Maximize Your Influence

If you have kids or employees (they're kind of the same, aren't they) you have probably used threats as a way to gain compliance before.  When we are in a rational state, we can all agree that most of the time threats are only good for very short term compliance.  But when we become emotional, it's easy for our brain to think that a threat is the best solution to the problem.  In a recent study by McGill University, researchers discovered that threatening children doesn't stop them from lying.  Here's some hope for humanity: researchers also concluded that kids are more likely to tell the truth when they feel like it's the right thing to do! 

In Episode 79 of Maximize Your Influence, Kurt and Steve expand more on persuasive writing styles.  There are certain words that you should never use when persuading others.  Those words, however, may be beneficial when you are discussing the competiton!  Check out the episode for all the information.  Kurt and Steve will return in 2015 with more Maximize Your Influence!

Direct download: Podcast_70.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm CDT

Are you tired of faking that you like your boss when you really don't?  Michigan State University has good news.  Apparently, you don't need to fake it anymore!  Their study shows that your productivity and your bosses satsifaction with your work performance goes UP when you both can admit that you're just co-workers and not necessarily best buddies.

After discussing the weekly article.  Kurt and Steve launch into the important topic of persuasive writing.  In order to persuade, you need people to talk to.  You need leads.  It's persuasive writing that does this. 

Oftentimes, writing persuasively involves the use of pictures.  Yeah, this sounds like a bit of a contradiction.  But when we ssee words, how we feel about them is usually influnced by the pictures that accompany them.  Use pictures that involve attractive people, things, and places.  You can use bright colors as well as images that make others curious, happy, or even angry.  This makes them pay attention to what you write.

Check out the rest of the episode for more information on how to structure your persuasive copy for optimal results.

And finally, is half off for the rest of the year!  Wheverver you are in your persuasion journey, there's something on for you! 

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Category:general -- posted at: 12:23am CDT

Every year it happens.  Black Friday.  That one day where retailers apparently lose their mind and start giving away massive discounts in order to lure bargain hungry shoppers.  The urgency created on Black Friday is unparalleled!

On this episode Kurt and Steve discuss what retailers do right on Black Friday as opposed to what they do wrong.  Using some of their tactics could turn your prospects away...or it could create massive legitimate urgency that will spike your sales, big time.  Tune into this episode for more info!

Direct download: Podcast_68.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm CDT

Do you work in an environment where you need to be motivated...but your boss just doesn't motivate you?  This is increasingly the norm, unfortunately.  A recent article by Harvard Business Review gives some helpful pointers if you find yourself in this type of environment.  Check out the article here.

Are you your competitor's best sales person?  Let's rephrase.  Have you ever worked really hard building your products value with a prospect, only to have them go with a cheaper option or a competitor?  That's what we call "scratching the itch."  When you motivate your prospect to change, they often try to scratch the easiest itch they can find.  In other words, once you've identified the problem and created the pain, the prospect seeks to solve that pain in the easiest/cheapest way possible. 

Kurt and Steve discuss some of the main methods for getting around the itch.  The first is obvious.  What are the cheaper options that your prospect will be tempted to go with?  Instead of covertly trying to sabotage these options, what is working best right now is to just drag the options all out into the light.  It's okay to tell your prospect: "look, a lot of individuals I talk to end up trying to find a cheaper version.  I'll tell you right now, it exists.  If price is all you're concerned about, you should go that direction.  Do you have other considerations besides price?"  This gets a critical yes from your prospect and they proceed to tell you all the things besides price that matter to them.  Now you can build value and take the sales cycle away from price.  Battling your prospect on price is seldom a winning proposition.

Tune into the episode for more tools to manage "the itch."  And if you're ready to take things to the next level, visit us at  There you'll see some of Kurt and Steve's top training programs...some of which are totally free! 

Direct download: Podcast_671.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:10pm CDT

Are you one of those sports fans that feels like the officials are conspiring against your team?  Everybody has been THAT sports fan at some point in their life.  As it turns out you may not be that paranoid.  A recent study shows that shorter NBA refs call more fouls than their taller counter parts.  The question remains though: is this due to a bad case of vantage point or a bad case of "small man syndrome?"  Check out the article here.  It's a fact, though.  We judge people based on height.  The fact that this transcends into sports is no surprise.

On episode 66 of Maximize Your Influence, Kurt and Steve discuss what all sales and business people deal with: rejection.  Dealing with rejection involves two key concepts: 1) how we think about it and 2) how we deal with it.  Having a healthy perspective on rejection and realizing that it happens to everybody, even the best, is where you should start.  Beyond that, there are various habits that successful persuaders get into that allow them to quickly move past rejection and even harness it to create more sales.  Check out episode 66 to learn more!

Direct download: Podcast_66.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:24am CDT

Persuasion is one of those skills that gives you a leg up on the competition.  When it comes to sales, there is no award for second place.  And advantage you can get goes a long way towards coming in first place!  Make sure you regularly tune up your persuasion ane influence skills.  These are skills that can atrophy over time if you don't use them.  And when you need to use's too late to learn! So why not use Maximize Your Influence to stay fresh!

In Kurt's geeky article moment, we learn what motivates people to pursue their dream job.  Because we all need money, most of us end up selling out our dream job.  But if it's something you really want, you need to have a vivid mindset.  Having a vivid, clear picture of your future will make you sink or swim.  This equally applies in sales.  If your prospects don't have a vivid and clear picture of what it'll be like to use your product, they'll say no.

Continuing on, Kurt and Steve wrap up the series on the 4 R's of Resistance.  The 4th "R" is "Representative."  In other's YOU.  Sometimes people will resist doing business not because of the product, the price, or something else.  It's just something about you.  This has been discussed at length on the show.  People do business with "better looking" people.  This doesn't mean you have to be a model.  But it is time to ask yourself some questions.  Are you dressing fashionably (but not over the top)?  Are you over weight?  Are you still sporting the same haircut you thought looked super cool in 1982? Take a hard look at yourself.  You want too look good...but not too slick. 

Beyond looking good, it comes down to rapport.  Increasingly, however, prospects are getting a lot better at sniffing out the "bs" that sales people throw at them.  The best way to connect is to initially prove your worth.  Once you do this, your prospects will subconsiously give you permission to connect with them and "shoot the bull" as they say. 

Direct download: Podcast_65.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:32am CDT

After discussing Kurt's upcoming visit to the Middle East, Kurt and Steve launch right into this week's article.  According to a recent article from Science Daily, toddlers who exhibit low empathy are in for a tough life.  The study says that there will be long term problems with aggression.  The good news is, it's not too late to fix it. 

After the article, Kurt and Steve get into the Third R of Resistance, which is "resources."  We're all taught in sales that we need to qualify our prospect.  Mostly this centers around money, but there are other resources that need to be in place such as time, support, staff, etc.  We know that most of the time when prospects tell us they don't have the resources, it's not true.  They've just learned over the years that lying about resources is a quick way to make you (the evil salesperson) go away.  When it comes right down to it, most of the things that we buy are not based on price.  Value is the key, and value is a perception.

