Maximize Your Influence

Common Obstacles That Limit Your Persuasion Success

The worst time to learn a persuasion skill is when you need it. Persuasion must be mastered before it is needed, or the opportunity is lost forever. In all the years that I have worked in persuasion, sales, influence, and leadership, I have never yet found a perfect persuader.

 Ironically, one area of persuasion that is easily overlooked is the very one that would make everything else fall into place. You've probably heard the old adage, "Dull knives work the hardest." Working hard is not the same as working smart. Are your knives sharp? Are you working smart?

See article here.

If you sharpened up in this one area, you'd likely be working more efficiently overall. Check yourself. Are you just going through the motions? Are you still using the same old tools over and over again without seeing the desired results? Or worse, are you making the same old mistakes over and over again? Are you making less than you could because of common "old-school" persuasion mistakes?

 There are things you are doing right now that cause people to resist you and your message. My research shows that there are common obstacles mediocre persuaders make that limit their success and income.

 Each obstacle is like driving around town with your emergency brake on. You are wondering why your car never has much power. These problems are simple to fix, but expensive to have.

Persuasive Presentation SPECIAL.

Direct download: Podcast_224_-_Major_Sales_Mistakes_Costing_You_Money_1.mp3
Category:sales -- posted at: 6:30am CDT

Zeigarnik Effect

When we feel we've been left hanging, it drives us crazy! We want to know the end of the story. What is the missing piece? We want our tasks to be completed so we can check them off our list. This is also known as the "Zeigarnik Effect," named after Bluma Zeigarnik, a Russian psychologist. This effect is the tendency we have to remember uncompleted thoughts, ideas, or tasks more than completed ones.

The story goes the Bluma Zeigarnik was sitting in a café in Vienna when she observed that a waiter could remember everything someone had ordered, but once the food was delivered the waiter forgot everything.  This led for her to realize that it is easier to remember everything about an uncompleted task, but once the task is completed the memory will immediately fade. 

That uncompleted task will hold onto our memory, improve the recall and help us remember. We experience intrusive and almost nagging thoughts about a goal or an objective that was left incomplete.  It is built into our psyche to want to finish what we start.

We see the Zeigarnik Effect on the television news and other programs. Right before a commercial break, the newscasters announce some interesting tidbit that will come later in the hour. This piques your interest and, rather than flipping the channel, you stay tuned. Movies and dramas on television also leave you hanging in suspense.

By leaving something uncompleted right before the commercial break, the programs draw our attention, keep us involved, and motivate us to continue watching. We don't feel satisfaction until we receive finality, closure, or resolution to the message, our goals, or any aspect of our life.  Incomplete tasks trigger thoughts. The thoughts of the incomplete task trigger more memory retention.  More memory retention triggers anxiety that triggers more thoughts of the uncompleted business.

You also see the Zeigarnik Effect in the courtroom. We already know that people feel more confident and impressed with information they discover for themselves over time. This dictates that persuaders slowly dispel information, rather than dumping large volumes of information all at once. A good lawyer does not disclose everything he knows about the case or the plaintiff during his opening statement. As the trial progresses, the jury can fill in the blanks for themselves with the additional information they gradually receive.

This works much better than dumping all the information on them in the beginning. It holds the jurors' attention longer and gives the message more validity. The jury discovers the answers for themselves, and is more likely to arrive at the desired conclusion. 

Direct download: Podcast_223_-_The_Zegarnik_Effect_-_Engage_and_Persuade.mp3
Category:sales -- posted at: 6:30am CDT

 "Buyer's remorse" is also a form of dissonance. When we purchase a product or service, we tend to look for ways to convince ourselves that we made the right decision. If the people around us or other factors make us question our decision, we experience buyer's remorse. On feeling this inconsistency, we'll look for anything—facts, peer validation, expert opinion—to reduce the dissonance in our minds concerning the purchase.

Some of us even use selective exposure to minimize the risk of seeing or hearing something that could cause dissonance. Often people won't even tell family or friends about their purchase or decision because they know it will create dissonance.

Asking for a refund, complaining about the product or representative, or having remorse can all be forms of dissonance.  If you handle your prospect the wrong way it increases dissonance and they will demand a refund.



Direct download: Podcast_222_-_How_to_Deal_With_Refund_Complaints_and_Buyers_Remorse.mp3
Category:sales -- posted at: 6:30am CDT

I am not going to be politically correct in this section.  I know it is not fair.  I know we should not judge, I am here to help you with reality.  Everyone judges and some of these items are things you can fix – some of them you can’t.  Focus on the things you can improve and don’t worry about the rest.  This attraction is also called the Halo Effect. It operates by making one positive characteristic of a person affect other people's overall perception of him. Because of this halo effect, people automatically associate traits of kindness, trust, and intelligence with people who are attractive.

We naturally try to please people we like and find attractive. If your audience likes you, they will forgive you for your "wrongs" and remember your "rights."

Check out this article.

In fact, studies show that people who are physically attractive are better able to persuade others. They are also perceived as friendlier and more talented, and they usually have higher incomes.  "Attractive" means more than just looking beautiful or handsome. It also encompasses having the ability to attract and draw people to you.  Your physical attractiveness will influence attitude change, enhance your expertise and increase agreement.

The effect of attractiveness transcends all situations. For example, the judicial system, which is supposed to be based upon evidence, has documented cases where attractiveness made a dramatic difference. In one Pennsylvania study, researchers rated the attractiveness of seventy-four male defendants at the start of their criminal trials. Later, the researchers reviewed the court records for the decisions in these cases and found that the handsome men had received significantly lighter sentences.

In fact, those researchers found that the attractive defendants were twice as likely to avoid jail time as unattractive defendants. In the same study, a defendant who was better looking than his victim was assessed an average fine of $5,623; but when the victim.


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Direct download: Podcast_221_-_How_To_Be_More_Attractive_And_More_Likeable.mp3
Category:sales -- posted at: 6:30am CDT

Almost everyone wants to accomplish their dreams, achieve more, become a better person, or pursue bigger and better goals. And we often know exactly what we need to do to make these things happen. So why don't we do them? Why do we fall short of our dreams and aspirations?

Check out this article on goal setting

Writing down your goals coupled with a strong desire to reach them won't automatically bring success if you overlook this one vital detail: Successes are not achieved if they aren't first conceived mentally. We are told all the time to be positive, to change that attitude, to have a good outlook. In fact, we are so bombarded with these messages that they are easy to tune out. We gloss over "think positive" messages, saying, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, I've heard that before. Now get to the meat."

In this chapter, we're going to talk about much more than just positive attitudes—I call it "mental programming." This mind training or self-persuasion is what gives great persuaders the psychological edge. It's true that "you'll only achieve it once the mind believes it." By "programming" our minds, we dictate our future.

It's just that simple. Think of your loftiest goals, your greatest aspirations. Do you really believe you can achieve them, deep down? Do you? If you can't visualize your success, you are unlikely to ever experience it in real life. We are always thinking and processing information, and our thoughts either propel us closer to our goals or drive us away from our dreams.

Direct download: Podcast_220_-_The_Dark_Side_of_Goals_-_Nudge_or_Net.mp3
Category:sales -- posted at: 11:16am CDT