Monday, August 26, 2013

The personality trait for successful you have it?

A recent study of highly successful people revealed the personality trait of those who accomplish the most in business and life.    And that trait is....

An optimistic realist
I believe a lot of people were decieved by books and movies like The Secret.   It implied that you if you held only positive thoughts and images in your head that you could manifest your dreams.   Sounds great, right?  Except it doesn't work that way and the reasearch proves it.
Being an optimist is a great advantage as we like to be around those people.   Positive energy is highly attractive to us.   It feels great to be around highly optimistic people (most of the time).    But a person who denies reality is going to be in for a hard landing....

An optimistic realist knows when something just isn't going to work and when to quit and try a different approach.   And sometimes when to pick a new goal more suited to our talents and abilities.  

A lot of self help authors and speakers have taken advantage of the gullible by telling their clients they can do anything and be anything.   That is just not realistic so that is why I say...
"Trust your heart but take your brain with you"
DISCLOSURE......I have been as guility as anyone I know of being overly optimistic and at times denying reality.  Everytime it came back to bite me.   No more I am committed to being an....Optimistic Realist for the rest of my  life.  

Saturday, August 24, 2013

What is the most important attribute for success and to be 'positively persuasive'

This morning I read a poll that listed the most trusted people in America.   So as I asked you to do, I began to think who would I pick as the most trusted man and the most trusted woman?

In my mind I considered:

Those with huge credentials and accomplishments.    (Nobel Prize winners)

I considered those who had done the most good for society.   (Bill & Melinda Gates)

Spiritual and religious leaders  (Dali Lama)

Great entrepeneurs   (Richard Branson)

But as usual I was out to lunch on this one (not even close)

So let the banners fly and trumpets blare, without further ado here is America's choice for most trusted persons....

For the men..

For the women...


Wow, Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock are the most trusted people in America!  I didn't see that coming.   So I got to thinking.....ok what qualities do they project that makes them so damn worthy of such trust?
They are both actors so can't compare to others in terms of saving the planet, helping save lives or creating world changing technology that makes life easier for their fellow humans.   Then I realized they are off the charts in one particular attribute....
Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock are both so darn likeable!

I remember once I was daydreaming about who would be the perfect mate for me?  The image of Sandra Bullock popped into my head (like a million other guys).   She seems about as perfect as they come.    She projects all of the qualities I admire and desire except for one thing.     I haven't got the foggiest clue if she actually has those qualities.   All I really know of her is her movie and TV image.   As usual I didn't have a good grip on reality.

All that fun daydreaming of our imaginary affair aside the real important question is....what qualities do Tom and Sandra project that make them so likeable that we rate them most trusted?

Here is what I came up with, see if you agree?

honest & sincere
open & vulnerable
self deprecating humor
attractive & healthy    (not sure about Tom ladies can evaluate that)
intelligent (but not genius level)
witty & funny
somewhat humble
giving & sharing

Assuming you have those qualities I feel I can confidently predict that you will be highly likeable and therefore by extension trusted.  

And if you are highly trusted you will be believable and be able to persuade most people to your way of thinking without much effort (assuming its not evil).

Now if you'll excuse me....I've got a lot of work to do on that list!

Friday, August 23, 2013

The sweetest sound that seduces (and sells)



The sweetest sound that seduces and our name!

Do you want to make a quick connection with a stranger?   Find out their first name and use it liberally.    Our first name is personal.   Now a days it seems the only people that call me by my last name are;  the cops, bill collectors and Revenue Canada.   The cops don't like to use your first name because it is too personal.   And if they did that their would be a higher liklihood that they would let you off the hook for that speeding ticket.   Ditto for bill collectors and Revenue Canada or the IRS.

When someone uses our first name they seem more familiar and we tend to get more comfortable with that person.   We like to hear our name.   It means we are being recognized as an individual.  When we are relaxed and comfortable around someone we are more open to their persuasion.