What are your prospects comparing your product or service to?  This allows you to benchmark value.  You get to decide what they compare it to!  Be careful to choose what other products and services your compare and contrast your product with.  Do it right, and people will pay a lot more.  Do it wrong, and they won't pay you anything!

Direct download: Podcast_64.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:49pm CDT

Do you enjoy the Maximize Your Influence Podcast?  Learn more at  You'll have access to all of our top persuasion and influence training!  You'll get our 52 week persuasion mastery course, our persuasion university library, persuasion software (solves objections for you), and much much more!  

On this episode of Maximize Your Influence, Kurt and Steve discuss the second R of resources.  One of the main reasons we encounter resistance from prospects, employees, family, etc is due to perceived risk.  Whether it's time, money, respect, or some other resource, your prospect is not sure if what they are giving up to do business with you is truly worth it.  There's too much risk.  Sometimes they state this out loud...other time sthey feel it subconsciously.  Either way, your goal as a persuader is to get your prospect to feel like they have absolutely nothing to lose by doing business with you. 

Part of this is through creating involvement (see our earler podcasts on the law of involvement).  When your prospect feels like they are participating in the product or service they begin to feel that it WILL be worth it.  Get them started down the right road and they will typically want to finish.  This is typically done through some kind of free trial of your product or service.  Sure, when you offer a free trial people will periodcially take advantage of you.  However, implementing a free trial usually increases sales so much that any "free loaders" are totally worth it.

Another way is to establish a bold guarantee.  If you don't feel like you CAN guarantee your product or service, it's time to re-think things. What can you promise that will make prospects feel like they have a way "out" if the product doesn't work for them?  Remember, guarnatees are like free trials.  Most typically won't turn around and ask for their money back once they've purchased the product.  Guarantees more than pay for themselves! 

Direct download: Podcast_63.mp3
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On this episode, Kurt and Steve interview the CEO of Entrepreneur on Fire, John Lee Dumas.  John is one of the most successful "virtual" entrepreneurs out there.  His podcast is by far one of the most popular business downloads on the internet.  He is known for producing massive amounts of valuable content and giving it away for FREE.  His audience is large and he has a very high level of trust with them. This allows him to sell hundreds of thousands of dollars of his products every month.  And even better...he documents it all!  His model of complete transparency allows him to cut right to the pain of what his prospects want and need.  He then provides it and makes huge profits in the process.  If you're an entrepreneur his show is a must!   Learn more by visiting 

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Did you know that money can buy happiness?  A recent study published in "Psychology Today" shows just that.  Kurt and Steve discuss the ins and outs of this study and how money certainly can buy happiness...up to a point. 

Continuing off of recent episodes, Kurt and Steve cover how we can overcome objections before they ever occur in the first place.  This concept is called "inoculation."  The term comes from the medical field, where patients are given a weak form of a virus so that their body can develop an immunity to it.  This same concept happens on the pscyhological level.  If we can introduce a weak form of the objection to our prospects, they will be better prepared for when the real one comes along at a later date.

For example, do most of your prospects end up looking for more bids from competitors?  Or do they end up getting serious resistance from friends and family?  Letting them know very subtly that this will happen beforehand helps them avoid the shock and disappointment that will later surface.  They'll think "hey, you know what?  He told me that the competitors would say this, or that my family would think that." 

This even applies when raising children.  Unfortunatley we know that at some point kids will be exposed to and given the opportunity to take drugs.  Pretending this won't happen just increases the chances that they will be influenced by a drug dealer and not by you as a parent.  Letting them know in advance "hey Jr, at some point somebody is going to offer you drugs.  If you say know they'll call you chiocken, they'll make fun of you, etc.  But just say no no matter what and come talk to me about it.  It's okay."

You can't, nor should you, inoculate against everything.  Just pick the two or three most common objections your prospects have and presolve them with stories, examples, statistics, and testimonials!

Direct download: Podcast_60.mp3
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Stay tuned as we will soon be rolling out Influence University...your way to access absolutely everything that Kurt has ever produced on Persuasion, Influence, Negotiation, and Leadership!  One of the greatest features of Influence University is Kurt's "Persuasion Software."  There are 77 potential objections out there and this software allows you to click on whatever one you've received and immediately see the course of action you should take!

On this episode, Kurt and Steve follow their discussion on objection psychology.  Now that we know where objections come from, what do we do when they actually arrive?  There are a few steps to consider.  First, make sure you listen to the entire objection.  You might know the answer. You might think the objection is stupid.  But it's just as important for your prospect to completely verbalize the objection as it is for you to actually answer it.  The point is that you can never adequately answer an objection until the prospect has completely verbalized it.

Second, repeat the objection back to your prospect to make sure you understand.  Pause.  Think it over.  A lot of times when prospects have completely verbalized an objection it takes care of itself.  

There are five more steps that Kurt and Steve discuss on this episode, so download it here or subscribe to Maximize Your Influence on Itunes or Stitcher Radio to hear the entire episode! 

Direct download: Podcast_59.mp3
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After a rant about Philly Cheesesteaks and Gourmet Grilled Cheese, Kurt and Steve continue to break down the psychology of objections.  Undestanding what's happening to your prospect mentally will help you overcome objections faster and many times, avoid them all together.

A study done by Knox and Inkster shows us that people tend to justify and feel more confident in their decisions AFTER they have made them.  So if your prospects are not at least subconsciously making a decision to do business with you, they are looking for reasons to NOT do business with you

This essentially comes down to small mental commitments and painting the picture.  Anytime your prospect is confused or feels ambiguous about the future, they will throw out knee jerk reactions.  This is why advertisements show pictures and videos of people using their product and smiling.  They want to paint a picture of a bright future where people are using their product and are satisfied.  How can you do this?  How can you help your prospects see, touch, taste, feel, and overall experience your product?  Take away that uncertainty and the decision gets made subconsciously now and it's easy sailing from there!

Direct download: Podcast_58.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:14am CDT

Have you ever had a conversation that just didn't get results?  Or even worse, one that felt completely fake?  On this episode, Kurt and Steve interview John R Stoker, author of "Overcoming Fake Talk - How To Hold Real Conversations that Create Respect, Build Relationships, and Get Results."  This is a fantastic new book (available at "", by the way) that will show you how to have more productive conversations.  Whether this is with a co worker, a teenager, or a boss, you'll find it to be highly useful!  

Fake talk is any conversation that no matter what is said, just fails to produce results.  You may be under the impression you received a commitment from somebody or that somebody is going to do something.  But what ends up happening?  Nothing.  We typically don't find out we've engaged in fake talk until after the fact, which is extrememly frustrating!  

