One of the most powerful ways to easily persuade somebody to your way of thinking is elicit and leverage criteria. Everyone you will ever meet is a walking talking collection of unmet wants and needs. And for most people, most of these unmet wants and needs are sufficiently vague so that you can easily leverage them to your benefit.
Be careful though, you can easily misuse this power to trick them into doing something or buying a product that is against their interests. If you do this, then woe be unto you.
So how do you elicit criteria? Simple. Once you establish rapport, and generate a sufficient level of comfort, just ask them what’s important about something. Be sure to ask respectfully, and with genuine interest. Most people are a little bit shy about talking about their deep desires and criteria, and will quickly close themselves off to you if they smell any amount of incongruity.
For example, let’s say you are on a first date with a girl. Or maybe not even a first date. Maybe you are just talking to her at a party or a bar. You look around, comment on all the single people. Say something about how hard it is to find the right person for a relationship. If she agrees, then thatâ€™s good. It’s usually good to go first, and reveal a little bit about yourself first.
So you mention something about your relationship (make sure not to say anything bad about anybody) mention some of the good things, and mention something more that you were looking for. For example, you could say that your last boyfriend or girlfriend was a good friend, and a good conversationalist, but they really didn’t like to travel. They were a great guy/gal, but they weren’t as adventurous. So you needed to move on. Being adventurous is important to you.
Then you ask the person you are talking to about what is important to them in a relationship. It’s key to make sure to agree that whatever they say is important.
Then ask what is important about that? For example, if they said they want to meet somebody with a good sense of humor, casually ask what they find important about that. They may say that they want somebody that can laugh at themselves. Somebody that doesn’t take themselves too seriously.
One of the great things about this is that just by talking to somebody about what is important to them, they will subconsciously start to think of you in those terms, provided you have enough rapport. If you do this several different times, they will really start to develop deep feelings for you.
Let’s say you are selling long distance plans. You get somebody on the line, get them talking, and ask them what long distance they are currently using. Instead of jumping right into switching them, like most people do, ask them what they like about their current plan. Ask them what is important about those things that they like. Be sure to agree with whatever they say.
Lets say they mention they like that it is part of their current bill. And you ask them what is important about that (make sure not to sound like you are going to convince them that it shouldn’t be important, agree with whatever they say). They will say something like they don’t have to worry about two separate bills. It’s easier that way. They don’t have to worry.
Then simply convince them that with your new plan, it is totally simple, and they won’t have to worry. Just let them know that it will fulfill their existing criteria, and will save them money.
This can take some time to get down, so that you can use it conversationally, but when you do you will realize how powerful this is. You will notice a significant increase in your sales and your ability to conversationally persuade and influence others.