Explicit Command vs. Implicit Persuasion

Have you ever come across someone who is at the top of his/her game in terms of selling?  I certainly have had the pleasure sampling a couple of times.

The Art of Persuasion

I am always impressed, amazed and thankful to those people who have the perfect knowledge of the products or services they are selling or promoting.  Their techniques of selling is not by “explicit command” (I steal this term from Frank Kern, the Internet Marketing Guru) of my purchase; instead, they use their insight and knowledge to persuade me to make up my own mind.


I was in Nike store looking for a pair of running/walking shoes with the iTune chip slot built in the sole of the shoe.  This was the new invention by Apple and its partnership with Nike to sell the shoes at a premium price in addition of charging $30 for the chip and a pedometer to the iPod.  Being an avid walker, I was fascinated when I heard about this product and I’ve decided to check it out.

Knowledge Is Power

Not knowing where to look in the overwhelmingly crowded store, I finally got the attention of a gentleman who worked there.  Despite all the noise and commotion, he took the time to walk me up and down different aisles and explained to me what to look for to spot those shoes with this build-in feature.  He then took a pair of shoes and asked me how I walk, i.e. which side of my feet would land first with each step so that he could direct me to the right model of shoes.  He then grabbed another box where the chip and the iPod gadget was stored and briefly demoed how I would use the devices.  To my surprise, he showed me another alternative and economical way to get the job done without paying the premium for the shoes.

The Conclusion

Can you guess if he has made an impression on me that I ended up purchasing the shoes and the devices?  You bet you.

The moral lesson is that no job is too small.  You could be your own superstar no matter what profession you are currently engaged in.  Whatever you do, do it really well.

To learn more about the art of influence and persuasion, please check out Dr. Robert Cialdini’s book entitled: Influence: Science and Practice (5th edition) (Paperback).  I can assure you that you will have a much better understanding of the social psychology of selling and buying and how we are persuaded.

Would you share your thoughts and insight after reading this book?

Photo by Innlens@dreamstime.com

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