One of the reason's people engage in fake talk is because they are conflict adverse.  Most of us don't enjoy getting in situations where think we will disappoint them or make them angry.  This causes us to steer conversations around productivity in favor of not causing conflict.  However, most of the time when we are avoiding confrontation it's because we assume there will be a problem. This, many times, is just an assumption. Don't assume that somebody will necessarily be mad (unless it's blatantly obvious).  You never know how they will react.  In addition keep in mind...many times THEY want to avoid conflict too! 

Direct download: Podcast_57.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:56pm CDT

Closing a deal isn't about a slick line at the end of your presentation.  It's about understanding what your prospect is REALLY saying when they say things like "I need to think about it" or "I don't have the money." 

First we need to figure out if we are dealing with a real objection or one that is just pure "venom."  If somebody is just objecting to be a pain in the butt, there isn't much you can do there other than to cut your losses.

But if they have a genuine question or concern, or even a "knee jerk" reaction, that's something you can work with. 

So what's a knee jerk reaction?  This is an instinctual resistance to being persuaded.  Your prospect doesn't feel good about doing business with you so they throw out something that's common to say like "I don't have money" or "I need to talk to my spouse."  The best way to reply to knee jerk reactions is with questions.  The more questions you can ask the more you flush out the real objection and the reason they feel uncomfortable. 

It's important to evaluate at least twice a year where your leads are coming from.  Are you talking to prospects that have the ability to buy your product?  Continually upgrade the quality of your leads (to the extent that you can).  Beyond that, focusing on questions and continually drilling down to the prospects core need will eliminate knee jerk reactions.  How do you know you've drilled down far enough?  When the prospect starts talking about their problem on an emotional level.  Now you know you're in the zone. 

On this episode Kurt and Steve also discuss how to handle situations where you persuade somebody who then has to take your product infront of a committee or supervisor...without you being present.  Be sure to tune into the episode to hear more!

Direct download: Podcast_56.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:34pm CDT

Have you ever met somebody that didn't seem all that sharp but could sell circles around you?  Here at Maximize Your Influence we help you hone your persuasion skills to generate the income and results you want! As always, send your comments, questions, and ideas to

Also: Kurt is willing to give you a FREE audio download of his book Maximum Influence if you leave a review of this podcast on Itunes!  Just log into Itunes and leave a review, then email us at and we'll email you a link to download the book, for free. 

On this episode's Geeky Article Moment (yeah, we're capitalizing it now because it's officially a thing), Kurt discusses a recent study by Michigan State University.  As it turns out, when employees see superviors act verbally abusive or demeaning to employees, it gives subconcious permission for the rest of the employees to demean everyone else.  This really isn't a surprise.  The culture of a business is established from the top down!

Next, Kurt and Steve discuss one of the oldest sales training categories: closing skills.  More appropriately, closing skills are a call to action.  Many persuaders think closing involves a clever line or two towards the end of their presentation.  Things like the Ben Franklin Close, the Alternative Close, or the Bait and Switch are old tired tactics now.  Car dealers are notorious for the "what do I have to do to get you into this car today" line.  Most of the time lines like this just don't work. 

When closing skills do work, there is a common denominator: opening.  Effective persauders ask questions throughout the presentation to establish trust and help the prospect know that they are actually listening and understanding.  Closing skills are only effective once this trust and value has been established.  Once it's done they are quite effective in getting people across the finish line.  But using them without trust alienates and offends them!

Direct download: Podcast_55.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:32pm CDT

In Episode 54 of Maximize Your Influence, Kurt and Steve start things off by discussing a recent study about the chemical oxytocin.  According to the study, the more oxytocin present in somebody's system, the more accepting they are of others.  This of course leads to better social skills and possibly, the more persuadeable they are.  Many business and marketing firms are trying to trigger the release of this chemical through smell.  Heaven help us all! 

The core of this episdoe deals with how to help your prospects and employees see the overall vision of what you are trying to accomplish.  People like to follow somebody with a vision.  If you're having trouble getting people to buy your product or follow your cause, you aren't instilling your vision in others.  Those who can't articulate a clear and concise vision won't be successful, period.  One key part of instilling vision, however, is WIFFM (What's In It For Me).  Sure, being apart of an exciting vision helps...but if there is no perceived benefit (or realized benefit over time), your credibiltiy is permanently damaged.  We all like to be apart of a cause bigger than ourselves.  But call us shallow...we want something out of the deal too!

Kurt and Steve relay this into a conversation about successful politicians.  The most successful politicians are those whow are able to instill a vision in their constituents, but not be too specific to the point that they can be held accoutable for not fulfilling their vision later.  That sure makes you want to show up and vote, doesn't it? 

Not only is it important to instill a vision in your prospects and employees, but yourself.  If you can't see, taste, touch, and feel the big picture, you'll find yourself subtly resisting they key things you need to do to move forward.  A mind that lacks clarity will subconsiously avoid anything associated with that lack of clarify.  However when there is absolute clarify, fear is removed and we aggressively attack our goals.

Direct download: Podcast_54.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:27pm CDT

A whole year of Maximize Your Influence Podcasts are now behind us!  And listenrship in the Islamic Republic of Iran is still strong (that has to be a fluke, right)!

After two podcasts delving into the female brain, Kurt and Steve discuss a recent article that reveals that women get cheated at the negotiation table more than men.  Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and UC Berkely found that women were "warmer and more kind" in negotiations, and thus were more taken advantage of.

Getting into the remainder of the podcast, Kurt and Steve discuss what it takes to inspire others in the work place.  But how can you do this when/if the person you are inspiring has a horrible job or a position that is just without inspiration?  There are a few ways to do this and you don't necessarily have to have an exciting job to do it.  Boosting the self esteem of those that work for you or who you work with goes a long way.  When people feel appreciated and liked, even menial tasks can beomce fulfilling to them.  Second, unite your team to a common goal.  If they feel like they are always in the trenches and don't see the big picture of what they are apart of they will never be inspired.  Third, find a common enemy.  Sure, this sounds a little dark but business leaders, religous leaders, and politicians have used it through all time to achieve their goals (both good and bad). Finally, create an atmosphere where people can offer input.  If they feel iike they don't have any say then they quckly just won't care...about anything.  You'll be stuck in a situation where your employees or partners "work just hard enough to not get fired, and where you pay them just enough so they don't quit."

Direct download: Podcast_53.mp3
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Don't worry, it's still us!  We just have a new Itunes and podcast logo. 

Kurt and Steve discuss the recent news in the Middle East and the conflict between Israel and Hamas.  They discuss the generations of emotion that are involved in the conflict and why a resolution is unlikely.  They probably offend both sides of the issue as well, which is par for the podcast!

They also discuss an entertaining blunder by United Airlines.  Here's a link to the letter.  Judge for yourself what the blunder is or feel free to tune into the podcast to hear all about it. 

Kurt and Steve conculde this episode by finishing their interview with Maureen expert on the female brain and what it takes to persuade and influence females more effectively. 

