Monthly Archives: July 2009

Metaphors Filled with Uncertainty

The other day I was talking to a friend of mine about normal everyday stuff. Stuff people usually talk about to kill time while waiting for the bus or waiting for their turn at the dentist office. Of course, you want the bus to hurry up and come, but you usually want the dentist to do something else. The conversation kind of meandered into other things that we don’t normally talk about, I don’t know if you’ve ever been involved in something like this. But as you sit there, and read this, you might begin to notice certain sensations in your body. Maybe pleasant sensations, maybe familiar sensations. Maybe some sensations that you hadn’t noticed up until now, like that feeling you have now in the lower portion of your left leg.

It’s like the other day, when I was browsing in a bookstore. It was a large bookstore, one that has over a hundred thousand titles. I happened to be in the self-development section. I wasn’t sure how I got there. I had started off in the music section and then moved on to the investing section, and then I’m not sure what happened after that. The next thing I realizes was that I was standing there reading a book about hypnosis. Now I’m not going to tell you that hypnosis is a fascinating subject, you’ve probably already come to that conclusion on your own. And they weren’t even aware of who was doing that, anyway. But one of the interesting things about hypnosis that you can use for your immediate benefit is the many ways in which it helps you to increase learnings about fascination.

Fascination is another subject that doesn’t get much attention. Sure, people feel fascinated by many things, but the actual subject of fascination doesn’t really get a lot of attention itself. Like the structure of fascination. What makes things more fascinating that other things? And some things can hold fascination really well for a long period of time, while other things are more of a flash in the pan for other ideas.

But my friend started to talk about sailing. He had recently bought a sailboat, and was planning on sailing around the world. Not really around the world, he wasn’t confident enough to venture across the Atlantic or the Pacific oceans, he was only planning on sailing down the east coast, through the Panama Canal, and then back up the west coast. I don’t know how he was planning on getting his boat back to the east coast, I guess that is a different story altogether.

But as we sat there, talking about things like those other ideas, we began to notice that some of the people around us were speaking a funny language. Almost as if we were automatically transported to a foreign country. I’m not sure if that has ever happened to you, but when you suddenly find yourself surrounded by people that are speaking a foreign language, it can be difficult to keep your thoughts in a single file line, waiting to take a number and sit patiently.

Of course, this might very well all be a jumbled mess of misplaced metaphors, but I suppose I’ll think about that later.

How to Sell Your Car Easily and Quickly for Maximum Profit Using Little Known Secrets of Psychology and Persuasion

If you need to sell your car, and aren’t sure how to go about doing it, there are few simple ideas that will not only help you to sell your car faster than you’ve ever thought possible, but also to get the best price, perhaps even a little bit more than you were expecting.

These techniques are based on emotions and psychology, and have been used for years by salesmen and women to maximize their profits and to get their products into the hands of happy customers.

First of all, make sure your car is really worth what you are asking for it. If there is damage that you aren’t willing to disclose, then you will have an angry customer on your hand. Even though these techniques will likely work, regardless of the condition that your car is in, you need to be upfront and honest with any repairs or drawbacks to the sale.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s get on to the good stuff. I’ve been studying sales and persuasion for many years, and have worked in various industries, including car sales. I know the techniques that work, and what doesn’t work. When you apply some of these ideas, your car will be gone, and your wallet will be filled with money eagerly given to you by a happy customer.

The first concept is social proof. People want to buy what everybody else is buying. Social proof was illustrated brilliantly in Robert Cialdini’s book “Influence, the Psychology of Persuasion.” When you can get across to your potential customer that there are many other people that also want to buy your car, their own desire to buy will naturally increase.

How to do this? If you are placing an ad online, be sure to mention that your make and model is very popular. How do you do that? Easy. Just use the words “very popular” to describe your car. For example, instead of saying “for sale, 1998 Toyota Corolla,” you can say “For sale, the very popular 1998 Toyota Corolla.” Sounds cheesy, but it works. Another way to use social proof is to imply there is a high demand for your car. Instead of saying, “for sale, 1998 Toyota Corolla,” say “For sale, the very popular 1998 Toyota Corolla. This car has been always been in demand.” Again, sounds cheesy, but it works.

