Monday, December 11, 2006

This Is What All Pros in Influence and Persuasion Do.

To reall excel in your attempts to influence and persuade others you really need to do one vital thing.

You really need to ask yourself a couple of question. The answers to these 2 simple questions will lay the foundation for your plan of attack or stategy in your influence or persuasion situation.

These questions are

  1. What do I want to have happen?
  2. How will I know when it has?

Honestly, these are the two very simple, yet very powerful questions.

Ask yourself these before you stat thinking about the persuasion tools and tactics you will be using. With these questions answered you can then start to build up a plan. You can begin to manipulate the situation and you can feel more in control of what you are actually looking to achieve.

A second advantage is that if you have a goal in mind and you keep focused on it. You subconscious mind will start to work towards it. Little opportunities may start to present them selves, ideas will pop into your head, people will come into your life, it's amazing but true, it really does work.

That's all for me today, have a great one,

Jason D
Total Influence And Persuasion

Monday, December 04, 2006

Wouldn't You Like To Know What They Really Think?

Article: Wouldn't You Like To Know What They Really Think?

Today I kick off the first in a series of Influence and Persuasion articles that can be used in a number of situations but are especially effective in an office environment. They are designed to give you a little bit of an extra edge when you want to influence or persuade someone in many situations that are common across every office world.

Setting The Scene

I'm sure you've been in a situation before when you put forward an idea or proposal and you're just not too sure if the people or person you are talking to really like it. This can be used when presenting ideas to your peers or your boss but is really effective if you are the boss and want some feedback from your reports.

People don't always feel comfortable criticising the boss so they don't speak up and you miss out on some potentially valuable feedback. This short series of questions will sort this right out.

Underlying Concept

The concept behind it is simple. You get the person to agree that they like your idea. The word like is key here. The word like says that they think it's good BUT that it could be better. In essence you are using language to influence them into telling you what they really think.

Example 1

You: do you like about that idea as a possible solution to...
Them: I like it, it sound fine to me.
You: Good, well what would it take for it to be even better?

They have admitted that they like the idea. You have asked what would make it even better. This does two things. First is allows you accept that it is good but also admit that there may be room for improvement. Second, it allow them to feel comfortable giving you some extra feedback.

Example 2

You: Do you like the document I've produced to....?
Them: Yes, it's good, I like it.
You: Just for my curiosity, what would you have added to the document? (or how would you have done it differently?)

In example two she may well be telling the truth and really think the document is great; however you have elegantly opened up a chance to allow her to give you some feedback without feeling uncomfortable. Remember you asked for the feedback so don't then go on the defensive if it's not what you want to hear!

So in a nutshell: Ask them for some feedback, let the person respond, then ask in some way how it could be even better.

Cheers for now,

Jason D
Total Influence And Persuasion

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Covert Subliminal Influence by Kevin Hogan


Just a quick note on Kevin Hogan's Covert Subliminal Influence DVD set. I purchased the set about a month ago and haven't really had the time to look at it up until today.

Talking of influence and persuasion I think there is a lot to be said for the quality of Kevin's persuasive ability as I bought it without even reading the description properly. I knew it would be good.

Wow...I must say it really is worth waiting for. I bought Kevin's other set of subliminal DVDs last year and always wanted to know a bit more about the technology behind the flashing images and words. Well it now looks like we are about to find out with the Covert Subliminal Influence DVD set.

I've only watched the first DVD and as usual Kevin captivates the watcher from the moment the DVD starts.

The only downside is that there was an issue with the camera at the end of the DVD so it cuts off before the end and DVD two starts at a different point, so you do miss some information that I feel is important.

However I've contact Kevin's people (A lovely lady call Katie Hogan, who replied within about 15 minutes on a Sunday afternoon - now that's service!) and they have said that Kevin will release a web based video to fill in the gaps some time soon.

I'm looking forward to the other DVDs and will keep you updated as I go along.

I'm currently working as a trainer/business improvement coach and I'm keen to see how I can use some of this stuff in my influence and persuasion efforts.

Cheers for now,


Friday, December 01, 2006

Why Do Casinos Have Horrible Carpets?

In the Casino game they are expert in the art of influence. A casino isn't so much interested in persuading you to change your attitude, deep down you know that long term you will loose money to the house. However they will are very interested and ingenues at influencing you to spend more money.

They know every trick in the book in persuading you to spend as much of your hard earned cash as possible.

- They have tricks to keep you in the casino for as long a time as possible.
- They have tricks to distort your body clock so you loose sense of time.
- They have tricks to make you feel like you are richer than you are so that you spend more money.

