Influencers from Around the World – What Drives Liking? Different Scenes Between the US and Korea

This month’s article is from Hoh Kim. I met Hoh in January 2008 when we went through the certification process with Dr. Cialdini. Hoh is an extremely intelligent person. That combined with the fact that he studied and worked in America for many years gives him a great perspective to compare different principles of influence between the Asian and American cultures.
Brian, CMCT
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.
What Drives Liking?
Different Scenes Between the US and Korea
The principle of liking teaches us an important life lesson. If someone doesn’t like me, then I’ll have a low chance to successfully persuade them even when I have a great idea or logic. Without a good relationship, there’s no good influence. We all know the importance of relationship. That’s why most of us spend time and energy to build networks and relationships in our personal and professional lives. That’s why we sometimes go to parties. We naturally know how to build relationships with others, from classmates and friends to colleagues and clients. However, sometimes, it’s not natural with others from different cultures. Different cultures might like different things. E. Y. Kim, a scholar in intercultural study, wrote the following in the book The Yin and Yang of American Culture: A Paradox, in 2001. Larry Samovar, Richard Porter, and Edwin McDaniel, quoted Kim in their book Communication between cultures: “Americans are action oriented; they are go-getters. They get going, get things done, and get ahead. In America, people gather for action – to play basketball, to dance, to go to a concert. When groups gather they play games or watch videos. Many Americans don’t have the patience to sit down and talk…Life is in constant motion.” My experience of living in the U.S. in 1990s and working for American companies (Merck and Edelman) in Korea tells a similar story. When we compare the American and Korean cultures, Americans prefer to “DO” together, while Koreans prefer to “BE” together. According to Dr. Cialdini, similarities are a driver for the principle of liking. Americans and Koreans will focus on “different similarities.” For example, graduating the same high school would probably mean more to Koreans than Americans. When Koreans build relationships, they tend to spend more energy to try to find out similarities such as same school, same hometown, or knowing the same people, etc. Of course, Americans will also be glad to know when someone at a party graduated the same high school but, to Koreans, in many cases, knowing the fact that someone graduated the same high school is not just good to know, but, immediately they felt that they have to give more favor to them compared to others (even paying for her or his alcohol or food bill). Probably, same hobby (doing) would mean more to Americans than Korean. Even the same thing, for example, drinking together, would mean different context. Standing bar or standing party is a very Western thing. See, Americans like to move even when drinking. Most Koreans would prefer drink together in a small group, three or four but definitely not more than 10, and in a room rather than in open space. That’s a Korean style party. At American parties, people will stand up and move here and there to meet new people and introduce each other. Koreans would stick to the same place such as a small room with same few people, of the three or four friends, and typically drink the same drinks together. So, what does it mean to us? With globalization we no longer work with the people from the same cultures so there’s a good chance you might go to another country and work with people from other cultures. For example, there are American executives in Korea working with Korean colleagues for the first time in their lives. You would have to build relationship with them. But, before you build relationship, think about what are the drivers of liking because they might be different. As an American executive in an American company operating in Korea, you might hold a standing party with Korean employees to build relationship with them. Possibly, you might feel that you would need to hold the parties (standing parties) more often but, in fact; you might need smaller group parties with Korean colleagues, rather than one big standing party, which will not be that helpful to build relationship with Koreans. Of course, if Koreans go to the States and work with American colleagues, they would need to learn how to mingle better in a standing party. Different culture means different context, and often, they key to understanding others is in that context. Hoh Kim

Influencers from Around the World – Anti-Social Proof

This month’s Influencers from Around the World post is from Yago De Marta. If you’ve followed along in this series then you know Yago hails from Spain and travels quite often to Latin America. He is a public speaking coach and media trainer with much of his work centering on politicians and businessmen. You can connect with Yago on Facebook and LinkedIn.Brian, CMCT
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.
Anti-Social ProofEvery single day we see examples of the power of influence of social proof. As we are surrounded by people it is logical to think social proof is the principle of influence that occurs more often, widely and systematically in society. We strive to dress differently and end up dressing just like everyone else. We try to be independent and then just listen to the same music that millions of others do. We look for reasons to justify our support for our football team or our political party, but in the end, in all these activities lies the power of social proof in a persistent and powerful way.No matter how high we build the buildings; no matter how beautiful our musical compositions are and no matter if one day we are able to unravel the mysteries of the atom we are animals. Remember that – we are animals. So we learn something while we watch a group of monkeys or the organization of ants. In this sense it is worth noting the work of a Mexican that has been going on for more than ten years in California. There Cesar Millan rehabilitates dogs with problems. To look beyond their training sessions is a lesson of the continued use of Reciprocity, Consistency, Liking, Scarcity, and Authority. But what catches my attention most is the therapeutic use of Social Proof.
All of this reminds me of the examples shown in Robert Cialdini’s book Influence Science and Practice about the process of overcoming phobias. In the case of Cesar Millan, he uses the pack (the group) to rehabilitate dogs. It’s curious to see it especially with the more contentious dogs. Cesar introduces a dog to the pack and the new dog gradually learns the correct behavior with the strength of the group. The process is more than observation and learning. The process is more like entering into a large wave that pushes you and your attempts to resist beyond.We know from Millan’s pack example that social proof is powerful, but what is its limit? If we define a perfect environment to implement this principle it would not be unusual to choose the following:

– Number: The number of people determines the power of influence.- Time: The more exposure the greater the influence of the group.- Context: When the group is joined by the historical time and perfect place the greater the influence.- Authority: When group has an Authority reference the influence is increased.