The next concept, again illustrated in Cialdini’s book, is the concept of scarcity. Whatever might not be around for a while, people seem to want more of it. When the Concord announced it was going to stop flying, demand for tickets suddenly skyrocketed. There is a reason many ads will say, “For a limited time!”

They use that corny phrase simply because it works. So how can you use this to sell your car? Think of a legitimate reason for putting a limit on the sale.

“In demand 1998 Toyota Corolla, for sale only until the end of this week. Email for details.”

You don’t even need to give a reason, and it can still have a powerful effect on your sale.

The next idea is authority. When people hear something from a recognized authority, they are much more likely to be influenced. So how do you connect authority to your car sale? Google the make and model of your car along with “awards” or “consumer reviews.” Doing this with a 1998 Toyota Corolla yields several results. One was a four and a half star review from

So lets see what happens when you combine, social proof, scarcity, and authority all in one.

“For sale until the end of this week ONLY. The always in demand 1998 Toyota Corolla. This very popular and reliable model received a 4.5 star recommendation from Please email for details.”

Now, doesn’t that sound better than:

“For sale. 1998 Toyota Corolla. Email for details.”

Not only will you get more hits, but also more people will be interested in buying your car. Which brings up yet another psychological influential factor. Competition.

In the above-mentioned book by Professor Cialdini, he illustrates a story where a fellow made some money on the side while in college. He would buy used cars, spend a few weeks cleaning them up and fixing minor damages, and then re-sell them. Whenever people would be interested in the car, he would schedule an appointment with them at a specific time. But he would always schedule two or more people at the same time. They would show up, and start a bidding war right there on the spot, and he would always sell these cars for much more than he paid for them.

While that might border on unethical sales practices, it illustrates the almost untapped power that exists when you apply simple psychological influence ideas to selling your car. You’ll sell it a lot quicker, and make more money.

How to Remove Public Speaking Fear and Skyrocket Your Sales Skills

If you are in sales, any kind of sales, there is one skill you can learn that will have a powerful effect on all your other skills for selling. And when you realize in almost every interaction you have with others, you are selling something at some level. An idea, your point of view, a behavior that you want others to perform. Whether you are going to convince that gorgeous woman to come over to your place for dinner, or persuade your kids to finish their homework before watching TV, you are selling something.

And there is one powerful skill that can dramatically help you in all aspects of this. That, of course, is public speaking. I’m sure you know that public speaking is the number one fear of people today. Almost everybody dreads the idea of being called up to speak. If you’ve ever had to give a toast, or even introduce somebody to large group of people, you know how nerve wracking it can be. Overcoming public speaking fear can be the singularly most beneficial decision you can make. It will increase your self-confidence, increase your self-esteem, and give you much more clarity of thought when choosing your words during normal, every day conversations.

And if you are in an honest to goodness sales job, where you have to put yourself in front of people day in and day out, overcoming the anxiety of public speaking can do wonders for your closing ratio. It’s a well-known fact that giving talks on a regular basis, regardless of what business you are in can do wonders for your income.

So how does one go about reducing public speaking fears? How can you banish public speaking anxiety once and for all? There are two ways to approach this. One is through various forms of mental imagery and visualization, training your brain to think of speaking in a different way, so it doesn’t cause you the anxiety that it might have before. These can be a wonderful way to make it feel easy and natural to not only feel comfortable giving public speeches, but to look forward to doing them as well.

One way to do this is to imagine the feeling you will get when you finish your speech, and you can hear the applause of the audience. Really get a good picture in your mind of what that looks like, sounds like, and feels like. Practice imagining that on a regular basis, until that thought becomes second nature, and not whatever thought you used to think that gave you the problems.

Another mental trick is to imagine the benefit the audience will receive from your speech. How will it help them? How can they use the information? When you think in terms of this, you will be less likely to imagine them judging and scrutinizing you, and more likely to imagine them thankful to you for doing them favor by sharing your unique information with them.

