Another 5 Essential Tricks Every Agent Should Know

Recently during a conversation someone turned up their noses when I mentioned Cialdini’s book, Influence. It took me off guard. To make sure I read them correctly, I asked them if they read it.

“No” was their response.

Interesting. I asked why not. Their answer in a nutshell: Persuasion is for crooks.

Now, some people use influence or persuasion to take advantage of people. Yes, that’s true. So it puts the idea of selling, marketing and persuasion as evil into people’s mind. Puts a bad taste in their mouth.

And yes, of course, persuasion has been abused throughout history. And will continue to be abused.

But there are plenty of legitimate persuasion techniques. In fact, I think when you are chasing down the right things for people and working for their good and you have their best intentions in mind…you owe it to your client to be persuasive.

So building upon a previous post, I’d like to to share 5 essential persuasion tricks with you.

1. Authority Head Nod

Often all you really need to get somebody off the fence is to give them a suggestion from an authority figure. In your case, this could be the house inspector. A lawyer.

As Hogan and James say in their book Covert Persuasion, “A suggestion from an authority figure can often override a person’s visual memory to create a new and different memory.” In other words, people think differently, depending on who’s talking.  Magic happens when you quote someone in power.

2.  Agree with Their Point of View

People instantly resist what they don’t believe, so the moment you sense someone pulling back, affirm their point of view. You may have to find out first what it is that’s causing them to withdraw. So discover their belief and let them know you agree with them. They’ll be in a more flexible state of mind.

3. Avoid Verbal Commitments

Let me qualify this.

When I say “avoid verbal commitments” I mean commitments that you will want your client to change later. For example, avoid having your client state which home they want. If you do that, then you’re going to run into the problem of consistency, which basically says that people, aware that they’ve made a public stand, will hold tight to that stand so as to appear consistent.

Consistency in behavior is good, especially in difficult or tense times…and is the biggest part to influencing people. But don’t over do it. You may end up with a stubborn client when you don’t want them that way.

Granted, this may have happened to you before. It might happen in the future. The key is to learn from it. Keep your eyes open.

4. Limit Choices

This is an oldie, but goody, especially if you want to hear more “yes.”

Copy writing legend John Caples was one of the first advertisers of catalogs to point this out when he discovered that ads that limited choices massively out sold ads that offered too many choices.

The problem with too many choices is that the mind can go into overload. People get confused with too many choices and when they get confused–like me–they walk away. Not good.

So, define a very narrow number of choices. But don’t withhold relevant, important or urgent information. Stay way above the table on this. Your goal is to help your client buy a home. The smart thing for them is too limit their choices.

5. Justify Your Requests

According to popular research, the word because can get your copies made faster, get you through airport security without waiting in line, and get your children to behave.

Why is that? Human Factors suggests that we are patterned to accept requests when they are followed by a reason. But sometimes all we really hear because. We tune out after that.

My point is this: When asking your client do something, tell them why. I bet more than 93% more people will agree with you. How do I know? Because Human Factors said so. 😉

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