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Subliminal Persuasion

Subliminal persuasion? It is simply influencing people at a level below their conscious recognition. Many people don’t even realize they are being influenced by a smile, making even that a subliminal technique. Here are two more subtle methods.

Subliminal Persuasion Using Inflection

It is easy to assume that a sentence like “I can’t promise you that price.” has only one meaning. In reality, though, inflection provides much of the actual meaning. Look at the each of the sentences below, each with a different word emphasized, and followed by the implied meaning.

I can’t promise you that price. (But maybe someone can.)

I CAN’T promise you that price. (There’s no way.)

I can’t PROMISE you that price. (But maybe you’ll get it.)

I can’t promise YOU that price. (But I can promise someone else.)

I can’t promise you THAT price. (But maybe a good price.)

I can’t promise you that PRICE. (But I can promise something.)

The meaning of our statements is determined by which words we emphasize, and it is a subtle process. If you can’t promise him that price, you can tell him “I can’t promise you that PRICE,” and he may still feel good about the situation, especially if you immediately follow with what you can promise him. You probably know what you want to say. Understanding the subtle and often subliminal power of inflection will mean you actually say it.

Subliminal Persuasion Using Their Own Words

Restate what a person has said they want, and then show them how you can give them that. We all need to have some internal consistency, so we don’t like to act against what we say. This is why, as long as you have what they need, this technique works well. For an example, we’ll suppose you are selling a prospect a vacation.

After listening to what they want, you find something that fits their needs, and then say, “If I remember right, you said you wanted a warm beach, under $2,000 for the week, and with nearby nightlife. I think we’re in luck. Both of the packages we just looked at fit your criteria, so do you like Cancun or the Bahamas better?”

It is tough for someone to say they are not interested when you just found exactly what they said they wanted, and reminded them of their words. They probably won’t even notice that you are using their exact words. They’ll just feel uncomfortable contradicting what they said, and find it easier to agree. That’s subliminal persuasion.

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