And they have many other tricks and tactics that I'll go into in the coming weeks.

However for today I'd like to talk about how casinos use bright garish looking carpets. It's the same for amusement arcades to. They all seem to have they horrible, bright red patterned carpets.

Well the reason is simple. They don't want you to look at the floor, they want you to look at the machines!

As you walk around the casino, particularly the slot machine areas, there are lots of bright flashing lights and loud noise. These are designed to attract you, to take notice of the machines. Then approach it and stick in a few coins.

However after some time you eyes get tired and need a rest. Normally they would be dawn to a area of dull colour that could be used as a "safe haven" (probably all done subconsciously). The ground is normally a good bet, yes?....not in a casino. As soon as you look at the ground it is worse that the machines and your eye want to move of somewhere else and hopefully toward one of these many waiting, flashing slot machines where you can slot in a few more quid.

What chance to we stand if these guys are using the level of influence on us? My attitude it to visit a casino for the experience. It going to cost you £50 or $50 but that is the cost of the experience why fight it. If you do end up having a winning roll then brilliant, if not then you were prepared to spend the money anyway.

That's it for today,

Jason D.
Total Inflence Persuasion

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The "What If" approach to Influence & Persuasion

Hi there,

Since I've started to write about influence and persuasion a funny thing has happened. I've started to have a radar like sense for picking up situations where people (mainly sales people I have to admit but sometimes even my girlfriend!) are using persuasive or inflencial language.

One good example was a telephone call I received the other day. I went a little something like this:-

Sales Man (I young guy, sounded like he was about 16 and was reading straight from a script): Hi is that Mr Wallace
Me: No there isn't a Mr Wallace lives here, there is a Miss Wallace (my girlfriend)
SM: Are you the home owner?
Me: Yes
SM: And your name would be? (first use of clever language.

By using the phrase "and your name would be" he isn't really asking me outright from my name he is kind of saying if "I were to ask you what your name is what would you tell me". This makes it easier for me to accept than someone simply asking - "what is your name?" Direct questions like that run the risk of me asking "who needs to know". We are also conditioned not to give out our names to strangers and also some people just don't like direct questions.

Me: (playing along now to see how this unfolds): I'm Mr Davidson
SM: Hello Mr Davidson I'm calling from Company XYZ (can't remember the name of the company) to let you know that we are running a great competition in your area just now. Lucky winners win a money off voucher. To enter the competition all you need to do is answer one sort question. "If you were to win the money off voucher to redecorate one of the rooms in your house which room would it be most likely to be, the kitchen or the bedroom?"

There it was, the "If you were to..." question. This is such a powerful question because it isn't actually asking you which room you want to decorate, it's asking you a hypothetical question. This immediately lowers you barriers and allow that persuasive statement right through.

Your mind simply thinks "it's only a possibility" so there is no harm in answering. I'm not actually going to do anything. However to answer the question you must actually think about the kitchen and the bedroom and think about what you would do to it if you could redecorate it. This process makes you think about what is not quite right with the bedroom or kitchen and then you start to picture the possible improvements, the seed has been planted. All this and it is just a hypothetical question "If you were to...".

You see you mind cannot tell the difference between positive and negative statements. It's a bit like saying "Don't think of a blue kangaroo" you have to think of one, not to think of one.

Me: I guess the bedroom.
SM: Ok, thanks for your time. Someone will be in touch with you if you win, good luck Mr Davidson.

I've got a funny feeling that the my luck could be in tonight...with the voucher that is :-) I'll keep you updated...

Jason D

Total Influence and Persuasion

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Four f’s part 2 - Discover The Secret That Any Persuasion And Influence Professional Should Know

Welcome to part 2 of the four fs

Let’s get stuck straight in. From part one I explained how the 4 fs have been genetically bread into us over millions of years. These are the characteristics that have been, until now, the most successful in allowing the genes that we carry to be passed on to the next generation. The four fs are used each and every day to influence and persuade us and we are actually pretty much helpless those who use them against us. That is unless we understand and have a awareness of how and when they are used.

The four fs are:

  • Fight
  • Flight
  • Food

And you guessed it…

  • Finding a Partner

Over years and years of evolution the genes that make their human carriers adept at deciding and whether to fight or run away (flight) from danger have allowed these people to live longer and (potentially) reproduce with more mates.

The ability to find and identify wholesome and nutritious food has lead to the survival of not just the carrier but also any infants that he or she is raising.

And finally the ability to attract and mate with a member of the opposite gender is obviously the key factor.

Now how does this all come together to help us in our influence and persuasion efforts.

