September, 2008

States of Being

By Advanced Persuasion 3 Comments

Our mind is capable of passing beyond the dividing line we have drawn for it. Beyond the pairs of opposites of which the world consists, other, new insights begin.” – Hermann Hesse

Hi Persuader,

Who am I? Why am I here? These are thoughts that separate us from animals. We also have the ability to drive, finger dexterity with opposable thumbs, and a very strong impulse to cover our animal bodies with clothes, not only to protect us from the elements, but to look sharp and stylish.

When we’re talking about the big questions — the ones philosophers have been asking for — well, since the dawn of man — we are expressing the very essence of being human, the state in which we examine our primary state.

Primary states refer to something in our external environment. When we’re dealing with our states of being, we are dealing with emotions. When we talk about our primary state, we are referring to events, people, information, etcetera, in our outside or external world. I am happy.

Animals do that. My dog does that. He is happy. He is sad when I leave. He’s ecstatic when I throw a stick for him or give him a treat. He is excited for dinner or a walk. His primary state is an absolute pure emotional state. He’s not excited about his happiness. He doesn’t experience how he feels about feeling sad that he has to be on a leash. My dog doesn’t examine his feelings about me leaving, throwing a stick, giving him a treat, having his dinner or taking a walk. He just is. It’s a Zen, ‘be here now’ existence for him.

What distinguishes the way we humans think — in addition to being happy or excited or sad — is that we can further examine our primary states within meta states. We can take a bird’s eye view and reflect.

A meta state is above or about a primary state or another meta state. When we are in a meta state, we are examining and/or talking about another state. It’s that simple.

In order to achieve a meta state, we have to dissociate from our primary state. We can’t be ‘in the feeling’ but instead take that step back, remove ourselves from the actual feeling, and then look at the feeling or what we’re thinking about that feeling.

What does this have to do with persuasion? Well, knowing about primary and meta states leads us to an understanding of how people’s beliefs work. When we understand our prospects and clients at their core, when we latch on to their values and criteria and examine them in their primary state and then bring them to a meta state about their primary state, we can add in to their model of the world — maybe marry what we are offering with their criteria.

As Herman Hesse, a writer who was known for his exploration of the individual’s search for spirituality outside of organized religion, wrote, “Our mind is capable of passing beyond the dividing line we have drawn for it.” This is an extraordinarily meta observation and an exciting place to be.

Until Next Time,

Kenrick E. Cleveland

Taking a Time Out

By Abundance, Self Persuasion 4 Comments

Hi Persuader,

Man, there’s all sorts of chaos going on out there in the world. Seems like with the elections, the bailouts, the hurricanes, the anniversary of 9/11 — all that, and then the holidays are coming — more chaos (no matter what you think of the holidays, they are absolute chaos).

This is the perfect time to really check in with ourselves and get some inner work done. As the world swarms around out there, having a solid inner foundation is critical in maintaining our equilibrium. This is the case in good times and bad, however it is mainly in bad times that we rely our foundations in a significant way.

When’s the last time you spent a little time alone? Remove all disturbances — television, computers, your iPhone or Blackberry and cut off the outside for just a little while. I’m not suggesting you have to full out meditate (though there’s so much phenomenal benefit to meditation that’s an entirely different article), I’m simply suggesting you listen to your inner voice for an hour or two.

There’s a beautiful quote by Lord Byron: “In solitude, we are least alone.” I think this is just amazing. It’s said that we are our own worst enemies, but I’ve decided that’s bad programming and have reprogrammed it as, we are our own best friends.

Maybe use this time to write out your universes or write in a journal. If cleaning soothes you (and I know a few people for whom this is true), then go crazy. Wash that kitchen floor or re-alphabetize your CD or book collection. Hell, why not pick up one of those books and read something inspiring.

If you’re so inclined, how about a little yoga? I understand there’s a yoga practice where you’re moving very slowly in a very hot room. (Not my cup of tea, but I can see how it might be good for the aches and pains.)

What else can you do for yourself? Practice forgiveness and gratitude. I’ve written about both of these before at length and can attest from personal experience and the experience of many of my students that these are two of the most clearing practices you can perform and will garner for you untold benefits.

And how about this: say no when you don’t want to do something. This is a tough one but really vital to caring for yourself. I personally don’t have an issue saying ‘no’, but I’ve met a number of people who feel that it is rude or they become uncomfortable and worried that they will make someone else uncomfortable.

All of these things not only have the benefit of shoring you up and building and maintaining a strong, unflappable foundation, they will also improve your energy, your mental health, your physical health, your spiritual health, how effective you are in all aspects of your life, how happy you are overall, and it will give you a great outlook when the world outside seems to be instable.

Until Next Time,

Kenrick E. Cleveland

Tooting My Own Horn

By Advanced Persuasion, Self Persuasion No Comments

The results you achieve will be in direct proportion to the effort you apply.” — Denis Waitley

Hi Persuader,

I’ve been noticing something fascinating lately that I want to share with you, my readers. I have a group of students who I’ve been working with, my advanced students, all of whom have been with me for over a year, and I can’t tell you how incredibly proud I am of them and the progress that they’ve been making. I mean, it’s really leaps and bounds, off the charts, unhinged progress.

I’d like to give myself a big pat on the back for being such a great teacher and really caring about what I’m teaching them on their weekly coaching club calls and twice monthly advanced calls, but I can’t take even most of the credit for the advances I’m seeing despite being the common denominator ; – ).

