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Persuasion Without Thought

Mar 25, 2008
I saw a funny bumper sticker the other day that said, "Don't believe everything you think." I'm not suggesting that thinking is overrated, although sometimes, well, maybe thinking is overrated.

Wikipedia defines thought or thinking as: a mental process that allows beings to model the world and to deal with it effectively according to their objectives, plans, ends and desires.

According to C.S. Lewis there are three levels of human thought. The first level is 'will'. The will contains everything that is real and factual. These thoughts influence your day to day actions and are usually influencing you on a sub/other-than-conscious level.

'The intellect' is the second level. The intellect consists mainly of your conscious thoughts and decisions and includes things that you've studied, academics, and other true and verifiable information.

And the third level of thought is fantasy. It's the most random and often makes very little sense at all. It is most active in children and artists but even non-artistic adults have the potential for rich fantasy lives. For persuasion purposes, we are most likely to have the best advantage dealing with the will and fantasy aspects of our prospects and clients as these are the most malleable and less entrenched in "reason". For example, with the fantasy level, we can create pictures for our prospects which they will internally experience of what their life will be like once they are involved with our product or service.

By giving them a "fantasy", we have them invested, at least partially, in being involved with what we have to offer. It's a simple process where saying, "I'd like you to picture X" or "How do you think it will look when you have Y" (X or Y being whatever their highest criteria is). They are then in the position of feeling what it will be like to have their core values and highest criteria met. Follow this up by "marrying" your product or service with their criteria. For added power, determine whether you are dealing with an away from or a towards person and orient your language to go in that direction.

In terms of persuasion, 'the will' is another fascinating area to explore. We all like to believe we have strong, solid wills that can't be penetrated. This may or may not be the case for the general public. I know for a fact, that my students and clients have learned to have incredible wills as a result of learning persuasion and we know for a fact when someone is attempting to influence us as a result of our study. This gives us a great advantage that most of the world doesn't have in terms of unlocking the secrets of our affluent prospect's and client's minds.
About the Author
Kenrick Cleveland teaches techniques to earn the business of wealthy prospects using persuasion. He runs public and private seminars and offers home study courses and coaching programs in persuasion techniques.
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