Let’s shift gears now and look at probably the most important example of “Anti-Social Proof” in history. This is a tribute to all who have ever been able to resist and get out of the wave. These are the people who write our history!August Landmesser was a worker in Blohm und Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany. In 1931 he had joined the NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers Party) hoping to get a job through their membership of the party. In 1938 he was taken prisoner by the Gestapo, who condemned him for “Rassenschande.” Article 2 of the Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor. That article prohibits the extra-marital sexual relations between Jews and Germans. In 1935, his request for marriage to a woman was rejected due to the Jewish origin of the future wife of August. After several trials, Landmesser was finally sentenced to two and half years of hard labor in the concentration camp Börgermoor. August Landmesser became known in history because of a photograph in which he is seen with his arms crossed. It was at the christening of the boat (now a school) of the German navy Horst Wessel in 1936. That day, the Fuehrer Adolf Hitler was present at Hamburg, when August refused to greet him as the thousands of comrades who worked in the shipyards did.
In early 1941 August was forced to work in factory that produced cars for the army. After that he was forced to join the I Battalion “999.” From the end of that year forward there was never any news about him. Maybe he died in one of the battles in which the battalion participated.The lesson we get is this: Maybe we are surrounded by thousands of people; maybe we are supposed to act like the rest; maybe we are inside the perfect wave (the perfect backdrop) but we always have the ability to choose our behavior, we always have the last autonomous capacity to decide and break against the wave instead of riding along with it.August took his decision at the time of history where Social Proof and Authority were not known as Principles of Influence. They were the law and he could find the force among the thousands of people around him.
However, it is worth reflecting on the importance of the number of people. With so many people around, he felt protected as it was difficult to notice him. That is, it is assumed that if there had been a dozen or so people around him he would have raised his harm. If you are interested in learning more about this story visit these sites: Yago

“People forget what you say, but they remember how you made them feel”

Many of you reading have seen Sean Patrick’s name before because he’s written several posts for my Influencers from Around the World series. I asked Sean to write another post to generate interest because he’s in America this week. He’s visiting Columbus, to attend the Principles of Persuasion workshop I’m leading.If you’d like to meet Sean, stop by The Pub at Polaris at 6 p.m. on Friday October 8. In the meantime get to know a little about him by visiting his website, Sean Patrick Training, blog, Professional Persuader or just look him up on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.
“People forget what you say, but they remember how you made them feel”
Warren BeattyPersuasion is defined by many as the ability to move a person or a group from one level of thought or abstraction to a level the person performing the persuasion wants to move them to. Aristotle, often regarded as the founding father of persuasion, devised a simple equation of how persuasion can be both defined and performed with the outcome of moving a person or a group from point A to point B.The process of persuasion, according to Aristotle, needed three elements in order for the movement of abstraction to happen. When these three elements are blended together, this then represents a potent mix of persuasive behavior. And what are the three elements?Pathos – Emotional appeal Ethos – Ethical, character and reputation Logos – Logical
Pathos relates purely to the emotions felt by the audience. As Aristotle put it, persuasion may come through the hearers when the speech stirs their emotions. In other words it is essential to appeal to the emotions felt by your listeners in order to be persuasive. You need EMPATHY.
Ethos related to the speaker and his or her character as revealed through the communication. For the message to be believable there has to be a source of credibility which is something that exists in the minds of the listeners. So it’s the trustworthiness that the speaker has in the eyes of the audience. It relates to the person and refers to the sincerity that exudes from the individual.
Logos refers to the actual words used by the speaker. Choice of words and use of stories, quotations and facts are important in moving the audiences over to your point of view.
I think it’s a great idea to take a look at ourselves and the way we present ourselves to the world. Do we use all three of these elements? Notice how other people present and broadcast their thoughts and ideas. More importantly look for those around you who use all three of these elements and model their behavior. Look at these people as a benchmark for your own communication style. It’ll be worth the effort.
When we look around today, pathos and logos mean nothing when a politician speaks. For example, do we believe the politicians when they tell us that our young men and women need to leave for some distant shore and potentially give up their lives for the good of the country? How about when tax increases are said to be necessary because the banks need more liquidity? Conversely this same rule applies to every other aspect of our lives and notably our personal relationships.
Aristotle’s pathos defines empathy toward the people we share our lives with either directly or indirectly. Showing empathy is a way of providing proof that we both “understand and know how it feels.” And showing this ability to perceive the true feelings of other people that you deal with is at the heart of every successful relationship.
Empathy is the ability to identify and understand the other person’s feelings, ideas and situation. It’s listening with your heart as well as your head; i.e., the ability to read emotions in others. Many people who train in the art of persuasion today, or even people who are professional persuaders prefer to use the term “connection” where empathy is concerned. Empathy is based largely on trust and before this can happen we move to ethos – source credibility or proving sincerity towards an individual or group.
This is essential if any form of persuasion is going to take place in today’s world where people have become increasingly suspicious and have developed a hardened sense of skepticism towards advertising and politics specifically. Sincerity is what allows us to attain a level of trust between people and without this process every other element in Aristotle’s model of persuasion is nullified.
Some people will emit trustworthiness more easily than others and this has been validated by the research of Dr. Robert Cialdini, as illustrated in his persuasion principle known as “Commitment and Consistency.” This is where we grow accustomed to a person because his/her actions are consistent with how we expect him/her to perform, which in turn allows us to trust this person and grow to like them. In essence the more supportive you are, the more a person will allow their true inner feelings, thoughts, desires and fears to surface. And this is a two-way street;the more we are deemed to be trustworthy towards another person the deeper and more personal will be the feelings, thoughts and desires that the person shares with you.
In NLP this is known as “going there first,” specifically within a therapeutic sense, whereby the practitioner will demonstrate empathy and sincerity by going into a genuine state so the client can then follow along and open up to a much deeper level. This same principle applies to every aspect of our lives; it is how we are wired as humans.
These core qualities have recently been highlighted as being “emotionally intelligent.” Having empathy and sincerity are the two things alone which will make you stand out as a persuasion artist even more so than brushing up on technique or presentation of your communication style. If you cannot get to the core of this principle nothing else will ever work. Our interpersonal skill is our ability to understand and act out with other people how they feel, their likes and dislikes and their motivations. The person with this ability can almost predict how others will act and is therefore able to interact with them effectively and be very persuasive. When we look around us we notice how politicians, sales people, hypnotherapists and people who outwardly social animals have this innate sense of developed intelligence.
Again, if you’d like to meet Sean stop by and see us Friday evening at The Pub at Polaris. Until then, cheers!Brian
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”