Let me give you an example!   A year ago I was booking a flight online with Westjet Airlines  and they were in the process of changing over their reservation system.  I called and called but couldn't get through.   It took 2 days to finally connect with a real live human.  I was pretty ticked about wasting so much time just to reach an agent.

When the agent came on and identified herself by saying....Hi my name is Angela and I apologize for any inconvenience caused by our may I help you?  Grrrr..was the first thought that came to mind.   However, before I unloaded on Angela, I caught myself and decided to test my skills.

I said...Angela I am very frustrated at it having taken me so long to get through however in fairness you've probably even more frustrated putting up with angry customers so need to apologize I know its not your fault.   That got things off to a good start.  

Then I continued to use her name during the conversation and ended by saying've been a pleasure to deal with, so thanks again Angela.   Our transaction was done but before I could hang up she said....just a minute Ed maybe I can do something for you.   She then proceeded to get me a room upgrade and sent a note to the hotel that I was a  VIP and Westjet would be grateful for anything they could do  to make my stay special. 

Wow...a room upgrade, flowers and wine in my room gratis on arrival and warm friendly service.   Cool!   And all because I made it personal between me and Angela by using her name frequently.

But wait it get's better...

Try to start and end your communications with the person's name.   Do it on emails, snail mail, facebook and texts.   Of course with a short text it would seem silly to start and end with the name.    And don't overdue it because it will come across as salesy. 


Thursday, August 22, 2013

So when is the best time to make a sale?

                                                    Sell in the sunshine


On a beautiful sunny day our clients are more receptive to new ideas, products or services.   The client is more apt to be in a good mood and full of energy (mental and physical).

On a cloudy, windy, rainy, snowy or stormy day they will be more judgemental.   More likely to turn down any request.

Sell in the morning

In the morning people have more mental energy to consider your requests.   By the afternoon they are tired and a tired or confused mind usually says NO!

You can also increase your chances of success if you give them a warm drink and a comfortable chair while considering your proposal.  

A hard chair makes them more critical as does a cold drink.   (although a cold one on a hot day does sound appealing......but best stick to what the research says)

Sell them outside of their office or work place

(ok I realize that you can't just take all of your clients on a tropical vaction but I just needed an excuse to put in a beautiful picture because even if its not a nice day when you read this, my image might put in you in a better mood and more receptive to my ideas)

If possible take them out for coffee or lunch and your chances increase.   Also, they will feel compelled to reciprocate in some manner if you pick up the tab (reciprocity).

The differnt environment makes them more open to new ideas and suggestions.   At home in their office they are much more likely to stay with the status quo.

Bonus idea...

All printed materials should be on a heavy paper.   The heavier high quality paper has the psycolgical  effect that makes them feel your presentation is more important.  Also, never skimp on the weight and quality of business cards (unless you don't care if they think you are cheap and

Pssst......yah I realize this isn't always possible but try it when you can because it works!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Seriously....laughter is good for your bottom line!

"An ounce of levity is worth a pound of seriousness"

Serious people suck the energy right out of you.   It is stressful to be around people who are serious all of the time.   Serious should be saved for the right moments and the right situations.  

When a brain surgeon is about to operate, I want him to be fully serious.   However, before and after surgery I would prefer him to be the hospital joker.  I don't want some stressed out surgeon trying to save my precious life.  Same goes for the office..

Here is what I hear when the super serious types start talking...

Now when someone is normally light hearted at work and they suddenly turn serious that really gets our attention!   So being serious at the right moment can be very persuasive. However too much serious sucks the energy out everyone.   It's draining to be around serious people for long periods of time.    

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

3 Best Ways To Use Compliments For Fun & Profits

"The right compliment causes others to like us and lowers their resistance to our ideas, beliefs, products and services"

It is easy to like someone who likes us.   After all we have to admire their good taste and judgement when they like us.   So we are all suseptable to a good compliment. 

