Persuasion IQ: The 10 Skills You Need to Get Exactly What You Want / Edition 1

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Do you realize how much your professional success, your income, and even your personal relationships depend on your ability to persuade, influence, and motivate other people? Yet many of us continue to use outdated techniques for convincing others...or worse yet, have no technique at all.

Kurt Mortensen, through his Persuasion Institute, has sought out and studied the world’s top persuaders, and with his specially formulated Persuasion I.Q. assessment—the most comprehensive persuasion resource available today—he lets readers in on the essential habits, traits, and behaviors necessary to cultivate their natural persuasive abilities. Concentrating on the 10 major Persuasion I.Q. skills, the book allows readers to determine their own current Persuasion I.Q., helping them to identify their strengths and weaknesses, and starting them down a path to enormous success and wealth. The book reveals powerful techniques that will enable them to:

• read people quickly

• create instant trust

• get others to take immediate action

• close more sales

• win over clients

• accelerate business success

• earn what they’re really worth

• influence others to accept their points of view

• win negotiations

• enhance relationships

• and—most important—hear the magical word “yes” more often!

Whether you are selling a product, presenting an idea, or asking for a raise, persuasion is the magic ingredient. This powerful, life-changing book will transform anyone into a persuasion genius.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Simultaneously useful and entertaining, this book is a thought-provoking examination into developing a vital talent.” Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814409930
  • Publisher: AMACOM Books
  • Publication date: 6/11/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Kurt W. Mortensen (Provo, UT) is one of America's leading authorities on persuasion, motivation, and influence. He is the coauthor of the bestselling book Maximum Influence (978-0-8144-7258-3).

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Read an Excerpt


What makes someone successful? Why do some people

achieve wealth, while others don’t? How can we predict

who will make it big, who will barely make ends meet,

and who will fail? How do we quantify the characteristics of highly

successful people?

It all started in 1905. French psychologist Alfred Binet developed

one of the first IQ (intelligence quotient) tests. Throughout

the years many scientists have tried to predict future educational

achievement and life performance by using tests to measure intelligence.

The hitch was that a high score on this type of measured

intelligence was no guarantee of life success.

Intelligence is an important trait, but there are many types of

intelligences. Howard Gardner found there were multiple types of

intelligences, with each individual exhibiting varying levels of

these different intelligences. What types of intelligences did the

successful and ultraprosperous have? Which ones were they born

with and which ones were learned?

Eventually, the concept of emotional intelligence (EQ) was

developed. Daniel Goleman’s groundbreaking book, Emotional

Intelligence, showed the world that success was determined not

only by IQ, but also by EQ. Emotional Intelligence, often measured

as an Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ), describes an

ability to perceive, assess, and manage the emotions of one’s self,

of others, and of groups.

My research on what makes people successful has revealed

that success depends on something beyond IQ and EQ. My studies

show that those who enjoy greater happiness and wealth in life

posses a high ability to persuade, influence, sell, negotiate, motivate,

lead, and understand human nature. These are not abilities

learned in school, yet they must be mastered to achieve major success

in life. Some call this “street smarts,” I call it your “Persuasion

IQ” (PQ). Studies show that those who generate wealth and success

always possess a high PQ.

Given that, increasing your PQ is critical for your success and

this book will help you do just that. This book can change your

income, your relationships, and even your entire life. Each chapter

reveals the traits and characteristics of top producers in every

aspect of life. This is based on over seventeen years of research.

Not just theory or hearsay, but proven techniques that work in real

life. In this book I’ve taken all the results of my research and made

them easy to understand, easy to apply, and easy for you to use.

Deep down we want everyone to listen and do exactly what we

want. Every day you either persuade others to your point of view

or they persuade you to theirs. We have learned from society to use

intimidation, coercion, control, force, or sometimes compromise

to get what we want. Why settle for short-term compliance when

you can have lasting long-term influence? Persuasion has changed

and we must change our persuasion skills to adapt ourselves to the

new world. Top persuaders persuade without detection and they

persuade others the way they want to be persuaded. In today’s

skeptical world any old-school persuasion attempts will be resisted.

Lack of persuasion, lack of trust, old-style persuasion, and lack

of people skills cost business billions of dollars a year in lost revenue.

How much has lack of persuasion or a low PQ cost you?

Now is the time to upgrade your skills instead of relying on techniques

of the past.

