Saturday, November 30, 2013

Don't touch that! (or you will want it)

"If you touch it you will want to buy it"

Research has shown that when you touch an item on a store shelf, test drive a car or hold my are going to feel the desire to buy it.  

Once you hold something it registers in your brain as if you owned it.    Therefore, you feel a reluctance to give it back.   Heck, I didn't need the research to believe in this theory.  I see it being used everyday by retailers.

Sometimes this is called the puppy dog close.   I know because that's how I came to own my last dog.     My son pleaded to go into a pet store just to see the puppies that were playfully wrestling in the store window.   Of course I told him under no circumstance would we would buying a puppy.    He promised!

You know how this is going to end don't you?    That's right, the clerk asked my son which one he liked?   Put the puppy in his hands.    And the dirty rotton SOB said to my son, 'why don't you take him home and bring him back in the morning?'   I knew at that moment....I was screwed and about to expand the family by one cute puppy. 

What was the lesson for me?

First, never take a child into a pet store if you don't want a pet!

Second,  I could use this principle of 'touch it and you own it'  to my advantage.  Now when I finish my talks I usually conclude with a pitch for my book...How To Seduce Life.   When I first started about 25% of those attending bought my book.   And for most speakers that's pretty good.   But then I remembered the puppy story and...

Now when I speak at least 90% of those attending buy my beautiful book!


Here is what I do......before I start my book pitch I give everyone a copy of my book to look at.  Most of the time 100% of them buy it.    I have a few other techniques to help persuade them to buy however nothing is as effective as putting it into their hands.  

I remember once after a talk a young lady came up to me get her book signed.   She then told me that prior to my  pitch for the book, she told herself she had spent more at the conference than she intended.   So she promised herself that under no circumstances was she going to buy any more books.   Then once she got the book in her hands she just couldn't bring herself to give it back.    Wow!

How could you use this to your advantage?

Even if you are selling a service you can use the principal to your advantage.   To do this you need highly attractive promotional materials that you can give them.  Cheap looking and feeling materials don't work.   It must feel expensive in order for this to  work. 

Or you could give them an opportunity to test drive  something for free.   Just don't give away too much.   Let them feel what having your service would be like.  If they like it they will want to buy it. 


Friday, November 29, 2013

A persuasion short cut that creates instant likeability

"One of the most effective ways to influence others is to ask for advice or assistance"

Imagine that you are new to a position and you want to persuade a client to give you some business?    She knows that you are inexperienced and your knowledge of her business and of the industry is extremely limited.  What chance would you have of making a sale?   The odds would be pretty low, right?

However, what if you were to say something like this.....'I confess that my knowledge of your business needs is very limited.  And I was wondering if you could give me some advice?   What would I have to do to earn your the privilege of doing business with you?    Odds are over-whelmingly strong that she would give you some very valuable advice.  


*  because we programmed to want to help when asked
*  because it is empowering to be asked for help
*  because it is totally non threatening so the client loses her resistance to you

A little story...

Ben Franklin had a political opponent that fought him on every turn.   The man was a pain in the butt to Ben.  A strong dislike was growing between them.    Ben decided to try and turn things around.

Here is what Ben did....

Ben knew the man had a wonderful library of valuable books.   Ben asked the man if he would consider lending him one of his books that Ben was most interested in reading.   He was at first shocked that an advisary would ask for a favor.   He considered Ben's request and relented and loaned the book to Ben. 

Then what happened...

Ben read the book and offered gracious thanks for the favor.  Next, Ben noticed the man softened to him and became even friendly.  So what did Ben do?   He asked him for assistance in developing a bill for Congress   He agreed.   They became friends!

Asking for advice or a small favor causes others to be more receptive to us.

Asking for advice is significantly more persuasive than using pressure tactics.   Also, it doesn't build pressure or leave a sour taste. Also, they will tell you how they like to be sold....isn't that beautiful?   And here is an unexpected bonus for asking for advice....

When we ask for advice we are perceived as being more intelligent!   After all, you are showing some wisdom by choosing to ask me for advice"

This is how even an experienced person can level the persuasion table. 

