How Humor Increases Trust and Decreases Resistance

What do we know about humor and persuasion?  Multiple studies show that humor connects you to your audience, increases trust and makes your prospect easier to persuade.  If your audience is hostile or full of resistance, the studies also show the right dose of humor and the appropriate use of humor will open the door to persuasion and influence.  Careful with this one – you might think you are funny, but others probably don’t have the same opinion.

There is a direct correlation between the use of humor and your ability to influence.  When you engage someone with humor, it is much more than a mere smile or laugh.  Humor disarms your prospect and opens them up, making them more likely to connect with you and trust you.  We are drawn to people that make us smile and help us feel better about ourselves or external circumstances.  This humor enables your audience to become more receptive and decreases resistance.  Another thing that happens is they remember you and continue to hold you in a positive light even after the initial encounter.  When you leverage humor, your message receives more weight and consideration.

The benefits of humor are countless and critical for your persuasion power.  I am not asking you to be a stand-up comedian, but you can get someone to laugh or even smile.  This humor keeps their minds from wandering during your encounter and it reenergizes their soul.  In short, it puts them in a good mood and eases their daily tensions.   So what does it do for you?  The proper use of humor will boost your confidence and increase your likeability.  It enables you to establish instant rapport and that will increase trust.  Practice your humor.  Make sure it works.  The brutal bottom line is they will either laugh with you, or feel sorry for you.


Don’t worry if your audience doesn’t laugh or crack a smile.  Some people won’t laugh or smile at anything.  They might be smiling on the inside or they want to be miserable.  Focus on the people you can touch or help crack that smile.  Learn to laugh at yourself, the joke may be you.  Self-depreciating humor is a great way to connect with your audience.  They know that you make mistakes just like them and it makes them more comfortable around you.  Always be prepared to have fun, always try to share your happiness and always be ready to use your sense of humor.

Studies show humor helps others:

•           Become more open with their feelings

•           Reduce their stress and fear

•           Experience more life satisfaction

•           Enhance their self-image

•           Become friendlier

Take Away

Anyone can use or borrow humor.  You can find comics, Youtube videos, entertaining stories or funny jokes that will make any prospect or audience laugh.  Always practice your humor before you need it.  Always make sure your humor does not insult your audience or take them off topic.  You can do this!  Practice this week implementing more humor into your life and your presentations.

Posted in Speaking Skills | Comments Off

What Increases Trust?

We know trust is critical.  So, what increases trust?  The most important aspect of trust is your credibility.  Most people have a blind spot with credibility.  The blind spot is assuming you are credibible and you are believable.  You could be the smartest person in your field or even the most qualified, but if that is not the perception, there is no credibility.  You could be an even be an expert, but if you don’t always come across that way, you are not credible.    If somebody says something negative about you or your company, your credibility is shot.  It is also important to realize that credibility is essential to influence.  We don’t often think about credibility because in our mind we are credible.  We always tell the truth and we know you can help with our expertise.  This might be true, but credibility is a perception, not a fact.  It is not given, it is earned.     The way you present yourself and your demeanor either helps or hurts your perception of credibility.  (Whether it is fair or not) Learn to present yourself in a calm, prepared, and authoritative manner.  Getting overly emotional or becoming flustered will throw your credibility out the window.  Credible people are not running around with their head cut off.  They are not disorganized or airing the perception of “out of control.”    Credible people are in control and composed at all times.  Even if they don’t feel that way on the inside, it looks that way on the outside.  Studies show that showing up on time and being organized dramatically helps with the initial perception of credibility.  Studies also show that speech nonfluencies such as increased pauses, repetitions, and speech errors have been found to decrease perceptions of credibility.     One thing that hurts your credibility is coming across as too good to be true.  The way to solve the “to good to be true,” issue is to reveal a weakness.  It is interesting to note that people are so skeptical that they are looking for some type of weakness in you or your product.  If you don’t give them a weakness, then they will assign one to you.  Revealing a weakness tends to make people view you as more honest and credible than those who try to cover up faults and weaknesses.  Credibility increases when we are big enough to own up to our mistakes and weaknesses.  People can forgive weakness, but they won’t be as quick to forgive cover-ups.   Application How do you know if you suffer from a low credibility.  Do any of these things happen to you?   ·         Repeat business is down ·         Complaints to your superiors ·         Needing references ·         Not returning calls ·         Canceling appointments ·         Calling to complain ·         Failing to give you repeat business ·         Exhibiting no loyalty   Take Away The key is to continually enhance your credibility (no matter where you are starting).  What can you do to overcome any credibility issues you might encounter?  Be over prepared and anticipate any question you might face.  You can’t have credibility if you are winging it.  This is what you can do today, find ways to increase your credibility with people without coming across as a braggart.  What can you do or say that will reveal your expertise, qualifications, education, or experience so you will be perceived as the expert.  Get creative, maybe have someone introduce you or find away to borrow credibility from someone else.

