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"There's really nothing mysterious about getting people to change their minds. No special, inborn gifts. No subliminal tricks.
Instead, the best persuadersadvertisers, salespeople, politicians, spin doctorsdepend on the fact that everyone responds to messages in just two ways: thoughtfully or mindlessly. And they know how to manipulate these two persuasion routes to make even the most doubtful say "yes."
Jam-packed with fascinating case studies and surprising examples, this comprehensive, entertaining how-to guide puts the powerful tool of persuasion at anyone's disposal. It explains:
• How the master persuadersthe Churchills, Lincolns, and Rooseveltscreate powerful, memorable messages that convince people of their arguments' logic and rightness.
• How successful persuaders exploit the psychological triggers that cause people to subconsciously move from "no" to "yes."
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.39(w) x 9.35(h) x 0.67(d)|
|Age Range:||17 Years|
About the Author
Harry Mills (Lower Hutt, New Zealand) is the author of 22 books on sales, negotiation, and influence, including the bestselling Negotiate: The Art of Winning. He is also an active consultant whose international clients include IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Toyota, Unilever, and Lexus.
Read an Excerpt
I earn my living as a professional persuader. I am what some people call a hired gun. I sell my talents to corporations, governments, and individuals who need help to persuade, sell, or negotiate.
I love it. The bigger the challenge, the more the adrenaline runs. Along the way, I've negotiated on billion-dollar deals, aided the launch of some of the world's best products, and even helped politicians win elections.
It's much easier when your clients include companies such as Toyota, BMW, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Unilever. These companies appreciate what it takes to win the battle for hearts and minds against formidable competitors.
The Dark Art of Mysterious Influence
Nevertheless, I never cease to be amazed at how few people understand the art of persuasion. A large group of people - 25 percent, pollsters tell us - believe that persuasion is sorcery, a mysterious black art practiced by wizards who masquerade as politicians, advertisers, and spin doctors.
Vance Packard popularised the notion in his 1957 best-selling book The Hidden Persuaders. "Many of us are being influenced and manipulated, far more than we realise, in the patterns of our everyday lives," he wrote. He saw motivational research as comparable to "the chilling world of George Orwell and big brother." According to Packard, advertising agencies were tapping into the research of psychoanalysis to create a new type of suggestive and seductive ad.
A Canadian university professor, William Bryan Key, added to the fears when he claimed there was widespread use of what he called subliminalpersuasion. He argued that advertisers were using subliminal messages in advertisements. Key claimed hidden messages urging you to buy were being embedded in pictures and print advertisements. At the movies, messages such as "Buy Coke" were being flashed secretly onto the screen at 1/3000 of a second - far too fast for the conscious mind to detect. Customers were being unconsciously manipulated.
Various governments added to the concern when they overreacted by banning subliminal advertising. However, in the over 200 academic papers that have since been published on the power of subliminal messages, not one has been able to show that subliminal messages influence what we do at all. Nevertheless, the fears haven't disappeared. In 1990, the rock band Judas Priest found themselves in court for allegedly recording the subliminal message "Do it" on one of their tracks in their 1978 album Stained Glass. Two sets of parents had filed suit claiming the message caused their two boys, fanatical Judas Priest fans, to commit suicide.
The band emerged victorious after a Canadian psychologist proved there was no evidence to support Key's ideas, which formed the basis of the accusation. Even so, persuasion for many remains a mysterious, irresistible force that unconsciously shapes their lives. Surveys tell us that 70 percent to 80 percent of people still believe advertisers use subliminal advertising.
Willing Accomplices in Our Own Seduction
The second reason why most people remain ignorant about how persuasion works is that they refuse to admit they are influenced by politicians, salespeople, and advertisers.
It is remarkable how many people believe they are immune to persuasion. They insist that they don't watch ads, that they never listen to politicians, and that they are resistant to all forms of persuasion.
Given that we are bombarded by as many as 1,600 commercial messages a day - that's 100 every waking hour - the claim to immunity is remarkable.
The fact is, none of us is immune to influence. Advertisers and other professional persuaders have long known how to get through to those of us who claim to be resistant.
Advertisers, for example, typically flatter those who believe they are too individualistic to fall for a pitch aimed at the mainstream. The simplest trick is to use flattery. The Nike ads or MTV tell the "rebels" they want to win over, "We understand you; you're special. Don't do what everyone else does. Be unique and join us."
There is a moment in Monty Python's The Life of Brian that sums up the approach perfectly. The messiah shouts to the crowd, "Don't follow anyone. Think for yourself. You are all individuals." And the crowd shouts back, in unison, "We are all individuals."
Ironically, because of their naivete, this "rebel" group is often the easiest to persuade - and in the process, they become willing accomplices in their own seduction.
I wrote this book to show that there is nothing inherently mysterious about persuasion. We can all be skilled persuaders if we are prepared to master the techniques and understand what works, what doesn¹t work, and why.
Moreover, I passionately believe that the best defense against manipulation, propaganda, and ultimately tyranny is a fundamental knowledge of how persuasion works. You only have to visit the Auschwitz and Dachau concentration camps to know the human price we pay for naivete, gullibility, and ignorance.
Clues For The Cluelessness AMACOM Books
By Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal
Copyright © 2000 Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal. All rights reserved.
Table of Contents
|Preface: Manipulation, Seduction, and Persuasion: Why I wrote this book; How high is your persuasion IQ?||ix|
|Part 1||How Persuasion Works|
|Chapter 1||Thoughtful Persuasion, Mindless Influence: The two routes to successful persuasion||2|
|Chapter 2||The Persuasion Effect: The four patterns of influence||4|
|Part 2||Thoughtful Persuasion|
|Chapter 3||Foxes, Bloodhounds, and Donkeys: The three types of influencers||10|
|Chapter 4||Persuasion Starts with Credibility: How to build trust and sell your expertise||14|
|Chapter 5||First Impression, Best Impression: The art of image management||37|
|Chapter 6||Reading the Other Person: How to use personality type to persuade||71|
|Chapter 7||Power Talk!: How to give words added impact||84|
|Chapter 8||Winning People's Hearts: The power of metaphors, analogies, and stories||105|
|Chapter 9||Winning People's Minds: How to structure and package your message||133|
|Chapter 10||Power Pitches: How to persuade with graphs, charts, and videos||159|
|Chapter 11||Ask, Don't Tell!: The gentle art of self-persuasion||187|
|Chapter 12||Different Groups, Different Messages: How to target and influence different groups||200|
|Chapter 13||Strategy Pure and Simple: How to outthink and outwit your opponents||210|
|Part 3||Mindless Influence|
|Chapter 14||Mindless Persuasion: The seven persuasion triggers of automatic influence||218|
|Chapter 15||Persuasion Trigger One: Contrast: The power of a benchmark||223|
|Chapter 16||Persuasion Trigger Two: Reciprocation: The law of give-and-take||230|
|Chapter 17||Persuasion Trigger Three: Commitment and Consistency: Getting one foot in the door||237|
|Chapter 18||Persuasion Trigger Four: Authority: The influence of position||246|
|Chapter 19||Persuasion Trigger Five: Scarcity: The rule of the rare||252|
|Chapter 20||Persuasion Trigger Six: Conformity: Everyone is doing it||264|
|Chapter 21||Persuasion Trigger Seven: Liking: Friends won't let you down||269|
|Part 4||Persuasion at its Best|
|Chapter 22||Icons of Influence: The most influential persuaders of the twentieth century||278|