3 STEPS TO YES
3 STEPS TO YES, by Gene Bedell & HOW TO ARGUE AND WIN, by Gerry Spence
Review © 2007 Lloyd Kinder
== Introduction - Sell Yourself - People don't do what you want just because you're right; they need to be persuaded. If you're right, it's your moral responsibility to persuade them. You owe it to people to persuade them to make the best decisions. Persuasion is the difference between having good ideas and having people put them into action, between having abilities to perform services and having people pay for those services. Persuasion is the link between a caring parent and children accepting the parent's values. - Proper persuasion involves selling yourself, your ideas, your services. It requires communicating so effectively that people accept your competence, accept and act on your ideas, or use your services. - The Plan - This book teaches just 3 steps, because too many steps is too complicated, making it hard to become a natural part of your life, so as to make necessary changes for the better. - Negotiating - is usually inappropriate, because it gives the sense of a table or partition between you and others and it usually involves compromise, which is often irresponsible. - The First Law of Persuasion - People resist persuasion. A persuasive force that doesn't involve resistance exists, but it comes from the person you're persuading. Easy persuasion requires letting people decide on their own to let you get your way.
== Why People Buy - People will be persuaded only if they believe your offer will fulfill their personal needs. - Personal Needs - include: 1. physiological needs; 2. stability; 3. rearing prosperous kids; 4. affection; 5. fun; 6. winning or achievement; 7. consistency in others; 8. acceptance; 9. showing gratitude; 10 helping others; and 11. reducing guilt. - The Big Three - The three main needs to look for are winning, stability, and acceptance.
== Need to Win - is an ancient drive that often appears irrational and uncontrollable. - Contest of Wills - Too bad for parents, but to kids, eating vegetables is not important. It does not meet their personal needs, just yours. When you make a comment in front of your kids about a teenager's ridiculous fashions, you're sending a message to your kids that they'd better not do anything like that. Persuasion motivated by productive personal needs can easily shift to a nonproductive need to win, which damages relationships. Your kids may accept fashions they don't even like just to keep you from winning. You must avoid this shifting of needs to the need to win, because you always lose. - Creating Winners - Recognize when your own need to win is tainting your judgment. Don't disagree with people on unimportant matters. Compromise soon and often. Make the other person feel like a winner, so you don't have to worry about it. To avoid being taken advantage of, set permanent reasonable limits that you don't compromise. An example is a boss who allows discussion of salaries just one week out of every six months. People understand this is flexibility out of fairness, not weakness.
== Security and Predictability - To be acceptable people often deny that they have the for security, but their actions belie their words. If your proposal seems to others to involve risk or change, they may deny their concerns about such risks till the bitter end. They may even deny it to themselves. They will then always find a rationalized excuse not to accept your proposal. To be safe, always assume others have this need for stability. If you see a behavior pattern that suggests a high need for stability, deal with it head-on. Don't be misled by their smokescreens. No matter how exciting your proposal may be, don't forget that people may translate this to mean risk. Emphasize aspects of the proposal which meet personal needs, not those that promise change.
== Need of Acceptance - If the persons you're persuading seem to think that significant others won't approve their acceptance of your proposal, you must revise your strategy. Help them win approval from others via your proposal. Don't ask them to ignore what others might think and don't offer to take responsibility for the results. This doesn't address the person's need for others' acceptance. A better approach may be to prepare succinct arguments they can give to others to explain why they like your proposal.
== Situational Needs - Your proposal is meant to fulfill situational needs, i.e. the needs imposed on people by their situation in life. But people only accept your offer or proposal, if it meets personal needs. The focus on fulfilling people's situational needs, instead of their personal needs, prevents your success in many cases. - Easy Mistake to Make - Regardless of your qualifications, if your proposals don't seem to fulfill people's personal needs, you won't be hired. People often base the decision to hire you on whether you may cause risk or change, or whether others will approve. - Buyers Are Liars - Home buyers often buy a home that doesn't meet their professed situational needs, but instead meets their personal needs, including the need for approval from others. - Shifting Focus - The personal need to be accepted by peers often causes teenagers to ignore situational needs entirely. But, if the teenager has a need to be accepted by parents or school, he or she will find a rationalization to turn down peers. Tell your kids that, when they’re with peers, they may blame you for preventing them from doing risky things with peers. To influence teenagers, only two strategies have a chance. Help them to understand how your suggestions will meet their personal needs, without saying what you think of those needs. Otherwise, develop in them strong personal needs that are fulfilled by avoiding unwise behavior.