Influencers from Around the World – Influence in Italian Gas Stations

In Italy our highways are called Autostrade and with a very capillary network they cover almost our entire “boot-shaped” peninsula, enabling us to travel from the North of the country down to Sicily in a fast and easy way. Along these roads are many gas stations owned by a company called Autogrill which builds restaurants and drugstores close to the gas stations in order to offer travelers the chance to have coffee, a meal or to buy something along the way. In these shops the principles of influence are used massively and they always attract my attention.

When people stop in one of these places, aside from their need for gas, they enter the building mainly for two reasons: either they need to go to the toilet or they want something to eat or drink. The shop entrance is situated very close to the bar desk and to the toilet entrance. Once these two needs are fulfilled (a cash register is located close to the bar so customers can easily pay) people only want to go back to their cars as fast as possible and to resume their journey. The most logical thing would therefore be to exit from the same door they used to enter the store. However, that would deprive the store owner of a great opportunity – to possibly sell something extra to somebody who is already a customer and who has probably no other explicit need at that point.For this reason, in order to gain the exit, you are forced to take a very long walk within the store, where you are exposed to every sort of product imaginable. This “detour” is created within the store by adding cardboard walls in strategic positions, creating one of those lines which are often seen at airports for passport controls or baggage check-in, filing many people into narrow spaces. On the two sides of the narrow way, customers are exposed to regional foods from every part of Italy, toys, books, fine bottles of wines, and many other consumer products. Most of these products, regardless from the season, are offered with a “50% discount off full price” or with the formula such as “buy one get the second one free.” Both of these of course trigger the reflex to the principle of scarcity.Now, the theory is this; if asked almost nobody among those who take this forced walk would admit to have the original intention to buy a piece of seasoned Parma Ham, a box of “tortellini” home made in Bologna or any other of the goods they are exposed to. However, the fact is, most people end up actually buying something and paying for it at a second cash register which happens to be strategically positioned before the real exit. We can learn two things:1) The products are exposed in a very appealing way. People can smell the fresh food, touch the fabric of goods (because of the narrow space they are almost invited to do so) or open the books to have a look inside. In essence, a need is created by mere exposure. The lesson for you and I is this – by presenting our product in an appealing way, we can create a need where there wasn’t one in the first place.2) The store owner knows if you present these products to a very large number of people
, statistically some will end up buying. Their products are presented, with no alternative, to EVERY single customer because, unless they walk with their eyes closed, they are forced to endure the seemingly endless array of products. We can apply the same principle by doing whatever is necessary to expose our product or service to the highest number of qualified to buyers.So now you are warned, when you come to Italy and need to refill your tank, be ready to make some unscheduled purchases in one of those stores or accept the challenge to resist the impulses driven by the persuasion principles!Marco

I’m sure Marco would enjoy hearing from you so feel free to leave a comment below.
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.

Influencers from Around the World – Selling to VITO

Several months ago I introduced Sean Patrick to readers in my Influencers from Around the World article. We’re up to readers from more than 125 countries so I’m continuing with the theme of hearing from other trainers around the world about how they use the principles of influence.