Compliments are like gifts.    They trigger that feeling of wanting to reciprocate.  So the receiver wants to do something nice in return.   Of course I realize you are too nice a person to use a compliment to manipulate anyone?

Here are 3 powerful ways to use compliments....

1.  Be a good gossip

Whenever I hear someone say something complimentary about a person not present, I try to remember to repeat was said as soon as I see that absent person.  

e.g.  Hey, I was talking to Jenny the other day and she said you were one of the smartest people she has ever met.

The person I am giving the good gossip to is flattered and instantly puts them in a good mood.   I've also done a favor for the absent complimentor.    But just as important to me is that some of that good feeling is attributed to me.  

And the compliment is always accepted as truthful because it is coming from a 3rd party. 

Big win for all 3 of us.

2.  Be a public praiser

Look for opportunties to praise someone in front of others.

e.g.  Did you guys know that Bill just got an award for  community service.

Do the bragging for others and they will certainly be grateful.    Bill can pretend to be humble and yet everyone knows of his accomplishment.

Bill won't forget you soon for putting the spotlight on him.

3.  Give simple sincere compliments

"Praise is perfect....flattery is phoney"

Enough said!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Seduced in seconds!

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

(Leo Buscaglia)


It may take you many hours to train some of these techniques into your brain but once they are mastered, you will be able to ‘seduce in seconds‘. Just imagine the fun you are going to have? Within seconds you will find others opening up to you and wanting to be your friend and help you in anyway they can.

You will get preferred service and fast tracked to success. Ok, this is starting to sound like one of those crazy late night infomercials. So maybe, in truth it won’t work 100% of the time on 100% of the people. However, it will work most of the time on most of the people….and that amigos, is why this is so darn much fun. Lets begin…

Learn to Smile

I know you have being living under the delusion that you already know how to smile. Well I’ll grant you that you know how to smile, but do you know how to smile seductively? Lucky for you, I’m here to teach you how to smile so that others will instantly like and warm up to you.

Most people smile in one of two ways, either they do that pursed lips smile (no teeth showing) or they just quickly flash their pearly whites. That’s the common no real feelings attached type of smiling. Not good enough for us seducers and not good enough to entice others to like us.

How to master ’the seducer smile’.

1) As you approach someone, start repeating to yourself, ‘beautiful, beautiful’ as it is important to get yourself mentally receptive to the other person. Try to imagine yourself warming up to the other person.

2) Let your smile start to grow slowly, increasing in intensity as you get closer. It is very important to let the smile slowly take over your face and not rush it. If done properly, it is near impossible for the other person to resist smiling back. This is how people who love and care for each other smile at each other upon meeting. It is trained into our system to respond to this.

2) Let your smile crinkle your eyes as you feel the warmth between you and the other person.

2) Ensure that your heart is facing their heart. You must be directly facing the other person. This is an open and trusting gesture and please don’t cross your arms or in anyway show any closing off gestures.

3) Eye contact. People who love and respect each other, love to make eye contact. So look into their eyes and notice their eye color. Make a mental note of their eye color and do it every time you talk to someone, to build this great habit. Eye contact is very intimate so don’t overdue it, or you will be perceived as weird and strange. You only need to hold eye contact for a few seconds. Do this with a soft glaze and definitely not a stare.

This is very seductive to anyone and extremely hard to resist. Practice on friends and family if you are too shy to try it on strangers. As you build confidence you find it normal and natural to use on strangers.

Recent research has shown that the two most important qualities that make others like us instantly are; a friendly (smiling) face and a pleasant voice. We can all do that with little effort.

Note: As an unintended consequence you may find some misinterpret this as a come on. You’ll just have to deal with it, I can’t be responsible if your attractiveness shoots through the roof. Just be gentle with them when you tell them you are happily in a relationship.

