Name Calling That Persuades

The next time you need to get someone on your side, try this unusual persuasion technique: Call him names.

I’m not talking about calling him insulting names. (That’ll just make him mad.) I’m talking about a friendly persuasion technique like giving him a “label” that he’s going to try to live up to. Let’s say you want to convince someone to support one of your ideas. You suspect he will have a negative “gut reaction” to it. But you think that if he keeps an open mind, he might agree with you. In that case, you start by saying something like, “You’re a reasonable, fair-minded person.”

This technique even works with the police. The last time I was stopped (and clearly guilty of running a red light), I told the officer, “I’m sure you’re just a working guy like me. You must know how the pressures of a job can make you do something you know you shouldn’t have done. Is there any way you could see fit to just give me a warning?” Long story short: No ticket.

[Ed. Note: Larry Fredericks is an entrepreneur with a history of successful business dealings in retail, direct mail, the Internet, and real estate. He is also the creator of the Master of Persuasion program. To learn more, click here.]