Sean’s a feisty Irishman who owns his own sales training company, Sean Patrick Training, and writes a blog, Professional Persuader. We met through Facebook because of Dr. Cialdini and we regularly chat over Skype. If certain things fall in place you might just see Sean in Columbus, Ohio in early October. Sean is a smart, funny guy and I know you’ll enjoy his point of view from across the pond. Look him up on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.


Selling to VITO

All the way through my sales career in the IT world I’ve had to learn how to sell high. If this wasn’t daunting enough I had to learn how to sell to C-level executives COLD. Whatever sales training I had attended throughout my career that had any meaning or left an indelible mark on me came from people I chose to go out and find, and pay to see with my own money.

I wasn’t fortunate enough to have an understanding boss who considered sales training to be a service that more than paid for itself by an increased performance from the sales team. Nor did he view it as a chance to find and un-stick the sticking points. So my learning came from countless books, DVDs, and training courses that not only cost me financially but also in vacation time. Thankfully I usually ended up with just enough spare vacation time to go home for Christmas.

At one point in my career, still being somewhat of a whipper snapper, I came across this guy who sold in a very non-linear, very provocative way. He actually reminded me of one of the characters from the film Glengarry Glenross. This was the man that joined every selling dot together for me. From the initial mindset right through to putting the whole shebang together, I finally realized how natural and uncomplicated selling actually is. I don’t believe it has changed right to this day.

This trainer was the man responsible for opening my eyes to how people comply naturally, easily and unconsciously. When people talk about judgmental heuristics I know what they mean because this guy taught me. This leads very nicely to my point – from that time onward I made the bold decision that if I was to rapidly increase my worth as a salesperson I had to innovate. It was time for a change; time for a major overhaul for Sean Patrick!

“Renew, Revitalize, Rejuvenate!” was my mantra and so I did. At every opportunity I began to put the new ideas into action. I began to pitch my ideas to CEOs, the Very Important Top Officer (VITO). Now sales managers in a lot of companies will do this blindly and really press their salespeople to call high. The first problem with the CEO is the fact that he or she will not entertain a salesperson for one massive reason – language and communication. The salesperson under duress will not know how to speak in the language of the CEO. On the other hand most salespeople would love to talk features and benefits in hopes that the CEO’s ears will prick up and say, “I’m buying,” but that’s not how CEOs think and operate.

Finally we have the other big problem – the personal assistant. The personal assistant, or “PA” as we call her on this side of the pond, is worth her weight in gold at keeping the unwashed outside…and for good reason too, as the CEO’s time is limited and therefore valuable. So there we have all the challenges in a nutshell. Now here’s how to use the power of the authority and the liking principles to level the playing field…at least a little bit.

First of all the authority principle states that we are more likely to believe people in a position of higher power or knowledge that can lead us to a position of advantage or safety. If you want to sell to a CEO, then you have to behave and talk like a CEO. You have to get into their world and their way of thinking. Any CEO you approach is only going to be interested in what you can do to make their top job easier and add financial value for the company and shareholders.

The principle of authority allows us to take a look and notice the relevant symbols of authority; things such as title, clothing, and knowledge. You need to convey that you are an authority on what you know and the information you have is of vital importance to the CEO and this is a meeting he has to attend. All body language, language and behavioural patterns need to reinforce this belief or you will be exited to the front door where you belong. If however you find yourself selling to executives below CEO then act with your authority and beliefs about yourself and soon enough you will be greeted by the CEO.

The above principle of authority can be dramatically increased or enhanced when used in conjunction with liking, the principle whereby people prefer to say yes to individuals they know and like. This simple rule helps to understand how liking can create influence and how compliance professionals may emphasize certain factors and/or attributes to increase their overall attractiveness and subsequent effectiveness.

CEOs may be influenced by your authority and your ability to communicate at the senior level and these activate the principle of liking because you’ll appear similar to them. Combine these two the right way with confidence, act like a CEO and talk like one, and you’ll get the access you require. Then it’s up to you to make the sale.


I’m sure Sean would love to hear from you so feel free to leave a thought or question in the comments section.
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.

Influencers from Around the World: Are the Six Principles of Persuasion Really Universal?