The second way of extinguishing your public speaking anxiety once and for all is to simply speak as often as possible. Every time you think of speaking, and grow anxious, and then get out of speaking, it reinforces the thought that public speaking is dangerous. When you begin to speak in public as often as possible, anywhere were there are people within earshot that don’t know you, you will gain confidence. Anywhere you can do this will work. Talking to strangers in line at the supermarket, making an announcement at the dinner table at home, if you have a large family, volunteering at your church. Toastmaster is a great place to practice these skills in a friendly, supportive environment.

When you combine the mental tricks outlined above, and the habit of speaking as often as possible, any fear or anxiety you have associated with public speaking will quickly vanish, and your skills of selling and persuading will skyrocket, not to mention your self-confidence and self-esteem. Learning to feel comfortable while speaking in public can very well be one of the greatest, and cheapest, self improvement and self-development programs at your disposal.

How to Maximize Body Language for Flirting and Attraction

One thing that every man must have in his arsenal of dating skills is a solid understanding of female body language. You can powerfully increase your flirting and attraction with some basic knowledge in this area. Despite the ignorance of most guys in this area, body language is one of the least understood communication skills. It is something that I not taught in schools, not spoken about much in men’s magazines, nor discussed with men over beers at the local pub on a Friday night.

The shocking truth of how powerful body language is came to me several years ago after reading a book on the subject. I was sitting in a meeting at work, a very large meeting, with the big boss talking to all the employees. There had been several rumors floating around about mergers, and relocation. I worked at a large medical products company, and up until then all of the products were manufactured on sight in southern California. Had they decided to shift manufacturing to another location for cheap labor, such as Mexico, many jobs would be lost.

Because everybody was hearing these rumors, the big boss decided to hold meeting in an attempt to calm everybody down. I happened to be sitting in the front row. After dancing around the issue as eloquently as he could, somebody finally asked a direct question:

“Are we going to lose our jobs to Mexico?”

His answer:

“I promise, we will always manufacture our products in the United States.”

Everybody seemed to accept this answer, except me. When he said it, he was leaning back, half standing, half leaning against the podium, his legs were crossed at the ankles, and neither of his the souls of his shoes were touching the floor. His arms were crossed in front of him, and he wasn’t looking anybody in the eye.

His word said one thing, but his body language said something completely different. He was lying. Apparently, I was the only one who noticed, as the rumors stopped.

Until about three months later, when they announced, seemingly out of the blue that the entire manufacturing department was shutting down. Hundreds of jobs, hundreds of people that had worked there for many years, were lost.

Luckily, because I was able to read his body language instead of his words, I had been actively searching for a job in the meantime, so I was prepared.

This is an example of male/male body language communication, which can be powerful during negotiations, interviews, detecting if somebody is lying. They can be just as powerful when flirting or trying to attract the woman of your dreams.

This is one area that unfortunately many men are completely clueless on. To say this is the weakest point of male communication would be an understatement. I once watched a friend of mine try (unsuccessfully) to pick up a girl in a bar. She was sitting her friend at a table. He stopped, and was standing above her. (Not a good idea by the way, you seem too intimidating when you do this.) Every time he leaned in to speak to her, she would lean back, and unconsciously touch her necklace.

Leaning back is an obvious STAY AWAY, but the necklace touching is also a huge sign of disinterest. She was unconsciously protecting her neck, a very vulnerable part of the body. When I asked my friend about this later, he said he had no idea that was going on.

Next time you are at a bar or a club, and are trying to impress the ladies, paying subtle attention to her body language can go a long way.

Is she open? Is she protecting her vulnerable areas? Are her breasts pointed at you or away from you? When she talks does she look at you, or is she looking around the room? What about her feet? Are they pointed at you or away?

While difficult at first, paying attention to her body language can give you a powerful edge in your flirting and seduction efforts. By only paying attention to girls that are into you, you will spend a lot less effort, and save yourself a lot of frustration, heartache, and time.

