Monthly Archives: May 2009

120 Persuasive Words That Build Rapport (VAK)

Wouldn’t it be great if there was some sort of technique that can instantly transform your rapport building skills to the next level? Something so secret that very few people know about it or better yet know how to use it.  To build rapport with someone means for you to be on the same level as them. In the same tribe. This means acting like them, talking like them, and also using the same or similar words they use.

Visual/Auditory/Kinesthetic (VAK)

Many of you reading this are probably familiar with what VAK is or maybe even generally how it works. Regardless to whether you do or not, I will teach you what words you should pay attention to as it relates to you building rapport. VAK, also referred to as representational systems are basically our senses that allow us to be engaged while discussing information, dealing with problems, thinking, or getting involved in various activities. To simplify this even more, representational systems determine how one processes information.

Most people are dominate in one particular area of VAK while a select few may be difficult to tell. Before you tell me that you’re one of the difficult ones, I’ll tell you that you’re not! Now read the rest of this post carefully to understand what I’m talking about.


For the people who are visual learners have the advantage of processing and comprehending information much quicker by literally seeing it in front of them. Obviously if their sight is their advantage, the other 2 areas are they’re disadvantages. For example, in a classroom, a visual learner would much rather prefer learning from charts, graphs, pictures, videos, or even live demonstrations rather than listening to the professor lecture the entire time. Not only would they prefer it, but they will probably retain less information with only the lecture. So for some of you parents who have kids who aren’t doing so well in school, it maybe because your kid processes information differently than how the teacher teaches it.

Words That Visuals People Use:

  • analyze
  • appear
  • clarity
  • conspicuous
  • dream
  • distinguish
  • envision
  • clarity
  • examine
  • envision
  • focus
  • foresee
  • horizon
  • idea
  • illusion
  • illustrate
  • Imagine
  • inspect
  • look
  • notice
  • observe
  • obvious
  • outlook
  • perception
  • picture
  • pinpoint
  • scene
  • scope
  • scrutinize
  • see
  • show
  • sight
  • sketchy
  • spot
  • survey
  • vague
  • view
  • vision
  • watch
  • witness


Auditory learners on the other hand would much rather prefer hearing something. They may or may not care to whether they literally see it, but they will understand the information much better by simply listening to it. An example would be a student who would much rather just listen to the professor lecture throughout the class and take notes based upon what they hear.

Words That Auditory People Use:

  • announce
  • articulate
  • audible
  • boisterous
  • communicate
  • converse
  • discuss
  • dissonant
  • divulge
  • earshot
  • enunciate
  • gossip
  • hear
  • hush
  • listen
  • loud
  • mention
  • noise
  • proclaim
  • pronounce
  • remark
  • report
  • ring
  • roar
  • rumor
  • say
  • screech
  • shrill
  • shout
  • silence
  • sound
  • speak
  • speechless
  • squeal
  • state
  • talk
  • tell
  • tone
  • utter
  • voice


The kinesthetic learner finds the hands on experience the most effective and productive. These people would rather take part in the action and get a feel for what’s going on.

Words That Kinesthetic People Use:

  • active
  • affected
  • bearable
  • callous
  • charge
  • concrete
  • emotional
  • feel
  • firm
  • flow
  • foundation
  • grasp
  • grip
  • hanging
  • hassle
  • heated
  • hold
  • hunch
  • hustle
  • intuition
  • lukewarm
  • motion
  • panicky
  • pressure
  • rush
  • sensitive
  • set
  • shallow
  • shift
  • softly
  • solid
  • sore
  • stir
  • stress
  • support
  • tension
  • tied
  • touch
  • unsettled
  • whipped

What To Do With These 120 Words

Learning this is actually easier than it seems. The words listed above are generally the words that a visual/auditory/kinesthetic person uses. Obviously there are many more words for each category, but at least you get the idea.

Now, when you’re having a conversation with someone and you notice the person using words like “see, imagine, watch, etc.” then it is up to you to speak back to them using other visual words. The same applies if the person uses words from the auditory or kinesthetic category. If the person in front of you feels as if you are just like them, they are much more likely to be in rapport with you.

How can you use this technique today?

Is it Unethical to Persuade, Convince, or Influence Someone? Lets Debate!

I get several emails everyday usually talking about the same thing.

“using persuasion to make people buy something or do something is unethical”

Okay, so let’s have a good ol’ fashion debate about this.

