The most powerful persuasion technique known

At the tender age of 12, I became a paperboy. At the crack of dawn, I cycled around my estate delivering newspapers to sleeping customers. Throughout the winter it was dark, cold and early.

It wasn’t always dark. In the summer it was gloriously bright and sunny even at 5am in the morning but as the year progressed it became darker in the mornings. October was the turning point for me; I awoke in the pitch blackness of night. I had some brief respite when the clocks went backwards at the end of October; this gave me daylight again for a few weeks.

This was a revelation and a real pick me up. However by mid-November the darkness creeped up once again and greeted me in the morning.

I didn’t know at the time but I’d discovered the most powerful persuasion technique known. Let me explain.

You see I didn’t see morning daylight again until mid-March and it made me want it even more.

I had a problem and then I got what I wanted, then it was taken away and this drove me to want it even more.

This is the most powerful persuasion technique ever known. Do you use it in your selling and coaching?

We used to call it the puppy dog technique. Give the child the puppy for the weekend and ask for it back on Monday morning. Guaranteed the child would want it even more after it was taken away

  • If you coach your people, give them superb coaching, then take it away when they start to like it. That way they’ll be clamouring for more.
  • When you’re about to spend good money on a new car, the canny sales companies lend you the same car over the entire weekend. We had this a little while ago and spent the whole weekend driving around enjoying the new wheels. By the Monday, when it was collected by the dealer, we desperately wanted to buy it.
  • If you sell card payment chip and pin machines to retailers, do you paint such a picture that they can feel and breathe the image of extra customer takings and the smiles on their new customers’ faces as they swiftly pay by card instead of reaching for their cash.
  • If you sell travel insurance, can your customer imagine what it’s like on the airplane travelling to their holiday destination with that warm feeling that if anything happened they’d be treated with dignity by the hospital at their destination at no charge.
  • The perfect mortgage and protection package. Paint the picture of an impeccable home and security of ownership…

And then take the idea away and await the customer’s reaction. They’ll want it more.

Much to my relief Spring did arrive for me as a paperboy but the following year I was promoted to writing addresses on the papers in the shop. Light, warm and dry. I was paid more too, and no more cycling around the estate on those gloomy mornings.