Super Agent

Illuminate the Dark Side

In this month’s issue of Harvard Business Review, there is a spotlight interview with leading social scientist in the field of influence, Robert Cialdini. If selling is influencing change, having the process in place to effectively facilitate that influence is a necessity. So, what does Cialdini have to say about the challenge of getting someone to make a change?

He explains that most people are uncertain about changing because they are scared of what they might lose. “Therefore, it’s good to tell people what they will lose if they fail to move…notions of loss are psychologically more powerful than notions of gain.”

There’s a lesson here for producers: It’s important to let the prospect discover not only what they will gain from choosing to work with you, but also what they will lose if they don’t. Do they agree that the risk of staying in their current situation is too strong to ignore? If they see the danger, they will be more likely to move forward in the process.

Don’t be afraid to illuminate the dark side first, then you can take a step back and help the prospect see what they truly hope to accomplish, and how engaging in a business relationship with you will lead to improved outcomes and increased success.

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