Topic: Is it Unethical to Persuade, Convince, or Influence Someone?

Example: If you call someone out of the blue (cold call), and you are soliciting your product or service, is it wrong for you to “sell” someone on it, even if they don’t need it?

Everyone’s Doing It: How Generalizing Can Help You

Almost everybody in their life has used generalized terms as a form of exaggeration to make a point. To generalize something means to create a very broad view for a particular scenario.  For example, if you have kids, then I am sure you have heard the phrase, “come on…everyone’s going…” or “the test was so hard that everyone failed”. Kids purposely use generalizations as a persuasive tactic to sell you on why they should do something or why they can’t do something. It is a genius concept that most of us are already familiar with, but unfortunately not consciously aware enough to deliberately use it.  Many of you tend to overlook the fact that generalizing words, phrases, concepts, and ideas can induce guilt, following others, and urgency which ultimately leads into the action you desire.


The psychological meaning of guilt is an emotional experience one has when they feel as if they made a mistake about a decision they have made and hold themselves responsible for making it. Let’s continue with the example I used above about kids:

“Come on…everyone’s going to the party tonight…”

This generalized phrase for typical parents translates into:  if everyone’s going to this party, and their kid is not, the parent is ruining their life etc. Obviously some parents are smart enough to prevent this from working ;). So for the many that are convinced by guilt to let their kids go to this party, they are victims of persuasive guilt created by generalizing a phrase.

In a business scenario, one business man can be trying to persuade someone to donate money to his charitable organization. Most people would tell the man no, they don’t have the money or whatever. The man can use a generalized phrase such a:

“Almost everyone I spoke to today has decided to contribute to this charity because they quickly realized that it is the right thing to do…shouldn’t you?”

Now I combined the usage of generalizations and a tie down to convince a prospect to donate to the charity.  The business man told this prospect that almost everyone has donated money today. Now the prospect will begin to think they are being greedy considering that almost everyone this man spoke to today has donated. This puts feelings of guilt in their mind which will motivate the prospect to make the donation.

Everyone’s Doing “It”

The whole “everyone’s doing it” also correlates with people wanting to be like everyone else. Ironically, people who tell me about how different or unique they want to be from others are saying the same thing everyone else is saying.

My friend Jim runs several cell phone kiosks along the West Coast. He told me a tactic he always teaches his sales people is to create some kind of buzz around the cell phone kiosk. Maybe showing some potential customers a magic trick or just something weird. When other people passing by see a crowd forming, the naturally develop the urge to see what is going on. People want to know why other people are gathering around this kiosk. Since sales is a #’s game, this helps increases the odds of closing a deal.


People are more likely to take action on something when there is some sort of time limitation implemented.  For example, you see an infomercial on TV that says something about calling to purchase this product in the next 30 seconds and you’ll receive a free toothbrush or whatever with their company logo. You get the idea. Here is an example of how you can get someone to attend a personal development seminar by creating urgency and the other types of generalization listed above:

“Brad, you need to sign up for this event right now. Every successful person in the industry is going to be there so this event is guaranteed to sell out. You will never have this opportunity again.  Your looking to be a better sales person aren’t you? Well after the event, every time you are placed in a selling situation, you will know exactly what to say and do to close a deal. Isn’t that what you want?”

Here is the break down of what I wrote above:

  • Every successful person is attending: If all the successful people are attending, you definitely need to be at the event, especially if you want to be considered successful 😉
  • …never have this opportunity again: This causes urgency because this event is so unique, it is a once in a life time opportunity. You will hate yourself so much if don’t attend.
  • every time you are..close the deal: This tells the prospect that they will be virtually unstoppable with all the knowledge they learn after they attend
  • Everybody…
  • Everyone…
  • No one…
  • You always…
  • You never…
  • All

Words to Use When Generalizing

As a precaution, sometimes people call you out on what you say. For example, if a kid tells their parents that “everyone is going to the party,” to which some parents will say,”who exactly is going?” This obviously weakens your argument and can damage your point. The only way to bypass this road block is to simply rephrase what you stated before, “Mary, Sue, and all the kids from school are going” and quickly change the focus of the topic to something else like, “can’t this be the last time you tell me yes?”