Posted in Leadership, Persuasion/Influence, Sales | Comments Off

Does Goodwill Increase Influence?

Goodwill is great way to turn people on and increase your influence. If your only focus is on you, then eventually all then the focus will be off you. When you start to focus on others, show some kindness and offer goodwill, offer some charity – the focus will return to you. When you look for the good in others you become better yourself. When you start looking for ways to serve, not only do you open the doors to influence, it increases your well-being and your happiness.

Having goodwill entails being friendly and showing genuine concern for others. This concern and kindness means being perceptive and thoughtful. It means being considerate in all your encounters. Always be polite, and show genuine concern to those around you. It is the foundation for all interactions and creates a mood of reciprocity and influence. You will win hearts and loyalty through compassion and goodwill.

You demonstrate goodwill by focusing on positives and being careful with the negatives. Don’t be harsh or forceful when dealing with people. Remember most people can be highly sensitive or feel overly vulnerable. (Remember esteem) Watch your statements and your actions and always show that you have your prospect’s best interest in mind.

Never criticize someone unless you really need to and do it the right way. Criticism damages your relationship and destroys the connection you have with them and hurts your ability to persuade. Instead, find something positive and show goodwill. This will increase acceptance and self-confidence. Many times we correct or criticize in the wrong way and this destroys the possibility for influence. Anytime someone feels stupid or you are perceived as inconsiderate and your ability to persuade diminishes. Little do most people know that their comments cause resistance and resentment. Show you care, show some goodwill and you automatically will connect with anyone.


The application is simple. Start giving of yourself. Start caring about others, show your goodwill and you will amazed that people want to be around you and you become a happier person. Try some of these simple things to get things started.

  • Do something to improve someone’s day
  • Offer a compliment when least expected
  • Sincerely ask how they are doing
  • Look for the small opportunities to serve
  • Pay the toll of the person behind you
  • Leave a big tip

Take Away

The key here is to be aware of the world around you. You are stuck on your life. Try to focus on everyone else you meet. Replace all negative thoughts and comments about people with positive ones. Look for the good in others and strive to bring out the best in them. When you can improve the life of everyone you meet (it could take seconds) in some subtle way, you will radiate goodwill. Everyone needs a little help now and then. You see what you look for. Today look for a chance to place a little goodwill, a little service and you will see your ability to influence increase.

Persuade with Power

Kurt Mortensen

Posted in Charisma, Leadership, Persuasion/Influence | Comments Off

How Your Voice Affects Persuasion

Magnetic Persuasion

Your voice is your calling card.  Your voice must exude confidence, courage and conviction.  We judge others by their voice:  arrogant, nervous, weak or strong.  If you sound uncertain and timid, your ability to gain influence will falter.  Influential voices have a soothing volume, varied emphases, good articulation, and a pleasing pitch.

Your voice will either connect you with your audience or disconnect with them on a subconscious level.  The more you learn about your verbal presentation, the more you will be able to maintain influence.  The words you use do affect attitudes, beliefs, and emotions.  You must understand how your voice can evoke vivid thoughts, feelings, and actions in your audience.

To create an effective verbal presentation, you need to understand the following critical aspects of your voice:

1.  Rate

Rate refers to how fast you speak.  Speeches delivered at faster speeds are more influential and rated more influential than those slow or even moderate speeds, because those who speak faster appear more competent and knowledgeable.  What happens when your overall rate is fast, is they pay more attention and have less time to think of other things.  Obviously you need to vary your rate or people will become tense and tune out.  Careful, if your rate is always fast with no variation you will be judged as less sincere and more self-centered.  Slow your rate down when you have something important or serious to say or want to appear thoughtful.  Increase your rate when you want to create excitement and energy.  During a one-on-one encounter you should match their rate when you first meet them and slowly increase your rate during the presentation.