Finding A Partner

Well this is the very reason that the old advertising adage “Sex sells” is so true. It sells because it is how the genes that we carry have survived through the generations. These genes have hardwired us to take notice of anything related to finding and mating with a member of the opposite sex.

Think about it for a second. If you didn’t take a healthy interest I identifying a good quality member of the opposite gender to mate with, would the genes that you carry ever survive more than a generation? Of course not.

This means that only genes that endow their carriers this hard wired instinct to find and reproduce with a partner have made it this far and that is why “Sex Sells”.

For example, as a male we see a picture of an attractive female and we immediately take notice. Step one the advertiser has got your attention. But not only do we take notice of the female but we also take notice of the product she is promoting. Step tow the advertiser has sneaked in a message.

This technique is doubly cleaver as we have now anchored i.e. linked in out mind, that product to finding a beautiful female. So the female made us take notice and then caused us subconsciously to link owning the product to finding a beautiful mate. Very clever. (Anchoring is used by influence professionals all the time. I’ll create a post about this in the future some time.)

Further points to consider

How much of the advertisements on TV are related in one way or another to one or more of the 4 fs. Food adverts probably make up about a third of those adverts on TV and why are so many people in the developed world fat.

Could it be that our primitive minds are still in the find food state that they would have had wired in over millions of year but our conscious mind are struggling with the reality that we no longer need to eat as much food as we can. That is a conflict if ever I saw one and it looks like our hard wired genes are winning!

How many times do politicians harp on about safety, security, avoiding danger, etc in their speeches. Do you think they do it because we are hard wired to take notice of thing related to spotting and avoiding danger. It's very interesting, don't you think?

Until next time,

Jason D.
Total Influence And Persuasion

Friday, November 24, 2006

A Groovy Way To Say “No”

Hi Everyone,

I read this article from the blog of a guy called Joseph Plazo. He had an excellent blog, see below for a link, which is well worth a visit.

I thought it was relevant because often in when we talk about persuasion and influence we get drawn into thinking that we are trying to get others to agree to something that we want them to do or think. However it is just as important for us to be able to combat against others who use persuasion and influence techniques against us. One of the most common is the Law of Reciprocation (you scratch my back I'll scratch your for short) it is very powerful and we need to recognise when it is being used and combat against it. The post for Joseph's post is a great example of how elegantly and eloquently say no, particularly when someone is using the law of reciprocation against you. Enjoy.

Jason D.


Refusals are rarely easy to convey. It helps when you are clear in your own mind that you do truly want to say “no”; any ambivalence undermines your authority. A very good motive for saying “no” is simply “I don’t want to.” When you have a precise basis for saying no and desire to name it, do so. Nonetheless, the fact that someone else wants you to do something bestow no obligation on you to secure your decision.

Convey a letter of refusal when giving a negative reply to invitations: personal/business; proposals; requests; propositions; wedding invitations. The following composes a list of best practices for refusal.

1. Appreciate the person for the offer.

2. Affirm your “no,” articulate your regret at having to do so. If fitting, elucidate your position.

3. Finish with a pleasant desire to be of more assistance next time, to accomodate the person again. Shun lengthy, involved justification and apologies; they are far from convincing, even if true.

4. Eschew phrases like “you may think,” “according to you,” “you claim.” Restate the person’s appeal, grievance, or angry letter in an impassive, factual manner.

5. Never attribute your rejection to someone else’s actions (“my spouse doesn’t care for . ,) except in the incidental way that, for illustration, a prior rendezvous prevents you from accomplishing something.

6. Evade outright deceit. It is too easy to be trapped , and you will be a lot more relaxed with yourself and with the other person the next time you meet if you stick to the truth.

Bear in mind the following tips when writing a refusal letter:

1. Begin your rejection with a “thank you,” if appropriate: “Thank you for your invitation, request, proposition, offer.”

2. Relish tact. Minimize reflecting on the person you’re writing to or on their request. Condition your refusal in terms of some inability on your part such as will be flying out,” or simply “will be unable to attend”.

3. At all times keep your reply even-tempered and impassive.

4. When possible, minimize the proponent’s disenchantment: Offer to help at a later period; propose someone else who might be able to provide the same aid; apologize for your inability to endorse the request; show some advantage to them from your rejection, then appreciate them for their interest/request/concern.

5. Keep in mind that small things as shuffling the order of your phrases can soften the rejection. You might opt to give the reason for your refusal before actually stating the refusal.

Warmly,Joseph Plazo

Written by joseph on ://">November 21st, 2006 with no comments.Read more articles on How-To's and egory/communications/">Communications.

