I have recently had an email from John who is already very skilled in persuasion skills asking a question that allows me to unpack the real secret to NLP Persuasion Skills.
The Ultimate in Persuasive Techniques
If there is one thing that would make the biggest difference to your persuasive ability it is the thing I will share with you in this chapter.
Persuasion Skills, Do the Ends Ever Justify the Means?
John’s dilemma is about two different routes to persuade someone. The outcome and the intent is the same in both cases yet John’s feelings and therefore his potential results could be radically different with each approach. Here is his email explaining the situation:
If I understood you correctly, you want to use something I wrote in your next lesson…if that’s the case, you got it. I know you’d never use my name. However you can help others with the craziness that comes out of my mouth to relay a point, all the better:)
As far as the big picture persuasion…thanks for that perspective…yes, congruence first. And I know what you mean by maintaining this state as not being easy. Aren’t we naturally congruent? But the conditioning we’ve had growing up unbalances that? We learn to manipulate or do something to get something. So we first have to unlearn a bunch of crap to get back to who we really are, right?
Here’s a puzzling thought…
I had a great conversation with my hair stylist today. Totally congruent state, totally connected, total rapport. Now, in that state persuasion can occur. You need rapport for persuasion.
So right now, I’m hallucinating the thought of approaching her with the opportunity to eliminate her mortgage. She doesn’t have a mortgage, I’m just doing this so you can see the puzzlement I’m experiencing.
For instance, if I said, “Boy, Susan, you really oughta take a look at this opportunity to eliminate your mortgage, “I get a completely different feeling inside than if I said, “What would it be like to not have a mortgage and be able to use that money for other things?” One is very direct. One is coming through the back door.
With the first statement, I feel “bad” inside…almost like I’m getting her to do something against her will. To force her into thinking what I desire. But if I say, “what would it be like to not have a mortgage,” I feel congruent. I do not lose congruence like I do with that first statement. When I lose congruence, I lose power and that’s what I’m labelling as “bad.” Almost that I don’t give a damn about her, just what I desire for her. Now, I can be direct in many situations. Like being on the Titanic…get your ass over here and help me get down this rowboat.
But here’s the puzzlement…I have the same intention…for her to have more money, for her to have a better life. In one scenario, it’s like I’m stealing her pocketbook, and in the other, she is writing a check…yet the thing I provide
hasn’t changed…and she’ll receive the same benefits. So it’s like the way I go about it, even though I get the same end result.
Must come from the way I perceive she will respond to me. In the first approach, I see her as seeing through me, whereas with the other approach, she can’t see through me because I’m focusing on getting her to imagine what life would be like without a mortgage. And then I can use what she responds with to guide her toward my outcome of having her use the service I provide so she can have a better life.
So, in my own head, even though I have the same intention, it seems like the first approach completely negates my intention, whereas with the second, it completely supports it.
What is that all about? Why these two opposite feelings for the same end result?
Maybe you can use this for an upcoming lesson.
The Ultimate Key to Persuasion Skills
John’s issue here is that he has two approaches to the situation, the intention and the results are the same in both cases but his feelings about them are completely different. Here is what I think is going on inside John.
In the first situation John’s approach is all about dragging her kicking and screaming to the results that would be good for both of them. In the second John is leading and allowing her the opportunity to come to her own conclusions. She is very likely to follow because it is actually a good result for her. But the reality is that she has the choice.
I don’t know if you have ever had this experience but certainly I remember times particularly as a teenager when I would rebel for the sake of rebellion. Even when I know what was being asked of me was for my benefit I would rebel because I felt I was being forced or coerced into the situation. Conversely if you gave me the choice to do what is good for me I will generally do it.
When John uses this second approach he is working to the favour of Susan and gaining benefit along the way. In the first version the feeling is that John is helping himself and the benefit to Susan is almost incidental. Is it any wonder that the second approach feels totally different?
A General Strategy to Using Hypnotic Persuasion Techniques
I find keeping a general approach to persuasive techniques really help to do several things:
- Sort out my own moral and ethical dilemmas
- Make friends and build long term relationships
- Get better and more sustain results
The approach is simple, find out what people want, help them get it while linking your results to their actions.
NLP Applications and Examples
Here are a few ideas how this concept works:
There are many sales processes that are all about asking questions of the prospect to find out what they need and then linking your product to those needs. I outline a sales process based on this idea in The Persuasion Skills Black Book.
When I design training courses I start by getting the delegates on the course to examine why they want the course and what they want to get from it before getting into any content. Usually, I get them to write this up on a flip chart so we can constantly refer back to it to make sure that throughout the course they are getting what they want.
I work with a few business partners. When I need them to do something I generally start by looking for how they would benefit from doing what I want them to do. If I can’t find anything I will look for something that they will benefit from that I can do for them. My approach is then to explain how they benefit before really looking at what I need doing in return.
In the Advanced Patterns of Persuasion Programme I show you how to access deep values, beliefs and identity profiles and then be able to attach these to the actions you want people to take. This is a very powerful process and can create huge amounts of motivation in people so it is important to understand how these persuasion skills impact you and the people you are using them with.