2.  Vocal Fillers

You are doing this and probably don’t know it.  Most of us feel we don’t have a problem with vocal fillers, and most of us are wrong.  You know what I am talking about.  It is the use of the common “um,” “er,” “uh” or even “ya know.”  These type of fillers can destroy your presentation, annoy people, hurt your credibility and can make people tense.  Now a few fillers here and there are not that big of deal, but most people really tend to violate this rule.  You have seen people with their own distinctive way of filling in the silence between thoughts.  Sometimes you will hear them repeat the first two or three words of a sentence until their brain catches up.  Others might say, “Okay” or “dude” at the end of every sentence, as if they’re checking to see if you are still listening.

3.  Pitch and Inflection

What is the difference between pitch and inflection?  Pitch is the level of your voice frequency.  When you have a high pitch, you are judged as nervous, excited or vulnerable.  A low pitch tends to show more strength, confidence and assurance.   A lower voice is usually considered to be more believable, sincere and trustworthy.  Pitch is the first thing we judge when we decide if the voice is pleasant or irritating.  Varying your pitch will also help people stay more alert and attentive and you will stop sounding so monotonous.   Inflection is when you alter the pitch or tone of your voice.  You will notice that influential people use inflection in their voices to show confidence and authority.  At the end of their sentences they will usually inflect downward.  Listen to your inflection.  Most people that aren’t confident or show doubt tend to inflect upward at the end of their sentences.

4.  Volume

This one is easy to understand, but often abused.  You only have 3 options here — to loud, to soft or just right.  If they can’t hear you, then it is very difficult to maintain charisma or be very influential.  The challenge is when they have to strain to hear you, most people will give up trying to listen.  On the other hand, some people tend to yell or use a very high volume when they speak.  This causes great tension and aggravation.  It is always good to plant someone in the back of the room to rate your volume.  Ask a friend on the phone if your volume sounds good.  Raising your volume for impact is not as effective as lowering your voice.  When you want the audience to really lean forward and listen, try lowering your voice.  Last note on volume is to keep it calm and steady because you will be considered more credible and influential.

5.  Silence

Is silence really part of your verbal presentation?  Yes it is.  A well placed pause can grab attention at any time, with any audience.  They can sense something important is about to happen.  Pauses let the audience mentally prepare for something important and let you emphasize a point.  Use intentional pauses for the topics you consider the most important.  Not only does a pause increase comprehension, but it also helps you gather your thoughts if you are feeling a little lost.  Use pauses to create attention, emphasis, and mood.  Be sure as you come to the pause, keep your pitch a little high, this builds suspense and gives momentum to the pause.  If you inflect your pitch downward this will defeat the purpose of the pause and provide a feeling of resolution instead of suspension.

Take Away

Because of the many nuances, feelings and moods you can convey through the use of your voice, it’s always a great idea to record your voice and listen to it.   I know that can be a little painful, but it is worth it.  What does your voice project?  Do you sound compelling and convincing?  Besides the message, observe your pitch, your pace, your volume, your tone and your articulation.  Effective use of this vocal variety catches and holds others’ attention.  If you don’t like how you sound, just take a deep breath and find a solution.  It is common not to like your own voice.  Make sure that there are specific aspects you don’t like, instead of the knee jerk reaction of not liking anything about your voice.  Discover the exact aspects of your voice that you’d like to change, then take things one step at a time.  A handy digital recorder may prove to be your best coach.  Does your voice work for you or against you?

Persuade with Power

Kurt Mortensen

Posted in Charisma, Leadership, Persuasion/Influence, Speaking Skills | Comments Off

Millionaire Dollar Habits

Millionaire Dollar Habits

How can you make this your year?  What will make the biggest difference?  We all know and research shows us time and time again that some people are very successful and some are destined for failure.  The biggest indicator of success will be predicted by your habits.  Yes – your habits.