Direct download: Podcast_52.mp3
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The new is up!  Not so much running...but definitely up.  Pardon our dust as we continue to refine the new site.  You can still, however, download the latest podcast episodes and read the blog. 

In the "geeky article moment" for the week, Kurt highlights a recent article from  A company in Chicago recently started timing how long employees were spending in the bathroom.  More than six minutes got you in trouble.  Kurt and Steve discuss why this is a bad move from a leadership and influence angle (like they really needed to point that out to you).

On this episode, Kurt and Steve interview Maureen Simon, an expert in the differnces between the male and female brains.  From the time of birth, it's typically programmed in us that we are a man or a woman.  This doesn't mean that they don't cross over somewhat.  But typically men and women have different attributes and different expectations in the career path.  This interview with Maureen is part one.  Check it out for some great insights into the female brain and be sure to stay tuned for episode 52 for the rest of the interview!

Direct download: Podcast_51.mp3
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Remember: please subscribe to Maxmize Your Influence on Itunes, Stitcher Radio, the Windows Market Place, or whatever service you use to download podcasts!  We appreciate you listening to the show!

After giving some nots so great (and un-licesned) legal advice, Kurt and Steve discuss a recent study about "moral code."  Individuals are more likely to compromise their morals when they are in a group setting.  We do this because we feel more anonymous and less responsible.  This is all intuitive.  But keep in mind, this means that persuading a group is a lot different than persuading one on one.  As group numbers increase, we often see "mob mentality" set in.  This has a negative connotation but when persuading you can use mob mentality to your advantage. 

This epsidoe continues into a debate as to whether there is a difference between rapport and people skills.  Kurt wins the debate as he often does.  People skills is being able to get a long with somebody and keep things amiable.  Rapport is deeper connection that makes us feel like we've known somebody our whole lives.  When we have rapport, we have a relationship that lasts a long time and that generates favorable persuasion and negotiation results.  While rapport might be difficult to define...we know what it is when we see it or feel it.

Kurt and Steve continue by discussing some of the things that are evident when there is a strong rapport.  This includes relaxed body language, mirrored body language, physical touch, eye contact, and smiling (the real kind that you can see in the eyes).  One of the biggest blunders people make when they have rapport is to change their demenaor once they ask for "money."  This shatters rapport and is one of the top complaints about sales people. 

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We hope you had a great Fourth of July holiday!  Even if you didn't celebrate American indepencence day and the 4th of July was just a regular day for you...we hope you had a great one anyway!

Remember to subscribe to the Maximize Your Influence Podcast via Itunes, the Windows Market Place, or Sticher Radio.  And as always, you can listen to the show at

The show begins by Steve hijacking the Geeky Article Moment form Kurt.  This week's article discusses the new science of forensic handwriting style analysis.  This is different than analyzing material that is hand written.  This particular science analyzes how somebody forms words and sentences and can thus (allegedly) prove if somebody wrote something or not.  With more and more writing being done on keyboards (rendering handwriting analysis almost obsolete) Modern law enforcement may start using the acutaly syntax to prove the authorship of writing.  In the era of emails and text messages this is sure to catch on more and more!

Have you ever dealt with a salesperson who avoided eye contact with you?  How did you feel?  Eyes are the window to the soul.  Effective eye contact can make or break a presentation.  On the other hand, too much eye contact can intimidate or come across as a threat.  So how often should we be making eye contact?  The first thing to understand is that we need to "mirror" eye contact.  If somebody isn't making a lot of eye contact with you you need to dial it back a little.  The general rule is, however, about 70%.  That gives enough eye contact to let somebody know you see them and understand...without creeping them out. 

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After some useless banter about who should be allowed to wear bathing suits, the Fourth of July, and barbeques, Kurt and Steve launch into Episode 48.  First, they tackle an article about how word choice reflects somebody's mood.  It doesn't happen the way you think.  As it turns out, when somebody is feeling good they use more words with a long "i" vowell.  When they aren't feeling good they use more words with a long "o" vowell.  The human brain is amazing!  You can learn more about the study here.

As they continue to break down the science of charisma, Kurt and Steve address people skills.  Thousands of books have been written on the topic and it's no secret we need to be good at it.  Kurt and Steve break it down by first discussing one of the key components: first impressions.  There are a variety of things that tend to sabotage a first impression.  Physical appearance, bad breath, bad posture, poor dress, demenanor, and vocal tone all affect people skils. 

Another great way to show your people skills is to treat everbody equally.  Whether your dealing with the CEO of the company or a low level clerk...treat people well.  Be interested in them.  Make it your goal to make their day better from having come across you.  Brian Tracy said "you can tell a lot about somebody by how they treat the bus boys of the world."  Always always  keep the people skills swich on!

Kurt and Steve finish the show by featuring a new perusasion ninja.  This persuasion ninja also happens to be a professional pan-handler!  Yes, you've got to hear this!  Listen to the episode for the whole story! 

Direct download: Podcast_48.mp3
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After diving into "Negotiation's Dirty Deeds" last week, Kurt and Steve continue the discussion by uncovering even more of the underhanded tactics other's will use on you while negotiating. 

Steve takes over today's "geeky article moment."  In a recent article by Harvard Business Review, we learn that managing conflict requires that we first ascertain whether we're dealing with a "hot" conflict or a "cold" conflict.  The strategy is entirely different depending on which type of conflict you are using.  The article also gives a variety of pointers about managing the conflict.  First, unless there is something imminent, take your time.  Many of us want to make conflict go away as soon as possible because we just don't like it.  However this can often make the situation worse.  Second, listen to everything but respond selectively.  Managing conflict often involves a lot of venting emotion that doesn't necessarily need to be just needs to be vented.  Third, take stock before you take sides.  Make sure you really hear both parties out otherwise your credibility in resolving the conflict will be crushed.

One of negotiation's dirty deeds is physical posturing.  It's not uncommon for old school negotiatiors to put the people they negotiate with in smaller chairs, lower positions, or downright uncomfortable positions.  Steve and Kurt discuss how this has been used in foreign policy as well as the business world.

Another of negotiaton's dirty deeds is the "higher authority."  Oftentimes in a negotiation the person you're working with will pretend that they don't have the authority to make a decision.  This isn't necessarily dirty (you might have some success using it, actually), but it does hamper the negotiation process.  When somebody plays the "higher authority card" you need to get them to agree on a deadline and also try to get an appointment or commitment to meet with the higher authority.  That's assuming there really is one! 

Finally to round out the show, Steve discusses a persuasion blunder that's going around today.  It involves some underhanded tactics others are using to get past gate keepers.  Check out the full episode for more! 

Direct download: Podcast_47.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:14pm CDT

Due to listener demand, Kurt and Steve finally unleash "negotiation's dirty deeds."  These are underhanded tactics and strategies that others will use against you while negotiating. 

