Posts Tagged ‘become a persuasion expert’

Power of Persuasion: Look Younger by Moving

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Look Younger by Moving

Standing in church I look over at my 4 year-old boy to see his body in continual motion.  His head turns left, then right and then he looks at the ceiling.  He puts his hand on his head, he leans back then forward.  Maybe I should have been listening to the sermon, but I couldn’t help to start counting how many seconds before Nicky moves again.  I couldn’t get past two.  Then I look at my eight-year old.  He moves around, but not quite as much.  I could count to ten before his head turns and his body shifted then five seconds later he puts his hands on the pew in front of him.  I started looking at other people.  Right in front of me was a man and his wife, both around seventy years old.  One of them moved only once in the first ninety seconds.  The rest of that time they appeared frozen in place. 

This got me thinking.  Is there a correlation between movement and age, and if so could a person use movement to appear more youthful?

For the following two months, we observed over 300 people in public places in the following age categories: kids, teens, twenties, forties, and sixties.  A head-turn, look at a watch, posture change, gesture, etc. qualified as making a move.  I only analyzed people in listening situations or alone, because when people talk they are far more animated.  Here are the results measured in moves per minute (MPM):

The older people grow, the less they move and shift.  Morbid as it appears, it is a natural progression towards death.  How does movement affect how others perceive you?

Likability is one of the six pillars of persuasion.  When studying the most likable people, one common denominator is that they nod and make facial expressions as they react to other people talking to them.  An observation made in this study showed that the older people grow, the less they externally react to others.  This may have a negative impact on how they connect.  Dale Carnegie said it best, “Be interesting by being interested”.

What about appearing younger?  After analyzing the chart above, we decided to test whether movement makes people appear younger. We asked people to watch a twenty-five-year-old woman for a minute and then guess her age.  In some circumstances she would move only once during the minute; in others, she would move ten times.  Here are the results:

1   MPM:         average perceived age: 22 years old

10 MPM:         average perceived age: 19.5 years old

Next we tried the experiment with me (age 43).  Here are the results based on 48 respondents:

1 MPM:           average perceived age: 40.7 years old

10 MPM:         average perceived age: 38.4 years old

You look younger when you move.  Movement requires energy and energy is associated with youth.  Lethargy is associated with age and decline.

The point of this blog is to remind us of how loudly our body language speaks to others.  Chances are if you allow yourself to be more animated you will be perceived as more likeable and a bit younger.  And, if it works for you, you can thank Jake and Nicky for their bouncy behavior in Church.

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Power of Persuasion: What’s gender got to do with it?

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

What’s gender got to do with it?

As a tradeshow lead generator, my job is to stop traffic at my client’s booth, show a quick magic trick that showcases their brand, and finally to introduce qualified prospects to my sales team.  It’s a number’s game.  I’m able to increase leads by 25% to 100%.  That’s quite a range. Why the difference?

Professional tradeshow lead builders calculate a stop ratio for each show. If I am asking attendees walking by our booth to stop for a moment so that I can show them something amazing (as I fan my cards), how many out of ten will actually stop and how many will ignore me?  My worst ratio ever: less than 1/10, and my best 9/10.  Again, that’s quite a range.  Why the difference?  Gender.

The lowest 1/10 stop ratio was for my client Vencom at a Yankee Dental Conference.  While there were hygienists and students attending, my job was to stop dentists.  At this show, most of the dentists were older men in conservative suits with dour faces.  The best ratio I experienced was at ASHRM where I had to stop hospital risk managers, most of whom were women with nursing backgrounds.

When Fidelity asked me to build leads for them at the AFP conference  they told me that the large majority of attendees were male.  I selected my female lead builder Clair Park, and her stop ratio was better than 9/10.

This experience is not unique to me.  My fellow trade-show lead builders concur: Gender matters. 

At least on the trade show floor, women will stop for men and men for women with far more frequency than the opposite scenario.  This has little to do with age, looks and approach and much to do with the opposite sex. 

Application:  If you work tradeshows, have a male to approach female attendees and have a female to approach male attendees.  A good stop ratio is vital because when attendees walk by your booth without hearing your message, you are burning your tradeshow dollars. 

Off the tradeshow floor: Do you think the same dynamic carries over to the networking arena?  Will a man have more success breaking into a conversation, when the conversationalists are women? How about vice-versa?  Weigh in with your thoughts here.

Amusing side note: To a lesser degree, stop ratio is also determined by industry.  For example marketing professionals are more likely to stop than are plastic surgeons.  Of the hundreds of professions I’ve targeted, dentists were the hardest visitors to stop, and they smiled least.  I remember one dentist who actually was smiling.  I stopped him and said, “look around at all the faces.  Not a smile to be seen.  Why are you smiling?” He smiled even more broadly and replied, “I’m retired”.

