Maximize Your Influence

To maintain order of the world, our brains link objects, gestures, and symbols with our feelings, memories, and life experiences. We mentally associate ourselves with such things as sights, sounds, colors, music, and symbols. These associations create quick subconscious triggers.  The feelings you generate can help or hurt your ability to persuade.  

Power Persuaders take advantage of association triggers to evoke positive feelings and thoughts that correspond with the message they are trying to convey. In this sense, you, as a persuader, can actually arouse a certain feeling in your audience by finding the right association key to unlock their door. Associations are not the same for all people—obviously, each person and culture has their own set of triggers. However, once you understand the general rules, you can find the right associations to match any situation. Why do you think restaurants decorate a certain way, have their lighting just right, and play certain types of music? All these things are defined in the Law of Association. 

Direct download: Podcast_113.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:29am CDT

The Law of Scarcity plays a large role in the persuasion process.  Opportunities are always more valuable and exciting when they are scarce and less available.  We want to be the ones to own the rare items or to get the last widget on the shelf.  The more the scarcity of an item increases, the more the item increases in value, and the greater the urge to own it.

Whenever choice is limited or threatened, the human need to maintain a share of the limited commodity makes us crave it even more.  Scarcity increases the value of any product or service.  Scarcity drives people to action, making us act quickly for fear of missing out on an opportunity.  Potentially losing something before we’ve even had an opportunity to possess it drives people to action.  We don’t want to miss out on anything we could have had.  We want to get around any restriction placed upon us.  We feel uptight and want back our freedom.  This causes tension and unrest.  The Law of Scarcity  not only pertains to physical products, but also to time, information, price, and knowledge.

Direct download: Podcast_112.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:51am CDT

For this episodes article, Kurt and Steve discuss the top techniques of hostage negotiators.  Admit it, you're thinking of the movie "The Negotiator" all of the sudden.  Now that we got that out of the way, we can actually talk about negotiation.  While hostage negotiation can seem intimidating and have very high stakes, there are some critical lessons that we can learn that can apply to even the most seemingly mundane of everyday business interactions.

Based on listener questions that have been coming in, it's time for a rapport tune up!  As Kurt likes to say, a lot of times closing skills are like trying to get a kiss after a bad date.  All the slick one liners in the world won't matter if you haven't developed decent rapport.  On this episode, Kurt and Steve discuss rapports basic components that are sure to make you a rapport building machine!

Direct download: Podcast_111.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:27pm CDT

The better you become at handling objections, the more persuasive you will be. The key to great persuasion is anticipating all objections, problems, or concerns before you hear them. Great persuaders are always able to accomplish three critical objectives during the objection process:

1. They can distinguish between a real objection and a knee-jerk reaction. Our studies show that most objections should not be taken at face value, because there are other issues involved.

2. They listen intently to the entire objection before attempting to solve it. They stay calm. Tests have proven that calmly stated facts are more effective in getting people to change their minds than becoming emotional.

3. Great persuaders are never arrogant or condescending. They give their audience room to save face. People will often change their minds and agree with you later, if they have the room to do so.

Another great way to handle objections is to address each of the seven main areas during your presentation, before they become big issues in the mind of your audience. That way, you've stopped any potential resistance before it happens. As a result, there aren't any main objections left for them to bring up. Studies demonstrate that persuaders were four times more successful when they handled objections during the persuasion process, instead of waiting until the end.6 Also, nothing de-energizes persuasive efforts more than lingering doubts and concerns that remain unresolved in your audience's mind.

Direct download: Podcast_110.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:31am CDT