Before this happens, however, Kurt discusses a recent article about "meeting productivity."  According to the Social Psycholigical and Personality Science Journal (that's a mouthful), standing during meetings creats more excitement and productivity.  Apparently this has the obvious effect of making the meetings shorter.  One of the unintentional but positive side effects was that it tends to decrease territoriality.  Different departments were more willing to share information and collaborate.

This episode continues with a discussion on underhanded negotiation tactics.  One tactic often used is the "fake surprise."  Often when we present an offer to others they may act outwardly offended or surprised.  This is intended to reset your expectations and reconsider your embarassing you.  Kurt and Steve discuss some ways to counter this and adjust for it.

Another dirty technique is the last minute change.  For example, somebody could tell you that you have a deal.  They'll set up a time to meet and when they arrive they tell you "sorry, I don't have all the money...can we still do this?" 

Just a few of the dirty deeds are discussed sure to listen to the full episode for more! 

Direct download: Podcast_46.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:01pm CDT

To start this episode, we lead off with another one of Kurt's geeky articles.  And this study, while strange, is compelling.  As it turns out, there is a vast personality difference between dog and cat owners.  In addition, cat owners actually score slightly higher on intelligence tests.  Dog lovers tend to be more extroverted and sociable, while cat lovers are more independent yet more cautious.  Kurt and Steve discuss the implications of reading these personality types.  They also take a few shots at cat owners.

If your'e to be successful as a persuader, it's obvious that you need to be competent.  Is there such thing as "too much" competence?  As they say, competence, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.  There's a difference between knowing a lot about your product and knowing how to tactfully make your prospect FEEL like you know alot. 

Competence comes from life long learning.  You need to be the foremost expert on your product.  This involves the perception from your prospects that you are continually learning and growing.  When you learn that your doctor recently attended a medical conference it makes you feel like the doctor is keeping up.  Make sure you are up to speed on your industry...and make sure your prospects know this.  It will help create that perception of competence that you're after.

To wind down the show, Steve discusses a persuasion blunder that he recently experienced in the real estate industry.  The moral of the story?  Know your product inside and out so you can act quickly...or you may lose the deal.  Kurt then features a ninja who has learned how to tame one of the toughest hecklers of door to door salespeople: dogs. 

Direct download: Podcast_45.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:25am CDT

Kurt and Steve begin the show by discussing Steve's recent trip to Dallas and how may pounds he put on from eating too much barbeque.  They also discuss Kurt recently celebrating a birthday (happy 70th birthday, Kurt)! This turns into a rant about chicken wings until Kurt and Steve realize that you tune into the show for persuasion tips...not food commentary.

There is a common saying in business that you should "under promise and under deliver."  In a recent article entitled "nobody cares how good you are at your job", researches came to some interesting conclusions.  After tracking promises made by businesses, researchers found that "going above and beyond a promise didn't seem to matter at all."  What really does matter, however, is when we break a promise.  Take into account the fact how airline travelers feel when their plane is early versus late.  When a plane is early, people usually feel "so/so" about it.  When it's late, however, they are furious.  The study concludes that when it comes to making a promise, the best thing is to keep it.  Doing "more" than keeping it might create a future standard that you don't want to abide by. 

Kurt and Steve then transition into a discussion about one of the core elements of charisma: self disclipline.  When we percieve somebody to be self disciplined, we perceive them to be more charismatic.  Studies show that self discipline isn't something that we can compartmentalize.  For example, being completely undisciplined in your finances will bleed into the other areas of your life.  Discipline is a whole person issue. 

As Jim Rohn said, "you're either going to be disciplined or disappointed."  Charismatic leaders are committed to their mission and their business.  They pick themselves up after failure and they stay focused.  There are a few things we can do to increase our self discipline.  1) Break your goals down into smaller steps and pieces.  The human mind thrives on accomplishment.  So if you're continually failing, you need to give your brain a victory.  Take some baby steps because good habits over time will eventually get you where you want to be.  2) Focus on what you're going to get instead of what you're giving up.  Continuially dwelling on the negative and what you're giving up pulls your subconsious mind in that direction.  But if you instead dwell on what you're going to get your brain will be more engaged and you will achieve your goal.  3) Monitor your progress on an hourly and daily basis.  This allows you to dwell more on what you're getting as opposed to what you're giving up.  Finally, 4) make sure your objective is what you really want.  Many times we are engaged in something in our life that is something we don't really want for ourselves.  Maybe our family or friends wanted it FOR us.  But ultimately it was never something that you were passionate about or that you liked. 

Direct download: Podcast_44.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:40pm CDT

Is power different than influence?  Absolutely.  One can be influential without having a lot of power.  But as power increases, it gives you more ability to influence.  On this episode, Kurt and Steve discuss some examples of when power is used and what the long term implications are.  Many times as persuaders, parents, co-workers, we fall into the influence/power cycle.  We want somebody to do something and we first try with "carrot." But once somebody refuses or doesn't comply, we go to the stick. This is a mistake.

There is a difference between using power and using force.  When somebody uses power ethically, we are happy to be persuaded by them.  When somebody uses force, they jeopordize the long term relationship.  Is there ever an instance when using force doesn't ruin the relationshp over the long term?  Kurt relates this to the "emotional bank account" as first discussed by Dr Stephen R Covey.  If we ever have to use force, we must make sure that we buffer that with many more postiive interactions. 

Kurt and Steve then discuss various examples and stories of when people have used force too early and too often. While force might be necessary sometimes in short term interactions, it never works when a relationshp needs to be preserved for the long term. 

How do we create genuine power that will help supercharge our business?  "Authority" power is key.  Set the expectations (in a humble way) that you are in charge and are the boss.  "Expert" power is also important.  When people perceive you as the expert you automatically have more power due to your knowledge.  Tactfully letting your prospects know you are an expert (without vomiting features and benefits all over them) will give you expert power.  This is most effectively done when it's presented by third parties.  That's why companies with great online reviews through services like Yelp continue to grow.  Their expertise is projected to the public...but it's done by third parties so it doesn't come across as arrogant or condescending. 

Finally, Kurt and Steve discuss instances when you want to fake like you don't have any power.  Kurt references the tv series "Columbo."  Playing dumb can sometimes give you the time you need to make a better decision.  It also reduces resistance.  In many persuasive encounteres, those who appear less powerful are much more effective.  You should decide on a case by case basis which is more effective: project a powerful presence?  Or go "Columbo?"

Direct download: Podcast_431.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:27pm CDT

You've met these people before.  The kind of person who has it all together.  They're dressed right.  They know how to talk and they seem very knowledgable.  But something just isn't right.  On this episode, Kurt and Steve talk about "gut instinct" and to what extent our prospecs can tell if we're "full of it" or not.  In this week's "geeky article moment brought to you by Kurt", we learn that "gut instinct" is actually real and a lot more literal than we ever thought.  According to a study by the University of Zurich, mamals have a nerve connecting the brain and the stomach.  When the brain is uneasy about something, it sends a message to the stomach to create that uneasy feeling that we've all experienced.  In a study done with rats (yep, rats), those with a severed nerve behaved more recklessly than others. The bottom line is, the stomach has a say in our decisions!

