May, 2010

Determine The Sum of Your Values

By Eliciting Criteria, Persuasion Fundamentals, Self Persuasion No Comments

Dear Persuader,

“Our value is the sum of our values.”   –Joe Batten

This is a great process that will help you in your persuasion skills. I think you’ll find it quite interesting.

I’ve always said that if you want to make advancements in your persuasion ability, you need to make advancements in yourself. This is advancement.

What we’re going to do is get our top values and put them in rank order. It’s pretty easy to do, and in future articles we’re going to take this on to new and interesting levels for you and then show you how you can use it to help persuade.

I’m just going to give you some examples of core values and please, feel free to add to the list.

  • Honesty
  • Freedom
  • Security
  • Passion
  • Freedom
  • Recognition
  • Integrity
  • Health
  • Family
  • Spouse
  • Friends
  • Spirituality
  • Money
  • Love
  • Success
  • Recognition
  • Education
  • Self improvement
  • Adventure
  • Fun
  • Financial independence
  • Variety
  • Knowledge
  • Self actualization
  • Wisdom
  • Accomplishment
  • Power

Notice that happiness is missing… that’s because happiness is not a value but what will come if the core value is actualized.

Now, we’re going to put them in rank order. Take the top ten from the above list and with the ones you’ve added in and from there we’ll determine the top five in this way: Say your list, in no particular order is, health, love, money, passion, freedom, knowledge, wisdom, friends, accomplishment, recognition. These are your top ten core values.

We’ll start with health and move through the list. If you could have either perfect health and no love or you could have perfect love and no health, which would you choose? We’ll just randomly choose health for the sake of this example. So if you could have the best health or all the money you wanted, which would you choose? And we’ll choose health again. Okay, if you could have perfect health and no freedom or absolute freedom and poor health?

In this way, we go through the list to determine the top five.

What’s the value in this, you might ask. Well, if a sales professional had these top five values, (security, wealth, family), do you think they might be able to effectively interweave your security, wealth and family into the conversation about their product or service?

Of course, this isn’t information that we readily give out to everyone, nor do we elicit our prospect’s values, but what are we doing when we elicit criteria? We’re eliciting their specific values/criteria as they relate to the situation we’re asking about.

Eliciting criteria is one of the most effective ways to connect your prospect with what you’re selling.  It’s easy to do and once you really get the hang of it… it’s really fun!

Happy persuading,


Avoid the Chit Chat

By Eliciting Criteria, Persuasion Fundamentals 1 Comment

Dear Persuader,

Americans love to talk.  Americans also love to be talked to — listening to the TV or the stereo or talk radio — anything so that there’s no silence.  Silence we seem to delegate to those few days a year when we get back to nature.

In conversations, especially, there’s a real fear of silence, an awkwardness that sort of permeates the in between spaces where there is no one talking and most people will do anything possible to fill up that silence with noise regardless of whether or not it’s going to damage their chances of selling their product or service.

Part of this filling in of the spaces, is the chatter.  We’re all familiar with the classic sales persona, looking at the photographs on the wall or desk of their prospect, asking how the wife and kids or husband and kids are, how the golf game is — basically, chit chat.  And even more detrimental to sales, is the chit chat that happens after the sale is in the bag, but not signed off on.  This is the stuff that breaks the deal because maybe we’re excited about having made the sale and we begin to blather on and on. . .

Personally one of the biggest breakthroughs that happened for me in my career in sales is when I realized that I didn’t have to spend a tremendous amount of time in chit chat.  I can tell you I can’t even count, as I was growing up and starting out in sales, the number of times when chit chat derailed my objective.  It was a constant.  I would say something wrong or I would go on too long about a particular topic and next thing you know, I was derailed.

If a prospect or client was looking for a way out, I would give it to them eventually if I chattered on too long.  I kept wondering why they didn’t want to be more like my friend, why they didn’t want to talk about more personal, day-to-day stuff.   I can tell you the reason this is the case is because they weren’t getting the answer to a burning question within them.

Granted, I’ve been blessed with the gift of gab.  The shift in my thinking came when I realized I had to fashion what I was saying to focus intently on the prospect and their needs and not my own agenda.

So what is the burning question?  The question is, “What can you do for me, Kenrick?”  Our prospects are ultimately wanting to know, “What’s in this for me?  What is it that you’re going to do to help me?”   The only way to find the answers to these questions is to elicit their criteria and once you’ve elicited their criteria, then we have to get to the meaning.

Criteria and its meaning have got to be the foremost thing in your mind when making a sale, no ifs, ands or buts.  Remember this, and you won’t be derailed.

To your success,


Feel Like You’re Drinking from a Fire Hose?

By Eliciting Criteria, Persuasion Fundamentals, Self Persuasion No Comments

Dear Persuaders,

While I’m thrilled that all my thirsty new students are so eager to learn that they’d work themselves into a frenzy to try to get it all at once, I don’t want that passion for persuasion to become stressful or overwhelming. As one person put it, “I kind of feel like I’m drinking from a fire hose.” I want you all to fear not.

Stop! Take a deep breath. . . now let it go.

Persuasion is a process, just as living is a process.

My programs are always intense with a tremendous amount of content. It’s perfectly natural to feel overwhelmed to some extent. However, keep in mind a few things that I think will help you.

The first thing I would suggest for those of you just starting out with my programs, those of you just opening your eyes to the vastness of the topics we explore, I would very much suggest you listen. Listen to each session and then do it again and again.  Even if you don’t think you’re getting it at first, be assured, you’re getting it.

This learning is ongoing because A, there’s so much of it, and B it’s ever evolving.

If you don’t get the opportunity of hearing something the first go around, you’ll hear it again the next time you listen, you’ll keep hearing things. Get it at whatever level you can and then start applying it. Then as you apply it, I’ll show you how to refine it and make it even more powerful.

What we are really studying here is human behavior. This is something you will hear me say over and over. We are studying human behavior, and since human behavior is not now nor will ever be entirely predictable, we keep improving our strategies to be able to interact persuasively.

This learning keeps us on the leading edge all the time compared to those that have typical sales training as a background. People are individuals with different criteria, with different ways of interacting, and as such, the keys to unlocking their particular patterns are all going to be different as well.

Some of my students have been working with me for four or five years. Some have just started recently.  There are always new people month to month, week to week, etc…

One expectation I’m finding many new students have is that there should be a level of mastery. But I’ll tell you what, I haven’t mastered this, none of my students have mastered this, and that’s because human nature is constantly evolving and with it we evolve and learn and reach and strive for more excellence, and that’s all that we need ask of ourselves.

Certainly, it wouldn’t hurt to do a lot of practicing either. I’m not suggesting in any way that you don’t need to practice, I’m just saying that learning is going to happen whether or not you pressure yourself. Wouldn’t it be more enjoyable not to pressure yourself?

This is what I explained to my new student who was worried that he wasn’t getting IT enough to satisfy his high degree of thirst. “If you step back and have perspective on this, imagine yourself able to catch the spray from the fire hose instead of having it aimed straight at your face.”

To your success,