Becoming The Ultimate Empathizer

Hi Persuader,

Empathy is the ability to identify with and the vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another person. Empathy is the capacity to understand and respond to the other’s experiences.

Can you see any advantage of that in terms of persuasion? I sure can. I’ve been using it as a secret weapon for years in my persuasion and I’ll now share it with you.

Here’s an exercise to really help you get into the affluent mindset of your clients…

It’s all about understanding and responding to their experiences. You may have heard of another powerful technique like this where you metaphorically ‘jump’ into them. Here, we are instead going to experience them.

When someone feels that kind of trust – where you are actually experiencing what they are going through – rapport is never far behind.

There is unbelievable power in being able to tell how someone feels just by observing them.

With loved ones whose patterns we know and understand, this comes naturally. This exercise you will give you an insight to people you don’t know that well (if at all).

The ability to empathize with people you’ve never met before – from your affluent prospects to potential employees to potential romantic relationships – is pure gold. This is incredibly powerful for EVERY situation and you will begin to see just how it works once you practice it yourself just a few times.

For this exercise you’ll need a partner. Here’s the set up:

Ask your partner to think of anything. Call it ‘A’. Notice how their body is arranged – facial features, breathing, muscle tension, gestures, etc. – and take a mental snapshot. This is how they represent thought ‘A’.

Next, have them break state by looking around the room and naming three things they see. (This is just to get their mind off of ‘A’ and to revert back to their normal state.)

Now, have them think of something qualitatively different, though not necessarily opposite. Call it ‘B’.

[NOTE: When you first do this exercise thinking of the opposite may make it easier, but I encourage you to develop your skills and not use something opposite once you’ve got the hang of it.]

Okay, now have them break state again.

Next, have them think about either the A or B thought, without telling you which. Your job is to tell which one they’re thinking about, just by looking at them. Which snapshot do they resemble the most?

Once you’ve done this enough times, switch roles and let them enjoy the experience of being able to tell what you’re thinking. You can begin to really know the people you deal with regularly.

Now you don’t practice this with your prospects. You’re not going to sit down with them and say, “okay, now let’s practice a persuasion technique…” You practice this with the people you know well, so that you can fine-tune your observation skills.

After a while, you will begin to recognize the smallest state changes in others as you converse with them. When they speak about certain topics, give you certain answers, you will actually experience them and they will feel it too.

Although they will not be able to pin point the feeling they get, they will feel connected to you.

So what’s the value in this? Certainly it’s a fast and effective way to gain rapport. It also puts the person in a state of feeling understood.

Another way this can be valuable is in determining whether or not a client is lying. Not that you need to interrogate a client, but knowing if someone’s fibbing is always useful.

If a prospect, for instance, explains that their finances are “great” but their body language belies this, then these verbal and nonverbal cues can be a dead give away that this prospect doesn’t really have a steady hold on his finances – and this information can be used to your persuasive advantage.

You can use other persuasive strategies (taught in detail in my Persuasion Factor program) to get this prospect to open up about their financial situation. And once you do that, you gain even more rapport, you get to the heart of their problem, and you can immediately introduce yourself and your service as the solution to their problem.

Until Next Time,

Kenrick E. Cleveland

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Frank Lun - October 3, 2007

Kenrick, that’s an interesting exercise and a good lesson about rapport. But… where’s the “affluent” component?


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