Time Distortion

Sometimes the best way to influence is to act as though what you want had already happened. This method, the simplest of all the persuasive techniques, consists of three steps.

■ Presuppose that what you want has already been agreed upon, and that the outcome is good. Word your pitch using the past tense.

■ Presuppose that your prospect has accepted the proposal.

■ Presuppose that your prospect enjoyed the proposal.

An example can elaborate this technique. Assume that you want to ask someone out. To word your elevator speech using the three steps might go along the following lines:

"Won't it be great after we've had dinner at the Ritz? The dining would be superb, with the glimmer of candles, sparkling wine and soothing music. After dinner, you'd smile to yourself and think that this must be the highlight of your week. See! You're already thinking about how much fun we'll have. The more you try to think of reasons why you can't accept my offer, the more you realize how much you'd love to come."

This method energizes a powerful picture in your prospect's mind. Putting it in the past tense and in such glowing images make it hard to resist. By further presupposing that your prospect already accepted and enjoyed the idea makes the persuasive technique unbeatable.

An ideal situation to apply this would be in business proposals. Businessmen enjoy dynamic, moving images painted in their minds.

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