The Four Fs Part 1 - Discover The Secret of The 4 Fs And How They Are Behind EVERTHING We Do.

Some time ago I read the brilliant book by the Richard Broodie (The guy who we can thank for the invention of Microsoft Word incidentally) called Virus of the Mind.

This book is a fascinating read and mainly covers the concept of Meme's (I'll talk more about meme's in a later post because they are key to understanding Influence and Persuasion).

However also in the book he talks about how our are genes dictate everything that we do at an instinctual level often referred to as our primitive behaviour.

Over the years the genes that have been successful in surviving i.e. being passed on to a new human carrier are those that cause their human carrier (or any other animal for that matter) to carry out certain actions, attitude and behaviours.

For example you might be able to imagine that millions of years ago there would have been a massive pool of genes. These gene genetically hard code certain instincts into those animals carrying the genes.

Now lets say for example that a certain gene didn't have a built in fear of heights. This it could be likely that people without this 'fear of heights' characteristic would over time be more likely to fall of cliffs. If they kept falling of cliffs the they would be less likely to reproduce, because they would be dead! and therefore there would be less likely to pass on their genes to the next generation.

Over time (a long time) genes that had a built in fear of heights would become more prominent because these gene are more likely not die by falling off a cliff and therefore more likely to reproduce an be passed on through the generations.

Now this could be why today most of us have a health fear of heights. Over time only genes that have this 'fear of flights' characteristic have survived.

However the four f's are the main characteristics of genes that have got us to where we are today, and have may be the reason that a lot of social problems exist today.

However we as students of the art of Influence and Persuasion can multiply our effectiveness if we know and use them at every opportunity, but in Influencing others and in detecting if we are being underhandedly influenced or persuaded by others.

In part two of this post I'll outline exactly what the 4 f's are.

Until then thanks for reading,

Jason D.

P.S. If you're interested in disovering more about memes and want to read Richard Brodies bestselling book 'Virus Of the Mind - The New Science Of The Meme' then follow this link to or this link to

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

If You Only Ever Read One Book On Influence

There are a number of basic laws in the are of persuasion and influence and one of those is the law of reciprocation. One of the best books on the subject of peruasion and influence is a study of the work of Robert Cialdini called Influence: Science and Practice this is a short book, but in it he outlines the basic laws of persuasion. It really is one of the core text books anyone interested in Influence should read and understand, all the other bells and whistles are routed in this research. which was all conducted and recorded under strict scientific conditions.

Remember there is a difference between Influence and Persuasion, check out my earlier post on the subject to remind yourself if your unsure.

What Is The Difference Between Persuasion and Influence?

Cheers for now,

Jason D

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

How To Effortlessly Get The Best Table In The Restaurant Each And Every Time

It can really make or break an evening out if you have a great seat in a restaurant. This short but powerfully request will almost always influence the maitre d' in any restaurant to ensure you one of the best seats in the house.

When calling simple ask in a polite, confident manor; "I'd like the most romantic table you have because we're celebrating tonight, what can you do for me?"

This technique is persuasive on a number of levels. Everyone loves a celebration and if you can help make that celebration even more special then they will go out of their way to help you.

On another level of persuasion. You have also made a specific request and you have embedded the work "because" into the sentence. Because is a very powerful word. Most people react to the word because in a very specific way. By using the work because you have given them a reason for your request and they are much less likely to question it and much more likely to influence them into complying with your request.

So there we have it, combine a direct request, a reason and a celebration into one extra persuasive sentence and you'll be well on your way to securing the best table in the house.

Jason D

If you are interested in discovering more short soundbite sentences that you can use in every day situations, then I recommend the fantastic book by copyright expert Ted Nicholas. In this book he reveals 17 magic words that can make you a fortune and easily improve your influencing ability in a host of everyday situations, it's fascinating reading from beginning to end.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Use Persuasion Verbal Aikido To Kick “But” In The Butt.

There are certain words that we use each and every day and many these will be used without really thinking about how you influence people. These words could have a massive effect on the way others perceive and react to what you say whether you mean it or not. This could lead to a lot of mixed messages, unnecessary confusion or even annoyance in some cases when during a influence or persuasion situation.

There is one word that is so destructive yet so easy to eliminate from your language that I’m after you’ve read this sort article you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it before now.

The word I’m talking about is “but”.

If your goal is to persuade or influence someone to your way of thinking or to behave in a certain manor it is helpful to develop a certain level of rapport.

Likewise in meetings or during discussions it is invaluable to communicate in an eloquent the elegant manor.

How does it work then?