—Kurt W. Mortensen

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Table of Contents


Preface ix

Acknowledgments xi

1 What Is Your Persuasion IQ? The New Rules of Success

and Wealth 1

2 Persuasion Resistance: Ten Common Obstacles That Limit

Your Persuasion Success 17

3 PQ Skill #1: Mental Programming of Top Persuaders 39

4 PQ Skill #2: Understanding How Your Audience Thinks 67

5 PQ Skill #3: Instant Rapport and Social Synchronization 91

6 PQ Skill #4: Establishing Automatic Trust 119

7 PQ Skill #5: Command Attention with Power and

Authority 141

8 PQ Skill #6: The Ability to Influence Other People 161

9 PQ Skill #7: How to Motivate Yourself and Others Every

Time 179

10 PQ Skill #8: Advanced Presentation and Communication

Skills 205

11 PQ Skill #9: Preplanned Anticipation: The Secret Formulas

of the Pros 229

12 PQ Skill #10: Self-Mastery and Personal Development 251

Final Thoughts: Time to Capture Your Greatness 273

Appendix A: Persuasion IQ Book Bonuses / Free Reports 281

Appendix B: Abridged Persuasion IQ Test 285

Endnotes 299

Index 313

About the Author 323

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First Chapter

Persuasion IQ

The 10 Skills You Need to Get Exactly What You Want
By Kurt W. Mortensen


Copyright © 2008 Kurt W. Mortensen
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8144-1025-7

Chapter One

What Is Your Persuasion IQ?

The New Rules of Success and Wealth

What does it take to persuade with power in any encounter? Think about it. When was the last time you didn't get something you wanted? What happened? Did you fail to get your point across? Were you persuaded by someone else? Our understanding of persuasion and influence has changed dramatically over the past twenty years. In the past, we did not know or care how consumers thought or what prompted them to buy or take action. Most people in sales and marketing were shooting in the dark. We hoped that what we were doing was working. Dr. Antonio Damasio of Iowa College of Medicine sums it up best: "More may have been learned about the brain and the mind in the 1990s—the so-called decade of the brain—than during the entire previous history of psychology and neuroscience."

At some point, every persuader has lost a client, a customer, or even a friend, has failed at a business, or has blown a new account. Setbacks of this kind have no doubt happened to you. Sure, it hurts, but the question is: Who or what did you blame? It cost you money, embarrassed you, upset you, and someone must be blamed for your discomfort. However, when you embark on a new career, start a new business, or attempt something new, there are risks involved. When things don't work out as expected, the knee-jerk reaction often is: "Well, this doesn't work." I say, "No, it didn't work for you this time. But I know you can make it work." There are thousands of people in your field or industry, in the same (or worse) circumstances as yours, with the same intelligence (and often less) who have made it work. It is not the vehicle (whether business, real estate, network marketing, the Internet, commissioned sales, or any other endeavor) but the gas (persuasion, people skills, self-mastery) for the vehicle that makes the difference between mediocrity and success.

Persuasion is the number one skill possessed by the ultra-prosperous. If you stop and think about it, everything you want in life comes as a direct result of persuasion. Brian Tracy, a renowned expert in persuasion, says, "People who cannot present their ideas or sell themselves effectively have very little influence and are not highly respected." The converse of this statement is that if you can effectively present your ideas and persuade others, you will be highly influential and highly respected.

Did you know that more CEOs of major U.S. corporations come from sales and marketing backgrounds than from any other discipline? Being the CEO of a major corporation may or may not be your goal, but no matter what your career choices, dreams, or goals are, persuasion is the key to your success. Persuasion professionals—sales and marketing experts—are the most sought-after employees. Parents, teachers, leaders, managers, entrepreneurs, employees, and sales professionals all need persuasion skills. Regardless of our actual job title, we all persuade—we all sell—for a living.

Napoleon Hill spent twenty years researching success and prosperity, during which he uncovered the skills and habits of millionaires and discovered what the ultra-prosperous were doing that the average person was not. What habits, skills, and traits did the successful all have in common? Following the release of his famous bestsellers, Think and Grow Rich and Succeed and Grow Rich Through Persuasion, Hill dubbed the ability to persuade as the most important skill for reaching one's "greatest potential."

Your area of persuasion might be selling a product, presenting an idea effectively, negotiating a better deal, getting a raise, influencing someone to become a better person, or reaching a troubled teenager. No matter what the setting, success in all these situations depends on persuasion. Persuasion is key in every aspect of life. Consider the following ways we use persuasion every day:

Role Persuasion Audience Parents Guide Children Sales professionals Close Prospects Account reps Sell Clients Managers Recruit Employees Leaders Influence Followers Coaches Train Teams Advertisers Educate Shoppers Lawyers Sway Juries Presenters Inspire Listeners Entrepreneurs Win over Customers Marketers Convince Consumers Mentors Advise Students Politicians Urge Constituents Corporations Assure Shoppers Clergy Enlighten Members Doctors Counsel Patients

The list could go on. The point is we constantly find ourselves in persuasive encounters, in every sphere of life, both publicly and privately. What is your persuasion IQ (PQ)? Where do you rank in the world of persuasion and influence? And how do you move from persuasive mediocrity to persuasion mastery?

