When I say “manipulation” I don’t mean it in a bad way. The concepts I’m about to share with you in and of themselves are neither good or bad, it depends on the user and his or her objectives. Of course, I’d only want you the use the techniques I’m about to share with you for “good”.
The techniques are a mixture of overt, covert and spiritual/karmic ones. Some might seem a bit basic and obvious, and others might be new to you. Either way, the more of them you use in combination, the more powerful your persuasion skills will become.
Ready for some powerful secrets? Here goes:
Okay, this one is really obvious, but still all important. A smile is more infectious than any virus. It has a magical effect on the other person. It relaxes you and the person you’re talking to, clearing the way for productive communication. Remember to smile from your heart and your soul, and with your whole body.
Make positive eye contact
Another fairly obvious one, but one that many still don’t do properly. Don’t just look at the other person, see them. See them for who they really are. I love how this is explained in the movie Avatar (great movie by the way).
Make it about the other person:
Again, a bit obvious, but I still see most people miss this when they’re trying to convince others. Don’t try to convince the other person from your perspective, instead put yourself in their shoes. Try to see the world from their perspective. Do this before you meet them. Try to imagine how they think, and how they see the world.
Be genuine and sincere
Always think of the other person as a valuable human being, who is entitled to their own opinions and views, no matter how different they are from yours. Treat everyone with dignity and respect, and when you do that they’ll appreciate it and be far more receptive to your ideas.
Give an (honest) complement
This is an old favourite of sales people, but it is often done incorrectly, because so many using it give insincere complements. Only use this when you have something genuinely to complement. And in most cases, if you look hard enough, you’ll find something. As an example, when we’ve had a troublesome youth student in Zen-Do I always told my instructors not to try to coerce the student into behaving, but rather to find that one thing that he is doing right, and praise him for it. In most cases, the troublesome student’s behaviour changes over time.
Mirror and establish rapport
Rapport means “a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well.” One way of establishing rapport is to ask questions of the other person (presuming you don’t know them), and show genuine interest in what they say. Another one is to use mirroring. Mirror the way the other person is sitting. Don’t over do it and don’t mirror everything they do, that’s what amateurs do. Mirror the overall body posture and the person’s mood and feelings. The great masters even mirror their breathing to the other person. The more you have rapport with the other person the more you can convince them of your point of you.
Do more listening than talking
Habit Number Five in Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is seek first to understand, then to be understood. He also talks about listening with empathy. Learn this and you’ll work wonders. People don’t like being talked to, they want to be understood and listened to. If you’re a talker, learn to become a listener.
Go there first
This is a truism in hypnosis. If a hypnotist wants a subject to relax, he has to relax first. If he wants his subject to get excited, he has to get excited first and so on. Otherwise the hypnosis will not be effective. You do the same when you want to convince someone, go there first. Makes sense, right?
Give first before expecting to receive
This follows from the last two points. Whatever you feel you are lacking from others, give it. If you feel you don’t have enough love, give love. If you feel people are not listening to you enough, listen more to others. This is a powerful universal concept that can do wonders for you.
Convincing someone with logic only is like bringing a knife to a gun fight, not as effective as it could be. When trying to convince someone talk about how they will feel when they do/try/buy/see the thing you’re talking about. Use the full range of possible emotions; anger, happiness, bliss, jealousy, and so on. And remember to go there first. Get my point?
This stands for Visual (seeing), Auditory (hearing), Kinaesthetic (doing), Olfactory (smell), and Gustatory (taste). When trying to persuade, use all these senses. For example if you were to describe a restaurant, let the other person actually smell the food and taste the wonderful sensations when they chew the tasty morsels in their mind. Get my point?
Use voice inflections
This is when you speak s-l-o-w-l-y to make a point, or really fast! You can also RAISE YOUR VOICE or l-o-w-e-r i-t l-i-k-e t-h-i-s. You’ll become a much better communicator – and thus persuader- if you do this properly.
Think of all the reasons they would say no
In the world of selling, this is called “overcoming objections.” Before you talk to the person you’re trying to persuade, think of all the reasons that they might refuse, and have replies ready for them. You might even mention these objections before they do.
Use tag questions
This is where you add a question to the end of your sentence, like “right?”, “makes sense?”, “get it?”, “won’t you?” etc. This is a powerful technique to establish rapport and to create a yes-set (see next point). People rarely say “no” as a reply to a tag question. Are you beginning to see how powerful this is? (Did you catch this one? Pretty cool, right? Got you again!) Check how many tag questions I added to this blog post.
