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The last damn thing you'll ever need to read about influence, persuasion and negotiation, by Eric Barker.

Stashed in: #happiness, Practice, Listen!, Negotiation, @bakadesuyo, Awesome, influence, @bakadesuyo, Psychology!, Selling!, Etiquette!, Price Is Right!

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Warning: dark arts are explained in service of full disclosure

A good portion of being a good negotiator is just being a good person. Believe that you can improve your negotiating skills and you can.

First impressions are an even bigger deal than you thought. In fact, we can be a slave to them.

Similarity, mimicry and being in sync are all very powerful. Always always always always always be thinking about things you have in common. The first thing you should say in a negotiation is something very similar to what the guy on the other side of the table just said. Mimicry is more powerful than you think.

Happiness makes you a better negotiator. Think positive about the negotiation and give others a reason to do so as well. Expecting others to be selfish can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

There are solid persuasion lessons to be learned from top telemarketers, great salesmen and FBI hostage negotiators. Make them say "yes yes yes" and they will probably say yes.

Don't use round numbers. Yes, we like $1.99 more than $2.00 even if we say we know it's a trick.

Just remembering the other person's name makes you more persuasive. Asking someone how they feel, having them verbally respond, and then acknowledging that response, facilitates compliance. Listen to what they have to say and ask them to tell you more.

Touch people. Be funny. Always ask if this is a good time. Let them sleep on it. People will be more likely to agree with you if you make your choice sound like the status quo. "Obscenity at the beginning or end of the speech significantly increased the persuasiveness of the speech." Emotion is the key to being more credible when complaining.

Name dropping doesn't work. Obvious and insincere flattery does.

Sit in the middle to be more influential during a meeting. And repeat yourself.

No evidence can sometimes be more persuasive than weak evidence.

Funny, having dealt with all types of sales people, hostile customers, subversive employees, and entrepreneurial hucksters, I'd like to think I'm pretty much immune to most all of those techniques.

That's what you think, Greg. ;)

I hope for your sake that feelings about persuasion don't work along the same lines as feelings about self-control:


Really great article! I'm definitely going to stash this for later.

One thing that I often struggle with is gauging my audience's interest. There are times where I get on a long rant about something I feel strongly about and when I pause to let others chime in there are crickets. I'd like to think that they are engaged in what I'm saying, but that can't always be the case.

Do you have any tricks for how to persuasively rant for a couple minutes and then end it without your listener wondering how to respond?

My two cents would be: don't rant. (I am a recovering rant-er myself.)

Ranting isn't generally very persuasive. It's often very logical/rational/forebrain-oriented and most of what makes people change their minds is emotional. It's also very me me me and people just don't respond to that well because they too are thinking me me me. Pausing, asking questions and other things to keep it a conversation would be a natural first step to gauging interest.

I'd check out the links regarding FBI Hostage Negotiation. Everything starts with listening and understanding, and the entry point is always the *other* person's perspective:

I like your two cents. Thanks

Eric Barker, you're awesome! Thanks for the thought-provoking content:)

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