While I was studying how con artists work, I came to the realization that they use a lot of the same techniques I teach in persuasion courses. YIKES! The only difference between con artists and me is 'intent'.
I teach persuasion techniques in order for you and clients to reach a mutually beneficial outcome. However, there is always the possiblity that some people will use them to manipulate you. I'm comfortable with my intent.
So how do con artists work?
1. Extreme likeability. Con artists appear to be generous and kind. The will often give you small gifts or do you favors to win your confidence. They project warmth and sincerity and confidence. The attitbutes of people we might say are charismatic.
2. Client intelligence or should I say victim intelligence. A con artist wants to know everything possible about his/her mark. They want to know your likes and dislikes. To gather this 'intel' they will search your social media, do internet searches and ask a ton of questions to get to know you. The idea is to get you to talk twice as much as they do. And who doesn't like to talk about themselves?
3. Seek the similarities. First they want to find out everything they can that they share in common with you. Next, they will fake similarties to further gain your confidences. They want to appear to be similar to you so that you will lower your resistance. This builds trust and likeability. Often it will feel to their victim that they have found their soul mate or a brother or sister.
4. Ask for a small favor followed by a much bigger favor. This is the 'Ben Franklin' principal. Old Ben found out that if you ask for a small favor, the other person starts to like you (after all he did a kindness for you) and then is more open to a bigger favor later. This has been researched and proven to work.
5. Learns your emotional triggers. Your passions, your hurts and your desires. And most common amongst con artists is to appeal to your greed.
6. Listen and make adjustments. Not every con goes smoothly so they are careful to listen and observe everything you do and say. They need to pay attention to your body language....to read you like a book. Only when everything looks positive will they attempt to give you their amazing pitch or plead for your help.
7. Show immense gratitude and appreciation for who and what you are. It is difficult not to like and trust someone who sees the greatness in you that others don't appreciate.
8. Repeat back what you say to them. This makes you feel like they really are paying intense interest in you.
9. To gain your respect they will show you their (fake) accomplishments and credentials. This works even better if someone else does the bragging about the con's attibutes. After all he is too humble to brag, right?
10. Only after they feel that you like, trust and respect them will they make the pitch that is going to seperate you from your money.
I'm not trying to teach anyone how to be a con artist however how can it not be a good thing to know how they operate. If you gut instinct tells you something isn't right..trust it. However, if we all good at that intution thing no one would ever get conned.
Bonus....whenever someone is trying to sell you something observe how many of these techniques they are using? It will be an eye opener. Cheers!