Posts Tagged ‘words for persuasion’

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.



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.



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.

» Share this entry: bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark

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. . .”



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?

» Share this entry: bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark

Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).

Copyright © 2008 Target Intellect. All rights reserved.