Power. Persuasion. Influence. These are things that we all lust over day in and day out. It is part of human nature to want to be in control (hence the reason we fear death and public speaking, the outcomes are unsure and hence, we are frightened of them.) What this article is going to do is teach you five of the most EFFECTIVE techniques you will learn to being powerfully influential and gain control, whether it is in your business dealings or when you are out and about trying to gain access to that really exclusive club. This is roughly based on the training seminar I gave recently at Axa Advisors, so you can be sure it is all good stuff.
As per my usual M.O, all these techniques can be used immediately after you read them and they are among my favorite techniques to use. (And the beautiful thing is that these only scratch the surface of what you can do!) So let’s get started.
Technique #1: The “Because” Technique
We have all met people who have this unique ability that they can simply say something and you will just seem to agree with it. They just have a way with words and we find ourselves wanting to go along with whatever they say “go on the floor and bark on all fours” ok, fine that’s after a few tequila shots but you get the idea). Well check this out: A study was done where they had a young lady approach people waiting at the copy machine and she said this: “Excuse, may I cut in front, I am in a rush.”
So guess how many people let her cut? 60% which isn’t bad mind you. But then they tried it again (on a different group of people) but THIS time they had her say, “Excuse me, may I cut in front of you because I am in a rush.” Guess what percentage of people let her cut in front now.Ninety percent!
Did you see the difference in what she said because that is the key? The first time she said: “Excuse me, May I cut in front, I am in a rush” and the second time she said, “Excuse me, may I cut in front BECAUSE I am in a rush.”
That little word, “Because” changed the compliance rate within people from 60% to 90% which is an incredible jump!
So why does this happen? The answer is simple. We as humans need reasons for things and the second we are given a reason for something we go along with it as opposed to questioning it. So give people a reason for why you want them to do something and people are going to start listening to you 40% more automatically! “We should go on a date because you are going to love hanging out with me.” “You should buy this plan because it is the best one on the market for you! Seemingly tailor made to your situations because it has X, Y and Z.”
Technique #2: The Social Expectancy Effect:
This is one of my personal favorite techniques and I have personally watched this work on some of the hardest lined bastards of the investment and real estate worlds. Here is the basic idea. As much as we pretend we don’t want to conform and we all want to be individual we all have this inner need to conform to what society thinks of us. (Even gothic people, considered the ultimate” anti conformists” still conform to what they believe is society!) So watch this:
BY SIMPLY SAYING HOW YOU WANT A PERSON TO BEHAVE THEY ARE GOING TO DO IT!
But you have to know the trick.
What you do to make this work is you have to tell the person how OTHER people have told you what that person is like. So for instance, let’s say you are about to meet somebody who you need to like you (for whatever reason, it’s your boyfriends mother, your potential new boss). What you are going to say is this:
“Hi, it’s so nice to meet you. Everyone has told me that you are a very open minded, fun person. I like meeting people like that.” Now several things have happened here:
1) Because we as humans want to conform, what is going to happen is that this person will want to prove society right by now behaving the way you said! Since he or she believes that everybody else that knows them thinks that they are fun and open-minded they will behave like that so that way everyone is right! This is an incredibly powerful technique that has yet to fail me!
2) You have flattered them without seeming like a kiss up! Because you aren’t the one who said it, “other people” said it so you are off the hook! You are merely the messenger but it definitely still puts the other person in a good mood.
Technique #3: The Foot in the Door Effect
This is also known as “The Yes Train” and I remember the first time I tried it I was floored at how well it worked! I had first read it in a persuasion book by Kevin Hogan many years ago and had dismissed it. Then I started seeing it more and more in different publications and decided to give it a whirl. Let’s just say that it works incredibly ;-). Basically it’s this. While you are talking to someone get them to say yes, and continue to get them to say yes. What this does is that it gets the person used to saying yes to you so when the time comes to ask them whether they want to buy a certain product, or whether they want to go on a date with you, or whether they want to buy you that pretty sparkly four carrot ring (as my current girlfriend keeps pestering me for) they will do it!
Getting a person to say yes is very simple. While you are talking to them ask, “Are you an open minded person?” they will say yes. “Do you like having amazing times?” yes. “Do you enjoy long walks on the beach?” yes. “Do you want to meet new, fun adventurous people?” yes. “Do you want to come with me to this really cool drum circle party on the beach Friday night?” yes.
It’s as simple as that. Do anything to get the person continuously saying yes and they will say yes afterward just because it fits with everything else!
Technique #4: Hijacking the Brain
No you are not going to hold anybody up at gunpoint it’s going to be much more subtle than that. Have you ever gotten the feeling where you just knew that somebody got you? Like you knew that you and that other person were kind of on the same wavelength. I am sure that you have. Well there is a reason why you feel that with some people. Basically, when we see that somebody else is feeling the same thing we are feeling we assume that the person is exactly like us! Since they are feeling the same as we are they must be the same as we are. (That’s why there seems to be this unexplainable connection with the other people in comedy clubs or horror rides because we are all reacting the same way, therefore, we are all feeling the same way, and therefore we must all have the same types of personalities!)
And what happens is this. When you successfully hijack someone’s brain they are going to listen to you and be much more likely to comply with you since they see you as them! It’s an incredible thing to watch happen! So how do you do it? Simple:
START TAKING GUESSES AS TO HOW SOMEONE IS FEELING AND VERBALIZE IT!
For instance let’s say you are trying to sell somebody a certain product and they walk in. A good thing to start off saying would be, “Now I know you might be skeptical about coming in and thinking we are going to try to trick you but the truth is ______ BECAUSE_____.” Right there you have a dynamite sentence that is going to open up this potential client!
Or, “I know you must be feeling nervous going out on a first date with a guy you barely know, but let’s take nervousness and turn it into excitement.” And then proceed to be fun, light and outgoing to help further put the person at ease.
Start taking guesses as to how others are feeling and verbalize it. If you are wrong they won’t remember but if you are RIGHT they will remember for a very long time! (Quick Tip: We don’t remember when people are wrong about assumptions but we are floored when they are right! Its how mentalists and psychics are still around, but that’s for a different article.
Technique #5: Half and Half
And last but certainly not least we have the “Half and Half” technique. This technique is used tremendously by hypnotists and is incredibly powerful and yet easy to pull off! Basically check this out. Psychological studies have shown that when we agree with the first half of a statement we automatically have to agree with the second half of it! So a classic hypnotist induction is:
“As you sit there with your feet on the floor and your hands on the armrest you can start to feel your eyelids becoming heavier and heavier.”
Because the person agrees with the first part (after all, they are sitting there with their feet on the floor and their hands on the armrests- that part is true- so it must be the second part of that statement, that the eyelids are getting heavy- is also true and they begin to feel their eyelids getting heavier!)
But how do you use this in real life? Well simple, when you are talking to somebody you are trying to persuade, say something at the beginning that is factual that they have to agree with, “You are a man with principles and therefore you can see how good this would be for your company.”
Or my personal favorite, “You as a woman, can certainly agree with the fact that or “You as a man can certainly agree with the fact that”. By saying that at the beginning they have to agree with it because nobody is going to argue on their gender.
Anyways, there you have it. Some of the most powerful influence techniques around that you can go out and start using immediately!