hockey game, and you’ve had fun, now, you take the … there are 168 hours in every single week. That’s a whole lot of hours and you only sleep, what? Maybe 55 of them. So most people, when I have them program in what they’re going to do for fun and family this week, they usually get stuck around the hour 14. “Kevin, I can’t think of anything else.”

Keep on! Do more!


KEVIN: “What else am I going to do?” Go out to dinner. “Well, I don’t want to go out to dinner this week.” Go out to dinner. Just write it down. Something else will come up that will be just as fun as going to dinner.

So, now, they’re up to 18 hours of entertainment and luxury and leisure, and they’ve got 56 hours of sleep, they’re like, what am I going to do with the other 85 hours?

And this is where you build your life; and this is where you self-educate and where you learn how to use the Internet for your business.

This is how you build the relationships with other people. You connect with them. You make the connections that are necessary and all this kind of stuff.

And, all of a sudden, people are like … they go home and they tell their spouse, “You know what? I went to a Kevin Hogan seminar today. That guy’s crazy. He says you’re supposed to program in all your fun and family stuff first. How weird is that? Nobody else teaches that. I like this guy.”

So, now, all we did was just take the things that everybody wants to do; and this, by the way, is reducing resistance because if you come to a seminar and I say, “Okay, here’s the first thing you’re going to do. You’re going to spend 90 hours on your business this week, buddy, and you’re going to like it. And after that, well, if you’re lucky, we’ll give you 5 or 10 hours where you can go hang out with the family and 5 or 10 hours where you can go hang out with the television or whatever entertainment form you like.”

Well, people don’t want to hear that. They want to know that the fun, that what they enjoy in life is actually there. So, we’re reducing resistance. And this is exactly what you want to do with whatever products you’re selling in your business and whatever service you’re selling in your business.

For me, I sell influence. I sell emotional intelligence…a skill that people can learn easily…I show people how to influence other people. And so, the number one thing that I want people to learn how to do is to be able to describe in a counter-intuitive way to their customer why they should be using their service in a counter-intuitive way.

Kevin Hogan on Success, Achievement and Influence“Oh, I don’t want to get an oil change.” You know, Dr. Hogan, you should really get that oil change probably every 5000 miles. “Five thousand miles? That’s ridiculous! You’re telling me that’s …” He says, “You pay $56,000 for that Sequoia, the gas pedal is going to stick someday and you’re not willing to pay $21 for …” “Okay, that’s cool.” Think about it. I really should do that once in a while.

And so, that’s how you influence people. It’s by being counter-intuitive and letting people get out there into your reality as you see it for them like, “You know what? This person really does need to get their oil changed and they’re crazy. They just spent $56,000 on a Toyota with a gas pedal that sticks, for goodness sakes.”

But you know what? Once the guy actually looks at you and says, “Okay, if you don’t want to spend $24.95 to get it done every 5000 miles, that’s okay with me, seriously, no need to sign up for that plan.” “Well, shoot, let me have the piece of paper, dammit, I’ll sign up for the plan.” Alright, so you sign up for the plan.

That’s how people want to communicate. That’s how they want to be communicated with – honesty, authentically, real … in a very real, fun, exciting, interesting way as opposed to the old, boring way about how we do business and nobody really cares about us. They really haven’t thought about what it is that they want aside from a check.

JANET: Wow! You know, I’ve never thought about the 168 hours quite that way. I mean, all of a sudden, I’m like, can you really spend that much time having fun? And when you said there are 85 hours left, I’m like, are there really that many hours left?

Kevin Hogan, The 168 Hour Week KEVIN: It’s true.

JANET: We’ve got to get your book, The 168-Hour Week! That’s going to be first on my list today because
I love that idea.

Read Kevin Hogan Interview, Part 2

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