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Power of Persuasion: NO

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

The Power of NO

Nothing is more empowering than the ability to say “no” and walk away. In a recent blog I discussed the most persuasive way to make a request. In this entry, I’ll share a strategy that relies on the power of NO.

 

BUYER’S PERSPECTIVE

In July I moved into a temporary apartment while awaiting the closing of my new home. I had basic cable and Internet through Charter. The fee was $41, and I asked that they waive the one-time fee for the representative to come out and connect me. Charter obliged.

When I moved in August, I called Charter and asked for the same deal. The rep said there would be a $50 charge for hook up. I told him that Charter had waived the fee the first time, and I requested the same. He denied my request, explaining, “the free install promotion just ended”. I politely asked to speak to his supervisor to see whether an exception could be made. He said he would connect me, but he guaranteed the request would be denied.
 

THE POWER OF NO: I thanked him for “trying” and said, “Cancel the order because I need to check out Verizon’s options, and if they can’t do better, I promise I’ll call back and give you my business.” His response? “Oh, wait, I just saw a promotion that will enable me to waive the fee.”

I had already done my research and was going to go with Charter irrespective of a hook up fee. But my trick worked. I knew that Charter trains their reps to open new accounts, and once I was walking out, the rep gave me the deal I requested.

Interestingly enough, I shared this story with a friend who is moving this week. When Charter wanted to charge her the install fee, she cited my case, and they explained, “promotion just ended.” She pushed and they “found” an offer to waive half of the fee. I am confident that if she had requested that they cancel the order she would have received a full-waiver.

Charter’s behavior is reflective of human nature. They want to profit the most from you, but they lose their power when the see that you are ready to walk away.

In many cases using the walk away factor works as long as you don’t back the other guy into a corner and give yourself an opportunity to come back. Be sure to be polite and explain that you need to examine your options.

 

SELLER’S PERSPECTIVE

From a seller’s perspective in a non-commodity market such as training, I use the power of no effectively. I provide custom public speaking training and power of persuasion courses to companies that need to get better results from their people. Some prospects ask for Nordstrom quality at Wal-Mart prices. I always respect that they ask, and I explain how they are getting Nordstrom quality at JC Penny prices.

Then, if they still balk, I don’t push. I tell them the truth, “this training is not for everyone, and I will be happy to pass a referral to another trainer who can work within your budget.” Many times the walk away will convert to a sale because they respect that I know my value. Other times, I will make the referral to another company, and I am okay with that. This system helps me work with the right type of client while passing on those who don’t fit to someone else who can help him or her.

Make a comment below on your experience employing the power of NO.

Ask me about professional development training in the power of persuasion and public speaking.

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Power of Persuasion: It’s All About YOU!

Friday, April 4th, 2008

Kudos to you for realizing that the power of persuasion is a requisite for success whether you are in sales, service or management.

Persuasion vs. Manipulation

They both rely on the same fundamentals.  The cardinal difference is intent.  Persuasion is the art of getting the outcome you seek in the context of a win/win.  Manipulation connotes getting the outcome YOU want irrespective of whether your win comes at the detriment of the other party.

In your marketing material, your networking, your elevator pitch, your conversation with employees, use the words “you and your” with much more frequency and minimize the words “I and we”.

If you read Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People,  he will teach you that a boil on a man’s neck is more important to him than a thousand earthquakes in Africa.  While not always true, it is often the case that people are naturally self-centered.

I used to teach high school.  Listen to some teen conversations and you’ll notice one will talk about herself until the other segues in “tell me about it, I . . .”  then continues to talk about himself.  It’s a funny ping-pong phenomenon, almost like two independent conversations linked with short transitional phrases such as “wow, that happened to me when. . .”

Applications:

Networking:

If you’ve ever networked, you know that many adults have not outgrown this mode of communication.  To be persuasive most of what you say should be from the perspective of your listener.  Asking questions is a great way to form a conversation around the other person.  Certainly share about yourself, but turn the conversation back to the other person.  When you are in a group with a “monopolizer” take the lead and ask the quiet person a question.  Everyone will be grateful to you!

Look at your marketing material and elevator pitch! Shift the focus from “we” to “you”.

Example:  “We’ve been in business for 25 years” is less persuasive than “25 years in business means that you can count on us”.

“We have 24hr support staff, and award winning service” is less persuasive than “You’ll appreciate the convenience of our 24 hr staff, and our service will always leave you smiling.”

“I’m a consultant who has experience integrating systems to support custom design” is less persuasive than, “We can integrate a turnkey solution for your custom design that will deliver the results you need”.  The first generates a “so what?” reaction, while the second has a better chance of generating a “how?” reaction; or perhaps a discerning prospect may retort in a skeptical tone:  “Oh really . . . ?”  The key is, you have caused engagement; now you have an opportunity to continue the persuasion process.

Much more to follow.  Your thoughts?

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