The Man and His New, Shiny SUV: A Fable After the purchase of a shiny red SUV, the new vehicle owner felt excited about his purchase but, at the same time, nervous about the large investment. It was a financial stretch to buy the car, but he felt so good behind the wheel. It just felt right. He was sure that this new car would open many doors—that it would be the start of something great. Things would be tight financially, but he felt the investment was worth every penny. Two weeks later, the gas light illuminated, and he automatically pulled into a gas station to fill up the tank. To his great dismay, he watched the counter on the pump go to $20, then $30, then $70 ... it finally stopped at $82.77. "That's highway robbery!" he thought. It wasn't fair that gas was so expensive! He vowed never to buy gas again, and he never did. There his car sat, parked in the driveway, shiny and new and never moving because of his headstrong refusal to put gas in his car.

Meaning: No matter what type of vehicle (business) you have, it will go nowhere if you do not have the gas (persuasion and people skills).

Just as gas is critical to your car (regardless of cost), persuasion is critical to your business. Most people would love to be able to know how to persuade and influence others, on the spot, in any situation. Suppose you are talking to a friend, a client, or a prospect, and you can't get your point across. Now imagine you could buy a spray can of persuasion, spray that person, and have her instantly change her mind to your point of view. What would that be worth to you? How much would you pay for such a spray can of persuasion? Imagine being able to persuade others with such power and ease.


The good news is that persuasion skills can be learned and mastered. It's amazing how little effort, time, or expense that individuals, companies, and corporations would have to spend on sales and persuasion training to equip themselves with these vital skills. Armed with such knowledge, the persuader's income and the company's profitability increases dramatically, and the client, customer, or friend is yours for life. The question I always get at this point is: "How much will it cost me to acquire, learn, and master these persuasion and life skills?" I want to shift the focus of that question. How much will it cost you if you don't? As the billionaire Donald Trump said, "Study the art of persuasion. Practice it. Develop an understanding for its profound value across all areas of life."

Why have I dedicated my life to understanding, mastering and teaching persuasion and life mastery? The reason is that I was mad I hadn't learned these critical life skills while earning my college degree or advanced business degree. Who/what had failed me? If persuasion is the skill of success, why hadn't I learned it from school, or anywhere else for that matter? Why had I been given a pocket knife to chop down the tree of success and wealth? Why had I been given the wrong tools? Why did these critical life skills have to be learned through the school of hard knocks?

I desperately wanted to master the priceless skill of persuasion. I read every book on the subject that I could get my hands on, attended countless persuasion, leadership, negotiation, and sales seminars, read thousands of studies on human behavior and social psychology, listened to every audiotape or CD on persuasion, motivation, and influence I could find. I gleaned lots of great information, but found something was still missing. All the studies, programs, books, and speakers touched on good ideas, but I couldn't find a source that tied it all together.

Frustrated, I decided to take my research to the next level. I sat through countless sales presentations, consumer intercepts, and surveys. I listened to telemarketing scripts, endured many offensive old-school persuasion tactics, and witnessed innumerable closes. I took sales and sales management positions to find what was working. I sought out the top professional persuaders to learn what makes them tick. I monitored not only top persuaders, but their audiences as well to determine what they did and did not like, why they were or were not persuaded.

Overflowing with my research results, I founded the Persuasion Institute to catalog my findings and share the secrets of persuasion with others who desire to reach their greatest potential. Since its inception, the Persuasion Institute has administered over 20,000 Persuasion IQ assessments. My role is to teach you the skills of top persuaders. What talents, traits, characteristics, habits, and mindset do top persuaders possess? How can an average persuader become a great persuader? I also help persuaders understand their audience. I talk to your customers, clients, and prospects after you do. Why are they lying to you, not calling you back, avoiding you, running away, or not buying? I find out exactly what happened and what you can do to improve your ability to persuade and influence.

Learning how to persuade and influence makes the difference between hoping for a better income and actually having a better income. Ask yourself this question: How much money and income have I lost with my inability to persuade and influence? Think about it. Sure, you've seen some success, but think of the times you just couldn't get it done. Has there ever been a time when you did not get your point across? When you were unable to convince someone to do something?