The last example was pretty simplified, but is necessary for you to understand. Here is a business example to go alongside of the example I used above. “Almost everyone I spoke to today has decided to contribute to this charity because they quickly realized it’s the right thing to do…shouldn’t you?” Someone might say, “how many people exactly contributed?” To which you say, “Well the majority of them told me yes because they are interested in helping the less fortunate, aren’t you?”

Some may say that this is unethical while others will say this technique is brilliant. When it comes to persuading someone to do something, I always tell people that it comes down to your intention.

Now tell me, how will you use generalizations to get people to tell you “yes”?

Interrupting Someone is Not Rude, It is Persuasive!

Has your mom or dad ever told you as a child to never interrupt someone while they are talking? Well I hate to be the one to say this to you, but they are dead wrong! A few years ago I was introduced to a very simple yet weird communication technique. Even though this technique is so easy to use, most people would shy away from using it. Pattern Interruption is a communication technique that many master persuaders use to confuse the mind of the person they are talking to.  I’m sure the first question that comes into your mind is: “Why would I want to confuse the mind of the person I’m talking to?”

Pattern Interruption

Wikipedia has a great explanation on what pattern interruption is exactly:

…a pattern interrupt is an action that changes a dynamic in a personal situation or relationship by making an unexpected change, resulting in a new, and hopefully more effective and beneficial, behavior…

Pattern interruption also blends in nicely with hypnotism and trance. This may sound funky and weird to you, but it’s actually as normal as anything else. The “pattern” is the  conversation or event that is taking place at that given time. The “interruption” is the new factor that comes into the picture that temporarily takes away the focus.

To understand how this works exactly, one must know a little bit about the subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind is wired to automatically look for an answer to any questions you ask yourself. If you ask yourself, “Why am I so stupid,” your subconscious mind will look for an answer.

So when a person’s pattern is interrupted, their mind will begin to search for the answer to why and what is happening.

Let’s say you are convincing a client to buy your product. During your “spiel”, you decide to make ask a completely irrelevant question like, “hey did you see that show last night?”  This will catch them off guard and and your rapport will force them to answer. Then you continue with your conversation. Your client will begin to ponder about why you asked that question and what it has to do with what your talking about. Now instead of them being on the defense about what you are selling them on, their attention will be divided. Now it will become easier for you to persuade, influence, or convince this person to take action because of their lack of mental defense

Types of Pattern Interruptions

  • Hypnotic handshake: This is handshake you could use on highly suggestive people
  • Tonality: dramatically change the tone of voice for a brief second or two and you’ll find your prospect in confusion.
  • Facial Expressions: Like the example above about making a stupid and funny face
  • Visual Object: Imagine a door to door sales man selling vacuums You knock on the door and the customer answers. You say, “I am James with Super Clean Vacuums, and I’ll bet you’re wondering why I’m holding a bag full of dust and lint, aren’t ya?” Usually you won’t see a door to door sales person holding a bag full of dust and lint, because is out of one’s normal pattern. This will harness the power of the customers curiosity allowing you to take an advantage as far as creating rapport.
  • Random Sentences/Words: Talking about one thing and then bring up a completely off topic subject. Then proceed with the original conversation.

Implementing Pattern Interruptions for Beginners

Your biggest challenge with trying the pattern interruption pattern will be about your level of comfort. Here’s the simple way to start practicing.

  • Educe a conversation with your prospect.
  • Ask a question that has nothing to do with the conversation. Make sure the question will bring your prospect to a desired state (i.e. excitement)
  • Continue with your conversation
  • close or pursue your desired action

    Yes this is an overly simplified version of pattern interruption, but it will give you the basis on how pattern interruptions work.

    Can you remember a time when you unknowlingly used a pattern interpution? Has anyone used it on you?

    How to Read Someone Like a Book

    Body language can never lie; words and statements, however, can.  Learning to calibrate increases your ability to know what a person is feeling.  This becomes extremely potent when trying to eliminate confusion in communication and also to avoid getting deluded with words.

    In NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), State Calibration are just “indicators” of a person’s state. When the red light is on the oven, it mean it’s heating up.  When you’ve calibrated a person, you can know that a specific person a brow furrowed, right eye squinted and hunched means they’re perplexed.  Therefore the “brow furrowed, right eye squinted and hunched” state is like the red light on the oven; both the red oven light and the furrowed brow, squint, and hunch serve as indicators for what’s going on “inside”.

