Feeding the Feeling of Importance

Of all the needs, one burns brightly almost all the time. Esteem. Should you fail to identify a specific need, work on the need for esteem. Feed your prospect's feeling of importance. You can get anyone to do virtually anything if it makes him feel important. Arrange matters such that someone can achieve that feeling only by acceding to a request you give. The acronym PRiNCeS arms you with a toolbox to use whenever seeking to satisfy the Feeling of Importance. Feed this need for importance, and doors open to you.

Praise. Praise someone sincerely to boost his esteem. When requiring better work quality from a subordinate, announce that he works in a unique and efficient manner and say that you expect better output from his unique process. Stand back and watch him prove you right. Remember that praise works best only when complimenting a characteristic or trait that is not obvious. When praised, the target of your praise basks in the compliment and does everything in his power to live up to the praise, and to acquire more praise. Subconsciously, he fears doing something that will retract the praise. For you, the persuader, the implication is that your prospect will fulfill your requests or accede to your ideas simply to be worthy of the praise. If someone constantly criticizes your manner of dress, kill further criticism by praising his good style and taste. This paradoxical behavior has a 75% chance of killing any further reproach from him How can he criticize you for something you laude him for?

Reputation. Giving someone an alleged 'good' reputation to live up to is a powerful technique to gain concessions. A common example would involve a subordinate requesting for a raise. He may appeal to the boss's good nature by saying: "I've always known you to be a fair man and that you reward the diligence of your employees. Today, I would like to request for a salary increase because of the sudden bills that piled up." By declaring the boss to have a reputation of fairness, the subordinate boosted his chances of getting what he wanted. The boss would find it hard to turn down a just request when he realizes that he holds the distinction of being a rewarding and fair employer.

Need. We love to help when we feel needed. If we know that our personal actions contribute greatly to a cause or effort and are noticed by those we help, we are more than willing to give in to a request. When attempting persuasion, make your prospect feel that his help is very much desired; that his hand is vital to the success of our endeavors, that he contributes a great deal. Politicians understand this principle. During campaign runs, they visit each and every supporter and personally assure them that without their individual efforts - whether cutting posters, or organizing mass gatherings - the crusade would fail. This 'personal touch' increases the morale of even the lowliest supporter to give his all for a victorious election. Being needed is a wonderful thing.

Challenge. What's our reflex when someone doubts our ability to do something? Prove them otherwise! Throwing a Challenge is a manipulative tool whereby you politely voice doubt about someone's ability to accomplish a task. This doubt spurs zealous action to prove it false. To persuade a lagging supervisor to, say, whip his employees into shape, you might say: "I'm not sure you have the capacity to get those bums of yours to increase production, so I'm thinking of getting a consultant to do the job instead." Watch the recipient of this reverse psychology get right down to work! To prove his capabilities, your unwitting supervisor will exhaust all resources on his own initiative.

Superiority. If you need someone's staunch support or competent help, acknowledge their superiority. For the moment, assume that you are running a production deadline. Your men are behind schedule and you badly require assistance from a think tank in another department. Inter-department rivalry normally hinders such cooperation so you attack the matter smartly. You approach an able and quick thinking candidate who may just solve the bottlenecks and say, "I've always admired your work; you're the best project manager this entire division has and no problem has ever stumped you. Right now, I need your expertise which I cannot get elsewhere. May I have a few hours of your time?" Play on someone's pride this way, and you're bound to reap bountiful concessions. When someone is acknowledged as superior, he'll go all the way to prove it.

As you read the previous paragraphs, and realize that man possesses certain innate psychological needs, you acquire mastery of the human driving force. Knowledge of how people think and act is important; more significant is knowing that people act to fulfill specific needs. This knowledge enables you to convince effectively. By knowing what others need and crave for, and by putting your position, or idea in a deftly worded request that compliments someone's needs, your chances for successful persuasion skyrockets. Remember this key always. Elicit the belief that your idea is to his or her benefit. Create this belief in his or her mind by feeding their feeling of importance: use praise, show that they are needed, acknowledge their superiority, give them a reputation to live up to, or give a challenge to prove their skills.

Send mail to Joseph R Plazo with questions or comments about this book. Copyright © 2000 Exceed International Last modified: December 28, 2000

Ph.D of Persuasion

Confidence and Social Supremacy

Confidence and Social Supremacy

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