Create a yes-set
This is where you have the other person say “yes” so many times they have a hard time saying “no” in the end. For example, a car salesman might say something like “Mr. Prospect, you’ve come to look at some cars today? [Yes] Nice weather we’re having today, right? [Yes] Is there a particular model you wanted to look at? [model _________] So you want to look at the _________ model? [Yes]…” and on and on.
This is where you tell the other person how they feel, or what they are going to do. You can say things like “one of the things you’ll love about _______ is …” This presupposes that they person will love several things about what you’ll show him, one of which is the one you just mentioned. Another phrase you can use is “As you’ll notice”, a real-estate agent might say something like “As you’ll notice when you live here, the area is very quiet and the view is just amazing, don’t you agree?” One thing you’ll notice the more you read this article, is how powerful these techniques are, and how you agree with me more and more 😛
Use the word “because”
This is an almost magical word, because most people will just accept what comes after “because.” (Did you catch that?). People will often accept silly justifications if preceded by “because.” “Excuse me, can I go ahead of you in the cue? I need to go ahead because I’m really hungry.” You get my point, don’t you?
Use the word “imagine”
In most cases, when you tell someone to imagine something, they will. That’s why a lot of sales pros and adverts use this word. “Imagine how good you’ll look and feel when you use this new facial cream.”
Use positive words rather than negative
Avoid using the word don’t whenever possible. Instead of saying “don’t forget to pick up the groceries”, say “remember to pick up the groceries.” The brain doesn’t think in negatives, only positives. For example, if I tell you don’t think of your car , you first have to think of it, then try not to. Better use positives, otherwise they’ll end up doing what you don’t want them to.
Everyone knows that generalisations work. That was a generalisation. Most people don’t want to go against what the majority is doing. If they are made to believe that “most people” think or do something, they are likely to do the same.
Use third party objections
When you disagree with someone don’t tell them outright, as this might cause some awkwardness or could lead to an argument or unnecessary debate (I really don’t like getting into debates, there’re so much more productive things to do in life). So instead say something like “I see, but what if someone were to say to you ‘you’ve got an interesting point but I disagree with you because…'” That way you are not disagreeing with him, but some sort of other person by way of example. This is a great techniques and I use it all the time.
Get a pen and paper
What? I can almost hear you say. Have you ever had a heated discussion with someone who’s got a ton of things to say and won’t let you interject? Well, ask them to stop, get a pen and paper, then ask them to continue. As they talk note down the main points as they come up. This works wonders. First, you’re showing the other person that they are important. They’ll be surprised and won’t really know how to react, and will instantly feel better, helping to diffuse the argument somewhat. Second, it helps you pay attention without trying to remember all the points they raised. Let the person take as long as they need to finish their points. When they’re done, you can then reply to what they said point by point. You can rebuff some points, agree with others and even apologise for some points where you think the person is justified in their anger. Do this thing and you’ll rank among the world’s top communicators.
Visualise the conversation beforehand
This is another gem. Whenever you have an important conversation, meeting or presentation, visualise it beforehand. Add as much vivid detail as you can. See it going perfectly in what Dr. Maxwel Maltz calls the “Theatre in the Mind.” Visualisation is so powerful that’s it’s even used by Olympic athletes and top professionals in all areas. I even talk about it in my book, the Ultimate Self-Defence Handbook.
Some More Thoughts
Liar Liar Pants on Fire
I don’t recommend that you lie. Lying hurts everyone involved – including the liar. It lowers your consciousness and causes bad karma. On a more practical level, if you master the above techniques you won’t ever need to lie. The best swindlers and scam artists are the ones that master these skills and lie. They can fleece millions of dollars from people and often do it for decades, but who wants to live like that?
Don’t Lie But Glorify The Truth
In my opinion, you should always be honest. But you can make the truth a lot more interesting by using the techniques above. Let me illustrate with an example I recently used for a marketing column I wrote about copy writing. Consider the following two statements:
“Ali got up from his chair, and walked out.”
“While sitting in his favourite chair – a brown, custom-made leather sofa – Ali was getting extremely restless. He could feel his patience starting to run out. Suddenly, with a surge of anger erupting through him, he shot up, walked hurriedly across the room to the door, opened it, walked through it, and slammed it as hard as he could.”
Both statements were true, but the latter was a far more interesting than the first one. Get my point? Don’t lie, but make the truth interesting – fascinating even.
Don’t Hate The Player…
I can almost hear the anti-Suhail crowd thinking how wrong and manipulative the things I shared are. Look, they are neither good nor bad, it depends on how you use them. A knife can be used to kill someone or to perform life-saving surgery, right? The knife is neither good nor bad in it’s own right. Besides, there’s no such thing as truth anyway, just our perception of it, but I’ll leave that discussion for another post.
I hope you found this useful.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and talk to you soon.