This leads into this episodes core topic: congruence.  Congruence is that subconcious connection between what somebody is saying and what they're doing.  Our subconcious mind picks up on little micro expressions, different words, and different actions.  This ulitmately creates the difference between the message you think you're saying and what your prospect is actually hearing.  You could be passing out $100 dollar bills on a street corner...for free...but if you're not congruent people will sense it. 

What do we do when we're not confident or congruent when it comes to our product?  How do we fix that?  It comes down to doing what you say and using the correct "non verbal" behavior.  Avoid touching your face or covering your mouth.  Avoid leaning back in your chair.  Make sure the level of your eye contact is natural.  Those who are being deceptive tend to make very little eye contact or too much.  Make sure your feet and shoulders are square.  When the subconcious mind isn't okay (or doesn't believe in) what you're saying or doing, your feet and shoulders tend to point away from your prospect.  If you think your prospect's subconsious mind doens't pick up on this you are sadly mistaken! 

Direct download: Podcast_42.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:59pm CDT

After a brief rant about their listeners in Iran and the intimidation tactics of police in the United States (get off topic much, guys?), Kurt and Steve discuss a recent study about confidence.  According to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, well all have some internal wiring that makes us want to trust strangers.  Despite being told not to trust them our whole life, strangers are able to gain our trust.  Whether it's online or at a retail storefront, we are more likely to trust strangers when there is a social norm involved.  When we feel it's our duty or responsiblity to trust others, we're likely to comply.  This is because the human brain wants to creat short cuts and make decisions easier.  So it's likely to make you trust people that maybe you shouldn't. Kurt suggests that it's better to trust and risk getting hurt than to never trust anybody.  Otherwise you could end up "living in a van down by the river."

Continuing onto the topic of charisma, Kurt and Steve briefly review last week's subject, passion.  You have to have passion (only one guy has ever been able to be passionless and still hold our attention).  But beyond passion, you have to have confidence.  But how do you know when you've crossed the line between confidence and arrogance?  It's okay to be aggressive and try to show that you have confidence.  We want confident people that we can trust to tell us what to do so we don't make mistakes.  That's part of human nature.  But as we said before, avoiding arrogance is key.

We can avoid arrogance by taking criticism with an open mind and heart.  Kurt uses a recent interaction with his teenage son to illustrate this (way to go for the low hanging fruit, Kurt).  Confidence is about you serving your prospect.  Arrongance is all about you and what you know and how great you are.  We all hear the same objections over and over again.  We think that we can jump in and cut the person off and give them the answer.  But that crosses the line between confidence and arrogance.  Your prospect has to verbalize the objection as this is likely the first time they thought it.  This takes time and there is simply no way around it. Steve then can't help himself on the food front and compares spending sales prospects to a delicious rack of baby back ribs.  And no, listening to him explain it probalby won't help it make anymore sense than it does here. 

But what if you aren't confident?  What if you're new or what if you don't even believe in your product?  Sometimes you have to fake it until you make it.  Sometimes you have to do what athletes who are in a slump to.  You have to stay in the game until you get even a minor victory that you can build on.  But if that doesn't work, sometimes you have to make a change.  Ironically enough, passion again comes into play here.  If you aren't confident you aren't passionate.  If you aren't passionate you aren't confident.

Finally for this week's blunder, Kurt and Steve revisit the gift that keeps on giving, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.  Kurt and Steve discuss the PR debacle this has become and why Sterling is a horrible example for anyone who finds themselves in a situation where they need to back peddle. 

Direct download: Podcast_41.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:53pm CDT

Charismatic people have a presence whenever they walk into a room.  You can actually be in introverted person and not have a very outgoing personality and still be charismatic.  Once you have charisma people what to be around you.  They WANT to be persuaded by you.  Sales reps, business owners, politicians all know that they can get a lot more lattitude when they have charisma.

Next in the podcast, Steve discusses an article by Harvard Business Review entitled "Getting Your Point Across."  The article give a few points as to how we can make our message more memroable.  First, "you can't communicate what you haven't defined."  What do you want the audience to do?  What are the bench marks along the way to that?  It's important to build your presentation backward.  Decide what your call to action is and build backward from there.  There always needs to be a call to action or a definite goal that you want to achieve.  The second point from the article is "lose the slides and have a real conversation."  Too many presenters rely on their slides and drone on and on and never make in impact on the audience.  Those who can have a conversation with the audience will be the most successful.  Finally, "be repetitive without being boring."  In the political campaign of Bill Clinton back in the 90's, there was an important slogan: KISS, or "keep it simple stupid."  That's why it's important to repeat without being repetitive.  Audiences can ony remember a few simple points.  Drive home the point but don't bore yoru audience to death.

Rounding out this episode, Kurt and Steve dive into passion as it relates to presence.  Can we have passion for a job that we don't like at all?  It depends.  It is however, much beter if you can be in a position to promote a product, service, or cause that you have some belief in.  Passion is most effective when it comes from deep within.  Kurt relates one of his best lines: "are you singing the words or are you singing the song?" 

Product knowledge, testimonials, dwelling on the positive, and constant improvement are a few of the things that fuel passion.  If you feel stalled in your career due to a lack of passion, try learning and growing on a daily basis. This furthers a positive attitude and can ignite your passion for your career again.  If after you do this you still just can't get any passion for what you're doing, it may be time to move on.

Finally, Steve relates the weekly persuasion blunder: a door to door sales person that was so pushy that her prospects called the police on her!

Direct download: Podcast_40.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:42pm CDT

Leading off this episode, Kurt introduces a recent article that discusses the effect of an optimistic spouse.  This study was conducted by the University of Michigan and is the first study we know of that links the optimism of others to ourselves.  Not only does it make us more optimistic, but it also shows increased health!  In another effort to offend their listeners, Kurt and Steve discuss that if you're spouse isn't optimistic, it's time to get divorced (joking, of course). 

Top persuaders and influencers are inherently optimistic.  There is a line, however, between "constructive" realism and optimism.  We need to be able to understand threats and problems realistically.  However there is a difference between being realistic and being excessively negative.  Some people are programmed to be negative.  All they know is how to find what's wrong.  Persuading these type of people can be a challenge.  Persuading them means you strategically give them something negative in an effort to control their negative perspective more.

An optimistic attitude literally adds years to your life.  And it's not just quantity of life.  The quality increases as well.  Pessimistic people have a tendency to give in faster than others.  With most sales being made after multiple attempts, pessimists are at a clear disadvantage here.  Optimists are more likely to forge ahead and make adjustments when they fail.  Their chances for success in the world of persuasion and influence increase exponentially as a result. 

