An Example of The Fallibility of Traditional Persuasion Techniques

Honestly, there are too many examples of the fallibility of traditional persuasion techniques.

But, here's just one example of what I mean by traditional persuasion tactics being manipulative, and ultimately ineffective:

(This example is based on one of the most common persuasion tactics used by people in the world, if not THE most common. This tactic is called RECIPROCITY.)

As a lawyer for a Global Fortune 50 company, I would always get hounded by outside law firms to have meetings with them so they could solicit my business in order to handle litigation or other matters that we needed done.

Every single time I went to a meeting with these thirsty lawyers, they would set up a massive spread of gourmet food and drink and pull out all the stops.

Or, they would invite me to go with them for entertainment at private clubs or to fancy events.

Don't get me wrong.

The food and drink were awesome.  And, they were always very generous in providing these things to me.  I'm not complaining whatsoever.

But honestly, I hated all of this wining and dining because of one of the traditional persuasion triggers they teach, which is "reciprocity".

There was a price to be exacted for all of this gluttony though.

According to traditional persuasion methods, human beings are wired to basically want to return favors and pay back our "debts". 

In short, we are wired to treat others as they’ve treated us.

The idea of reciprocity says that people, by nature, feel obliged to return favors they've been given by others.

Psychology explains this by stressing that we humans simply hate to feel indebted to other people.

This is very true, they aren't wrong about this at all.

So, because they treated me so well, I felt very obligated to return the favor and give them my business.

However, I always felt manipulated and a little bit dirty whenever they would try to persuade me this way for my business.

Ironically, my decisions on how to hand out business NEVER came down to what "favors" they gave me. 

I always ended up making my decisions based on other factors, such as how comfortable I felt with their work and advice, or because my corporate overlords had other ideas. 

And most importantly, I made these decisions based on who would actually help us win.

These "favors" really shouldn't be part of the equation of my decisions, right?

The other thing is that favors lose their power when everybody (including all of your competition) is doing them, such as every single one of these outside law firms who have ever pitched me for business.

So in reality, while this traditional persuasion trigger is not incorrect, it is also not very powerful in practice and in the real-world! 

(As you will learn in this program, the only effective persuasion techniques are one that work IN PRACTICE. Remember I said that many of these persuasion "triggers" were developed in controlled social experiments? Hardly the real-world!)

Now, here's the key part:

While human nature dictates that we return favors we've been given, human nature ALSO dictates that we do not want to feel manipulated into doing something. 

So, these two contradictory principles of human nature end up canceling each other out! 

Honestly, who wants to be "persuasive" only because somebody else feels obligated to return a favor?  I sure don't!

(In fact, the principle that nobody wants to be manipulated cancels out ALL of the traditional persuasion tactics!)

Like I said in the prior chapter:

For every psychological principle that traditional persuasion methods leverages, there is a COUNTERVAILING PRINCIPLE (OR PRINCIPLES) THAT THEY FAIL TO ACCOUNT FOR AND ADDRESS. 

So, if we are to be as persuasive as possible, we need to have a persuasion method that accounts for ALL of these overlooked psychological principles and pitfalls.

Does that make sense?


Jedi-Level Persuasion and Influence Without Force, Manipulation, Shadiness, or Sleaze

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