Poodle Defeats Hungry Lion Through Perception
Written by Harlan Goerger
Want to sell more and close faster? Are you using the power of perception in your sales, here is how.
Understanding how perception can be a great influence.
How important is perception in influencing others? How can one go about creating or changing another’s perception?
It may be much easier to do than one thinks!
First lets understand that we all have “a perception” of just about anything. If someone mentions a word or makes a comment, we have an image or perception in our mind. It does not matter if it is right, accurate or real, because it is our perception.
If we understand these “perceptions”, real or reality based or not, that another has, these perceptions can be called upon to assist in creating a new or different perception.
Here is a quick example:
A lady takes her pet poodle with her on a safari holiday. Wandering too far one day the poodle gets lost in the bush, and soon encounters a very hungry looking lion….
The poodle realizes he’s in trouble, but, noticing some fresh bones on the ground, he settles down to chew on them, with his back to the big cat. As the lion is about to pounce, the poodle smacks his lips and exclaims loudly, “Wow, that was one delicious lion. I wonder if there are any more around here.”
The lion stops mid-stride, and slinks away into the trees.
“Phew,” says the lion, “that was close – that evil little dog nearly had me.”
A monkey nearby sees everything and thinks he’ll win a favor by putting the stupid lion straight. The poodle sees the monkey go after the lion, and guesses he might be up to no good.
When the lion hears the monkey’s story he feels angry at being made a fool, and offers the monkey a ride back to see him have the poodle for lunch
The little dog sees them approaching and fears the worse.
Thinking quickly, the little dog turns his back, pretends not to notice them, and when the pair are within earshot says aloud, “Now where’s that monkey got to? I sent him ages ago to bring me another lion…”
We sure hope we are all as quick thinking as the poodle, yet all the poodle did was create a new perception based on the common fears of the lion or all animals, including the monkey.
So how can you or I utilize this in influencing others?
1. Research shows that if Joe hears the same idea or belief from 3 to 5 people, even if he is not all that familiar with these 3-5 people, that Joe will have a strong tendency to believe the idea or belief!
Does not sound like much to swing Joe. This will work as long as Joe does not have any very strong personal beliefs in this area. Example: Joe is not real strong on smoking or not smoking in public places. He has five different people tell him it is really bad and should be banned. Joe is easily swayed by the idea even without a great deal of evidence.
2.The same research also shows that Joe does not need to hear it from several different people! John has a strong belief and repeatedly tells Joe that smoking in public places is bad, Joe will very quickly believe it is so!
Wow, it does not take an army of people, ads or propaganda to change a majority of people’s perceptions! Just one person with real passion and repeating the message multiple times can do the same thing!
We have a political election coming up in November, how might the political parties use this to get votes?
Of course the repeating the same message over and over again will have a great effect, but if 10% of the voters simply kept repeating the same message to the 10% of swing voters the election could be swayed! Remember, this works IF the other party does not have a strong belief one way or the other. A strong Republican will not easily be swayed by this, nor a strong Liberal. Thus you must know who you are trying to influence and understand their belief system.
You are a sales person working with a client and there appears to be a belief that a given process you use is not as good as the competitors. Now the Alfa method would be to bring out the facts/features/benefits and pile them on and prove that your method is better. This tends to build reactance to the selling process and resistance to you and your product.
If you asked a few questions (Why feel that way? What causes you to..?) and uncovered the buyers level of belief; then found it fairly weak, you could begin planting a new belief or perception. “The research has found that process B is good, yet also showed that process A (your process) is more economical and longer lasting as well.” Now work this statement into your conversation and questioning several times with real passion, emotion and enthusiasm and you will probably win the day! The Omega approach bypasses the reactance and resistance.
Please note, if you found the belief basis fairly weak. Should you be working with a real expert on the subject or a very deep routed belief, you will need another approach or you’ll see the door very quickly.
The basis of Influence and Persuasion; It is not about you, it is about the other party
Thus we come back to the basis of Influence and Persuasion; It is not about you, it is about the other party. What do you know, understand and observe about them? That is the guide to which methodology you should be applying to positively influence others.
This is only one of many ideas from the new book, Bypassing No in Business.
Ask the questions, give it a try and track the results. You too can be as quick as the poodle and foul the lions attempts!
To your success, it’s your choice!