    How Do You Calibrate a State?

    When you see a person having a unique body posture, or movement, you ask them what they feel, and if they respond, you’ll know that that specific external body language, posture, breathing, and the like corresponds to their state!  ANY time you see them with “brow furrowed, right eye squinted and hunched, ask them what they’re feeling.  If they respond, you’ve just successfully calibrated their state!  Now whenever you see that external body language, you will understand that for that person it calibrates to “perplexed”.

    A green light on the oven could mean, “cleaning mode”, just as someone who’s in a state where their breathing is steady, chest out, and smiling, and you ask them what they feel they’ll say “happy” you’ve calibrated that “breathing is steady, chest out, and smiling” to mean happy for THEM.  So to that specific person, just as the green light means “cleaning mode”, “breathing steady, chest out, and smiling” means “feeling happy”.  Now, “breathing is steady, chest out, and smiling” does not mean happy for every person; just that specific person. To continue the analogy to now an absurd level of metaphor (LOL!) everyone’s “oven” is built different with different indicator lights. The oven lights are just a metaphor for “external indicator” that calibrates to an “internal state”.

    So Why is This Useful?

    State Calibration has millions of applications, but we can focus on two: dissolving confusion and persuasion.   Having calibrated a state is obviously clarifying because it  decreases confusion from ALL of these external states and configurations of body posture, breathing cadence, brow, voice tone, etc, because now you know, after calibrating, those are indicators of internal states. If you ask them what they’re feeling (so you don’t fall into the trap of mind reading) and they answer with a response of their internal state, you have just calibrated their external sensory indicators to their internal state! Congrats!! Successful calibration!

    Persuasive Calibration

    Now let’s examine the persuasive benefits of State Calibration.  Let’s say you’ve calibrated a state when you notice a person has “dilated pupils, slumped shoulders, and tapping feet”.  What state does that calibrate to?  Well you ask them and they respond, “Interested.  I feel interested right now.” Excellent!  Now you know that whenever that person displays that “dilated pupils, slumped shoulders, and tapping feet” external behavior, then you know they’re interested.  Why would knowing their internal state be so persuasively valuable?  Let’s say you’re offering this person a sale and he suddenly pops into his “interested state” but SAYS “The price is too high; I don’t have my heart set on the product.”  If you hadn’t calibrated, you might have sold the product to him for a lower price.  However, the calibration master would demand the sale as is or even increase the price!  Why?  Because the person who has calibrated already knows that this person is clearly interested.

    Additionally, you can know when you’ve successfully put someone into a state.  What if you’ve calibrated a woman to “aroused” or a prospective client to “attentive and eager”.  You know when your communication is successful because you have those calibration “lights” that flick on revealing to you that your communication is effective!  All the best communicators and the most persuasive people utilize state calibration because everyone needs “checks and indicators” for if what they’re communicating is working or not!  You need feedback for what and how you communicate and all the lights start flashing and you can learn to read a person “like an oven” 😉 with effective state calibration!

    About the Author: John Thomas Kooz also blogs on Validate Life

    Using Quick Persuasion to Sell Your Ideas and Close Deals

    Whether you have a sales, marketing, or executive job, your underline task is always to sell yourself,  ideas, products, or services to other people. Selling to people requires you to convey your point of view in efforts for someone to agree with you and take the necessary action. Here are some amazing posts I have written that will allow you to persuade someone to take action  now.

    • Using Tie downs– Ties downs are sentences that you use after particular states you make to bring more interaction in your conversation.
    • Repeat & Approve -This technique allows your client to subconsciously understand and believe you are giving them your undivided attention.
    • Create Awareness – You can easily create awareness in a conversation with a client which will not only give you their attention, but it will also allow you to create and lead the conversation in any direction you want.
    • Irresistible Persuasion – Learn how you can understand how a client makes a decision so you can customize your pitch and responses to their objections.
    • Future Pacing – This brilliant technique helps you handle objections that your client may create by talking to someone else which allows your client to keep their commitment.
    • Pain & Pleasure – Everyone on this planet either moves away from pain or goes toward pleasure. Discovering how you should handle each person will help you create rapport and motivate them to take action.
    • Embedded Commands – Simple and easy embedded command strategies to make your clients take action when it is time to do so.
    • Has There Ever Been a Time When – This language pattern has the power to make your client feel a certain way to motivate them into instant action