Let me start with an example.

“I love your idea Tom, it really is fantastic BUT I think it might be an idea to develop…”


“…yes I agree BUT I think it will be a better idea to…”

You see what has happened here. The BUT has completely discounted the idea, opion or view of what has just been said. It is almost like say I’m “I’m hearing your point of view only mine is better”

To overcome this issue simply replay the work BUT with the word AND. AND has an inclusive effect on the sentence. It doesn’t discount what has just been said it includes it. It recognises the statement, point of view, object or whatever an moves on to offer a further point to consider or alternative.

“I love your idea Tom, it really is fantastic AND I think it might be an idea to develop…


“…yes I agree AND I think it will be a better idea to…”

It may seem strange to begin with but once you get started and start seeing the results, you’ll see why it is so effective in building rapport

Did you see what I did in the above sentence? I used BUT to my advantage. I took an opinion and purposefully discounted it.

In a persuasion situation you can use BUT to your advantage to overcome objections. You simple rever the order of the buts.

“I love the product but it is expensive”.

Could be restated as…

It is expensive but I really love the product.

This won’t work every time but I certainly will stop people feeling that their opinion is being discounted.

Jason D

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Derren Brown and "The Heist" Breakdown of How It Was Done

This Article from the Boldapproach blog is long but excellent breakdown of the classic Derren Brown show called The Heist. Derren Brown is one of best in the business and bring influence and persuasion to a who new level in the programme. I thought it would be useful to see what Dave from Boldapproach have to say about it.


My Analysis of Derren Brown and "The Heist" - One of the most dangerous examples of persuasion you'll ever see.

In an email to the readers of my newsletter, I shared with them "The Heist," a show aired on British Television that demonstrates the power of persuasion, manipulation, motivation and more.

If you haven't watched Darren Brown in The Heist yet, go here and watch it then read the rest of this post, it will make more sense.

I decided to provide my analysis as a blog post so that you can comment and discuss your feelings as well. I strongly encourage you to post your thoughts here as this is where I'll be responding.

Much of what Darren Brown does is missing. They demonstrated pieces of what he did but you have to remember that this conditioning took place over an extended time. The outcome would not have been the same at the end of a day for example.

These people were carefully selected from the initial group and narrowed down to those people most susceptible to actually taking the actions that were anticipated. There is a strong sales and marketing lesson here, it is much easier to influence those people who you've carefully screened (you do have criteria for the people who can work with you, right?) and who demonstrate further interest in changing their views. He attracted a certain kind of person by using an advertisement that promised that they'd learn his techniques.

Notice that from the very beginning Derren sets up tests to see how they'll respond. He also watches the participants as they interact, watching for body language and social clues. He has to narrow down the group quickly to find those most likely to take action. He also begins to condition them, having a security guard hassle them from the beginning. Note that the security guard's jacket is the same color as the security truck in the actual heist. Virtually everything that Darren does is conditioning, testing and reconditioning. From a marketers point of view, this is a powerful statement around brand and brand recognition. You must provide a series of cues that people are anchored to that they can react to at a later date. This is why having the exact colors in your ad or logo when reproduced is very important for example.

Derren then points out that he is going to teach them some of his skills peppered with a dose of pop psychology. What he is really doing here is teaching them a piece of a bigger skill, and reinforcing how it will work by tying in pseudo social proof. He knows that people easily accept pop psychology in this case Neuro Linguistic Programming or NLP, because it is water cooler conversation and easy to swallow . . . it is also designed to help people feel good and lower their resistance. It does not take a lot of proof for people to draw the conclusion that they think that they should, especially when reinforced with facts. As a marketer or salesperson, you should be exploring how you can leverage facts and supportive "psychology" in your advertising and presentations.

Green remains an important element in the conditioning, look at the name tags of the people as they first gather around the table and meet Darren. Look at the screen behind him on the wall.
Next comes memory strategies, teaching them a linking strategy to remember a list of things to do and he uses very specific language when quizzing them. "X leads you to Y leads you to Z." This is a use of metaphor in language and also a very specific process for getting them to follow instructions and to follow procedures specifically.

He then moves them further into the use of metaphoric language and continues to condition them through the use of metaphor. You notice that this area is brushed over pretty quickly in the show because it is one of the keys to this kind of program. I teach a way of using metaphor in my book Persuasion: The Art of Getting What You Want when I talk about storytelling. Metaphor is a very powerful persuasion tool because people build bigger meanings internally when listening to and applying the metaphor to themselves than you can by outright telling them what to think or how to interpret something.
Note the color of their ink pens.

