Covert Persuasion
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Covert Persuasion

Psychological Tactics and Tricks to Win the Game

Kevin Hogan, James Speakman

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eBook - ePub

Covert Persuasion

Psychological Tactics and Tricks to Win the Game

Kevin Hogan, James Speakman

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About This Book

Praise for Covert Persuasion: "This book is a treasure trove of ideas you can use to turn a 'no' into a 'yes' almost instantly-in any sales situation." -Brian Tracy, speaker and author of Create Your Own Future and Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life "Hogan is the master of persuasion. I urge you to persuade yourself to buy this book and everything he's ever written and recorded. It will help you understand yourself, understand others, and succeed. This information is bankable." -Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, Little Red Book of Selling, and Little Red Book of Sales Answers "There's more wisdom in this book than in 500 pages on the same subject. Whether you need to persuade your lover, your spouse, your boss, your clients, your friends, or yourself, this powerhouse collection of mind tricks and secrets will give you the upper hand. In today's competitive world, this is the persuasion wizard's manual you need to control circumstances and get what you want." -Dr. Joe Vitale, author of Life's Missing Instruction Manual and The Attractor Factor "When you read Hogan's writing, it feels like you're getting sage advice from a master. Would you like other people to decide on their own (or so they think) to go along with your every whim? Then this is the book you've been looking for." -David Garfinkel, author of Advertising Headlines That Make You Rich "There is more practical information on the dynamics of selling and communication in these pages than you could ever acquire in a lifetime on your own through trial and error. Take advantage of the authors' wisdom and read this book!" -Todd D. Bramson, Certified Financial Planner and author of Real Life Financial Planning

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Covert Persuasion Begins in the Mind
There are millions of words written about how the human brain works and about as many different opinions and theories about exactly how we think. However, one thing is for sure. In order to persuade someone else to your way of thinking, you must align your mind with theirs. Successful persuasion begins and ends when there is a “mind meld” of real meaning, feeling, and understanding.
So how do we establish this mind meld? How do we consistently become more adept at persuading other people to our way of thinking? The answer lies in understanding what motivates and drives the other person. Armed with that knowledge, you can position your thoughts and requests in such a way that they are easily and quickly accepted by other persons with little or no questioning. They’ll see you as very much like them and feel compelled to comply with your requests.
Before we get started, let’s take a look at a couple of quick definitions of exactly what “Covert” and “Persuasion” really mean. There is a lot to be learned in the understanding of the combination of these two powerful words. Let’s look at what each one means.
Covert (adj.) Concealed, hidden, secret
Persuade (n.) to cause (someone) to do something by means of argument, reasoning, or entreaty. (2) To win over (someone) to a course of action by reasoning or inducement. (3) To make (someone) believe something; convince
Persuasion (n.) the act of persuading
By definition then, things that are covert are not out in plain sight.They are kept from easy view, concealed, and hidden.When we combine this with the act of convincing someone of something we end up with our effort of persuasion not being noticed by the target person(s).
For the purpose of this book, Covert Persuasion is about bypassing the critical factor of the human mind without the process being known to the receiver of the message. It’s about getting past both resistance and reactance.This is accomplished when one person sends a message and the message is received without significant critical thought or questioning on the part of the receiver.
Sometimes Covert Persuasion is about “state” manipulation and management. What is the other person’s state of mind? That’s the question you’ll be able to answer after reading this book.
In the environment of selling, for example, the person does not have to buy the product or service; actually, buying is not a sign that Covert Persuasion has taken place. A person without money could easily have been persuaded and placed in a buying state, but he simply didn’t have the money.

A Word about Ethics

Many people ask us if it is ethical to “persuade” someone to do something. The easy answer is absolutely yes. Not only is it ethical but it’s necessary. Our economy (and our family and our business) function because of the fact that people are being persuaded to buy, try, vote, make their bed, shut the door, and contribute. Millions of communication messages are wittingly or unwittingly exchanged every single day. These are all designed to cause you and me to take some kind of action.
Ethics, however, really rest with the person who is attempting to persuade another. In the research we have done, we have uncovered and developed several hundred specific persuasion techniques. All of these are powerful.When used ethically and responsibly, they advance everyone’s position.

The Power of Suggestion Changes Perception

Covert Persuasion is, in part, about creating change in the mind of your clients or customers without them necessarily being aware of the changes that are occurring.
One of the most powerful tools to begin this change in your customer’s mind is using the right words. At the right time, the right words can change minds and lives.

The Right Words in a Question Form Can Direct Thinking

In an experiment done in the 1970s by Elizabeth Loftus (one of the world’s leading memory researchers), people viewed slides of a pedestrian-auto accident.They were shown a slide of a red Datsun (a sporty little car) at a yellow Yield sign. The group was asked, “Did you see another car pass the Datsun at the stop sign?” When asked, most of the group remembered a Stop sign instead of a Yield sign. The verbal information, the words, and the question by the researcher altered the memory of what they had seen.
Covert Persuasion.That’s one snapshot.
A suggestion from an authority figure can often override a person’s visual memory to create a new and different memory. That means people will think different things depending on who is doing the telling. Imagine what would happen if you used quotes around your client’s authority figure’s words as you and he talk. “I know how much you like Bono. Well, he said . . .” And magic happens.
Our objective with Covert Persuasion is to create images in the customer’s mind that target the behavior we want (to buy, try, contribute, vote, etc). Using the correct and most powerful word combinations mixed with the right questions leads to directed thinking and, ultimately, the action of the customer toward the goals we want accomplished.