If you want to change your life or change your income, it comes back to changing your habits.  So this is the question of the day.  Are your habits good or are they bad?  Are they pulling you towards your goals or are they pushing you away.  Let’s get into the fundamentals of changing your habits or changing the habits of your prospects.

Healthy Habits

Your life is an accumulation of all your habits.  Your ability to become a great persuader hinges on your habits and choices.  Let’s take, for example, some common life situations. We gradually put on weight over the years, but then we want to lose it in a couple of days.  Similarly, we spend years getting deeper and deeper into debt, but we want to become financially independent overnight.  We decide we want to run that marathon-when it’s only a month away.  We want to ace that exam, but we only allow ourselves an hour to cram all the material.  We start thinking about retirement when it looms only five years out on the horizon.  There are many things in life we want to attain in the shortest amount of time and by exerting the least possible effort, but success rarely happens that way.  Success is a process, not a quick fix.  Progress comes in steps, and the groundwork has to be laid.

So, it is time to take a look at your habits, to acknowledge any bad habits you have, and to understand that over 90 percent of our normal behavior is based on routines and habits. You’ve picked up your habits somewhere-often without even thinking about it-and you’re not even sure why.  Great persuaders have spent the time and energy to analyze all their habits-good and bad.  Habits can come from beliefs and beliefs influence habits. These beliefs are learned from society and from your parents.  It often takes a while for the consequences of our habits to appear.  Remember, overcoming debt, weight gain, and other addictions are all slowly evolving processes.

Three feet of ice does not result from one day of freezing weather.


Here is the key: Instead of trying to change a bad habit, try replacing this habit with something else.  Pick a different activity that is enjoyable and fulfilling, but more productive.

Ask yourself the following questions:

* Where are your habits taking you?

* What habits are holding you back?

This week I want you to choose the one habit that has held you back from your most desired goal.  Identify it and answer the following questions.

* Why did you start this habit?

* What are the long-term consequences of this habit?

* How are you going to replace this habit?

Change your habits and you will change your life, your relationships and your income.

Persuade with Power

Kurt Mortensen

Posted in Self-Persuasion | Comments Off

Unknown Influence Blunder Costing You Money

Let’s talk about a persuasion blunder costing you money.  The worst time to learn a persuasion skill is when you need it.  Persuasion must be mastered before it is needed, or the opportunity is lost forever.  There are things you are doing right now (and don’t know) that cause people to resist you and your message.  My research shows that there are ten common persuasion blunders that limit your success and income.  Let’s talk about persuasion blunder #1.  I know that this blunder has cost you millions of dollars and you didn’t even know it.  Fix this blunder and fix your income.

The Wobegon Effect

I have monitored 1000’s of persuasive encounters over the last decade.  It is interesting to see the difference in what the persuader thinks happened and what actually happened.  I will ask the persuader if they built trust.  Nine out of ten times they will say, – Yes I did.  Then I will ask their prospect if they trusted their persuader.  Only one out of ten times would they answer in the affirmative.  This self-perception bias or denial is called the Wobegon Effect.
The Wobegon Effect manifests itself when we are evaluating a skill or talent that we expect ourselves to have or when others expect us to have a particular skill.  When social pressure or social validation is involved, we make higher-than-expected evaluations.

Do you know that annoying person that rubs you the wrong way?  Do you know that person you don’t like, but pretend to like them when they are around you?  Do you know the family member that thinks they are cool, but you know they aren’t?  Well – that could be YOU.  What am I saying?  They could be pretending to like you because that is the nice thing to do.  Are you able to get along with different personalities?  Are you sure?  Did you know that 90% of all people rate their people skills as above average?  This is the Wobegon Effect.

The Wobegon Effect ultimately gives us a false sense of security.  When afflicted by it, we become numb to reality and fail to see exactly where we stand and what we need to improve.  This tendency can lower our expectations about ourselves and falsely improve our confidence.  Great persuaders are able to take a good, hard look at themselves and come to grips with the facts, both the good and the bad.  This is when you will be able to make real progress.

Among managers, 92 percent will rate themselves better than the average manager.  We tend to overestimate everything from grades and physical appearance to the possibility of divorce.  To drive home the Wobegon Effect’s prevalence, one study found that most people believe they are more ___________ than the average person.