Next, when he explains anchoring a key NLP term, he talks about it as "Stealing an emotion, stealing a response." He is using anchoring and embedded language very effectively to tie stealing together with change and emotion. He is anchoring stealing to the process of learning a core principle. They are completely unaware. Anchoring is very powerful in advertising and rarely used effectively. Firing powerful emotional anchors can initiate automatic responses in people. If you don't believe it, think about the Twin Towers for a moment or the Kennedy assassination for a second and notice how you feel. You immediately reconnect with the feelings you had that day. By deeply connecting emotions and anchoring those emotions with your marketing messages, you are able to effectively take connect with people's emotions.
Bear in mind that this is taking place over a long period of time, two weeks, they are being systematically conditioned.

He then gives them a gun and a CD that he says they must listen to that he says contains subliminal messages that will reinforce their learnings. He is building on their beliefs and their belief in him. Research shows that auditory subliminals have no real impact on behavior, but what does is belief. If you believe that something is true it becomes true as you act on the belief. People for example who hold a belief about spontaneous healing or spiritual healing are much more likely to experience those outcomes because of the belief. When you identify people's beliefs and you build on those beliefs and link (there is that word again) their beliefs to new beliefs, the new beliefs become equally powerful.

Maybe the most disturbing part of the program for most people was the recreation of the Milgram experiment where people are told by authority figures to shock others who are actors (but they don't know it). The original experiment was conducted by Dr. Stanley Milgram, a social psychologist who studied obedience. This portion of the program was disturbing because of the psychological implications of their belief that they'd actually shocked someone up to a potentially lethal level just because someone in a lab coat told them to. In the original Milgram experiment they anticipated that 1/10 of 1% of people would actually go all the way, in reality, more than 50% did. From a marketing standpoint, this shows you the tremendous power of using authority figures in your persuasion efforts. It also shows why many people do outrageous things in the name of God when given direction by an authoritarian leader with an alleged better connection to "God" than the worshiper.

Notice how after the Milgram experiment Derren very carefully evaluates each individual (also notice that he did not give a concise overview of what he was looking for) to determine the people most likely to take the action he wants them to take. This is a very important key in marketing and in developing a cult like following. If you intend to develop people who will be complete converts and who will stop thinking and just take the actions you suggest, you must select the most highly suggestible people. From there, they become your ardent supporters and leaders, evangelists if you will, that will provide the crucial social proof for others to easily follow.
Now that he has narrowed down the group, he continues to anchor states, combine states and deepen the triggers. This is and should be done in all of your advertising and persuasion efforts. You don't have to be nearly as overt as Derren is to be effective. I teach this in my advanced influence programs and how to do it ethically.

Also note, how these people are driven back to the idea that they are learning these things for the betterment of themselves. They've already closely identified with Derren by wanting to understand how he does what he does, they in effect want the same level of control and are promised that very thing when they are selected to be part of the group. From a cult perspective, this is exactly what happens, at some level, people identify with the leader or his ideas and want to be more like him, to have secret knowledge imparted to them, and through adherence to ritual, practice and knowledge, they are moved closer and closer to the "truth" or "enlightenment."

One of the biggest exposures to this truth is during the "Chi" demonstration, they really do believe that they are transferring their energy and knocking the other person down, this is a strong reinforcement that they are "learning" what Derren knows. In reality as Derren clearly points out, the people who fall are the victims of their own beliefs, they believe that it is possible and they are victims of the suggestion, their own minds cause them to fall and nothing else. This from your standpoint as a marketer and a persuader is important to understand. If you tell your customers what they should expect to happen, it will, they'll find a way to make it true. The interesting thing about this is that it won't work with an outright lie. There has to be an area of "it could happen" to it so that they can make the connection between what could happen and what does or does not happen.

Ultimately, the people in the show take a very predictable action, they rob the truck at a rate of 75%, a much higher rate than the success of most marketing or persuasion efforts. It works because they are specifically conditioned, they are narrowed down and provided with more information and then all of the triggers that have been put into place are fired and they take action.

This film is a great review of what is possible with your marketing, advertising, influencing and persuading when you follow a detailed plan and properly identify and condition your audience.
Note: I got this note from Dr. Signe Dayhoff and reader and social psychologist:
"In Milgram's experiments there were those who suffered tremendously during the experiment, torn between doing what they felt was right and humane and what the authority figure demanded. Afterward there were a number of people who suffered from emotional problems because they had been introduced to a side of themselves that was ugly and didn't match their sense of self/identity. While the last individual in the video, who didn't attempt a heist, said he felt good about himself, that he was "a good person," I worried about the lasting effects on those who attempted the heist. How would they reconcile what they had done with their own definition of being a "good person."