I have asked the question, "How much has your inability to persuade cost you or your business?" across the world, online, and in seminars. The answers are staggering. Across the board, the average amount people felt they had lost totaled $4.3 million. Over time, all those lost opportunities—relationships, business deals, or promotions—take their toll. As I delved deeper into the subject, I realized that those who had mastered persuasion and influence were able to dictate their income and could almost effortlessly find employment, start a business, or lead others anytime, anywhere.


Based on seventeen years of study, research, and experience in the field, the Persuasion Institute's Persuasion IQ assessment has cracked the code. Our findings and information will equip you with the essential habits, traits, and skills you need to become an unstoppable power persuader. The intelligence gathering, conceptual organizing, and explaining are all done for you. It is the most comprehensive persuasion resource available today.

Do you think you are already persuasive? Think again. Research shows that most persuaders use only three to four persuasive techniques, over and over again. Even high producers typically use only seven or eight persuasive techniques. What a waste of talent! Did you know that there are over one hundred persuasive tools and techniques that you can have readily available, right at your fingertips?

If you look at persuasion as if it were a piano, then most people only use a few piano keys and are playing "Chopsticks" when they could be using all the keys and playing Mozart.

Understanding that yesterday's persuasion training no longer applies in today's fast-paced, educated environment is the first step to mastering persuasion. Your audience does not want a product pusher, and they don't want to hear those cheesy one-liners. True persuasion is about creating customers and friends for life; it's not about getting that one quick sale that's all too likely to turn into a dissatisfied customer, a return, or a refund. It's not about getting short-term compliance. That type of persuasiveness will generate long-term resentment, rebellion, and frustration.

People aren't won over by tactics and gimmicks. In fact, they're all too weary of them. A New York Times poll found that 56 percent of respondents felt you can't be too careful in dealing with most people, and 34 percent said that most people would try to take advantage of you if they got the chance. When asked what they thought about persuaders or salespeople, only 32 percent of respondents said, "I have a positive attitude toward salespeople."

The challenge is that most persuaders are certain they possess most of the persuasion traits they need, but when you ask the people and prospects they interact with, you get a completely different picture. Whatever your area of persuasion, most of your audience (whether prospects, employees, or clients) will describe you as:

One-sided Loud Condescending Time waster Exaggerator Poor listener Fake friend Pushy Deceptive Greasy Fast-talking Manipulative Dishonest Devious Self-centered

Or they'll complain about your:

Poor communication Getting personal too fast Being misinformed Blaming others Lack of follow through Not really caring Overpromising Asking offensive questions Badmouthing the competition Attempts to get their wallet Lack of interpersonal skills Not understanding their business Useless small talk Employing obvious closing tactics

Why all this negativity? First of all, the general public is more educated now than ever before, which means they are more discerning. Secondly, all of us are bombarded by countless persuasive messages every day. We don't have to go looking for them—they find us. By the age of twenty, the average American has been exposed to approximately one million television commercials. With such a constant marketing onslaught, who wouldn't be sick of it? Everyone starts to go numb with the sheer volume of daily persuasive attempts.

So it's best to know the facts up front. Most people think persuaders talk too much, overpromise, fail to follow through, are only looking out for themselves, and are greedy or manipulative. Sorry, no sugar coating.

What does all this mean for you as a persuader? It means out with the old and in with the new. Forget about the old tactics, clichés, and stereotypes. It's not about having tricks up your sleeve and pulling a fast one. It's not about coercing, nagging, bullying, or begging. These forms of "persuasion" are not really persuasion at all. They may work initially, but their effects are only temporary and your audience quickly becomes desensitized. As a society, we've grown to be more demanding and less patient.

Instead of learning techniques and strategies, think in terms of transforming yourself into a naturally persuasive person. You are what's persuasive, not some tactic you employ. You're the real deal. You are persuasive because of the traits, talents, and characteristics you have integrated into your life. Persuasion is the critical skill, and it's transferable in any situation or career. Cultivating your natural persuasiveness will bring you success in any job, setting, or business.


Excerpted from Persuasion IQ by Kurt W. Mortensen Copyright © 2008 by Kurt W. Mortensen. Excerpted by permission of AMACOM. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 12, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Compendium of techniques for persuasion and success

    This book is a useful primer for learning well-established persuasion techniques. Although author Kurt Mortensen makes few new points, he does a good job of compiling and synthesizing the current wisdom. Nothing here will challenge readers who are already familiar with the art, but newbies will find Mortensen¿s book a useful introduction, with references to classic motivational writers such as Napoleon Hill, time-management gurus such as Stephen Covey and classic thinkers such as Ben Franklin and Mohandas Gandhi. His enthusiasm helps, as do his checklists and examples. getAbstract recommends his book to aspiring salespeople and negotiators, and to anyone else who wants to improve his or her persuasion skills but doesn¿t know where to start.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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