Did you know there are only two Cialdini Method Certified Trainers (CMCT) in Asia today? That’s right, only two, and my guest blogger this week is one of them! I had the good fortune to meet Hoh Kim in January 2008 when we trained together in Arizona under Dr. Robert Cialdini. Hoh has the distinction of being the first person to present Dr. Cialdini’s Principles of Persuasion (POP) workshop in Korea. Hoh is a very bright guy, having written his master thesis on intercultural communication at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, in mid 1990s. You can find Hoh on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter in case you’d like to establish contact with him. His website is The Lab h and he also writes a blog called Cool Communications. As part of my Influencers from Around the World series Hoh graciously offered to share some of his insights on the differences between East Asians and North Americans when it comes to influence and persuasion.Are the Six Principles of Persuasion Really Universal? What about in Asia?The world has become smaller due to the globalization of business and social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. People now have more interaction than ever with people from other parts of the world. Case in point; my relationship with Brian and his other guest bloggers from around the world.As a Korean POP trainer, and a person who is interested in intercultural communication, I’ve been intrigued as I’ve observed how the six principles of influence can differ based on culture, especially between North America and East Asia. Let me share my thoughts on this.First of all, based on my experience and many case discussions with Korean POP workshop participants, I believe the six principles of persuasion really are universal. The only difference would be the “weight” of some principles in different cultures. When I trained under Dr. Cialdini and his Influence at Work (IAW) staff I remember him sharing with us his belief that the principle of social proof (a.k.a. consensus) should have more “weight” in East Asia than North America, while the principle of consistency should have more “weight” in North America than East Asia. I’ve see this to be true with both principles.Social Proof in East AsiaGenerally speaking, Koreans are more sensitive to how others think or act when they decide something than Americans are. One of the old wisdom sayings in East Asia is “the nail that sticks out gets hammered down.” To East Asians harmony often means being the same with others. Contrast that with North Americans who seem to be more comfortable being different and independent from others.This is related to individual vs. collectivistic cultures, and it’s reflected in many ways. For example: 1) In the US the family name is the last name, but in Korea it’s the first name. So, in Korea, I am called “Kim Hoh” but in the US I am known as “Hoh Kim.” 2) In the US when referring to an address people start from the things nearest to them – building-street-city-state-country. In Korea it is exactly the opposite because we talk about country-state-city-building.
3) When I first came to the US one of my difficulties was ordering sandwiches. In Korea when I order a tuna sandwich that’s it because everyone literally gets the same sandwich. However, in the US, to properly order a tuna sandwich I have to answer several “personalized” questions. What bread, what cheese, what vegetables, what sauce, etc. There are many choices to make a unique sandwich for a unique person.Neither way is better, they’re just different. East Asians feel more comfortable, relatively speaking, being the same as each other than North Americans do. Understanding this you begin to realize the principle of social proof will be more persuasive in East Asia than in North America.Consistency in North AmericaThis month my American thesis advisor, who has studied intercultural communication most of his life, visited Seoul with his wife. When I met with him it was the first time I’d seen him since I left graduate school at Marquette in Milwaukee 13 years ago. We had a dinner together and talked about relationship difference between Americans and Koreans.He told me, “In America, almost all relationships are contractual.” Then, he asked me, “What would be the opposite words ‘contractual relationship’ in Korea? In the US, I think we don’t have one.” I thought about that question and even discussed with my Korean friends. Guess what – to Koreans the opposite the idea of “contractual relationship” would be “humanistic relationship” because a “contractual relationship” is often interpreted “not human” in my culture.Why is that? There’s also historical difference. For example, Americans historically had to move, meet and work with all people they often consider strangers.Korea, however, is different. First, the country is small (Korea is smaller than California) and Koreans didn’t have to move or be “pioneers” like Christopher Columbus was. One fifth of Koreans have their family name as Kim. That doesn’t mean we’re all the same because there are different versions of Kim, such as Kim from the region A, Kim from the region B, etc.A contract is something you need with strangers to clarify things and ensure you’re on the same page. There’s less need for contracts with your friends and family. Historically, Koreans have lived in the same town for a long time (that’s not necessarily the case today) so didn’t need to be contractual. One more difference is that American contracts are normally more comprehensive in length and detail. This difference is actually reflected in communication styles. It is called “high vs. low-context.” North America is a low-context culture while East Asia is high context culture. That means North Americans put more focus on language codes rather than context, whereas East Asians have more emphasis on context than North Americans.Here’s a simple example; when Americans say “yes” that means “yes.” But, East Asians, when they say “yes” often don’t mean “yes” in the literal sense. You have to read East Asian’s facial expressions, gestures, and not just listen to the language. In other words, you have to read the “context” of the overall communication. Here’s another scenario; when an American thinks the room temperature is hot, he or she might ask, “Would you mind if I open the window?” In Korea you would often hear, “Oh, it’s a bit hot,” while in fact the person thinks it’s too hot. If the other person catches the context they will open the window for the other person.
In low-context cultures where most of the meanings are in the language codes, it is often “contractual,” rather than leaving it up to understanding context.

Now, you might see why consistency has more “weight” in North America. Contracts are a standard to set the consistent expectation between parties. People who are more familiar and feel more natural about contracts think consistency is more important than cultures that are not. Of course, this doesn’t mean East Asians simply ignore consistency. However, it is clear to me that Americans put more emphasis on consistency, what they’ve said or done in the past, than Koreans do. In turn, Koreans put more weight on social proof, what everyone else is doing, than Americans. The differences come from cultural differences. Culture is a value system, and values are the things that people believe are important. And different societies put different weight on different things. Because of this the principles of persuasion are influenced based on value systems of different cultures. The conclusion is this – while there could be some different “cultural weights” of some principles, I can tell you as a Korean, six principles of persuasion do work in my part of the world too. HohIf you have comments or questions I’m sure Hoh would be happy to address them for you.


Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.


