It’s true, I am a Jedi and you could be too.
I’ve watched Episode 4: A New Hope so many times, I couldn’t even begin to count.
Watching it brings back so many cherished memories.
- Meeting Han Solo for the first time
- Seeing Darth Vader walk across the screen with his theme music playing. I can hear it now can you? Da da da da dada da dada.
- Watching that idiot Storm Trooper hit his head on the door frame
And that Jedi mind trick…yes, sir. That’s the one we all want, isn’t it?
Do you remember it?
The one where Obi-Wan convinces a Storm Trooper “these aren’t the droids you’re looking for”.
Wouldn’t that be nice?
I went out and tried to use the “Force” to persuade everyone I could and am sad to report that it doesn’t work.
So, if waving your hand around like a Jedi doesn’t work, how do you go about persuading someone to do what you want them to do?
Pick the perfect avenue for your pitch
Realize that not everybody enjoys listening to a pitch in person. To find out what method you should be using, build a relationship, study them, and learn what makes them tick.
From there, figure out in what way they communicate best. Is it social media, text, video call, phone call or in person? With that information in hand, use it. If all that fails, just ask them.
If all that fails, just ask them.
Speak to them and not at them
Don’t make it seem as though you know more than they do, even if this may be the case. Nothing turns off a person like the feeling they are being talked down to. Come down to or rise up to wherever they are.
Don’t assume that every person you talk to is at your level.
Get the ‘ums’ and ‘uhs’ out
Now here’s a way to look like that stupid Storm Trooper from earlier.
If you can count the amount of times you say ‘um’ or ‘uh’ on more than one finger, you’ve said them too many times. This deal breaker will repeatedly kill your chances of success if you don’t get them under control. Practice what you want to say before meeting with them.
Do something for them first
Do you know the best way to get someone to do something for you if you don’t know how to use the Jedi Mind Trick? Do something for them first. After you’ve done something for them, they will naturally feel inclined to reciprocate the generosity.
Conversely, try the Benjamin Franklin Effect
This phenomenon is the result of you getting them to do something for you when at first they don’t want to. What makes this so interesting is that immediately after doing this, they will rationalize what they have done is because they like you.
How do you do it?
It could be as simple as asking to borrow a pen or to use a Kleenex.
The most important part of this is that you get them to do it and the sooner they do it, the better.
Repeat what they are saying
Aside from the annoying mimicking that happens on a playground, you know that you love it when somebody repeats you?
Real, true repetition.
So do they.
Turns out that when you repeat what they have said, it shows that:
- You were actually listening to them
- You have acknowledged what they’ve said AND you haven’t refuted it
How many times have you walked into a mall and read a sign that says “This deal won’t last long” or “This sale will expire tonight”.
People can often be duped into doing something irrational if the timeline for their decision is short. That’s part of the reason that companies will put a “Limited Edition” of something on the market.
People want what is in short supply.
Show them that you are more than you say you are. Give them testimonials demonstrating that others have used your expertise. In the book The Why Axis: Hidden Motives And The Undercovered Economics Of Everyday Life, economists Uri Gneezy and John List discovered that people are more likely to contribute to seed money if they see that others already have. There is a direct correlation between the risk they are willing take and whether or not others have done the same.
The King of Influence: Dale Carnegie
In his revolutionary book How to Win Friends and Influence People, which could be renamed “Jedi Mind Tricks for Beginners”, Dale Carnegie discusses different ways that you can “Win People To Your Way of Thinking”.
While all are worthy of reading, learning and applying, a few stand out from the rest.
“If you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically”
For some, this can be a tough one.
We all have ego’s to appease and nobody likes to be humbled. However, if you desire to find yourself in someone’s “good books” leave your ego at the door.
When you make a mistake, admit it as soon as you catch it and don’t let them bring it to your attention. There is no better way to crush a deal if they have to tell you that you were wrong.
As Carnegie puts it “Isn’t it much easier to listen to self-criticism than to bare condemnation from alien lips?”
“Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers”
Occasionally, to get ahead, you must take a step back. If closing the deal requires you to give up ownership of an idea, I hereby state that it is worth it.
How does that work?
Let’s say that you have exhausted yourself trying to convince someone that they should buy your product because ———> insert benefits here.
Why not ask them what they would like in a product and create one around that? Doesn’t that make more sense? Why would you waste all your energy creating something that they may not want when all you have to do is ask them what they do want?
“Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately”
Mindset is key.
Keep the other person focussed on the similarities that you and they have. Remind them that you both desire identical outcomes and that only your methods vary. In essence, get them saying ‘yes, yes’.
A ‘no’ is much more difficult to overcome because it changes the mindset of the person you are dealing with. As Carnegie puts it, “The entire organism – glandular, nervous, muscular – gathers itself together into a condition of rejection.”
If you don’t believe me, think back to the last time you had a conversation that ended in “no”. Don’t you remember how their arms crossed, facial expressions changed and that they were suddenly very closed to any further ideas?
We all can’t be Obi-Wan Kenobi or Yoda, but we all have the power to change the outcome of our conversations.
Cheers to your success,
Oh, as a side note, if you DO know how to use the actual Jedi Mind Trick, can you reach out to me and take me on as your Padawan?