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Pre-suasion: What is it?

As you know, I talk a lot about the power of persuasion, influence really. Everything that we do every conversation that we have with our customers, with our peers, with your staff, partners, etc. It’s all influence. It’s all persuasion.

I read a book by Dr. Robert Cialdini and it’s called Pre-Suasion. Not persuasion, but pre-suasion.

What’s that all about? I’ll give you a couple of examples.

Pre-suasion is what happens before we speak, before we do what we do before our actions and so forth. For example, one day I was in a shopping centre there were these bubble-iced tea places that are pretty popular at the moment. This particular place had thick, humongous cotton wool buds.

It looked exactly like clouds, and there were heaps of them. When you look at it, you felt relaxed like you wanted to go in there just to chill out. That’s pre-suasion. They’re setting the scene for how they want you to feel.

Think about a car ad, if it’s mountainous driving perhaps the pre-suasion is “Hey, you buy our car, you’re gonna have a more adventurous fun life.” That’s pre-suasion.

Applying Pre-suasion

The author, Robert Cialdini, sat in with some salespeople as they were going out; this particular example was with insurance. It was in people’s homes.

Interestingly enough, there was one man whose sales were double of everybody else in the team, consistently. When he shadowed him and the other salespeople, they all followed the same sales process. Even the best person did the same. But there was one difference.

He’s in somebody’s home and what he would do, he would act dumb on purpose and pretend that he’d forgotten something and left it in his car.

He’d be sitting there in the kitchen at the kitchen table with Mr and Mrs Jones, and he’d say, “Oh, I need to get something that’s important to show you from my car. Do you mind if I let myself out of your home and back into your home, Mrs. Jones?” And they would always say yes. Occasionally, sometimes they had to give him a key to get back in.

If you’re letting someone out and back into your home, even giving them a key to your home, what do you tend to have with that person?


Test of trust

He was testing to see if he had trust. If they wouldn’t allow that to happen, then he would continue building rapport.

Think for yourself, how can you build trust with your clients more than you currently do? Is it getting their phone number? Is it getting them to do something for you? Think about it.

I want you to brainstorm this cause pre-suasion is super, super powerful. It’s selling without selling.

How do you sell without selling? If you need help with that, simply reach out to us at

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