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Covert Persuasion: Psychological Tactics and Tricks to Win the Game Hardcover – Sep 18 2006
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From the Inside Flap
When we make decisions we like to think we weigh the options carefully, look at all the possibilities, and make the best choice based on a rational examination of the facts. But in truth, much of our decision making happens on a subconscious level based on feelings we might not even be aware of. Understanding and managing those subconscious feelings is the key to the art of persuasion.
By observing and predicting human behavior, we can learn to react and direct behavior in others with the right kinds of words and body language. If you want to learn how to convince people to buy your product, contribute to your cause, or vote for your candidate, this book has the answers. Covert Persuasion syn-thesizes the latest research in psychology, linguistics, sales tactics, and human communication to reveal the most effective methods for consistently and effectively persuading anyone of virtually anything.
Covert Persuasion sounds like a secret operation because it is; when you master these techniques and put them to use, no one will even notice your tactics. But that doesn't mean these techniques are sneaky or underhanded. They aren't! You aren't tricking anyone; you're simply using all your abilities to encourage them to make the choice you want them to make. It's not unfair or underhandedit's just powerful, practical, and effective.
If you work in sales, Covert Persuasion will arm you with new skills and techniques you can put to use every day to dramatically increase your commissions. And if you don't work in sales, you can still use these tactics to convince colleagues, subordinates, and supervisors to help you meet your goals and get things done on a daily basis. Even outside of the office, persuasion is a vital skill everyone should have.
This reliable resource will help you with all your persuasion efforts, in every situation. Dip into it for fresh ideas and new techniques or use it to sharpen the skills you already have. For salespeople, Covert Persuasion will help you increase your sales almost immediately. No matter what you do for a living, this book will help you do it better. Not convinced yet? Look inside and you will be . . .
From the Back Cover
Praise for Covert Persuasion:
"This book is a treasure trove of ideas you can use to turn a 'no' into a 'yes' almost instantlyin any sales situation."
Brian Tracy, speaker and author of Create Your Own Future and Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life
"Hogan is the master of persuasion. I urge you to persuade yourself to buy this book and everything he's ever written and recorded. It will help you understand yourself, understand others, and succeed. This information is bankable."
Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, Little Red Book of Selling, and Little Red Book of Sales Answers
"There's more wisdom in this book than in 500 pages on the same subject. Whether you need to persuade your lover, your spouse, your boss, your clients, your friends, or yourself, this powerhouse collection of mind tricks and secrets will give you the upper hand. In today's competitive world, this is the persuasion wizard's manual you need to control circumstances and get what you want."
Dr. Joe Vitale, author of Life's Missing Instruction Manual and The Attractor Factor
"When you read Hogan's writing, it feels like you're getting sage advice from a master. Would you like other people to decide on their own (or so they think) to go along with your every whim? Then this is the book you've been looking for."
David Garfinkel, author of Advertising Headlines That Make You Rich
"There is more practical information on the dynamics of selling and communication in these pages than you could ever acquire in a lifetime on your own through trial and error. Take advantage of the authors' wisdom and read this book!"
Todd D. Bramson, Certified Financial Planner and author of Real Life Financial Planning
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Top Customer Reviews
A person that is interested in the psychology of persuasion, will not find this book very helpful.
I realized part way through the book that two authors wrote this ... and my guess is they literally wrote it apart.
Half of the book is awesome - written with lots of examples, research and commentary that keeps you engaged and into the subject. The other half is full of lists of questions, tips and more difficult to digest (although useful & informative) thoughts around how to tactically use this persuasion tips in your business.
The 12 most persuasive words in the English language was pretty cool from a business marketing and sales perspective and the vast array of different techniques to learn about is also good. I think this is a really great book if you're just starting to dive into the subject of influence and persuasion and you want a sampling of much of the research and ideas that are out there. Then you could take it further and dive into the areas that are most applicable to you.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
If you own the Psychology of Persuasion, do not purchase this book. Otherwise, definitely buy one or the other.
(As an aside, I find it amusing that Hogan and his publisher believe the key to sales to be re-introducing the same material in different works, rather than creating "new editions". They may be right, but as someone who almost bought two "identical" books, it's a little annoying!)
I love chapters 8 and 9. We've all heard about the importance of using stories to persuade. And that's correct. But they need to be the right stories with the necessary ingredients. And they need to be told the right way. How can we avoid the mistakes that so many of us make in storytelling?
Chapter 8 gives you 20 keys to using covert persuasion in story. You'll then read stories that grab you...because they illustrate those 20 keys. You'll be able to tell stories that move others in the direction you want.
Chapter 9 shows how to use questions most effectively in persuasion. It's much more than making a list of questions and plowing through them. Which questions should we use in what parts of the persuasion process? This chapter gives excellent information and examples.
The last chapter gives you four worksheets to quickly choose ways to deliver your next message most effectively.
Anyone I can think of...whether or not they formally consider themselves as "salespeople"...will earn a high return by using these tools in daily interactions with others.
When I ordered this book (based on so many positive reviews) I was excited and eager to read it.
But I'm pretty disappointed in and more than moderately annoyed by it.
1. The editing is weak. From a reader's vantage point I am continually distracted by awkward phrasing, minor typos, debatable punctuation and Laissez-faire writing. "There she is." "Sharp as a tack."