== The Other Guy Talks First – A Prospect means a person you want to persuade. The beginning of persuasion should be Zen-like, wherein you attempt to learn the personal needs of your Prospects before you try to persuade them. Ask what's on their minds, rather than mentioning what's on yours. The first rule is: The other guy always talks first, once you know each other a little. Expect them not to know their personal needs clearly and not to want to describe them. You must ask the right questions to get the answers. - How to Begin - First think about Prospects in a slightly different way. Treat them as special instead of taking them for granted. - The Transition - If a matter is unimportant, don't give persuasion a second thought. But if it's important, click into persuasion mode and stop talking, but get the Prospect talking. A good transition after introduction for persuasion mode is something like: I have a proposal, but before I talk about it, it would help me if I understood your objectives better. Would you start by telling me what you personally want to accomplish? Ask about the Prospect, not about the company or group he or she is with. You must begin the conversation without confrontation or judgment and with the Prospect talking first. - Signaling - Questions must not be too open-ended and you should signal the kind of answer you're seeking or that's safe to give. You may begin with: My specialty is .... What issues do you foresee needing resolved in this area for yourself or your group? Signal what's safe to discuss. You may share something from you past experience. - Bat Listening - After asking your transition question, stop talking and don't think about talking. No matter how long it takes the Prospect to answer, think only about listening, because that's the only way to learn his or her personal needs. - Asking Directly - Ask: What is it you want personally from this potential arrangement? If prospects tell their situational needs, say: I presume those are your business needs, but it would also be very helpful to know your personal needs for this. Okay? [Show a list of personal needs, as shown above?] - Looking Forward - Say Let's project into the future. What do you hope to be the ideal outcome? How would you write the script for the entire process to completion? - Looking Back - It would help me understand your needs if you'd describe what you don't like about the current or previous situation. What personal preferences and changes would you make? - Let's Compare - Say: You probably have looked into other options. What do you personally like about the best options you've seen? - What Do You Think of This? - When Prospects are not communicative, say: In a previous assignment we helped a client in this way. Is this what you're mainly interested in, or do you have other concerns? - Working Together - These questions are not manipulative. Your goal is to work with your Prospect to find compelling reasons for accepting your service. You may discover there are no compelling reasons. If so, shift to finding ways to change what you're asking for to find your Prospect's personal needs. Change the proposal to provide prestige, less risk, approval, or winning.
== Why People Don't Buy - Five buying anxieties are about giving up options, making a mistake, social pressures, losing and perceived cost. - Loss of Options - When people fear losing options, such as option to buy a product being sold, they sometimes tend to make snap decisions to exercise the option. In marriage, the closer a couple comes to the wedding date, the more likely one or both will worry about losing the single lifestyle and question their decision. If not for the big event planned involving lots of friends and relatives, many people would probably not go thru with their weddings. As people get close to doing what you propose, instead of other options, the lost options become more attractive and this makes it hard to carry thru with a decision. - Perceived Cost - Fear of overpaying is often used as an excuse to cover for one of the other buying anxieties, so it's essential to find the real anxiety.
== Easy to Buy - The Choice - The alternative to the hard way to persuade is the easy way, by structuring proposals so as to prevent buying anxieties in the first place. - Easy To - Easy to means reducing or eliminating anxieties that stop people from accepting your proposals. In practice, most people aren't easy to. They take up time and energy, ask for commitments, give uninformed opinions, and boast of conquests. An example of easy to is a consulting firm whose agreement was a one-page letter in simple English how it would help provide a service, which required no signature or return of the agreement. Another example is a person who practiced trying to persuade managers to change their proposals in private before coming before the decision makers. He commented on positives in the original proposals and offered suggestions, not challenges, for changes. He assured the decision makers that he'd support whatever was decided and help make the decision work. People tend to respond to criticisms with defensiveness of their “hard-to” approaches. They usually seek to protect themselves from Prospects. But if you meet Prospects' personal needs, you don't need to protect from happy customers. Tho you may sometimes have some losses, overall you'll win big. - Curse of Authority - Parents have unquestioned authority for the first few years of kids' lives and don't get the experience of having to meet the kids' personal needs. This makes them unprepared for when the kids are mature enough to oppose their parents’ ignoring of their personal needs.
== How People Buy - Without a simple model of how people buy, you get out of sync with your Prospects, talking about what they're not ready to listen to. - The Buying Model - includes: 1. awareness of unfulfilled needs; 2. making a short list of the main options [It's important to consider the short list, since your options may not be on the list]; 3. evaluating options re situational needs; 4. evaluating options re personal needs; and 5. resolving buying anxieties. - Getting in Sync - The buying model is like a post office with 5 windows that are open for business at only certain times. - Fixating on Cost - Stay away from cost until you're certain your Prospect is mainly concerned about cost.