Successful persuaders also have a gift when it comes to learning from mistakes, but moving on as quickly as possible.  In sales and persuasion its common to have days where you feel like you got kicked in the teeth.  Learn from those bumps in the road, then move forward immediately.  Dwelling on the failure doesn't help.  Learning from it and adjusting does.

Finally, Steve discusses the persuasion blunder of the week: A professor who accidentally taught the wrong class for a whole semester.  Yep.  It really happened. 

Direct download: Podcast_39.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:39am CDT

If Kurt and Steve haven't yet offended you on the podcast, they give it a good try here (all in good fun, of course).  They also discuss the strange fact that a lot of listners to the podcast seem to be from Iran.  After the initial banter that for some reason didn't involve any "food talk", Steve apologizes profusely for not posting the link to the Advanced Influence Course from last week.  Kurt then shamelessly plugs the course so that all may enjoy.  Why not?  It's 85% off for listeners of Maximize Your Influence!  Persuasion is a soft skill that requires regular attention so that you don't lose your touch.  It's not like "hard skills" like riding a bike.  When you learn to ride a bike  you know it for life.  But with persuaison, it requires constant practice or you'll get rusty. 

Steve asks Kurt about a recent study published on Psychology Today entitled "4 Ways Men Can Woo Women."  According to the study, Men who are nice, are also nice to children, are creative, and are dog lovers have better luck "wooing" women.  Kurt and Steve discuss how effective these techniques may be with one giant caveat: neither of them are women.  They then ask women listeners from the show to chime in and vote as to how effective they think these techniques may be when attracting women. They also point out that if the article is right and being a dog lover attracts women, being a cat lover is just creepy.  Check cat lovers off of the list of people to offend.

Heading into the main segment of the show, Kurt discusses how more business is done online and via email and phone today.  Word choice is more critical than ever before.  While we might think that we use the right words when persuading, over time words that are not effective tend to creep into our presentations.  Kurt offers a list of words that we shoudln't be using when persuading as well as gives some real life examples of when word choice can go wrong.

Kurt and Steve then delve into things like vocal tone, rate of speech, and the strategic use of silence.  Those who can talk a little faster than average are actually statistically more persuasive.  The reason for this is that the prospect has less time to doubt and quesiton the information being presented.  There is of course, a fine line between talking quickly and being effective and coming across as a slick fast talker.  Kurt and Steve also discuss vocal fillers and how to best elminate them from your vocabular.  Vocal fillers can easily creep in on all of us so it's important to have a third party (or record ourselves) identify them from time to time.  It's just like staying in shape.  You're never perfect! 

Finally, Steve awards the persuasion blunder to owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling.  Kurt and Steve discuss what happens in people's minds when somebody commits a massive PR blunder, ala Donald Sterling.  They also reflect on what PR firms are trained to do when these kinds of things happen.  And because Kurt is obsessed with Seinfeld, he once again brings up Michael Richard's (Kramer) massive racial blunder in front of a comedy club a few years ago.  He breaks down whether or not people who commit these kind of blunders can ever recover in the public eye. 

Direct download: Podcast_38.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:14pm CDT

Do you like green tea?  Then we have good news.  The Journal of Psycho Pharmacology (yeah, that's a thing) recently released a study showing that those who drink at least two cups a day are "sharper" mentally.  You can read a summary of the study here.  The study essentially discusses how green tea increases the brain's ability to quickly process information.  Kurt and Steve discuss how, if you can get away with it, getting your clients to have a green tea or a coffee may help your prospects make decisions faster.  Steve facitiously accuses Kurt of promoting "persuasion roofies." 

After discussing the article on green tea, Kurt and Steve begin discussing the concept of selling with stories.  Selling with stories allows you to access your prospect's subconcious mind.  We've all heard the adage that "facts tell, stories sell."  A good story at the right time is very persuasive.  Stories grab attention of bored prospects and engage people who weren't previously interested.  Stories also persuade without detection.  If you tell your prospect overtly "do this, do that", it just doesn't work.  But if you can sell with a story about a prospect who had a problem and solved it through your product, you stand a much better chance.

Stories also allow you to build credibility without sounding arrogant.  Saying things like "hey listen to me, I went to Harvard" or "I'm the best there is" can be a turn off.  But telling a story that involves you using your expertise or your education lets people know your legitimate without you coming across as arrogant.  Stories that you've lived are easier to tell.  But if you don't have a story that you've lived that's applicable to what you're selling, borrow something from a colleague or co-worker. 

What's most important is passion.  If you can't passionately tell the story and use proper inflection, you'll be just like somebody who can't tell a joke: everyone will feel sorry for you.  Also be sure to pick out the top objections that you typically receive and make sure the "character" in your story over comes them.  People like to visualize and feel what it's like for somebody to get past the same objections that are bothering them.  Just make sure it fits your audience, supports your product, and answers their questions.

To finish of, Steve presents the blunder of the week.  Apparently some multi level marketing companies are training their reps to visit realtors who work at model homes.  The purpose of these visits is to recruit the realtor into the multi level marketing company.  One of these marketers recently committed a huge blunder by dragging the realtors profession through the mud in an effort to get them remorseful enough to make a career change.  Kurt and Steve give this one a thourough "persuasion autopsy."

Direct download: Podcast_37.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:17pm CDT

Whatever the reason may be, the average person's self esteem is lower than it has ever been in history.  While it's not great to hear that people are feeling worse and worse about themselves, persuaders can use this to their advantage.  In this episode, Kurt and Steve discuss how to use esteem and ego to build long lasting and profitable business relationships.  They also cover a recent article from the Harvard Business Review that will change your perception of how to brand your products and services. 

Direct download: Podcast_36.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:34pm CDT

We've all exeperienced times in our lives when we've felt "out of allignment."  Maybe one particular area of our life, such as finances, just wasn't going the way we wanted it to.  Most of the time we try to fix this by spending more time on the part of our life that isn't going well.  On this episode, Kurt and Steve discuss why doing that is the exact opposite of what we should really do.  Developing a life built around balance allows you to perform better in all areas of your life, in less time.  Kurt and Steve also tackle this week's persuaison blunder and feature a new persuasion "ninja." 

Direct download: Podcast_35.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:53pm CDT

Do you like this podcast?  Do you hate it?  Either way, please leave us your feedback on Itunes!  Also if you have anyone to nominate for the weekly "persuasion blunder" or the weekly "persuasion ninja", please send your comments to 

After a brief chat about March Madness and the inevitable disappointment that every fan sets themselves up for every single year, Kurt and Steve launch into attraction, similarity, and humor.  In another geeky Kurt article moment, we learn that humor helps medical patients better manage chronic conditions.  In other words, laughter is the best medicine, according to the Journal of Health Research.  Kurt ties this into the fact that if we can get our prospects to laugh, the doors to persuasion swing wide open.  Your audience becomes a lot easier to persuade.  Nothing lowers somebody's guard more than humor, and nothing is more effecive that the use of self depricating humor. 

