Maximize Your Influence

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