“what can I give you”

I just learned this one recently and have been trying it out with astounding success. Whenever I meet someone (known or unknown to me) I mentally ask myself, what can I give you? The possibilities are endless and the effect seductive. Here are some possibilities that bounce around in my noggin;

* a compliment

* a favour

* an introduction to someone who may be helpful to them

* silence (sometimes they just need to speak and this is a gift rarely given)

* a gift of some sort

* a recommendation

* advice

* a helpful tip

* an idea

* validation for what they are saying or doing

“the more we give of ourselves the more that remains”

As you can see what we give doesn’t have to cost much or anything. It is the giving that sends the message that we are giver and not a taker that breaks down defences and builds trust. And the bonus is that it always makes me feel good about myself to boot.

“turn the spotlight on someone else and you will be amazed at how often it returns to you”

Most people are so insecure that the very idea of sharing the spotlight or shinning it on someone else is inconceivable. It takes a secure and confident person to put the spotlight on someone else, when they could very easily hog it to themselves. And as we know secure and confident people are so seductive to us.

What amazes me is that when you give away the spotlight willingly and freely, it’s not just the person receiving the attention but the others who witness it, who are seduced by you. They witness your generosity, are appreciative and in admiration of someone so generous. We all love the spotlight and as some wise man once said…it’s amazing what can be accomplished if it doesn’t matter who gets the credit. It takes a big person to step out of the spotlight and leave it for another. But then big people are the one’s we admire and are happy to assist.

“a common interest is the basis for friendship”

I’ve noticed over the years that all of my friendships started based on a common interest. Whether it was a love of boats, water, sports or philosophy, I found a common interest that started the friendship. After the initial interest, things like; humour, likeability, morals, intelligence and kindness, took the relationship to another level. However, a common interest is what opened the door to start with.

So it just makes sense to try and find a common interest when you meet someone. The quicker you find that interest, the quicker they will be receptive to you. It can happen in seconds. It’s easy to like someone who likes what I like.

Touch their senses

Some recent research has shown how effective employing the senses can be. For instance, the salesman who pitches you while you are in a nice comfy soft chair, will be more persuasive to you then if he sits you in a hard chair.

Give you significant other a nice hot drink and they soften their resistance to what you are proposing. Give them a cold drink and they might stiffen and be less receptive.

If your hands are cold, warm them up before shaking hands, it makes a difference. Of course if you do something like, stand there rubbing your hands on your pants before you shake someone’s hand, I’m guessing they might run. Be a tad discreet.

The idea is to make them feel good. It’s just like kids know, no sense trying to ask for a pony for Christmas if Mom is in a foul mood.

To impress, don’t bother trying

Trying to impress someone with a particular trait, causes you to see the other person as lacking in that trait. You become more judgemental of that trait, and might miss their better qualities. That is the findings of a major study. You try to impress with intelligence and you end up thinking the other person is not that bright.

I believe that is only half of the damage done. The other is that most often the other person reads that you are trying to impress. Think about it, how many times have you met someone who was trying to impress and you felt a major turn off. We are smarter than they think and so it follows, that they are smarter than we think.

So what to do? We impress most when we encourage them to impress us.

How to enter a room

A warrior walks into a room and announces…here I am! He hopes to be noticed. Warrior’s are then quick to let you know their point of view.

A seducer walks into a room and says…ah, there you are. Seducers get noticed by appreciating others. Seducers want to know your opinion before they share their own.

We are most attracted to those who convey good health and energy. And therefore, are irresistibly drawn to those who emulate positive energy and repelled by the energy suckers. Your attitude, posture and expressions have a strong influence on how your energy is perceived. I realize that you may be thinking this is little more than judging a book by its cover, but it is reality. So suck it up Princess and lift your energy up before you introduce yourself.

Extraverts and even self centered people seem to have an advantage over others initially. They are just more comfortable doing the things that make us quickly popular such as; expressing themselves confidently and entertaining us. The good news is, while we may be seduced by the self centered types, the effect wears off as just as soon as their real self is revealed.

So there you have it, how to seduce in seconds. Use if for good and have fun.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Power of Touch....use it to get your way!