"Funny thing is that before you paint those pictures you want to address the resistance." What kind of sentences are these? They're irritating and begging for rephrasing.
Was the author trying to be "folksy?" Ugh. Even worse... was he just trying to fill up the pages?
2. The content seems to be nothing but rehashed pop-psychology. Sure there's a bibliography at the end, but I don't need a bibliography to summarize the author's points: Make people want what you're selling. Help customers see your product in a positive light and dismiss the competitors. Get the customer to imagine himself using your product. Make people think they're coming up with the ideas you are feeding them and they will be happy to embrace the ideas. Don't get in a shouting match with anyone, rather be subtle and cunning.
How is this even a book? No one needs to be told this stuff. People want to understand HOW to use the ideas.
3. Even if you think these "insights" are important enough to justify a book, does the author NEED to write what he's written about again and again?
If you look at page 30 you will see three successive short paragraphs that begin as such:
"If you will recall, I shared with you that when people..."
"And remember, you've discovered that people's beliefs..."
"And, I've shared with you how people..."
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I read the previous chapters. Why is he regurgitating it? If there is an important concept connected to the content he's trying to remind me of, then why didn't he make it crystal clear when he brought it up the first time?
And I didn't "discover that people's beliefs" anything. The author made this deduction. This is only one of the endless examples where the author INFORMS you about what he's already written about. But then again, I suppose that is consistent with the complaint I've read in others' reviews: that this entire book is just a rehash of some other book and it should only have been released as a second edition to the first book, not given its own title. So maybe consistency counts for something?
4. The book has a right-wing bias. It is pro "church" and "Republicans" and anti "Democrats." While everyone is entitled to their own place along the political spectrum and the bias is sure to be reassuring to some of the book's audience it's not actually germane and if you're not on that particular bandwagon, then it is just another annoying facet to an already annoying book.
5. The author is quite free with his use of the imperative tense. What's that all about? Some kind of NLP tactic? And what's with the author's self proclaimed "$10,000 ideas"? Now there's a bit of arrogance. He claims the ideas warrant the dollar value since you can either improve your business that much or enjoy intangible benefits worth that much. So you'll make a bunch of money off each of these tips, or even if you don't you'll be satisfied as if you had... Right.
6. While anyone might defend the book against all my complaints by saying that my complaints are perhaps too nit-picky, please remember that I bought this book because I WANTED to learn from it. I bought it believing it was good and well written. I didn't start out saying to myself "Let's see what I can find wrong with this." The book's faults have jumped out at me. They annoy me. They are hard for me to ignore, even though I believe there must be some good ideas in here and I'd LIKE to get my money's worth out of it. And if that's not enough to convince you how about this: This whole book is supposed to be about how to get people on board with you and your ideas! If the author turns off an excited, motivated reader (who has PAID for the book!) then shouldn't he have a clue as to the subtleties that affect the "relationship" between himself and the reader? Shouldn't he know how to say what he needs to say without annoying people?
I have to wonder about all the high praise others have given this book. Are they all people who have previously "drank the kool-aid"? Maybe people who have been to live seminars? Maybe the author is irresistibly charismatic in person?
7. My final complaint is that maybe some of the book's schizophrenia comes from the fact that there are two authors, yet the entire book is written in the first person using the pronoun "I" without ever clarifying whether it's Kevin or James writing. "I shared...." "I once gave a seminar where..." "I'm going to show you that..." "My mother regularly told me that..."
Did they switch off writing each chapter and insecurely feel they had to make sure to rehash what the other guy already wrote just in case he didn't say it right? Did one guy do all the writing while the other guy did all the Xeroxing at the library? Did they write each chapter collaboratively, thus creating some kind of conglomerate persona? They never say "we felt compelled to write this book" or "we couldn't afford a decent editor" or "we read some of the stuff we referenced in the bibliography."
Bottom line: I'm disappointed and irritated and those very facts seem to be in such discord with the subject matter that I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this thing now. The book actually addresses the topic of "rapport" which seems like some sick ironic joke.
Ugh. I really wish I hadn't wasted my money.
The book is squarely aimed at a sales audience, so the writing style is more that of a motivational book than an introduction to or tutorial on covert persuasion. So many of the techniques are prefaced with superlatives about their effectiveness that it begins to sound a bit silly. Many of the book's tip lists are embellished by duplicating previous entries with somewhat altered wording.
The word "covert" was irrelevant to the majority of the book's examples; many are simply restatements of classic personality skills. The conversation examples are awkward at times, and it's hard to imagine them unfolding in a real-world setting. My own biggest disappointment, though, was the shortage (or lack, in many cases) of references or hard data to support the effectiveness claims that you'll find peppered throughout the material.
I won't call the book useless; it has its merits, and there are a good ten or eleven pages worth taking notes on. In fairness, books I consider very good contain maybe 10% noteworthy pages, while the rest consists mainly of explanation and examples, which is as it should be. However, there is little to be learned here that you wouldn't find in a day or two's worth of reading on Wikipedia, and having done that before buying the book, reading it felt like an episode of déjà vu, even as a newcomer to the subject of NLP.
If you're in sales, relatively green at it, and you want a motivational book with mostly good advice on how better to communicate with prospects and clients, this book does fit that bill. If you're a skeptical sort like me looking for data, statistics, concrete examples and copious authoritative and neutral references, this is not that book.
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