Influencers from Around the World – Essentials for Political Personalities

This month’s Influencers from Around the World post is from my friend Yago De Marta. Yago resides in Spain and Latin America where he makes a living as a public speaking coach and media trainer. Like my other guest bloggers, we met because of his interest in influence and persuasion. Much of Yago’s work is with politicians (and businessmen) so his article explores two essential influence ingredients for politicians – authority and liking. Shoot a friend request to Yago on Facebook or LinkedIn, let him know you read his article and I’m sure he’ll accept.

Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.

Essentials for Political Personalities

When I train politicians I always repeat the same idea: the politician must be close enough to their voters that they trust him, and yet different enough so as to be considered able to do things the voter never could.

This means the politician must tap into similarities so they can identify with voters. Doing so allows the politician to “tune in” with them so the people sense their reflection, or “their way,” in the image they see projected on television. But the truth is that’s not enough. Clearly, we have great confidence in our best friend, yet we don’t let him take charge of our family finances or give a medical diagnosis for cancer for a loved one. That is, liking is not enough without the authority.

In the case of the politician this duality is even bigger. Everyone is looking for a candidate who is “special,” and it’s this special status that seems to be closely tied to political roles. Unfortunately it seems to be a scarce quality these days. Politicians are viewed differently because if the politician is going to govern the destiny of a country we must believe he’s able to do things we cannot.

Now if these two elements, liking and authority, must be linked to the personality of the politician, and both have different aspects, how are we to relate to them from a practical perspective on the personality of the politician? There are several ways but in this article we will focus on two: stylistic and internal.

Stylistic: A common mistake most novice speakers make is that they change completely when they speak from behind a lectern. All of a sudden they create a pose. They lose their original personality because they begin to talk in an artificial way. This error is very serious because the most important quality of liking in communication is “being real.”

There are two main styles: the systematic and casual. The systematic is normally observed in parliaments. It is characterized by very marked time, a major impact on certain syllables of words and a repetitive rhythm whereas the casual style is more conversational.

Casual is simply “telling” what we mean. My advice to politicians is simply this; go back to basics and be real. When behind the podium one must remember to talk as we talk in a cafe. The first style gives us strength, control, presence. It gives us authority. The second gives us fluency, closeness, credibility. All of a sudden we tap into liking and are likable.

Communicating well from the bench means being able to move on the continuum between the systematic and casual, between authority and liking. If we only rely on one, we can come across as robotic or worse yet, uneducated.

The second aspect we want to explore is the internal. Another common mistake of politicians is ego. I believe a big ego is the opposite of high self-esteem. Big egos can make the candidate come across as brittle and seem distant from the audience.

Remembering Gallway and “The Inner Game,” the player must be “in the zone” and focused. To be in the zone in politics, or in public speaking in general, means being strong and very secure. This implies feeling special, to feel that no one can say things the way we say them. This routine occurs in the mind; a state of force that allows for a very strong speech.

This attitude gives the necessary distance from political environment to create the authority. I often say that if that does not mean being proud. If we are focused, no. What is the focus? People. The politician, and really every speaker, should focus on people. You must look at people and think about the people. This attitude spiritually and emotionally binds you with the public. It’s the reason and motivation for the speech. It allows you to feel safe and absolutely connected with the public. This connection causes liking. It dilutes the ego in the mass communication to make something superior. And communicating well from the bench is being able to move on the continuum between “the zone” and “focused” tapping into both authority and liking. If we only rely on one, or the other, we may be seen as a tyrant or a weakling.


Note to readers: We may not be politicians but in certain areas of life, such as our careers, we need to effectively tap into both authority and liking if we’re to enjoy success to the fullest, because being liked, trusted and viewed as a expert is what will give you the best chance of hearing “Yes” when you make a request of another person.

Influencers from Around the World – Scarcity at Italian Weddings

This month’s Influencers from Around the World post is from my friend Marco Germani. Marco is from Rome, Italy, and will be sharing an interesting story about persuasion and Italian weddings. The wedding photos are from Marco and Monika’s wedding last summer. They’re expecting their first child this summer. I’m sure Marco would love to hear from you so reach out to him on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes!”

