How To Become Super Persuasive. This “Fun” Activity Powers Your Skills
No, It’s Not By Reading More Books
Any student of persuasion, marketing or sales needs to spend an hour a day observing people. I love coffee shops for that purpose. They offer a perfect setting to observe others. Yesterday, I stopped at the local Starbucks. It was packed. I made a mobile order so I wouldn’t have to wait on line.
I took out my notebook so I could jot down anything interesting. Here’s what I found.
The Guy Who Wouldn’t Shut Up
At least ten of us huddled around the bar where Barista’s prepare and serve the drinks. The Barista was busy. There was a backlog of orders. She appeared flustered.
Most of us stood there, staring at our phones. One guy followed a different pattern. He tried to make small talk with the Barista.
She gave subtle hints that she lacked the time to chat. A few of us noticed. I have no way of knowing what everyone else thought. I can make an educated guess.
“Why can’t he just leave her alone and let her do her job. Isn’t it obvious, she’s too busy to talk?”
Lesson one: Sure, it was obvious to us. The guy doing the talking failed to notice visual and verbal queues obvious to everyone else. Or, he noticed but didn’t care.
Lesson two: I know other people noticed too. I saw a few other patrons roll their eyes and shake their head. We all wanted to scream “can’t you see she’s in no mood to chat?” None of us said a word. Why? We might need a book to explain that. Uncomfortable with my own silence, I made a comment when she served my drink.
“Thanks, Lorraine. Busy day today. They need to give you some help.”
Did the guy connect the dots? I’ll never know.
The Helpless Tech Expert
As I sat down to enjoy my coconut mocha macchiato, a woman next to me snagged my attention.
“I want to get a drink but I don’t want to wait on that line,” she said.
“Why don’t you do the mobile order? They call your name when it’s ready.”
“It just gets charged to your card, right? I always have trouble using the app. I’m supposed to be a tech expert too, “ she said with a giggle.
I showed her how to order using the app. She thanked me after she placed her order. Then, she asked me to watch her stuff so she could go to the bathroom.
Lesson: People seem more comfortable to engage with strangers in coffee shops than other settings. I helped this woman order her drink. She then felt comfortable enough to ask me to watch her things. For all she knew, I could have run off with her laptop. She used basic stereotypes to conclude I’m trustworthy.
My Number 1 Persuasion Lesson
To become more persuasive, one lesson beats all others. Observe people. Take note of their actions. Ask yourself why they do what they do. Then, write about it. You won’t find the answers on day one. Over time, you’ll make the connections.
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