My research has shown the following to be the top five strengths persuasion students say they have mastered, but rate themselves higher than they actually are:

1.  People skills/empathy
2.  Persistence/determination
3.  Communication/listening
4.  Personal mastery
5.  Closing skills

Do you suffer from the Wobegon Effect?  What is it that you’ve been telling yourself and everyone else you do really well, when in fact you don’t do it well at all-or at least you’re not above average, as you’ve been trying to convince yourself and everyone else?  Where do your talents and traits compare to the real world?

Choose one of the five top traits  above and find out the truth about where you really rank with that skill.  You can’t fix it unless you know the weakness exists.

Persuade with Power
Kurt Mortensen

Posted in Leadership, Negotiation, Persuasion/Influence, Sales | Comments Off

Persuasion Technique You Use – That No Longer Works

Magnetic Persuasion

Persuasion Technique You Use – That No Longer Works

Welcome back to the Magnetic Persuasion Newsletter.  I hope everyone is having a great week and you are gaining momentum to make this your year. Thanks for all your feedback.  Remember your IQ can only get you so far.  Successful people have a high Persuasion IQ. Do you wonder where you rank with your persuasion skills?  Let’s find out and increase your Persuasion IQ.

What is the answer to the following question?

When you meet someone for the first time at their home or office you should:

a)  Look around for something in common.

b)  Talk about their hobbies or interests.

c)  Establish a need for your product or service.

d)  Make small talk until you have established rapport.

e)  Shake hands.

Old-school persuaders have a tendency to walk into an office and look for things on the wall or a desk to make small talk about.  They then use this small talk to try to bond with a potential client. There was a time this technique worked.  However, we live in a different world today than we did decades ago. Time is now of the essence.  Because your audience is pressed for time, you have to get right to the point.  Most people don’t appreciate useless dribble-drabble.  Research tells us that the majority of people do not appreciate unsolicited small talk, and many find it offensive.  The answer to today’s question is C.  Until your prospect knows they have a need or want for your product – the rapport building usually backfires.

People buy from those who understand their wants and needs.  As I was doing research for Persuasion IQ, I had a couple of managers tell me that they had removed items from their office (trophies, golf clubs, pictures, fish) so that annoying salespeople wouldn’t force them into talking about it—one more time.

How You Can Tell If You’re Really Connecting

Once you establish a need for your product, how do you know if you’re really connecting?  You want to be friendly, but not fake. You aim to be engaging, but not annoying. You’re enthusiastic, but not overbearing.  One of the most obvious signs of a good connection is that the initial defensiveness and skepticism begin to dissipate. The mood relaxes and your audience begins to relax. They begin to voluntarily offer personal thoughts and feelings without you having to pull it out of them.  Openness increases, and resistance decreases.  There is more eye contact and more open body language.  It could best be summed up by saying things start to “feel right.”  The exchange is natural, sincere, positive, and upbeat. You could compare it to how you feel when talking to a good friend.

How to Connect with People

Now let’s talk about how great persuaders connect with people—what they actually do. Research sheds light on critical factors that are present when the audience feels the greatest connection with their persuader.  Review the list below and see if you can add any of these items to your persuasion repertoire.

•           You hold no preconceived judgments or expectations.

•           You are positive and upbeat, both up front and throughout the encounter.

•           It is clear that you are there to serve, assist, and help.

•           You are respectful.

•           Your body language is open and friendly (eye contact, gestures, smile, etc.).

•           Your tone of voice is warm and friendly.

•           Your use of language and word choice is thoughtful.

•           You speak in a natural, relaxed manner but still maintain energy and enthusiasm.

•           You instill in your audience both hope and optimism.

•           Your demeanor is always comfortable and genuine; it’s never artificial.

When you harness the power of your “rapport radar,” you’ll be able to read non-verbal cues, detect unspoken messages, and decipher the true feelings behind facial expressions, body language, and attitude.  Instead of taking them through a rigid, preformulated routine, your radar will enable you to monitor their receptivity as you go.

