Secrets Of An Expert Persuader | Bizarre Book Cafe
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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Secrets Of An Expert Persuader

The art of persuasion is perhaps the most used, abused and essential social skill. Voting for a candidate, buying something, trying to sell something, asking for a raise, landing a date, getting a leave, wriggling out of a bash-up, sorting an argument or going down on your knees to propose...almost everywhere someone is successfully persuading you to willingly part with your time, money, effort, belongings, ideas, beliefs, even the cherished carefree state of bachelorhood. Our behavior is governed by the process of stimulus and response. Persuasion provides the necessary stimulus to make us act in a certain way. It is a way of guiding you to adopt an idea, take a particular decision or act in some specific way. Persuasion employs subtle guidance techniques that appear quite rational, though they may not always be logical. One excellent example is advertising. A strategically placed, well written board announcing a clearance sale can make you fish out your credit card and blow up your next bonus even before receiving it. There is no logic to it, but it appears a perfectly rational decision till maybe its time to drop your next card payment.

Now persuasion is not something that always leaves you exploited. You also put your own persuasion skills to use so many times everyday both at work and at home. How does persuasion work? Persuasion experts broadly define following six principles of influencing or persuading people:

- The principle of reciprocation: People often get persuaded to do things when it appears they are returning a favor. A few examples are people donating generously to their previous schools or exchange of humanitarian aid between countries.

- The principle of social herding: People tend to accept an idea more easily if it is widely accepted in the society. The beauty of this principle is that it doesn't take a crowd to convince someone of the authenticity of an idea. Just try standing on the road gesturing wildly towards the sky. You may be pointing at a galaxy not yet discovered, but there will soon be a group of mighty interested people looking up for a UFO they think you just sighted.

- The principle of authority: People generally tend to abide by the law and authority. They would obey an order even if they find it objectionable. Driving within speed limits and frantic attempts to reach office on time are two good examples.

- The principle of commitment: People generally tend to honor a commitment. They would follow a course agreed upon even if their original motivating factor is removed. This is why people end up buying apartments at a far more escalated cost than the original booking.

- The principle of scarcity: Scarcity of something, whether real or perceived, propels people's will to act in a certain way. A good example is panic buying before an approaching storm or bulk buying in sales announced for short periods.

- The principle of endorsing: People easily get motivated to buy ideas or products endorsed by people they like or trust. Buying the toothpaste your favorite movie star endorses or purchasing Tupperware through a friend are both examples of such behavior.

Now why am I boring you with all this gibberish? Yes, as usual I have a book to tell you about, but I first want to say that persuasion - like any other skill - can be acquired, improved and mastered for greater success in life. Usually we do not look at persuasion as a stand-alone skill. We tend to look at small facets of it in terms of conversational skills, social etiquettes, body language, presentation skills and more. It's the complete package that amounts for good persuasion skills.

book on persuasion skillsHow To Be An Expert Persuader In 20 Days Or a rather long title for a book. Ok, but that does not take the credit away from it for being the most comprehensive and chaff-free resource on the subject of persuasion. The book touches upon all aspects of your personality that you can easily groom to acquire or enhance persuasion skills. The book discusses effective persuasion techniques that you can quickly master and use to influence people around you. Some of these techniques are based on the principle of conversational hypnosis, also called covert hypnosis. The difference is that here you don't just learn about abstract theories, you actually learn to put them in practice. If you think you could fare better in life if people took you more seriously, believed in what you say, understood you better or just listened to you...this book is for you. Take a look. Go here!

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