All Things Not Being Equal: How Your Social Position Affects Your Persuasion
“Do not worry about holding high position; worry rather about playing your proper role.” ~Confucius
This is a really great exercise to use to explore values and beliefs as they relate to dealing with your affluent prospects.
It has to do with the idea of social positions – of being “one up”, “one down”, or “equal” in social levels to another. Because there are so many variants to social position, these are just generalizations, but if you just think of them as one up, one down, and equal, you’ll get it and you’ll see amazing results with your affluent prospects.
I remember when I was nineteen years old and I wanted to go run a health spa for the company that I was working for. I went to see the vice president and I sat down with the guy and he says, “Well, what can I do for you today?”
And I said, “No, it’s really what I can do for you. I realize you’re probably going to think I’m a smart aleck, but I don’t really care because here’s the deal: I’m your number one salesman in the company. I hold every record there is to hold. Now you’re going to make me the manager.”
He looked at me and said, “Yeah right.”
And I said, “I don’t think you’re hearing me. Now you’re going to make me the manager and if you don’t, I’m going to take the European Health Spa right next to one of your strongest clubs and I’m going to run yours to the ground.”
He looked at me and asked, “Are you serious?”
“I’m dead serious.”
He said, “You can’t do that.”
To which I replied, “What’s stopping me?”
He said, “You’re not good enough.”
So right then and there I said, “Goodbye.”
I got up and walked out and did just that. And then I recruited all the sales staff I had hired and trained and brought them with me. And then the company had a fit and tried to get me back.
What do these social positions mean?
There’s no judgement involved. One person is not “better” than the other, it just has to do with who has the most power in the situation.
This has to do with logical levels of thought as well. If I elicit criteria from you about selling your house and I get to the higher level value of, let’s say, freedom. Freedom is not equal to “I want to sell my house”. It’s what you want to accomplish by having your house sold.
If you want to move someone off of a particular position, get a higher value of what they’re talking about already and use that value to move them. That’s the way you can move people from one thing to another. To do that you have to learn how to jump up and jump down effectively.
Are you approaching everyone because you’re a “sales person”?
Are you approaching them as if you are one down, like “Please, I hope you could possibly find the time to listen to a few minutes of what I say and if you’re not interested I’ll leave you alone.”
You’ve got to learn to come in basically at equal and then quickly put yourself into a higher position if you really want people to get your value. And if they don’t get your value, they’re not going to buy from you.
This doesn’t mean you’re going to come in like an arrogant fool. Maybe you have to go one down to begin with, but realize that these are positions in your head and you had better get good at traversing between them.
Sometimes you’ll go down for a minute then you’ll go equal, then you’ll go up for a while. You’ll alternate between levels. Make it fluid.
Learning how to maneuver societal position will really help you to do better in your life because you’re not just locking yourself into whatever feels right for you today, you’re actually thinking about it. In turn, you become a more effective persuader.
Until next time,
Kenrick E. Cleveland