We humans are addicted to touch.   From the times when we were babies we craved to be touched we needed it to survive.   Touching releases the hormone Oxytocin which is sometimes referred to as the cuddle or love homone.  

So how can you use touch to your advantage (without stepping over the line and getting punched or charged with unwanted sexual advances).    Some persuasion experts will tell you don't do it.  But I strongly disagree, just do it the right way.  

First, only touch appropriately.   This means only touching from the shoulder to the hand and in some cases with those you are comfortable with the back.  

Touch Technique #1

Situation:   Use this when you are starting a negotiation.

When you meet someone you are about to negotiate with whether it be a yard sale, a car purchase or selling your product.   Greet them with a handshake and while you are shaking hands give them a sincere compliment.   It is vital that you do these both at the same time.

Praise is perfect, flattery is phoney

It is essential that they believe you are sincere and the only way to be sure yourself is to be sincere.   The praise can be for anything; a well decorated office or picture of her children.  Just be sincere.

When you praise the other person at the same time they are being touched (handshake) you lower their resistance to you and you ideas.  The praise plus the release of Oxytocin causes them to be more trusting and to like you...

Touch Technique #2

Situation:   Use this to make a request at the end of a meeting.

Again while you shaking hands goodbye make a request.   So you might say something like...."it was great to meet you Allison, would you mind if I called on you again next week?"  

It is extremely hard to say no to a request when someone is holding your hand.   It goes against our nature.    Also, a request that is made out into the future is easier to agree to than one that is the next day.  

Just remember that the request and handshake have to be made at the same time!

Don't let the simplicity of these Touch Techniques fool you.   They work!   I've used them many times to great success.    And of course use them only for good intentions.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Simple way to make your proposals more effective

Mimic their body language

Research has proven that just adding mimicry made the sales pitch 20 percent more effective.  The trick is to delay a few seconds before mimicing another persons body movements.   There's plenty of research on mimicry's power:

Research has shown the two things a salesperson must have are:
1) empathy
2) ego drive.

Mimicry is a potent nonverbal form of empathy. It may be the key to sales.
 Mimicry makes you a better negotiator. The first words you should say in a negotiation are anything very similar to what the person on the other side of the table just said.   A good way to do this is to what you are saying is (and then repeat back what they said)
Out and out mimicking people (but not obviously) causes them to like you more and to act more kind. On dates, when women mimic men the guys are more interested.

Mimicing makes people feel that you are like them and given the opportunity we prefer to do business with those we like and feel comfortable with.  

Thursday, August 1, 2013

You would be more persuasive with this simple idea but you are free to ignore it

I discovered a simple little technique that increases the odds of someone granting a request you make of them.   I double dog dare you to try it out because it really works (most of the time).

Here's how it works...

When you make a request of someone you follow it up by acknowledging that the other person has a choice to do otherwise.   Here's an example..

Imagine you are asking a co-worker to help you with a new project.  You might say something like this....."John I would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to help me get this project finished and of course you are not obligated to help".

That kind of statement makes the person feel empowered and much more likely to help you.   There are any number of variations on the wording.  

Another example...

Imagine you want your husband to clean out the garage.   You could say something like this..."Honey I would really appreciate it if you would clean out the garage today because its getting hard to get the car in there.   However it is of course up to you"    Again your mate feels empowered because he gets to make the choice.

One more...

Imagine you want to go to the weekend football game and your wife is not all that thrilled with watching sports?   You might say something like this...."Mary I would love for us to go together to the game on Saturday because it is the last home game  however you are free to not go"

Ok, you get the idea.   Now I would be very pleased if you tried this out because it's fun and it works, of course you are free to just forget about it.

Confession time.....I actually used two techniques in this article.   The other one is using the word 'because'.   It is also a powerful persuasion word that when used also increases the chances of your request being granted.     So you got two ideas for the price one!   (I'm feeling really generous today)