And a great side benefit is because you will only be paying attention to girls that are paying attention to you, your self-confidence and self-esteem will shoot through the roof. Before you know it you’ll be able to read the body language of an entire room, and determine right away whom you should talk to, and whom you should leave to all other guys out there who haven’t been enlightened by this article.

How to Persuade Others to Give You What You Want

There has been much debate over the last several years as to why the human brain became so large. Compared to our body weight, it is much larger than our nearest relatives, the other apes. Some of the leading theories are that we need large amount of brainpower for spatial processing. It has been argued, notably in Howard Bloom’s “The Lucifer Principle,” that the need to hunt via action at a distance (e.g. throwing a spear and hitting moving target) required quite a bit of mental development.

Others have argued that our brains developed such large size due to our need to communicate. But why so large? Scientists have known for years that other mammals communicate through verbal interaction. Dolphins, whales, wolves. This is certainly not related to humans. But why did human’s language become so much more complex than others?

It might be easier to understand when you change your paradigm of the purpose of language. Most assume that the purpose of language is merely to exchange information. Researchers are beginning to wonder if this is a foregone conclusion. Some argue that the entire purpose, the entire driving force of language is not to communicate information, but to persuade. Even when a simple communication of information is the apparent goal, the underlying intent, even if it’s subconscious, is to persuade. Persuasion with statistics is but one of the many ways to convince others of your way of thinking.

If you could remember back to when you made your first sound, you would probably recall being under a great deal of stress. You had just come out from the safety and protection of your mothers womb, and were thrust, painfully so, into a harsh and unfamiliar environment. You had to breath for the first time. It was cold. You couldn’t feel the familiar thump-thump-thump of your mother’s heart. Naturally, your first response wasn’t to shout for joy to the skies, or voice your appreciation for your new discovery, but more likely to curse the gods for your predicament.

Then a funny thing happened. The more you cried, the more attention you got. Attention that brought you back to what you were missing. Comfort, attention, protection. The more you cried, the more you learned that you were cause, and the new world in which you lived was effect.

As you grew up, that repeated over and over again, thousands of times. You had a feeling; you expressed that feeling through your voice and actions, in attempt to manipulate your environment. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it doesn’t. Many people go through their whole lives frustrated because it is not as simple as it was when you were a baby. When we all reach the age of two or so, suddenly a simple cry doesn’t bring with it the immediate and comforting response we expect. And that is both frustration and worrisome. Does that mean that our world doesn’t care that much about us any more? Or does that simply mean we need to change our strategy? To formulate a new way of expressing our desires with a greater probability to getting them realized by others?

Luckily, there has been a whole lot of study in that area. There are specific ways to structure your communication to persuade others to give you what you want. Good ways and bad ways. Ways that will leave a good taste in the mouth of those that help you, and those that leave them with a funny feeling that they’ve been had. Ways to help you out in the short term, and ways to ensure your long-term success.

Just as surely as you expected your mother to pick you up when you cried, you can be sure of others actions based on your communication. It’s not that the world doesn’t care any more, it’s just that you need to be more specific with your requests, and frame them in such a way that the person fulfilling your requests will be happy for doing so. There are numerous strategies and methods I will share with you over the next several weeks that will give you incredible power over others, so much so that they will enjoy doing that.

Stay tuned.

Tap Egyptian Power of Success

I was sitting in a bowling alley recently, waiting for my turn, and this guy sitting next to me started talking about the Egyptian Pyramids. He was explaining all the historical and political significance of them, which I had never really thought of before. When most people think of the pyramids, they naturally think of these giant structures that were built out in the middle of the desert, many thousands of years ago by a culture that we can’t begin to understand. Some even believe they had influence from alien life forms, as some of the structural mathematics matches up keenly with certain elements of our solar system and out galaxy.

This guy was telling me how it was a brilliant political maneuver by the government at the time. They were very dependent on the Nile for almost all of their food, and when the Nile didn’t provide sufficient water, many people suffered. Every year the Nile would flood, submerging many peoples houses and farms, so they were not only dependent on the Nile, but they had to live and move according to its behavior.

