Over the last couple of years, I’ve given you many influence tactics, taken from my 2010 book, 365 Powerful Ways to Influence. How many of them have you used? Which ones have worked best for you in which situations? Here’s a simple 8-step way for you to become so skillful at influencing others that you’ll do it automatically:
Think about a skill you excel at—perhaps bowling, golf, home repair, juggling, foreign languages, driving a car, etc. How long did it take you master it? Even if you’re talented and have an aptitude for that kind of skill, it probably took you longer than you wanted it to take. That’s because you have to go through four stages to become so skillful at something that you do it automatically, without thinking, unconsciously. The four stages are:
· Unconsciously unskillful.
· Consciously unskillful.
· Consciously skillful.
· Unconsciously skillful—the ultimate guerrilla.
Stage Four: Unconsciously Skillful. Eventually, you become so skilled, you know what to do subconsciously, you do it automatically, without thinking, and it turns out great almost all the time. You become what I called “The Behind-the-Scenes Chess Master” in my 365 Powerful Ways book. I’ve got a better name for this tactic in my next book, Guerrilla Deal-Making, which will be out in November. There, I call it “The Ultimate Guerrilla” in tribute to Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart. (It’s Preparation Tactic 31.) In other words, when you’re unconsciously skillful, you do things so well, people won’t know you did anything at all—and yet you win big, big, big! But a danger often appears now—your ego gets bigger, and this often makes you too arrogant. You start using Assertive Weapons 38 (act arrogant) and 39 (act egotistical) more often. Even though you’re now one with the universe, you begin to wonder why so many people are so dumb, they don’t even know the right questions to ask. Watch out! This kind of attitude may put you on a very slippery slope, and you’ll be nothing more than a mediocre deal-maker—not influential at all.
How to Get to Stage Four Quickly—8 Important Hints
These hints are easy to follow, and they really get you on the right track quickly. They are:
1. Don’t be over-anxious. Realize that becoming unconsciously skillful at anything, including deal-making, will take much longer than you think it will.
2. Be committed to your goal of becoming unconsciously skillful at winning deals with the big dog.
3. Try to use as many of my influence tactics as often as possible. And use the more than 400 counter-punches in Guerrilla Deal-Making. Take notes. Which ones work best for you? Which ones work best for the other person?
4. Remember that each tactic works in certain situations. In some other situations, though, it won’t work. You’ll eventually learn when to use a given tactic—and when not to.
5. Continue to use the tactics that work best for you.
6. Practice influencing others as often as you can. With your spouse. With hard-sell car dealers. With total strangers—try your elevator speech (Preparation tactic 21) on them.
7. You’ll often be in situations that aren’t too important to you. Such as buying furniture at a used furniture store. Or browsing at a garage sale. In those kinds of situations, think of deal-making as a game. Haggle to your heart’s content. Weapons that work for you consistently at these kinds of places will probably work for you in more important situations, such as getting a raise from your boss.
8. Eventually, think of all deal-making as a game. It will be less stressful for you that way.
How do you know if you’ve won the game or not? Money. A wise multi-millionaire, Paul Young, once told me, “The money’s not that important. It’s just how you keep score.” So keep score. Try out some of my 365 tactics. And my several hundred counter-punches. Find out which ones work and don’t work. And when they work and when they don’t work. And why they work and why they don’t work.
A good way to find out which Weapons work, go to www.DonaldHendon.com/NegotiationPoker, and play my Negotiation Poker (c) game a few times. After you get a feel for it, you’ll learn which tactics are most powerful. I’m developing apps for iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Androids. I’ll let you know when they’re available.
Dr. Donald Hendon lives in Mesquite. He is a retired university professor of marketing, active consultant, speaker, trainer, and author of 8 books, including 365 Powerful Ways to Influence and the forthcoming Guerrilla Deal-Making. Download Chapter 1, free of charge, at www.DonaldHendon.com. Play his free online Negotiation Poker game by going to www.DonaldHendon.com/NegotiationPoker. Apps will soon be available. Don’s column appears the first Saturday of each month at www.MesquiteLocalNews.com.