Pssst.....can I ask you for a small favor?   Would you be so kind as to hit the f button below and share this with your facebook friends?   Because it would make me so happy....thanks!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

How a lie becomes the truth (and how you can profit from it)

"When a lie coming from a source believed to be reputable is repeated enough times it is eventually  believed"

Remember in past USA elections all the talk about Obama being born in Kenya?  That was called the 'birther' movement.   The news media was all over it and sent teams of reporters to Hawaii to confirm that he actually was born there.   They all came to the same conclusion....yep, he was born there.   And yet the birther movement continued.

Donald Trump even sent his own special team of investigators to drag the truth into the sunlight for all to see.   So what happened?  Nothing, nada, zilch.  (and we all know that the 'Donald' was only driven his pure desire to help Americans find the truth and not just just an ambitious desire to get publicity like some lesser people, right?)

Any rational person with an open mind would have to conclude it was all nonsense, right?   And yet 60% of Republicans still believed he was born in Kenya.   Why?

The answer is in the first line of this article! 

No this is not a course on how to become a politician or a criminal...haha.  I am just trying to be provocative in order to make a major point.  Repetition used properly can and is often used to persuade us.  Here's how it works...

Repetition creates familiarity.
Familiarity leads to liking
Liking lowers resistance to us

And....(drum roll please)....When people have no resistance to us they are open to be persuaded!   

Of course advertisers and marketers have known this for years.   That is why they bombard us with advertising messages mercilessly.   They know that the moment will come when you are making a buying decision, you will often choose the one that feels familiar (ie. brand name).   Especially when the other choice, even though it might be cheaper is unfamiliar.   We tend to fear what we are not familiar with.   Why take a chance?

Now let me pause for a moment to read your mind.......oh are thinking....damn you Guru, what has this got to do with me being persuasive?

Thank you for asking grasshopper!

Your job should you decide to accept it, is to find a way to repeat a message in your clients head without annoying the heck out of him or her.

 Allow me to give you some examples:

1.  If the glove doesn't fit you must acquit.  OJ's defence used that line repeatedly in his defence.   And we know it worked because it stuck in the jurors heads.   Extra points for noticing the rhyme.  And now even years later you still remember it, right?

2.  When it's just got to get there.   FedEx built a billion dollar business around that motto (and a hub system for aircraft delivery).

3.  It's Miller time.   Enough said.....I feel like a beer right now!

So what have we learned?

1.  Repeat a message enough times and it becomes familiar
2.  When it becomes familiar we might start liking it.
3.  When we like it we might buy it.   (lowers resistance)
4.  I like beer!

Your takeaway.....

*  spend a lot of time finding a repeatable message.

*  put it everywhere possible where your client might see it (signs, letterhead,     proposals, invoices, business cards,  car signs, website, banners, posters, advertisements etc.)

*  drop it (casually)  into your conversation every chance you get

*  buy me a beer next time we meet.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How to build trust in seconds

"Our brains are wired to make snap decisions about people"

Within a mere 30 to 60 seconds we will form an opinion about someone.   We will have decided whether we think they are competent, likeable, confident, have status, and most important whether we can trust them.  In fact it's impossible not to make those snap judgements about people.

So what are we basing those snap decisions on?   Because if we know that answer then we can easily prepare to persuade another person and gain their trust.   The answers are surprisingly simple...

* Their physical appearance.  We trust some faces and distrust others.  Attractive and healthy looking people have an advantage.

* What they wear.   Do they dress like they care and do they dress like us. 

* Warmth and confidence (the main components of charisma)

* Are they givers or takers?

* Their communication skills

In short we judge a book by its cover, so it just makes sense to present an attractive cover.   Yeah, that sounds superficial but why argue with what works?

Now would you like to know the #1 way to build trust quickly?  

Seek the similarities!

The more we feel that people are like us the more we give them our trust.   Our expectations often hijack our ability to be objective.   Someone seems to be like us so we expect them to be like us.    We have so many biasis and prejudices that operate on an unconsious level.   We seek comfort and we are comfortable with those who seem to be like us.