To have Derren Brown and a psychologist "deprogram" them didn't seem sufficient. Knowing that (1) someone could manipulate you that easily to do (2) something you wouldn't do under normal circumstance or would have thought you could not do is most discomforting, as well as challenging to who you really are as an individual.

Those Milgram experiments, as well as the Prison Studies of Philip Zimbardo, are the reason that informed consent of subjects came into required use."
I agree, when you use persuasion, coercion, manipulation, and influence for an end that is not ethical, there is great concern about the health of the person on the receiving end. That is why we focus on the line between persuasion and manipulation which is intent.

There is a lot more to this that I'd like to discuss and will in future blog posts about how to use the techniques you saw ethically and appropriately in your advertising and persuasion efforts.

Covert Hypnosis In A Nut Shell

This is an excellent article from the coverthypnosis blog explaining what Covert Hypnosis is.

How to quickly explain covert hypnosis? Let me try this way...

Have you ever really wanted something but knew you mustn't or shouldn't have it?

You ever called a person up when you knew you'd appear too needy if you did it right then?

Have you ever eaten too much when you knew you were on a diet and shouldn't eat at all after a certain time?

Well all of those things happen because we actually have two minds inside our brain -- our analytical conscious mind and action-reaction type subconscious mind. Our analytical mind thinks of the future, our subconscious mid thinks of now.

So when you can consciously tell yourself that you'll have the sandwich tomorrow, your subconscious wants it right NOW. You're hungry now and so you want the sandwich now. This is why it's so difficult to go on a diet -- your conscious' mind "will power" is much weaker than the subconscious desires and drives!OK, so where does covert hypnosis come in here.

You probably saw where I was going with my introduction. Covert hypnosis is a way of communicating directly to the"stronger" subconscious mind and convincing "it" that what you want the person to do is beneficial for them. Once you've succeeded in that the battle is practically over.

There comes a time when you talk to a very stubborn person (a strong will power) --> there you have to also convince the conscious mind (much trickier!), but most of the time all you have to do is to convince the subconscious.When a person understands covert hypnosis, he or she has a giant advantage over the person he or she is talking to. It's very easy to convince the subconscious mind when you learn how to effectively bypass the analytical part of the mind. And that's exactly what can easily be done with covert hypnosis.

How To Instantly And Easily Tell If Someone Is Listening To You Or Simply Paying You Idle Lip Service

Have you ever been in a situation when you’ve been talking to someone in a persuasion situation? You thought you were getting your important message across and felt comfortable that you were having an element of success in influencing the situation. You thought they understood your message loud and clear.

However later on you discover that that message went right through them, like water through a sieve, you might as well have not said a thing.


This can understandably lead to a lot of frustration. You’ve spent a lot of time and effort tying to persuade your child to do something or putting across a persuasive sales message to a client and it was all more or less wasted.

Well here is a tip to help you discover if someone has really processed your message. It is based on the NLP concept of “eye accessing cues”.

How We Process Information

When we process information we tend do look in a certain direction to access that sense. Some people hold that position for a second or so while others will emphasize the fact by actually pointing their whole head in a particular direction.


Try this with one of your friends. Ask them a question like “what color is your front door.” This is a question that will require them to access a visual memory of their front door. The chances are will look up and either to the left of right.


Then ask them to remember a sound. For example “What was the last thing you can remember your partner saying to you”. It is highly likely that they will look to the left or right. This is the sound eye-accessing cue.


Finally ask them how they know when they feel totally relaxed, totally chilled out and at ease. They will have to access their feelings and will likely look down. Note: they may look up first to remember a time in the past visually before looking down either to the left or right to recall the actual feeling.

Now that said, how can we use this in an influence or persuasion situation? Well simple really. If you as someone a question an they are looking straight at you then it his highly likely that they have not actually processed the question. They have simply answered on auto pilot. You need to either repeat the question or ask it a different way.

So in summary, each time you ask someone a question make sure their eyes move either up down, or to the side, different people have different styles. This means that they have processed the question. Whether they have understood it is a question is a question for another day!

To your persuasion success.

Jason D

The Psychology of Colors To Influence in Website Design

I was putting this site together and thought myself for a site all about Infuence and Persuasion Wouldn't it be a good idea to see how color affects us. After a bit fo reseach I came up with the following interesting findings.