Not only is humor extremely effective, but so is attraction.  Being "too perfect" however, can make people feel jealous.  But if you're above average in the looks department, you're automically judged to be more intelligent and trustworthy.  While this might be offensive to some, it's just reality.  Kurt discusses a few studies that show that more attracive convicts in the judicial system get lighter sentences, and more attractive students in universities get better grades.

There are three parts to attractions: looks, clothes, and personality.  Kurt briefly discusses the "booth babe" industry.  "Booth babes" are attracive people for hire that staff booths at trade shows in an effort to generate more traffic.  Steve confesses to having hired booth babes in the past.  Whether or not you're considered physically attractive, one thing is for sure: you choose the clothes you wear.  Paying attention to fashion can go a long way.  The point is that we need to be aware of how people may be judging us.  

At the risk of sounding superficial, Kurt and Steve talk about some of the basic things that we can do to enhance our appearnce such as basic dental hygeine.  Steve offends the listeners in the United Kingdom by implying that they have "pirate teeth."  However, Kurt convincingly establishes the fact that these basic things are easy to do and take away common subconcious objections.

Kurt then discusses the number one complaint about trade show reps: bad breath.  We live with our own breath all day and may become oblivoius to the fact that it's just down right nasty.  Never assume that you're breath isn't bad.  If you're interacting with prospects face to face, make sure you always have mints.  Period.  Not only is bad breath a total deal killer, but good breath can actually help your chances. 

Also, Kurt and Steve discuss a persuader who is awarded the blunder of the week...AND the ninja too!  How is this possible!?  Check out this episode to find out! 

Direct download: Podcast_34.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:47pm CDT

Have you ever met a sales person who just came on too freindly too fast?  How did it make you feel?  Chances are you couldn't get away from them fast enough!  All persuaders know they need to develop a rapport with their prospects.  But the seasoned pros know how to build enough value to open the door and then build enough rapport to seal the deal.  On this episode, Kurt and Steve get into the mechanics of building rapport and what critical mistakes you should avoid. 

Direct download: Podcast_33.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:01pm CDT

If you stood in front of a mirror and gave your typical sales pitch, you'd likely be shocked at the amount of non verbal behavior you display.  More often than not, this non verbal behavior detracts from your message and causes subconsious alarms in your prospect.  First, you must eliminate bad non verbals.  Second, you must implement GOOD ones.  Kurt and Steve give some valuable tips for doing this as well as how to identify and take down a heckler...without having your audience turn against you. 

Direct download: Podcast_32.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:18pm CDT

When presenting, especially to a group, it's often impossible to know what personality type your audience is.  That's why it's important to use the T.E.S.S. system (testimoinals, examples, stories, and statistics).  This allows you as the presenter to speak the language of everybody in your audience.  Most people in an audience will relate to stories.  However, there are always others who prefer to be convinced with statistics, testimonials, and examples.  On this episode, Kurt and Steve discuss how to implement this system into your presentation and sales pitches. 

Direct download: Podcast_31.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:40pm CDT

Whether it's to just one person or a staduim full of people, all persuaders are presenters.  Presenting involves taking the stage or spotlight to persuade others to accept your idea or product.  We've all been in presentations before that were boring, offensive, and ineffective.  Conversely, we've all been in presentations that have completely captivated us and put us in the mood to be persuaded.  On this episode, Kurt and Steve discuss how preparing to present is half the battle.  They three time tested methods that will help you prepare to present with power. 

Direct download: Podcast_30.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:59am CDT

Have you ever had a day where you didn't feel like doing something you KNOW you needed to do?  How about everyday?  The fact is sometimes we just don't have the emotional gas in the tank to do something that we know we need to do on the logical level.  On this episode, Kurt and Steve discuss a recent article by Harvard Business Review that gives some great tips on getting past this motivation hurdle that impedes all of us.  They also get into how to effectively use humor in persuasion, as well as some recent peruasion blunders...and ninjas...associated with the Winter Olympics. 

Direct download: Podcast_29.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:33pm CDT

Have you ever been involved in a negotiation with somebody and wondered "can we just drop the facade?  can we drop the formalities and get to the point here?"  Well, the answer is no.  When negotiating or persuading, many times people expect the ritual.  They expect the "dance."  While it may seem like skipping the formalities will get things done faster remember: persuasion is a people business and people are emotional.  In this episode, Kurt and Steve discuss some ways to effectively go through the negotiation process and quickly get the best outcome.

Direct download: Podcast_28.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:01pm CDT

Have you ever walked into a business and just had a bad feeling from the start?  Chances are, the owner of that business did not know how to effectively use "The Law of Association."  On this epsiode, Kurt and Steve discuss how you can leverage color, smell, and music to your advantage...even if your business is done exclusively over the phone. 

Direct download: Podcast_27.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:36am CDT

When it comes to effectively persuasing others, the most difficult obstacle to overcome is often ourselves.  On this episode, Kurt and Steve discuss how we can control and even eliminate beliefs that may be holding us back.  In light of the upcoming Winter Olympics, they also discuss some of the visualization techniques used by professional athletes and how we can use those same techniques in our lives and businesses. 

Direct download: Podcast_26.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:52pm CDT

We've all heard that "assuming the sale" is one of the most effective persuasion tactics out there.   But how does one avoid crossing the line from "confidence" to "shallow and transparent?"  On this episode, Kurt and Steve discuss the Law of Expectation and how persuaders can assume the sale without offending their prospects.  They also put to bed a few myths about "neuro linguistic programming." 

Direct download: Podcast_25.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:43am CDT

Have you ever had the great displeasure of dealing with somebody who could never admit they were wrong?  Or somebody who was constantly full of themselves?  On this episode, Kurt and Steve discuss a recent article by Harvard Business Review that revealed "why we love narcissists."  The points from the article reveal that many narcissists have characteristics that attribute to great leaders.  So while they may be frustrating to deal with, we can certainly learn from them.  Kurt and Steve also discuss the Law of Obligation and how it can be used to create a sense of indebtedness with our prospects and customers. 

Direct download: Podcast_24.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:10pm CDT

We've all seen it: a late night infomercial parading testimonial after testimonial across the screen.  After watching for a few minutes, we inevitably think "wow, if that guy can do it, why can't I?"  When used effectively, testimonials give clients the courage to make decisions.  Testimonials should be credible, believeable, attributable.  In this episode, Kurt and Steve discuss how you can ramp up your testimonials to get results in your business asap. 

Direct download: Podcast_23.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:16pm CDT

It's a well known fact that humans look to others to validate their own actions.  On episode 22, Kurt and Steve discuss how this powerful concept of "Social Validation" can be used to create massive action when it comes to persuasion.  Prospects can be trained to behave a certain way through marketing and sales efforts...a way that makes your job as a salesperson or business owner that much easier.  Kurt and Steve also discuss a recent study about how our relationshiops with others effects our body image. 

Direct download: Podcast_22.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:42pm CDT