Power Persuasion is about taking advantage of the natural ways in which people think and letting your prospect persuade themselves.
One of the secrets of power persuasion is that people don’t always think everything through as thoroughly as they should. In many cases, we use “rules of thumb”, which are called “judgmental heuristics” in psychology. These are usually reliable and will normally point us in the right direction with a minimum amount of investigation.
One of the judgmental heuristics that many people have is that women with blonde colored hair are 1) more fun, and 2) less intelligent. As with many judgmental heuristics, the truth doesn’t always match with the rule.
Somewhere along the line, however, intelligent blondes found that the impression could be used effectively to their benefit, and they developed a persuasion technique that is quite impressive.
In order to maintain the illusion of ignorance, these gifted persuaders discovered that they could ask as many questions as it took to get their prospect to come up with the right answer. Then once the right answer was spoken by their prospect, they would simply say something along the lines of “Wow, you are so smart. I would have never thought of that.”
Unfortunately for us mere mortals, this technique actually requires a lot of intelligence to pull off well. You really have to understand human psychology and logic in order to direct your questions to pull out the right answers from your prospect and not give yourself away.
Leading questions are a subject unto themselves, and I cover them in some depth in the Keys To Power Persuasion course. For now, understand that one of the easiest ways to lead your prospect through the use of questions is to suggest the answer within the question itself.
Here are a couple of examples:
“Of course, I know nothing about this, but what would happen if you turned those knobs? Is there one of those controls that might help in this situation?”
“All I know about cars is that you have to put gas in them once in a while. But I once heard someone talk about a gizmo called a ‘differential’ or some such. Is it possible that something like that could be the problem here?”
“You say that one of the things that slow down a computer is the connection between its memory and the processor, whatever that is. Would it be possible for someone to build them together, on the same chip or something? Would that make them go faster?”
There are 4 general rules to using questions to lead your prospect.
1. Ask each question in a way that is interesting to your prospect, so that they remain involved in the process.
2. Ask each question based on what your prospect already understands.
3. Ask each question to focus your prospect’s mind in the intended direction, one step closer to the desired information.
4. Ask each question in a way that suggests the answer your prospect should give.
In cases where your prospect feels as though they are an expert in the subject under discussion, it can sometimes pay off handsomely to let them think that they know more about the subject than you do. Playing to a person’s ego can oftentimes make them want to do more for you than upsetting their self-image of superiority.
Just ask any smart blonde.