== Magic Selling Formula - Twelve different personal characteristics affect persuasiveness, but the main three that affect credibility are perceived competence, trustworthiness and putting others' interests first or equal with yours. The other characteristics are important sometimes and other times not. - Is This Really Important to Me? - On matters that people consider unimportant, your persuasiveness is largely influenced by your personal characteristics. On matters people feel are important, they are influenced by your personal characteristics at first, but they ultimately form their decisions on the strength of your arguments and supporting evidence. They'll factor in your personal characteristics if they're relevant. - It's a Wonderful Life - The magic formula for persuasion is: be competent, trustworthy and put others' interests first.
== Competence - If people think you're competent, you can more easily persuade them in both important and unimportant matters. - What If You're Not Exactly Competent? - There are three ways to deal with perceived shortage of competence: become competent; change people's perceptions; or team up with competent person/s. - Get Competent - If the issue with your kids is nutrition, read up and get competent. They'll eventually realize you're competent and follow your advice. It can take very little experience to greatly increase your competence. Just help out on any relevant job for a few weeks. - Changing Perceptions - It's easily possible that you're more competent than your Prospect realizes. Your challenge is then easy; just prove your competence. - Team Competence - You can't be competent in everything, but you can still be persuasive by teaming up with competent others. – Over-delegating - When you delegate competence, don't neglect your own competence as the team leader. Prospects should be persuaded by your competent team, not just by the competent delegate on the team.
== Other People's Interests - Research shows persuaders are not effective if Prospects think the persuader will gain by the outcome. It's pointless to try to hide that you have something to gain. But there' s a solution to the dilemma. You must align your personal needs with those of your Prospect. That you both have something to gain will make you more persuasive. Research shows if you share common goals, prospects are more likely to agree with you. If you provide a service and insist on taking no payment unless your prospect agrees his needs have been fulfilled, then your goals are in common. Parents can also align their goals with their kids' goals.
== Personal Packaging - is most useful when what you're selling is unimportant to your prospect, but can also be helpful otherwise too. - First Impressions - People pay more attention to and are more likely to believe negative information. Strongly negative first impressions are most enduring. If the first impression is fairly neutral, people will objectively listen to their information. If your proposal is important to the prospect, he or she will focus on your arguments, even if you made a negative first impression. - Appearance - The bottom line is that attractiveness isn't that important. - Dress - When people detect even small discrepancies between your appearance and your message, they become distracted and suspicious, making persuasion difficult or impossible. In business or profession, dress as casually or as formally as your prospect, but consistent with your message. - Family Matters - No one, even those closest to you, wants to be taken for granted, but wants appreciation.
== Failure to Communicate - Talking without communicating fails to deliver your intended message to your prospect. - Too Much Noise - 93% of people in a study couldn't remember the most recent ads they were exposed to, so they couldn't have been persuaded by them. To be noticed, understood and believed, you must do something different and what you must do differently is think more, not talk more.
== Attention Shoppers - You - Before you can persuade, you must have your prospect's attention and interest him or her to listen to your proposal. There's a simple way to gain attention in conversation. Just use his or her name and the word "you." E.g. say: X, I'll tell you a story you'll find interesting. It relates directly to your [etc]. For "you" to capture the prospect's attention, he or she has to believe your message is genuine. - Stories and Mystery - People will always listen to interesting, relevant stories. It helps to introduce mystery, announcing something that you'll clear up soon. Say: I'd like to tell you about what happened in a previous experience I had and maybe you can tell me how much it gels with what you have in mind. Or say: One of our clients is having a similar problem to what you're having. I think you'll like to hear how they dealt with it. Or say: There's an article in the paper about … [something] like your situation in the paper; I think you'll like it. - Old Fogeyism - Instead of being an old fogey, with boring self-aggrandizing stories, tell stories that are to the point, interesting and maybe even highlight mistakes you've made that can be learned from.