When Resistance Is Likely, Distraction Creates a Receptive and Easily Persuaded Mind

Because we naturally resist what we don’t believe and we experience reactance to all that we fear, there is a real need to help customers create new pictures with new information to allow them to arrive at a new outcome in their head.This new outcome will be favorable to you and the ultimate sale of your product or service because you helped the customer create the new picture of what the future will look like.
Funny thing is that before you paint those pictures you want to address the resistance. Whatever it is that is causing the resistance or reactance (unconscious level resistance), you typically want to address it. In fact, for the most part, if you don’t preclude it, you must address it.
People are quickly receptive to information and attitudes that agree with their point of view. People will formulate arguments on the spot against any point of view that disagrees with their currently held belief. Always discover current beliefs and attitudes so you can affirm them in some way. On the other hand, do not have your customer verbally state anything that you will want him to change later. Once an attitude is communicated (verbally or in writing) it will be maintained, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Resistance is diminished when people agree with the presented point of view.
Affirm the individual’s point of view.

Eight Steps to Get Your Outcome

There are a number of models (clusters of tactics that make up a strategy) for utilizing Covert Persuasion. Here’s the first.
1. Identify a targeted problem/situation. This is the thing your target no longer wants to experience. It could be high costs, high employee turnover, inventory spoilage, ineffective advertising, almost anything that’s not going right (and that your product or service is well suited to solve).
2. Help your customer see that continuing with this problem/situation without addressing it will ultimately cost him/her in many painful ways. There is powerful psychology behind this tactic.Trigger the pain button first, before even beginning to talk about possible solutions or how you, your product, or your service can help.
3. Have your customers/clients identify a preferred outcome. It is critical to have them choose a better outcome. Sometimes this is prompted by a simple question from you like: “What would you rather have happen?” or “What would be better than that?” or “What would be a perfect outcome for you?”
4. Have your customers identify the consequences of this new outcome. This is very important in helping them accept the new outcome. This step is also prompted by questions that you will ask. It’s often as simple as: “What would this new outcome mean for you and your company?” When they answer they are forming a new thought direction that will lead them to your product or service.
5. Confirm that this new chosen outcome is what they really want. Sometimes clients/customers will tell you what they think you want to hear. This doesn’t help anyone. They must tell the truth. They have to be honest with themselves, and with you, for real solid behavior to follow (saying “yes” to cooperating with you and all the actions that involves).
6. You need to be certain the new outcome is truly going to be good for your customer/client. It does no long-term good for your reputation or your company’s reputation to do a quick short-term, bad-fit sale. No, you want the customer to truly benefit from all the features of your product or service. So, make sure the fit is genuine and true.
7. Do not judge. If you perceive a response by a customer or client to be inappropriate don’t be too quick to judge it. He might have a different point of view than you do as you both initially meet. Take some time to understand and relate to clients. Once you do this, their response may seem to make more sense and you might find they are resonating 100 percent with your message.
8. Never tell your target person he is wrong. This is a restatement of that old saying,“The customer is always right!”That may not always be true, but it’s a good caution sign in your own mind. When you think about it, how would you feel if someone told you that you were wrong? You would probably get defensive and try to show or prove that you were in fact right. You would end up clinging more tightly to that position. Your customers will react the exact same way. Never tell them they are wrong or that buying your competitors’ product last year was a mistake.Your customers will immediately wonder if buying from you would be a mistake.
From “No” to “Yes”

The Most Common Reason Your Target Says “No” and How to Overcome It

The reason that word “no” comes out of people’s mouths is because it is an instant reaction. They did this or something like this before and they determined quickly it was a bad decision. About 90 percent of all “No’s” come from this background.
Now pay close attention.
“No” is an instant reaction and doesn’t mean anything. People don’t know why they say “no.” They don’t know why they do what they do; especially in retrospect and they will perform opposite behaviors depending on the words you use in each communication you have. In other words, people are utterly out of control . . . until the Covert Persuasion Expert walks in the door.
Imagine you’re enjoying a shower. All of a sudden the water turns cold. You turn around in the shower and quickly turn the temperature up up up. But it doesn’t go up. Someone else is using the hot water in the house! You turn it off instantly. That relaxing 20-minute shower has been destroyed. Six months later you still remember the episode as someone being incredibly rude and that it was a bad shower. You absolutely don’t remember the previous 20 minutes of relaxation.
The next day you take a five-minute shower. It feels good. Warm, relaxing. But you remember that someone will probably start using the hot water so you get out fairly quickly, and it was a nice shower. Relaxing, if short. And later that week, you remember that it was a good shower.
All relationships have ups and downs. Most of the time they are in the middle. Much of your time is spent working, cleaning the house.You are not focusing on the relationship with your housemate. Then you go through a period where the two of you argue, fight, and bicker. Ugh. It’s horrible! Time for a new relationship. The news is broken. Arguments escalate.You knew it! And for the rest of your life you tell people that you can’t believe you stuck with that relationship for 25 years.
In order to understand how to influence others you need to understand how people make decisions, how they remember the past, and how they see the future. This is what has been missing for many and what makes persuasion a “numbers game” for most.
As you’ve seen from the above examples:
1. People remember peak experienc...

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