Persuade with Power

Kurt Mortensen

Posted in Negotiation, Persuasion/Influence, Sales | Comments Off

The One Technique That Will Double Your Sales

As you know there are 12 laws of persuasion and each one will increase your income. The key is to know when and where you should use each law to generate the right subconscious trigger. Remember that up to 95% of all persuasion and influence involves a subconscious trigger. That trigger is a feeling that is generated when you attempt to influence your prospect.

What is the answer to the following Persuasion IQ question?

What percent of people will always go against the social norm and violate social conformity?

a) 1–5%
b) 5–10%
c) 10–15%
d) 15–20%
e) 20–25%

The answer is B! Want to double your sales – increase your social validation. Borrow credibility from the masses. When we are not sure what to do, what to buy or where to go – we seek the best-selling, the most recommended or the product with the best reviews. We love our social media. We all have an innate desire to belong to a social group. It is precisely because we value this sense of belonging so highly that the more other people find an idea, trend, or product appealing or correct, the more correct that position becomes in our own minds.

Social validation is all around us. When something strange happens on an airline flight, most look to the flight attendant to see if they should panic. If there is a strange noise, we look at their reaction and if they stay calm, we tend to stay calm. I was on a flight that hit an air pocket and the plane dropped a few hundred feet. When this airplane dropped, the flight attendant screamed, turned white and rushed to her seat and buckled up. What do you think happened to the other passengers? After this behavior from the flight attendant, it caused the other passengers to tense up and panic.

When we are not sure what to do, we seek the social norm by observing what others do. If we don’t know the standard, we look around and find it. Social Validation becomes a way to save time and energy in figuring out what is correct or what to buy. We use others’ behavior to guide our own actions, to validate what we should or should not do. This automatic trigger saves us from thinking. We compare what we do against the standard of what everyone else is doing. If we find a discrepancy between what we observe and what we do, we tend to make changes in the direction of the social norm.

Social Validation and Marketing
Many salespeople find great success in telling clients that a particular product is their “best-selling” or “most popular” on hand because social validation increases their credibility of the product in the mind of the buyer. So it is with advertising: Asserting that a product is in super-high demand or that it is the most popular or fastest selling, etc., seems to provide proof enough! When consumers perceive a product is popular, that’s often all they need to go out and buy it. It can be that simple. Think about it. When you go to a new restaurant and you are not sure what to order, what do you do? You ask, “what is the most popular item.”

The creation and use of social validation is rampant: Clubs make their spots look like “the place to be” by allowing huge waiting lines to congregate outside their facilities, even when the place is practically empty inside. Salespeople often recount the many other people who have purchased the item in question. Sales and motivation consultant Cavett Robert said it best: “Since 95 percent of the people are imitators and only 5 percent initiators, people are persuaded more by the actions of others than by any proof we can offer.”

Making Social Validation Work
The power of social validation can be used to your benefit in any persuasive situation. If your product or service is socially validated, people are most likely to use it or to switch to it. People are always looking around and comparing themselves to see if they line up with everyone else. If they feel a discrepancy between where they are and where everyone else is, they will most likely conform to the group standard.

How can you increase social validation? Is your product/service…
Number one
Top 10
Fasting growing
New trend
Standard issue / contract

Can you increase your credibility? Can you add more…
3rd party validation
Industry experts

Increase your social validation and double your success rate. Implement this technique and you will see more people say “yes.”

Persuade with Power
Kurt Mortensen

Posted in Persuasion/Influence, Sales, Speaking Skills | Comments Off

What Is The Main Thing That Offends Your Audience During Your First Contact?

What Is The Main Thing That Offends Your Audience During Your First Contact?

I know you are not attempting to offend people, but it happens without your knowledge. The challenge for most persuaders is they don’t know when they have crossed that line because it is easier for people to LIE. Have you ever heard the following?

-It is too expensive
-I need more information
-I need to talk to my spouse/partner
-I will come back later
-I will go to your website

These are lies 67% of the time. You must understand there is something you did to derail the persuasion process.

What is your answer to the following Persuasion IQ question?