Having a whole people who felt they were at the mercy of the gods was not an easy people to govern. Any edict the Pharaoh would proclaim would always be conspired in light of the heavens and the forces of nature, and would consequently take a back seat.

Enter the pyramids.

Deciding to build the pyramids was a stroke of genius. It gave virtually every Egyptian a feeling of being in control of something, for the first time in their lives. They knew they were building a very large structure, and they could even imagine a point up in the sky that they were aiming for, and that they would one day reach. To go even further, the engineers designed the pyramids so that when they were finished, they would point to a certain and prominent star in the sky, so even at night the people could connect their daily activity towards a specific goal to a far of distant point of light in the mysterious night sky.

If you’ve ever taken the time to look at your goals, it’s important to have them defined in two different ways. One way so that you can determine exactly when you have accomplished them, and giving you a specific time and place to focus your attention. Keep your eyes and mind on the finish line at all time, so to speak. This way your brain knows exactly what behaviors to do and not to do in order to get you to your goal. Many people set goals and fail, not because they don’t want them, but because they are not set with enough clarity and specificity.

The other important factor is to set a goal in a direction that you want to go in. Once you achieve your goal, you are going to have to come up with another one. Resting on your laurels has long been known as a killer of motivation and success. When you choose a far of direction, like the horizon, or a star in the sky, you will keep on going in the right direction, and can keep your motivation when you stumble along the way.

When you set both of these with enough clarity and specificity, you will almost get to your goal automatically. Just like the pyramids, once they set the plans, gave everybody a clear idea of where the were going, the pyramids went up almost automatically. And anything you want to create in life will go up just as quickly and as smoothly.

One thing that did go very smoothly, was my bowling. It seemed that every time I released it, it would roll very smoothly straight to the gutter, and my friends very quickly erupted in laughter and told me what an entertaining bowler I am to watch.

Paint Your Future Brightly

I remember a few years ago I bought a condo. The first thing I wanted to do before moving in was to repaint the interior. So naturally, I was overwhelmed by the eighteen million different shades of white available at home depot. So I chose some flavor of white I thought would be appropriate, and was surprised when the guy at Home Depot asked about a drop cloth.

A drop what? I asked? He explained that I would need to cover the carpet, and put tape up over all the electrical fixtures, and put tape over all the door jams. And probably tape the drop cloth on the floor, as being a first time painter; I would have a lot of splatter to contend with.

I quickly realized that getting the place ready to be painted was going to take nearly as much time as the painting itself. When the guy started talking about primer, and spackle and all kinds of other home improvement language that I didn’t understand, I left before things got out of control.

There was a guy I was talking to in a seminar who was telling about this book he had read on goal setting. The guy in there said there were two different kinds of goals. One kind was milestone goals, or goals you could measure once you got there, like losing weight, or a certain score on the golf course.

The other kind of goal he referred to as horizon goals, or goals that are specific. They are more like a direction that you want to go to in life. Like the horizon, the more you walk towards them, the more they will stay off in the distance and give you a direction. As long as you can see the horizon, you know which way to go.

And if you are wondering about what to do when you are surrounded by horizons on all sides, it helps to align your horizon goals with your milestone goals.

For example, if a horizon goal was to live a healthy lifestyle, then milestone goals could be a specific weight or dress size, a specific time in a 10K, or a certain amount of pounds to bench press. Your horizon goal would always keep you thinking about eating healthy and getting enough exercise, while your milestone goals will give you something specific to shoot for, and measure and celebrate once you achieve them. The beauty of this is that if you have a solid horizon goal, then every time you achieve a milestone goal, you can simply choose another one off in the distance a few months and keep on truckin.

A great way to motivate yourself is to place the milestone goals in the future, and then drift up into the future and look back on the goals you will have achieved when you get there to give yourself some ideas of how you did that. Then when you come back into the present, you can bring the information from your future self of how you achieved the goals that you want to accomplish. Kind of like having twenty twenty hindsight for something that hasn’t happened yet.