What I’m seeing as an increase in orders of magnitude of their persuasion skills is a result of their incredible hard work and diligence. I am constantly hearing, especially on my one-on-one coaching calls, how accelerated their learning is coming to them. They are receiving incredible results in an unpredictable economy and realizing that persuasion is reaching every aspect of their lives.

One of my star pupils told me just recently that she’s started realizing that persuasion is permeating all parts of her life, not just in business, not just in putting together more contracts, not just signing more deals, not just getting more listings, but all aspects of life. She told me, “(Persuasion) is in everything that I do no matter whether it’s business or not. It’s to make me more effective. And help me also understand myself better and understand others better. I think I’m achieving that with you.”

This was kind of an ‘aha’ moment for her. It’s something I often say to my students, but until they experience it, it’s kind of an abstract idea. When you feel the results of your efforts, hard work, and study click into place and produce something quantifiable, that is an incredible achievement.

I will tell you that not only am I proud and thrilled for her, but it gives me renewed enthusiasm for doing what I do when I see the noticeable results in so many folks.

I have some other students, a husband and wife, who are in the real estate business as well, and despite the tough housing market, they are flourishing and really seeing the fruit of their labors as a solid, ever increasing number in their bank accounts and investments. They’ve also been really polishing their writing skills and have started a mastermind group to share the immensity of their knowledge with others.

I could go on and on with how proud I am of my students and despite it seeming like I’m bragging, I am genuinely thrilled to continue to bring the best and most up to the second persuasion material in existence.

Until Next Time,

Kenrick E. Cleveland

When No Means Yes

By Advanced Persuasion 3 Comments

Properly practiced creativity MUST result in greater sales more economically achieved. Properly practiced creativity can lift your claims out of the swamp of sameness and make them accepted, believed, persuasive, urgent.William Bernbach advertising executive, 1911-1982)

Hi Persuader,

I’ll admit it. Sometimes I like to be tricky. I love to play with language. I love to wordsmith. I love to set harmless little linguistic traps and pitfalls for fun and profit.

One of my favorite strategies in this respect is when no really means yes. And this works especially well when closing the deal.

An example of this is: “Is there anything else you need to know in order to go ahead?”

Let’s say that you were sold on something, you felt absolutely ready to go ahead and buy it, you had a need for it, you had the money for it, and the person asks you, “Is there anything else you need to know in order to go ahead?”

This question is designed to elicit a no, but in this case, the no means yes (i.e. yes to the purchase of the product or service). So you’re ready to go and the sales person says, “Is there anything else you need to know in order to go ahead?” And your response is no.

So what’s the power of that? Well, the power is that everybody wants to say no. It’s human nature to want to say no to a sales person, so here you get to say no but where no actually means yes. It’s relatively simple. You can memorize that one line if you want to, and that’s one of the best ways I’ve ever found to ask.

Now what happens if the person says, yes, that in fact there is something they need to know before they move forward. Well, that’s not really a problem. You’re still in front of them (or on the phone) and you can give them the information that they need, as opposed to having questions later when you’re not in front of them to answer their questions.

It’s a really wonderful closing question, actually one of the finest in my opinion. It’s very simple, very elegant, and very easy. It’s gentle, it’s unobtrusive, it’s effective, it’s strategic, and it leaves you in a good position if the person waffles in some way.

I think that’s a really important question that you should learn to ask. And you need to ask it when you notice that the person is really sold. If you ask it before they’re really sold, you’ll get objections. If you ask it too late, in essence, you’ll look like you’re not paying attention. So you need to really watch closely if you’re going to use this kind of a question.

Until Next Time,

Kenrick E. Cleveland

Have I Thanked You Lately?

By Abundance 3 Comments

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…. It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.“ —Melodie Beattie

Hi Persuader,

I like being ahead of the curve. I like being early. I like winning contests and arguments and being tops in my field. In short, I like to win.

Part of what makes me a winner is you. I should say that differently: you, my clients and students, sustain me and inspire me and force me to be the best I can be. You are responsible, in a large part, for how I continue to grow and expand.

I appreciate you and I am grateful for you. I strive to bring you the newest innovations, techniques and strategies in persuasion so that I can return the favor and help you to be all that you can be, to inspire, and help you grow and expand.

Gratitude comes in all shapes and sizes — a kind word, a short thank you note, a compliment. It also has the added bonus of drawing more things to us for which we can be grateful.

Gratitude should be part of our daily lives and not just reserved for Thanksgiving or receipt of a gift. It can have an impact on us mentally, spiritually, physically, and socially. It shores us up during hard times. Some studies have even shown that a daily serving of gratitude and optimism helps our immune systems. Not to say that we should forego the apple a day, but how about an apple a day combined with appreciation and a positive mental attitude? That would be incredibly powerful.

So thank you. Thank you for learning with me, thank you for teaching me things I may have never learned without you, thank you for your kind words of encouragement, thank you for posting to the forum and doing your homework and referring your co-workers, thank you for reading my blog and making comments, thank you for all of your hard work, thank you for your continued support and appreciation professionally and personally, thank you for allowing me to be a part of your success, thank you for contributing to and being a large part of my success, thank you for your friendship and love, thank you for your insights and constructive criticism on what I can do to better myself and my program. I could go on and on, because I do experience and feel gratitude for you all on a daily basis.

Now, what are you grateful for? How can even the most chaotic, confusing times beget order and clarity when viewed through the prism of gratitude? And when’s the last time you told the people in your life how much you appreciate their support, their love, and their mere existence? I know they would love to hear it.

Until Next Time,

Kenrick E. Cleveland

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