== Personal Positioning - means to establish a vivid picture in people's minds of what products stand for and fulfill needs. Persuaders, like products, have positions in people's minds. Your position is who people think you are, how trustworthy and competent they think you are, and what they think you do. Your position has a large influence on persuasion potential. - Micro-Positioning - You create micro-position for yourself by using sharp focus and consistent communication. You must answer the questions, Who are you? and What do you want me to think about you? Your answers must be succinct, clear, distinctive and relevant to be persuasive. - Guidelines - Be brief; unambiguous, use distinctive descriptors [Say you were first in your class, rather than smart, e.g.], use descriptors you can prove, and describe yourself, your ideas and services in terms of fulfilling your prospect's personal needs. You must answer every prospect's question: What's in it for him or her? Remember you have a different position in everyone's mind. - Who Are You? - What this means is Who are you relative to the prospect? - Getting the Words Right - A simple outline to organize your ideas and personal positioning is: For [the prospect], I [will fulfill which of the prospect's personal needs, followed by a short description of the distinctive way you fulfill them]. A strong alternative is: For [your prospect], I'm an expert at [fulfilling which of the prospect’s needs, followed by what makes you an expert]. Or For [your prospect], I guarantee that I will [fulfill which needs, followed by how you can guarantee this]. E.g., For [your teenager], I guarantee to support your effort to become a scholar [etc.]. As long as you work at it, you can count on me to work with you to provide financial and moral support and resources you need to be successful.
== Says Who? - Your prospect may trust you, but still not believe you, since: there may be others with competing requests who are also trustworthy; you may not seem competent enough to give the best advice; you may seem to be more interested in your own needs instead of truly wanting to help the prospect; the prospect may be overloaded with competing appeals; or the prospect may have experiences, or biases that make your proposal seem unwise. One way to overcome these barriers is to prove your case. Since people base opinions on supporting evidence, references and experience, you should combine all three into a story that proves your case. -Supporting Evidence - You can call on anything from your whole life for proof, looking for the most relevant and impressive accomplishments. - Negative Evidence - When the prospect has negative evidence against you or your proposal, you must develop positive evidence as well as present strong credible arguments to show why the negative evidence doesn't apply. - You're Fired! - Don't give excuses for things like having been fired, but explain reasonably the special circumstances to dispel unfavorable impressions. - References - are credible people who are willing to attest to your competence. Get the best references you can, but don't expect a lot of help from them. - No References? No Problem - Don't despair if you don't have good references. You may be able to use personal experiences just as persuasively. - Curb Your Claims - If you can't compile convincing evidence for a claim, don't make it, as it may undermine credibility. Concentrate on positive claims you can prove or that your prospect can infer from credible evidence and experience that you mention. Be prepared to show evidence for any claim you make.
== Show and Tell - Personal Experiences - Telling people of relevant personal experience is the most effective way to sell yourself, your ideas, or your services, especially when the prospect doesn't know you well. Tell people personal experiences with what you're selling, either by vividly describing relevant past experiences, or by showing what it would be like working with you. - Test Drive - To let prospects have experience of how it would be working with you, view your discussion as a performance. Rehearse a mini-screenplay, a sophisticated version of show and tell. - Continuous Positive Reinforcement - You must continually reward people with whom you're in ongoing relationships for their being persuaded. Return calls quickly; answer questions honestly; keep all promises; provide superior service; bill clients with discounts, refunds, etc.; participate in activities with them.
== Nice Guys Finish First - Known Competition - It's best to refute your competitor's arguments positively and knowledgeably. - Blind Competition - If you don't know the competition well enough, it's best to say nothing about them. - Knowledge Versus Good Judgment - If information about competitors is available, it's best to learn about their strengths and weaknesses in order to discuss both with your prospects. Don't mention too much negative information about competition, since this makes you seem unfair and harsh. Cohesive groups, like families, teams, companies, and even countries form negative stereotypes of competitors that appear harsh to outsiders and to prospects.
== Persuasion Made Easy - Gone Fishing - When your prospect is gone fishing while you're talking to him or her, get the person's attention by using one's name and the word "you" and thru stories with some mystery. - Undecided - When your prospect is undecided, use positioning statements. It's always harmless to assume the prospect is undecided even if actually already favorable. - For You - Positioning statements also increase the favorable prospect's tendency to be even more favorable toward you. - Winning Against Prejudice - When prospects are unfavorable toward your proposal, you must do 6 things: 1. get their attention; 2. pique their interest; 3. be credible; 4. dispel impressions of your purely selfish interest; 5. explain inconsistencies between their beliefs and your claims; and 6. give strong proof of your claims. If prospects think you're a type who won't perform a needed function, explain that you're not that type. - Communication Matrix - Take the prospect thru the stages in this order: from inattentive to unfavorable to undecided to favorable and then from telling to proving to vivid images to test drives.
