How to Use Influence Principles For Personal Success And Win Big

She was a ten-year old girl scout selling their annual stale cookies.
Cut to the chase - she looked up at me and said, "Would you please
make a $300 donation to the Girl Scouts of America?"

If she were an adult salesperson I would have pointed at the door
with a mean look on my face. Instead I looked down at her and
said in my kindest voice, "Not a chance in the world, kid. In fact
I am not that crazy about your organization."

She looked sad, and I swear a tear ran from her left eye. "But your
neighbor Mr. Miller said you loved this community and wanted to
help the children grow up with good values."

She got a reprieve for that one, but she still was not getting no
$300 out of my wallet.

"Then go to Mr. Miller and ask him for the money."

"He would donate, but he was just laid off from his company," she
said sadly. "Your other neighbor Mrs. Woods said she would think
about it because her daughter was a scout, would you reconsider
making the $300 donation?"

Before I answered, she threw in - "I live down the next block and
my father is donating one-thousand dollars to the GSA."

I stopped myself from losing my temper, she was a little girl in
uniform and just doing her job. "No, absolutely no, so move on
down the road and find someone with a name like Rockefeller."

She did not blink an eye and said, "Sir, I will not mention the
$300 donation again. But would you just purchase three boxes
of our great chocolate chip cookies for $5 per box?"

Ask Big And Have a Fall Back Position

I could not pull the $15 from my wallet fast enough. She whipped
out the three cookie boxes from her backpack, and made a perfect
grab of the bucks from my hand before I changed my mind.

She left with my money for three boxes of stale Girl Scout cookies,
which I never would have bought at the local supermarket.
I swore I saw a smile on her little puss as she closed the door
behind her. Maybe not.

I hate to get beat, but she pulled it off in a very professional way.

Commitment And Consistency

Human beings have instincts or at least principles that will not be
denied. One of them is that we must maintain our self-image at all
costs. Asiatics call it loss of face.

One of the most powerful laws in our brain is called Commitment
and Consistency. If we give out word verbally or in writing, we
must honor it, unless we get run down by a Mack Truck.

What do you think of folks who violate their commitment? We
call them stuff like welshers , bums, and unreliable, right?

Do you want to have your neighbors think you are untrustworthy?
Most folks would crawl down a street of broken glass rather than have
a reputation for a turn-coat, a deadbeat, and being inconsistent. Believe it.

Google: psychologists Freedman and Fraser. Their research indicates
that once someone goes on the record verbally or in writing (past performance),
they must do what it takes to appear consistent with their previous behaviors.

Using Commitment And Consistency

Amway, a great marketing company, and very slick about motivating their
representatives, gets their people to set down goals in writing. They work
with a supervisor and write up their annual expected sales, get it typed
and sign their name to it.

It is a contract between the rep and Amway, but it is also a mental contract
with their self-image on the line. Theses folks will work 24/7 to honor their
commitment because they gave their written word to others.


Get your team to make an oral or written commitment to specific goals.
Why? One person will give up if the going gets too tough, but a group
has its own dynamic and will continue working after rational minds
would surrender their effort as impossible.

What is really on the line that makes Commitment and Consistency so
powerful a tool that executives refuse to quit?

You gave your word as a rational adult. You will be embarrassed in the
eyes of your peers if you fail to fulfill your agreement. It is more than an
ego thing, it is a public record for all to see your blunder.


The King of Influence is a professor at Arizona State University, who wrote
the definitive books called "Influence" See Amazon. It sold 3-million copies
for Robert Cialdini. He spend three years interviewing salespeople,
executives and scientists on the principles of Human Nature.

Research since his book has confirmed the six principles he discovered.
The first law you already know - the principle of Commitment and Consistency.

2. Law of Reciprocity - we feel guilty and have a sense of obligation
when someone does something for us - even if we never asked for it. And it must
be repaid. Invited to a party, you must make pay-back.

3. Law of Social Proof - we play follow the leader. If enough people
eat at a restaurant, drive the brand of car you are considering buying, vacationing
at a particular resort, that is where we want to go. Most of us look at the parking-
lot of a new restaurant to see if it is crowded. Makes sense to me.

4. Law of Authority - we are trained from childhood to respect the boss.
Your Mama taught you to respect the policeman, teacher, and priest. Anyone with
initials after their name (MD, Esq, Phd.) are experts and we have a built-in desire
to accept their opinion as fact.

5. Law of Liking - Homo sapiens are comfortable doing business with people
who are like themselves. We like folks who are attractive, dress, speak and look well.
We consider them smarter, talented, honest, and better than people we do not have
a liking for. Even a particular accent charms us, and we will choose to hire or do
business with them non-consciously because of their unique speech patterns.

6. Law of Scarcity - the harder it is to get something, the more value it has
for us. Get this one: fear of loss is greater than desire for gain. Advertisers will
offer a sale for one-week and the joint is jammed. We love a bargain, and do not
want to miss out. If a product or service is scarce, and we have a desire for it,
we want it twice as much and will pay a premium to own it. Use it yourself.

See ya, ---

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Copyright (c) 2011 H. Bernard Wechsler


Author's Bio: 

Author: Speed Reading For Professional, published by Barron's.
Business partner of Evelyn Wood, creator of Speed Reading.
Graduated 2-million, including the White House staffs of four
U.S. Presidents: Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon & Carter.