Prepare to persuade..

Now a days its easy to find out information about someone you want to persuade.  Internet searches and social media like facebook reveal a lot about most people.  Do your research and look for things you have in common with that person.   Talk to common friends or associates to find out their goals, likes, hobbies and other interests.    

An introductory comment like....'hey I heard that you are into mortotbikes'   or 'a friend told me that you volunteer at the Womens Shelter'  followed up of course with...'me too" builds an instant bond.   It lowers resistance and starts to build trust.   They are one of us!

Remember the more similarities, the greater the instant trust!

4 ways to build likeability...

1.  Reciprocity.    Show up with a small gift.    It could be a thermos of hot coffee, a copy of an Ag magazine, a personalized pen or ball cap or an idea that would in some way improve their farm operation or life.   Even  a sincere compliment seems like a gift.  

2.  Think about the most likeable people you know.   Ask yourself....why are they so likeable?  Then do that.

3.  Show up with a positive warm energy and forget about trying to be too serious.  Too much serious sucks the energy out of everyone.   Lighten up.

4.  Be happy to see them and they will be happy to see you.  

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The 2 magic words you should be using

So what did you guess the words were? 

If you guessed 'thank you' well, yes good guess and your mum would sure be proud of you.   And I would like you to also consider this..

Yes, and...

There are several reasons why those two words are so powerful in business and in life:

1.  It can help you reach an agreement.

'Yes, and' is a super effective means to slide past a persons resistance.   Imagine that you are close to an agreement when you client suddenly throws out an objection such as....I like your product however I think your price is just too high for us!  What do you say?  

Here are the 2 worst things you can say...

No, I don't agree my price is too high because  ________________.
Yes, but how about _____________________.

Both of those statements build instant resistance from you client.  No one wants to hear 'no' and that word 'but' sends a shiver of resistance up your clients spine.   Not good!

Now what if instead you said....Yes, and... you might want to consider the extras that our product offers such as _______________.

By saying 'Yes' it is a positive confirmation of what your client said.   No resistance there!   And by adding 'and', that is interpreted as a connector, addition or transistion.   Resistance is temporary lowered long enough for you to make your point.

Another variation....

Yes, I like your thinking and that has me thinking  that....(insert your brilliant point here)

That's how you help the other person think that your idea was actually their idea.  Presented like that it is easy for the other person to be open to your suggestion and perhaps change their own thinking.

Simple and effective!

2.   Brainstorming beauty

Brainstorming is like  Improv Comedy.    The first principle is to not reject anything.   To keep the flow of ideas coming.   'Yes, and' is the perfect connector to add to the last idea given.   It forces you to really think cognitively rather than out of habit, since you have to contemplate what comes after the 'yes, and' ____________.    Those two simple words can lead to profound breakthroughs.

I keep wondering what a corporate brainstorming session would produce if you threw in a couple of those great 'Improv Comedy' actors like Drew Carey and Colin Mockery.   I'm betting the ideas would flow like moonshine at a Hillbilly Convention?

Now consider using this technique with your employees and peers?   Imagine one of your peers makes a suggestion that you don't think will work?   Instead of raining on their parade by telling them that their idea is the dumbest idea since Paris Hilton applied to Harvard. 

Try something like this.....Yes I can see your logic and I would like to add....____________.  Remember seeing their logic is not the same thing as agreeing to it.  It does however get interpreted as a form of acceptance and lowers their resistance to your thoughts.

3.  Builds Trust

'Yes' is such a beautiful empowering word.   We are programmed to like and respond to it.   The more we hear it the more we like and trust the person saying it to us.  It puts us into a feeling of comfort which lowers resistance to the message we want to convey after the "yes, and'.

4.  What about 'no'?

No is the simpliest, most direct and definitive response.  Sometimes it is useful and necessary.   The trick is to not let it become a lazy thinking habitual response. 

'No' can be like a bomb thrown into the conversation.   Sometimes it blows up your own team and sometimes it wins a war.   But then who wants to go to war?  It should be your weapon of last resort.  You know like when your kid asks you for that new game player for the umpteenth time?