== Bottom Line [Summary]
-- Step 1 - Fulfill prospects' personal needs -1. Make prospects feel like winners. Don't try to win at their expense, because you'll lose. -2. Make your proposals so they give minimal risk to prospects. -3. Make proposals that prospects' peers will approve. -4. Get prospects to talk more about personal needs, not situational needs. -5. After introduction, start by asking prospects questions to determine their personal needs and how to reshape your proposal to meet those needs. -6. Deal with prospects' potential buying anxieties: losing options; making a mistake; getting peer approval; losing; and overpaying. -7. Be easy to deal with. -8. Stay in sync with prospects and don't talk about what they're not ready to listen to.
-- Step 2. -9. Become an expert or team up with one and demonstrate competence. -10. Be reliable, fair and positive. -11. Put prospects' needs first and align yours with theirs. -12. Don't worry about making a good first impression etc. -13. Dress as your prospects dress, but consistent with your message.
-- Step 3. -14. Talk to prospects about their interests and needs, not yours. -15. Get prospects' attention first with their name and "you." -16. Position yourself succinctly, unambiguously, distinctively and relevantly and act accordingly. -17. Tell a credible, relevant story that includes evidence and references to prove your claims. -18. When prospects don't know you, give them a test drive. -19. Keep your promises to everyone and make them happy they agreed to your proposal. -20. Know your competitors, if possible, and deal with them honestly, but, if not possible, ignore them completely. -21. Use positioning statements to introduce each new idea you tell your prospects.
HOW TO ARGUE AND WIN, by Gerry Spence
- We are the source of all power over ourselves, divinely empowering us with freedom from intimidation. - When we're fooled, it's usually due to our wants overriding our credibility detectors. - To get the big money, ask for it. - You can't persuade someone against their own self-interests. - You can win arguments by shifting the arguments to take others' self-interests into consideration. - A brief won in court that was just cartoons, because it was more interesting than usual briefs. - Structure arguments by asking: What do I want? What argument supports my position best? What reasons of fact and justice support the argument? What sort of story would best make the argument? - For the story, write down thoughts as they come, then outline them. Determine pros and cons for the argument and judge the argument. - Write a story about your wants. Write a theme or slogan for your argument. Visualize the argument. Use action in your story and argument, not abstraction. Use confession and concession, by confessing your faults and conceding facts that oppose you. - Don't threaten and check your argument for possible threats. – Tell the listener: You have the power to help manifest my dream. - Make an offering [?]. - When others are hostile, acknowledge the hostility in order to help open them up. - Be honest to the decision makers. - Don't be dull. - When you're angry, ask yourself why. It's due to fear of something. - Take away your permission for them to beat you. - Office holders are interested in keeping power. - When in doubt about what to do, attack the opponents' arguments. If an opponent objects, say: That's not fair; or let it slide. - Fear makes us seek a Safety Zone and that's where we Lose. - Show that the opponent has the black hat. - Don't attack decision makers, since they decide who has the white hat. Don't attack the weak. - If there is no other villain, make circumstances the villain. - Use admissions to disarm opponents. - Use subliminal arguments, such as the person you’re defending, whether yourself or others, is loved by good people.
== The Unbeatable Power Argument - Here are the ten elements of the great power argument.
1. Prepare until you become the Argument. Proper preparation requires telling a story and assigning roles to each party involved. Cast your side as the good guys with white hats or the underdogs, who are unjustly accused or misunderstood. If no white hat, argue from inside your or your client's moccasins, i.e. from their personal experiences.
2. Open others up to receive your argument. Empower them to receive or reject the argument. Say to them: You have the power to accept or reject my claims.
3. Admit the weak points of your argument from the start. It's better for you to expose your weaknesses than for your opponents to do so. Honesty increases your credibility.
4. Tell the argument as a story. Everyone is conditioned to listen to stories.
5. Tell the truth in order to be credible, using ordinary words. Be yourself and say how you feel. Admit your fears.
6. Tell your listeners what you want. Don't make them guess, as they may guess wrong. If you want money, say so. Remember the power of people's desires for justice. Explain the justice of your argument and ask for and demand justice.
7. Avoid using ridicule. Give respect to the opponent/s to elevate yourself. Respect is reciprocal. Avoid humor, especially if it may fail to make your point.
8. Use logic if it's on your side. Don't give up creativity or spontaneity for logic, but logic can often serve creativity.
9. Acknowledge your power and give yourself permission only to win. Be watchful to avoid acting arrogant or stupid.
10. Use maximum offense and minimum defense. Try to prevent opponents from gaining control. Attack with love and respect. Take the risk to take action.