Scarcity at Italian Weddings
I recently tried an interesting application of the principle of scarcity at the wedding of a couple of friends here in Rome, where I live. It is common practice in Italy that, when a wedding takes place, beside the “official” photographer of the event, a “clandestine” photographer magically shows up outside from the church. This guy, with no authorization at all, takes pictures of all the guests as they are entering the place, asking them to pose for him and playing on the fact that they don’t really know whether he is the official photographer or not. He then takes a quick picture of the bride and groom at the very beginning of the ceremony and then rushes to a mobile photo studio parked in the back of the church, to very quickly create nice cardboard-framed pictures of each guest, close to the picture of their newly-married friends.
When the celebration ends, the fellow waits for the guests to exit the church and, one by one, propose them to buy his newly-made artwork, usually for a price of about 8 Euro. As strange as it might appear, this technique works wonders and these guys usually sell almost every picture they’ve taken. The reasons being that people see in front of them a picture of themselves, nicely carved in a paperboard frame and close to the picture of the bride and groom and, for the principle of reciprocation, enhanced by the surprise (most people don’t go to weddings every day and are not aware of this technique) feel a certain compulsion to buy and to pay the overpriced amount. I have to add these pictures are after all a nice souvenir of the event, so I am not against this service, even though I think it is presented in a questionable way.
Being aware of how the principle of scarcity works, during the specific event I recently attended, I decided to try and use it at my own advantage. When the photographer proposed selling the picture to me, I kindly declined and moved away from him. I then waited for him to complete all the sales and, when he was done, I approached him again. At this point, he had in his hands only a few pictures of people who didn’t buy and those pictures were absolutely worthless for him, probably ready for the dustbin. I told him I was still thinking about buying the picture but that I thought the price was too high. He immediately proposed me a price of five Euro. At this point, I casually pulled out from my pocket four one Euro coins (which I had previously prepared) and told him I only happened to have four Euro in coins, would that do for him? He grabbed the coins in a split second, gave me the framed picture and we were both happy campers!
Now, I have to specify that, having a friend who works in photography, he previously explained to me that the cost to print the picture, for the photographer, should have been around two Euro, so, considering myself an ethical persuader, it was my duty to offer a price which also included a reasonable profit margin for the “smart” photographer, granting me the best buying price at the same time.

Influencers from Around the World – The Contrast Phenomenon

Several weeks ago I introduced Sean Patrick to readers in my Influencers from Around the World article. Because there are so many people in different countries reading Influence PEOPLE I thought it would be a good learning experience to hear from other trainers around the world and how they use the principles of influence. Sean jumped at the chance to help out so you’ll be reading his thoughts on the contrast phenomenon. Sean resides in Ireland and has his own sales training company, Sean Patrick Training, and writes a blog he calls Professional Persuader. We met through Facebook when I friended Sean after seeing him on Dr. Cialdini’s friends list. Now we regularly exchange training ideas when we talk over Skype. Sean is a very interesting, entertaining guy and I think you’ll enjoy what he has to share. Connect with him on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.Brian
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes!”
The Contrast PhenomenonI’ve been asked by Brian to write about an aspect of highly persuasive behavior. The aspect I want to share is a phenomenon in persuasion known as contrast. There are many psychological props we are all exposed to and they produce an almost automatic compliance when activated. These are known as “Click-Whirr” actions and responses. A “Click” can be denoted by the action, psychological principle, being played out while the “Whirr” is the automatic response produced as a result. These actions and responses are often unseen and undetected.

The contrast phenomenon is by now a well established tool which can be applied in different situations. It is also known as Perceptual Contrast or the Psychology of Perception.

Once upon a time in my own sales career I stumbled unknowingly across this psychological lever as if by complete accident. I was presenting – for the third time – to a prospect who was sitting on the fence about buying my proposition and I really wanted this guy to buy from me. During my presentation we began discussing in detail the financial aspects to the proposal. To make a long story short, I began to delete line items from my proposal and as I was doing this I was explaining to the prospect what he stood to lose (a little scarcity) in terms of business benefits, and how the overall solution would be diminished if he lost these benefits. Not only that, but I explained how much more expensive it would be to buy these line items back at any point in the future because of the level of discount he was getting if he bought the package now. To end this story, the prospect became a customer because the original price seemed to be less expensive than first perceived. Another plus – I sold more products which amplified the benefits of my core proposition even further. In the end price stopped being an issue because it was immediately replaced by value in his mind.

When I singled out the core product the benefits seemed great on their own merits, but when the customer realized how these benefits would be greatly enhanced by just having these ancillary products he was sold!

One of the great things we notice in utilizing the contrast phenomenon is the fact that it is practically invisible to the person we are influencing. This principle can affect the people we choose to socialize and associate with. It also affects how we view our role models because we can falsely determine the attractiveness of our mate either by distorting the physical attractiveness or a misplaced perception of social status. On the business side, we can often make our products appear more or less expensive just by applying contrast intelligently. Not only that, we can put our problems and other people’s problems into a less problematic scenario by using this principle wisely.Sean

Influencers from Around the World

Some of the best things about blogging for me have been meeting new people, making friends and learning about other cultures. Many of the people I’ve come to know through blogging are from all parts of the globe because people in more than 95 countries have taken time to read Influence PEOPLE! That stat blows me away!
Because the audience is becoming so diverse I’ve decided to try something new. I contacted several people in other countries who also have a deep interest in ethical influence and persuasion to see if they would write guest posts for Influence PEOPLE from time to time. They said “Yes” (see, persuasion works!) so I’d like to introduce you to four gentlemen because you’ll be reading their thoughts on influence in future posts.

Marco Germani calls Italy home. Marco reached out to me through Facebook and we quickly realized we had much in common. Besides the bond of influence, Marco has been an avid martial artist for many years. He recently wrote a book on persuasion in Italian, I Meccanismi della Persuasione, and has a blog by the same name, I Meccanismi della Persuasione.

A chemical engineer by training, about 15 years ago he became passionate about the study of personal growth. Over the years he’s channeled that passion by attending dozens of seminars and training courses around the world, learning from some of the best international coaches. An avid reader, he’s read countless books on subjects like persuasion, time management, coaching and goal setting.