So when I finally finished painting, and took down all the tarps and mats and tape and whatever else I had put up, it looked pretty good. One of the best feelings you can experience is when you stop, stand back and look at something you’ve accomplished. It’s one thing to receive unexpected gifts from others, but it is quite another to admire something you’ve created through your own efforts and inspiration.

Models of the World and Quantum Physics

When I was a kid I used to build models. Cars, airplanes, a few ships, even some famous buildings, like the Empire State building, and the Sears Tower in Chicago. I never built any models of ships or boats, but I had few friends that did. One thing about some of the models I built, (especially ones that took a long time,) was the incredible amount of detail that each model had. All the way down to some of the movable engine parts of some of more intense models.

Despite how accurate they appeared, they were only models of the real thing. The planes couldn’t fly, the cars wouldn’t drive, and the buildings wouldn’t hold any little people. They were only approximations of something larger and functional. And they were always built after the real thing. There weren’t ever any models of things that hadn’t been built yet.

Not all models are like this, however. In the early days of the twentieth century, physicists were trying to wrap their minds around something called Black Box Radiation. They had this black material, and when they heated it to very high temperatures, they would measure the spectral characteristics of the light it emitted as it cooled down. At first they thought they understood the physics behind what was happening. They came up with a model, and it worked.

The problem is, their model didn’t work at all levels. At first it only worked at the higher temperatures, but it broke down completely as they cooled off. They kept trying to update and change their model, and although they got a little bit closer each time to approximating the actual behavior, it still didn’t work at all levels.

Many famous scientists of the day were involved in this project. Bohr, Einstein and others were among those that tried and failed to accurately model the behavior of this mysterious phenomenon.

The interesting thing about models is how easily some people can be convinced that they are undisputed truth. Anytime there is an approximation of the physical world around us, it is only a model. Which is fine so long as people understand that it will always need to be updated and expanded on, or even discarded completely if somebody comes up with a better one.

The basic structure of our world and our solar system is a prime example. Long ago, people used think the world was flat. Those that claimed it was round were burned at the stake. Until Magellan circumnavigated the globe, the concept of a round Earth was foreign to most people.

The sun is another example. Those in authority used to believe, until fairly recently if you compare to the length of human history, that the Earth was the center of everything, and the sun and all the stars moved about the Earth. It wasn’t until Copernicus posited his theory of the Sun being the center and the Earth revolving around it did people start to see things in a different light.

It’s only when you take your model as unshakeable truth can you get into trouble. Burned at the stake, being held under house arrest for life, and other punishments are what has happened to people in the past for questioning the model of reality held by those in authority.

Sometimes one’s model of reality is held so tightly as absolute truth that people will fight, even die to protect it. The crusades are a prime example of this. The streets literally ran with the blood of heathens simply because they did not buy into the currently held model of the status quo.

Models are a great way to approximate and refine your view of reality, so long as you realize that they are just models, and should be readily exchanged with those that offer a better description of what we think is going on outside of our heads.

And this guy Max Plank, then a young twentyish something physicist stepped forward and offered his idea of this black box radiation. He said that instead of emitting energy in a continuous stream, the energy was being emitted in discreet entities, or quanta. They tried his model, and sure enough, it described the phenomenon beautifully. And so was the beginning of quantum physics.

The problem that baffled Einstein and his contemporaries was solved by young, almost unknown physicist. Had the older, established physicists been unable to realize that their models were only models, where would we be now?

How do You Make Decisions?

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day. She is a regional sales manager for a large cosmetic company. His job is to maintain contracts with all the large department stores. I never really thought about that kind of business before, but it is really competitive. She needs to maintain very good relationships with her respective counterparts at the various department stores. In order to do this she needs to do quite a bit of traveling.

One of the things that surprised me most was that the decisions that are made by the various department store managers, those that are in charge of the cosmetics department, are made based on a wide variety of reasons. Sometimes the actual quality of the product is a factor, but often times it’s not. It didn’t take her long to learn this. The first time she realized this her company was up for review at a medium sized department store. The manager had to choose between her company and a rival. She did her market research and realized that the rival’s product did not have nearly as much quality, history, and sales as hers. So she assumed it would be an easy decision by the manager.