Saturday, November 16, 2013

The power of surprise

"the moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them but that they seize us" (Ashleigh Montaqu)
There is a sudden joy that hits without warning with a happy surprise. That joy finds us feeling young, vibrant and alive if only for moments. Even an unpleasant event can be softened in our memory by one small pleasant surprise.

It is in these too infrequent moments that we rediscover our inner child. Moments when we can once more feel the awe and wonder that a child experiences daily. That everyone should be so lucky to have more happy surprises.

"surprise is a gift to both the recipient and the giver"

We can't purposely set out to surprise ourselves anymore than we can tickle ourselves. What we can do is give the gift to others at little cost or effort to ourselves. And what a beautiful gift a pleasant gift is. By being the giver we can share in the awe and wonder it brings.

"you can't bore me into loving anything"

When life becomes boring and predictable it starts a downward cycle to nowhere. Relationships deteriorate with predictability without the essence of surprise. The successful romantic always keeps an element of surprise up his or hers sleeve.

"life is best lived as play" Plato

The best jokes, the most beautiful cherished memories are born in surprises. It's the jet fuel of relationships. And think how easy it is to suprise someone? You could clean the house, cook a special meal, buy a present for no reason, pay a visit unannounced or show up naked at the door when your sweetie comes home from work. (ok, I don't want to hear about that last one).

This reminds me of a surprise birthday party my amigos had for me in Mexico. Since my birthday was actually in November, I didn't see this one coming. Nor would I have ever expected to be mocked and teased that much. I'm guessing they got more pleasure out of the surprise than I did. (maybe that was part of their evil plan, hmmmm)

Smile, a good surprise can cost little and will be remembered forever!

Guru Eduardo

BONUS; What is the hostess's purpose in having a party? Surely not for her guests enjoyment. If that were true, they'd simply send wine and women to my place! (P.J Rourke)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It's not who you know that matters most?

"it's not who you know it's who you know that likes you"

I've been writing for years about how to make our lives; fun, easy and over-flowing with abundance. Lately, I've been wondering...what is the easiest way to accomplish that? If there was just one thing that could impact our lives in a positive way, what would it be?

In search of an answer, I tried to think of who I knew that seemed to have a charmed, happy and profitable life? I could think of many people, some I knew and some I read about. So I asked myself, what do they have in common? And the answer is....."they are all likeable"

People who are likeable tend to get the best jobs, build the best companies, have more friends, better relationships and enjoy life more. Sounds good, right? But that doesn't even touch the benefits of being likeable. Here are a few more benefits;

* Doctors give more time and better care to patients they like

* Likeability is the most consitent predictor of election results

* Likeable people inspire others to give more

* They get better and quicker service from retail businesses

* Likeable students get better marks from teachers

* They get forgiven quicker for misdeeds (I need that one)

* They have better physical and mental health

* Live longer and happier lives

* They are more persuasive

There's more but you get the point. Things come quicker and easier for likeable people. We favor them and do what we can to make their lives fun, easy and abundant. And this amigos is one of the biggest secrets I've ever learned...

"it isn't the choices we make about other people that makes life enjoyable, it's the choices they make about us"

There will always be the foolish few who actually prefer to go it alone. Their attitude is I don't need other people to make it. And with supreme effort, they still succeed. I'm just not one of those who wants to make any more effort than is necessary to reach my desires. If others want to help me out and make my life easier, I say welcome onboard.

Life is fun, easy and abundant when others want you to succeed because they like you. I've decided that at Eduardo's Happy School, the first subject taught will be....How to be more likeable! I can't think of a more important subject. My graduates will all be taught this vital skill and as a result will be world leaders in likeability.Now that we have established that the most important skill to attain in life, is likeability, the obvious question is how?

I've been researching to provide you some answers. Appreciating my limited brain power you will have give me more come back tomorrow! I promise you some fresh insights. I might even go into more depth than the ever popular method of...buying the first round.

Smile, I really, really like you!