Since people associate particular colors with different emotions, the colors used on your website can have a psychological effect on visitors to your site. By using specific colors geared towards the emotion you want to invoke, you can actually help persuade people to buy and increase your product sales. Here are some colors along with the emotions and symbols they stimulate:

1) WHITE- purity, innocence, peace, perfection, chastity, sterility, cleanliness. In general, white creates a cool and refreshing feeling.

2) BLACK- night, space, authority, sturdiness, reliability, power, constancy, prudence, wisdom, classy, elegance, submission, mourning, demons, witches. Black is a controversial color as it can symbolize both good and evil.

3) RED- love, excitement, warmth, heat, fire, blood, passion, power, aggression, action. Use red as an attention grabber. It works better as an accent color rather than a background one.

4) PINK- romantic, affection, sensuality, tenderness, calm, soft hearted, softness, femininity. Pink tends to reduce aggression.

5) BLUE- sky, ocean, water, temperature, ice, coolness, mist, shadow, travel, freedom, truth, solitude, wisdom, trust, loyalty, peaceful, calmness, intelligence, dedication, masculinity. Different shades of blue convey opposite meanings. Light blue is peaceful while dark blue is depressing.

6) PURPLE- royalty, dignity, luxury, wealth, sophistication, feminine, passion, romance, sensitivity, coolness, mist, shadows, mysterious, mystic.

7) GREEN- money, calm, envy, greed, nature, life, youth, renewal, hope, vigor, fertility, rebirth, freedom, guilt. Different shades of green have different meanings. Dark green-cool. masculine, conservative, wealth. Emerald green- immortality. Olive green- peace. Green is the easiest color on the eye.

8) YELLOW- light, purity, understanding, brightness, warmth, playfulness, creativity. Lemon yellow is the most eye fatiguing color. Yellow can increase irritability so yellow should not be used as a main color, only as an accent. Yellow enhances concentration.

9) ORANGE- autumn, youthful, fire, warmth, contentment, fruitfulness, wholesomeness, strong, generous, endurance, strength, ambition. Orange is the color most associated with appetite so it would be a good color choice for a website selling food products. Orange also makes a product seem more suitable for everyone and more affordable.

10) BROWN- wood, comfort, strength, earth, solid, reliable, credible, maturity, humility, conservancy. Light brown conveys genuineness.

11) GRAY- exclusivity. Enhances the psychological response of other colors. In general, red, orange, and yellow are exciting colors while purple, blue and green are calming ones. Use the color that symbolizes the emotion you want to convey as the primary color on your website. Add 1-2 other colors to reinforce this emotion. The colors used for your background, header, graphics, text, highlighting, headlines, etc. will all contribute to your website's influence on your visitors.

To Your Persuasion Success.


What Is The Difference Between Persuation And Influence

Persuasion And Influence And Attitude

If you want to really devleope a deep understanding in the field of persuasion and influence then a good place to start is with the definition of the words themselves.

These words are often using interchangeable however if you want to nurture a deeper understanding of the subject you need to start with a deeper understanding of their definition.


Influence is a catch-all term. Whenever you attempt to deliberately direct or change a persons thoughts, feeling or behaviors then influence is said to have occurred.


Persuasion is really a subset of Influence. It is when you use communication to try and deliberately change a persons attitude. If a person attitude has changed then persuasion has occurred.

It's a subtle but important difference.

Both term are concerned with deliberate change but they are different in that persuasion require a certain level of communication such that a attitude change in adopted by the person. This communication is likely to be a combination of verbal and non-verbal messages.

Influence on the other hand can be achieve with out any communication is directed to acheiveing a specific external behavioral change without gaining any change in the person’s attitude.


A good example is the lay out of department stores. The area between section is polished hard floor. This makes for quick and easy walking between departments, however when you enter a deparment, for example woman’s clothing, the area on which the stands are placed in often covered with a soft lush carpet. This in more comfortable on your feet and also encourages you to walk at at a slower pace and browse at what is on offer. No internal change of attitude has occurred but a external change in behavior has.


We have attitudes about everything, some are educated and sensibly rationalized attitudes other are attitude we have picked up through our experience of life. A person’s attitude to a certain degree defines who they are. “I don’t like American cars” It is a persons evaluation of the object, in this case American cars. Persuasion would be the tool we would need to change their attitude in this instance.

A cleverly constructed show room or TV advertisement might influence the person to look at the car but level of persuasion would be required on the salesman’s part to change the person’s attitude enough to want purchase the car. Incidentally the act of the person buying the car will dramatically change their attitude. The Law of consistency make it very difficult for us to deny our own actions. “I’ve purchased this car therefore I must like American cars.” (Until it breaks down after a few months!)

To your persuasion success.

Jason D