What is the main thing that offends your audience during your first contact?
a. Pushiness
b. Unsolicited small talk
c. Did not leave relevant information
d. Stayed longer than expected
e. Late for your appointment

Most people tend to choose A for this Persuasion IQ question. Pushiness is the second major complaint during your initial encounter with a prospect. When you are unable to read your audience we tend to push a little too hard. We unknowingly tend to become a little too aggressive. This happens when you don’t ask enough questions and fail to listen. The answer to the above question is B. The small talk has lost effectiveness during your initial contact.

Studies show that not only do 75 percent of people not like all the “gushy, chit-chatty stuff,” but 99 percent of them won’t even bother to stop you when they’re annoyed. The proverbial bad salesman comes to mind here. He acts too chummy and tells stupid jokes, all the while thinking everyone loves him. You’ve probably met him. What did you do when you met this person? If you’re like most people, you politely endured the encounter, made up some excuse to get him off your back, and then swore to yourself that you would never get stuck talking to him again. Reality check: This annoying person could be you.

Being an extrovert, having the gift of gab, or being able to make small talk with anyone you meet can definitely be used to your advantage, but watch yourself. How can you persuade if you are always talking? It will be very annoying to your audience if they sense that you like hearing yourself talk more than listening to their concerns. Remember, it’s about them, not you. Great persuaders listen more than they talk. In fact, great persuaders use their listening and questioning skills to get their audience to persuade themselves.

Often when someone comes to you, she already knows what she wants. She already has something in mind. She just needs to talk through it with someone. Which approach do you think will have better, longer-term results: you persuading your audience, or you helping them persuade themselves? It’s much better if your audience feels as if they have made the decision themselves, without perceived external influences. When you do have to talk, be succinct and to the point. A good rule of thumb is not to talk more than 30 percent of the time.

Now, with these general guidelines in place, it is worth pointing out that you must always be prepared to adapt and adjust to the personality type of your audience. For some people, talking 30 percent of the time will still be too much. Discussing only what is relevant to the matter at hand and keeping chit-chat to a minimum is best for these no-nonsense types. Your attempts at being their buddy will likely annoy and maybe even offend them. Some people feel that being overly warm and personable is not appropriate when you have just met someone for the very first time. Polite and professional, yes, but warm and fuzzy, no. The bottom line is, don’t get too friendly too fast.

The key is to make sure they are aware of the benefits of your product/service before you waste their time with unsolicited small talk.

Persuade with Power
Kurt Mortensen

Posted in Speaking Skills | Comments Off

Your #1 Persuasion Blunder

Your #1 Persuasion Blunder

This persuasion blunder is a major downfall for persuaders and the biggest complaint from your prospects.  This blunder is VOMIT.  Yes, you are talking three times too much.  This blunder is costing you money and is easy to fix. The challenge is most people don’t even know they are talking their prospects right out of the sell.  Let’s talk about VOMIT.

Talking Too Much

Being an extrovert, having the gift of gab, or being able to make small talk with anyone you meet can definitely be used to your advantage, but watch yourself.  How can you persuade if you are always talking?  It will be very annoying to your audience if they sense that you like hearing yourself talk more than listening to their concerns.  Remember, it’s about them, not you.  Great persuaders listen more than they talk.  In fact, great persuaders use their listening and questioning skills to get their audience to persuade themselves.

Often when someone comes to you, she already knows what she wants.  She already has something in mind.  She just needs to talk through it with someone.  Which approach do you think will have better, longer-term results: you persuading your audience, or you helping them persuade themselves?   It’s much better if your audience feels as if they have made the decision themselves, without perceived external influences.  When you do have to talk, be succinct and to the point.  A good rule of thumb is not to talk more than 30 percent of the time.

Now, with these general guidelines in place, it is worth pointing out that you must always be prepared to adapt and adjust to the personality type of your audience.  For some people, talking 30 percent of the time will still be too much.  Discussing only what is relevant to the matter at hand and keeping chit-chat to a minimum is best for these no-nonsense types.  Your attempts at being their buddy will likely annoy and maybe even offend them.  Some people feel that being overly warm and personable is not appropriate when you have just met someone for the very first time.  Polite and professional, yes, but warm and fuzzy, no. The bottom line is, don’t get too friendly too fast.

This is a persuasion blunder everyone needs to overcome.

Persuade with Power

Kurt Mortensen

Posted in Persuasion/Influence, Sales | Comments Off