What she didn’t realize was that the manager had a previous relationship with the other sales rep. They used to go to the same church several years ago. So when she chose the competitor because of that reason, my friend quickly realized that product quality was not always, in fact rarely, the main reason department stores chose one product line over another.

She began studying persuasion technology in earnest. She went to several seminars, read several books, and even took few marketing classes at the university level. What she found was fascinating.

The marketing courses she took at the university were not helpful, as they were filled with theories and long-winded articles about psychological speculations that seemed completely inapplicable in the real world. Most of these marketing books were written by professors who never really sold anything in their lives.

One book she read that really helped was by a psychologist, but it was a book that was based on hands on social experiments, rather than obscure theories. And what she learned was fascinating. More often than not, people at all levels make decisions not on logical, but on emotional impulse. People usually make up a logical reason shortly after the emotionally based decision, so quickly that is below conscious awareness. So even if we fool ourselves into believing that we make logical decisions that are rarely the case.

The second thing she learned was how easy it was to use these simple emotional triggers in others to help her to sell her product. Ever since she made that breakthrough, her accounts have steadily increased over the years. She tells me she likely would never had been successful had she relied only on university marketing classes and product information based logic. Once she learned how to tap into the emotional buying decisions of others, it became very easy.

One of the things she found that was the most powerful, and therefore the hardest to overcome was a pre existing relationship. If the department store had a long relationship with a current manufacturer, then it was almost impossible to get her foot in the door. The longer the relationship between the department store manager and the manufacturing sales representative, the harder it would be for the department store manager to change his or her mind.

One thing she learned from that was it is always good to start and maintain new relationships. That is the key to success.

The Power of the Pre-Frame

The other day I went into a bookshop that I had passed by several times. I had never really stopped to look inside. It was a small bookshop, and I suspect it is family owned. Not like a large chain like the other ones. I passed by it enough that it was just in the right spot in the back of mind if I ever needed a bookshop in a pinch whenever I decided to be in that area, if you catch my drift. There have been a few new bestsellers I’ve been meaning to read, and I hadn’t go around to buying them yet. So the other day I was in that neighborhood, and I decided I’d pop in there for the first time and pick up a book I’d been thinking about getting for a while.

Much to my surprise, it was a second hand shop. Perhaps if I’d taken the time before to look in the window and check things out, I would have realized this. But there I was, standing in the middle of stacks and stacks of old, used, out of print, and other interesting books, all for under a dollar.

I used to have a friend who loved to travel, but even more than traveling, he loved to plan to travel. He would pick a destination, either a country or a city, and just completely absorb himself in planning his trip, and finding out everything one could possible find out about a destination. He would research all the hotels, all the restaurants, all the museums and sights. He would buy several travel books and participate in several online forums to discuss anything and everything he could possible think of before going on his trip.

And he invariably had a great time. He would always spend at least a week afterwards posting all of his experiences online and share his opinions about the restaurants, right down the detail of the entrée’s for each particular night.

An old roommate of mine took a sales seminar, and he said that of the several speakers, one gave a lesson on how to overcome objections. Like when people want to buy a car, and they are not sure about the color or something like that, or they are worried they won’t like the car after a week or something. He said that the best way to overcome an objection is to address it before it comes up. Of course this takes a bit of experience in knowing what objections are likely to come up, but once you can answer the objection skillfully in a conversation before you actually close, or ask for the sale, the customer almost never brings it up. It’s like when you prepare for a difficulty ahead of time in your mind, the difficulty never presents itself.

So when I realized I was in a used bookshop, I decided to look around anyways. I found a couple of older books by the author whose bestseller I was looking for that I hadn’t read yet. I decided to read these. And when I was paying for them, the guy at register asked me if I had read his latest. When I said I hadn’t he offered to sell me his copy, as he had just finished it. He was planning on selling it to the shop he worked for, and I bought it instead. One dollar.