He’s lived in France, Belgium, the USA and China while working as a technical manager and as export manager for several multinational companies in various industrial fields. During that part of his career he had the opportunity to take part in and manage negotiations in several international business deals. He presently works as a consultant for business internationalization, with a focus on Asian markets.

Marco has always been passionate about persuasion, negotiation and ethical sales. His personal mission is to create a high value for others by living his life with passion and total integrity. He realizes the key in this pursuit is the constant striving for self-improvement. He’s pictured above with his wife Monika. Marco is on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter if you’d like to reach out to him.
Sean Patrick resides in Ireland. Although we both enjoy good ale we didn’t meet in a pub. We met because of this blog and Facebook. After having read my blog Sean reached out to me on Facebook and we started chatting then exchanging massages because of our interest in training, particularly influence. Thanks to technology (Skype) we now video chat with some regularity.

Sean has more than 15 years experience in generating high value, high turnover strategic business. He has worked in roles ranging from inside sales, account management, new business specialist, and sales management. He’s been a business owner in six different companies in the technology sector. He’s managed multiple teams of salespeople in different geographic locations across the UK and Irish Republic. His reputation for ruffling feathers and getting business in the door quickly is legendary. In addition, he’s coached and continues to coach salespeople from all industries because he is passionate about the art of negotiation and customer service.

Sean’s interest in persuasion began in the late 1990s. He wanted to know what motivated people to buy and what factors made people hesitate to say “Yes” even if price was irrelevant. As if this isn’t enough, Sean is master practitioner in NLP. Well-read and familiar with leading persuasion authors, Sean also enjoys reading academic papers on psychological persuasion. He believes it is important to explore what we know and what we learn. He advocates putting everything into practice as often as possible while continuing to learn from those with whom we interact. You can find Sean on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

To learn more about Sean visit his training site, Sean Patrick Training, and check out his blog, Professional Persuader.

Yago de Marta hails from Spain but gets around quite a bit having conducted lectures, seminars and training sessions in Spain, Mexico, Chile, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, El Salvador, Bolivia and Colombia. He contacted me because of his interest in persuasion and possibly pursuing the CMCT designation. His list of current undertakings is quite impressive: Consultant and trainer in personal communication and persuasive oratory; Trainer of Directors and Spokespersons; Political Candidates trainer in Spain and Latin America; Debate coach for teams from the University of Zaragoza, Pablo Olavide, Seville, Cordoba, Diego Portales (Chile), Uniminuto (Colombia), CIDE (Mexico) and American (Puerto Rico).For 12 years Yago has being training people and candidates to speak fluently and persuasively in areas such as parliamentary debate. He’s a fiery competitor, having received major awards for his debate skills in Spain and world-wide competitions. He was a champion runner-up in 2005 and 2004 Spanish debates and runner up in 2005 and 2004 in the World Debate in Spanish.The technique Yago applies in his training is derived from his experience working with thousands of different personalities who are trying to become good speakers in complex situations. His style relies on practical learning where participants take into account their potential as they sift through weaknesses and improve strengths. The results obtained can be seen within the first hour of training because the tools used match up to the ability and style of each individual participant. In training workshops led by Yago people develop techniques to enhance their emotional intelligence, NLP, Social Psychology and Persuasive abilities, ethnomethodology, Institutional Communication Techniques Enterprise and, of course, classical rhetoric. All this requires a keen sense from Yago for detecting the skills and qualities that can be improved in each person. Yago has prepared many political and parliamentary leaders, sales teams and managers. He has explored the application techniques of debate to the teaching of bioethics, has improved the teaching skills of teachers and students, and has personally coached leaders in important positions responsible for many different projects and companies. Feel free to connect with Yago on Facebook and LinkedIn.Hoh Kim is from South Korea but we met in Arizona in January 2008. We were both there to go through Dr. Cialdini’s certification training. Hoh is one of the two dozen Cialdini Method Certified Trainers (CMCT) in the world and he’s the first person to present the Principles of Persuasion (POP) workshop in South Korea. He is the founder & head coach of THE LAB h, where he counsels business executives and high-ranking professionals in government and medicine to positively influence their stakeholders.

With over 10 years of experience in strategic communications consulting, executive media coaching, and crisis simulation and workshop design/facilitations, Hoh is one of the most sought after consultants, coaches and speakers in the area of crisis communication management and crisis leadership. His client base ranges from local non-profit organizations to consumer electronics companies in Korea and multinational companies listed on Fortune Global 500. Find out more about Hoh at his website, THE LAB h , or by visiting his blog, Cool Communications. You can connect with Hoh on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Globalization is here to stay, even if we never move. In all likelihood it will only accelerate as the world seems to get smaller with technology. We will be interacting with people all around the planet and because cultural differences impact the persuasion process it is good for us to learn about those differences. I hope you enjoy exploring the different perspectives on influence and persuasion from this group if international experts. Look for the first guest post on April 5th and the first Monday of each month thereafter.

Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes!”