3 Persuasion Techniques Used by Famous People


The high school football coach had to make special arrangements for the two brothers that were hearing impaired. While it did not seem to affect the boys when they were on the field, the coach had to make sure he spoke up or face the brothers when giving direction (so they could read his lips).

He soon learned that both boys had an uncanny ability to predict the opposing team’s plays just prior to running them. It seems that it was quite easy for them to read lips of the opposing coach as well.

That which was originally perceived as a weakness, turned out to be a point of strength.

Don’t hide what you are or what some may think are your weak points. Find out what the upside is and become excellent at articulating it. Don’t let others define you by harping on your shortcomings when you can point out the positives.

When someone, unsolicited, confesses a weakness, we tend to think of that person as having a high level of integrity. When we are the ones that table the weakness, we are better positioned to recast it as a potential strength.

Ronald Reagan’s Persuasion Technique

During his presidential campaign, at the age of 73, Ronald Reagan was asked about “the age differential between him and his opponent”. To which he responded:

“I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”

What makes you unique and different will be noticed whether you want it to or not. Don’t passively let others define you, do it yourself—deliberately.

Newt Gingrich’s Technique for Handling Objections

Newt Gingrich has an act for taking objections and flipping them into winners. He displays his persuasive ability to take challenges designed to drop him in his tracks and articulates his response in a manner that “turns the tables” and propels him forward with increased momentum.

Newt has been successful in “reframing” questions in such a way that he is able to position the challenger, the “elite media”, as the issue. While this technique has served Newt well, there is a better method for sales people.

You see, Newt’s technique persuades the audience at the expense of the one making the challenge or objection. However, salespeople have a tougher job. We have to handle objections without offending the one delivering the objection.

The key for salespeople is to “confess your weakness” before anyone has the chance. Primary objections are easy to anticipate, and as such, should be addressed by you before the prospect catches you “with your hand in the cookie jar”.

Billy Crystal’s Persuasion Technique

“You look Marvelous!”

Flattery will get you everywhere. Billy Crystal’s character, Fernando Lamas, made it popular again to compliment others. Comedy is funny because it so closely resembles real life, yet not quite.

When people feel liked, they tend to reciprocate the feeling. When you actively search, find, and verbalize others’ virtues, it makes people feel good about themselves and consequently feel good about you.

More importantly, based on the principle of congruency, people tend to behave in a manner consistent with the virtue you declared (assuming that it truly existed beforehand).

The opposite is to focus on other’s shortcomings. The easiest thing in the world is to find fault in others, yet it is not a noble virtue.

The counterfeit of finding other’s virtues is flattery in return for agreement. This is usually more frowned upon than broadcasting another’s shortcomings.

With all that being said, I must say, “Darling…you look Marvelous!!!”