Archive for July, 2009

More than a Poker Face

July 30, 2009

Cialdini's Six Universal Principles of Influence

One of the few people I listen to about the dynamics of deal making and negotiation is Robert Cialdini.  Cialdini is a professor of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University.  

One thing that makes Cialdini's work stand out is that it is not just based on anecdotal experience, but instead on detailed studies of behavior.  Sometimes of what he reports is counter-intuitive, which is the most valuable find of all.

Here are 6 keys to influence in Cialdini's own words as reported by SmartPlanet (emphasis is mine):

Reciprocation. People give back to you the kind of treatment that they’ve received from you. If you do something first by giving something of value—be it more information or a positive attitude—it will all come back to you.

Scarcity. People will try to seize those opportunities that you offer them that are rare or dwindling in availability. This is an important reminder that we need to differentiate what we have to offer that is different from our rivals and competitors. That way, we can tell people honestly “You can only get this aspect or this feature by moving in our direction.”

Authority. People will be most persuaded by you when they see you as having knowledge and credibility on the topic. You’d be surprised how many fail to properly inform their audience of their genuine credentials before launching into an influence attempt. That’s a big mistake.

Commitment. People will feel a need to comply with your request if they see that it’s consistent with what they’ve publicly committed themselves to in your presence. The implication there is to ask people to state their true priorities, commitments and features of the situation that they think are most important. Then align your requests or proposals with those things. The rule for consistency will cause them to want to say yes to what they’ve already told you they value.

Liking. People prefer to say yes to your request to the degree that they know and like you. No surprise there but a simple way to make that happen is to uncover genuine similarities or parallels that exist between you and the person you want to influence. That person is going to like you more and be more willing to move in your direction.

Consensus. People will be likely to say yes to your request if you give them evidence that people just like them have been saying yes to it too. I saw recent study that showed if a restaurant owner puts on the menu “This is our most popular item” than it immediately becomes more popular.

I suspect readers in Sales or  one of the negotiation discipline have observed and practice at least one or more of these, I am highlighting them here because I think it's quite useful to see these six factors laid out in one place.  Like a plan.  🙂

Comments?  Have these worked for you?

Posted via email from Really Bad Ideas

Top 10 Reasons to Stop Surfing in the Ocean

July 22, 2009

Whether you have been tempted to take up surfing, or already have been surfing and have not been able to quit yet, here are 10 reasons to strengthen your resolve to stay out of the ocean:
  1. Surfers Knee is real, ugly and very painful
  2. Surfers on average earn much less money than their non-surfing peers
  3. Surfing in the sun gives you wrinkles and ages you prematurely
  4. More girls/guys will date a non-surfer than will date a surfer
  5. Surfers Ear requires someone drill into your ear to restore your hearing
  6. Surfboards increase your carbon footprint.  Very uncool.
  7. Surfing annoys the Great White Sharks of Jaws fame
  8. Where do you think sewer water drains?
  9. Giant Killer Squid have moved into the coastal waters of California
  10. I'm already in the lineup
If you do go in the water, vaya con dios my friend.  We (your girlfriend & I) will remember you well.

Posted via email from Really Bad Ideas

Free (the book) by Chris Anderson

July 16, 2009

<a title="View FREE (full book) by Chris Anderson on Scribd" href="http://www.scribd.com/doc/17135767/FREE-full-book-by-Chris-Anderson" style="margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block; text-decoration: underline;">FREE (full book) by Chris Anderson</a> height=”500″ width=”100%” > value=”http://d.scribd.com/ScribdViewer.swf?document_id=17135767&access_key=key-1htgstmrudqatvm1xi4t&page=1&version=1&viewMode=”&gt;     </object>

Posted via email from Random Eric

Free? Anyone whose woken up with a hangover knows beer is never free

July 16, 2009

Smart as one may be, change is hard on humans.  Malcom Gladwell, Chris Anderson, Mark Cuban, Seth Godin and others are all passionately debating “Free” and it’s future. Some people would like to belief free content is a phase, others that free is forever. The debate over free is likely an indication, by itself, that free is here to stay even though everything has a cost.
The efficiency of digital distribution changes things. Where one used to be able to distribute to many at a substantial cost, now one can distribute to everyone in the world with money (and therefore an Internet connection) at nearly zero cost. This jeopardizes any existing business that is based on content or information, like the news and music industries. Only a new and different business model will be competitively successful in the future. Stick with your old business model, and someone will develop a business to take your market away. Not because they are better, but because the glaring opportunity will not be ignored.
However, in a world where content is free and abundant, information organization, structure and insight become relatively more valuable.
If food is free, what becomes most valuable is the appropriate restaurant recommendation, or recipe. If MP3’s are free, sell the playlist. If you doubt me witness the attention people are paying to lists. Lists, information organization – this is the new IP consumers want and (I think) would be willing to pay for; especially if it organizes the information in a way that is personal to the consumer.

 

Eric Pederson

Posted via email from Random Eric

Free? Anyone whose woken up with a hangover knows beer is never free

July 16, 2009

Smart as one may be, change is hard on humans.  Malcom Gladwell, Chris Anderson, Mark Cuban, Seth Godin and others are all passionately debating "Free" and it's future. Some people would like to belief free content is a phase, others that free is forever. The debate over free is likely an indication, by itself, that free is here to stay even though everything has a cost.
The efficiency of digital distribution changes things. Where one used to be able to distribute to many at a substantial cost, now one can distribute to everyone in the world with money (and therefore an Internet connection) at nearly zero cost. This jeopardizes any existing business that is based on content or information, like the news and music industries. Only a new and different business model will be competitively successful in the future. Stick with your old business model, and someone will develop a business to take your market away. Not because they are better, but because the glaring opportunity will not be ignored.
However, in a world where content is free and abundant, information organization, structure and insight become relatively more valuable.

If food is free, what becomes most valuable is the appropriate restaurant recommendation, or recipe. If MP3's are free, sell the playlist. If you doubt me witness the attention people are paying to lists. Lists, information organization – this is the new IP consumers want and (I think) would be willing to pay for; especially if it organizes the information in a way that is personal to the consumer.

Eric Pederson

Posted via email from Random Eric

El Gato Negro … and Ligers?

July 15, 2009

It may be when they say there are no "black pumas" they speak as an artist who knows what the color true black is.  When there were many pumas roaming the US, dark brown and slate grey pumas were apparently confirmed, and black pumas widely reported.
Over at MessyBeast they seem quite fascinated in mutant cats, cross breeds, and the related genetics.

The "Cherokee Cougar" taxidermy is claimed to be a black puma [..] DNA testing by East Tennessee State University's Zoology Dept appears to confirm it as a puma and that hairs tested were not dyed, however there are no definitive results confirming it as a melanistic individual [..] the black puma taxidermy may be a recessive mutation.

Then again, the site devotes thought to Liger and Tigons, and much of the  data mentioned seems anecdotal and well aged.
So to clarify, there is no such thing as a big black cat in California, there are no black mountain lions.  Unless you see one.  
If you see one and bring it home, you may, with the help of skeptical scientists, prove they exist.

Posted via email from Cougars You Can’t Buy a Drink

El Gato Negro?

July 14, 2009
Event: sighting
Species: unconfirmed

Tonight I went to the town named for these cats, Los Gatos, to take a run up to the reservoir.  I had just about enough time to get up and back down before dark.  Signs at the highschool indicated the beginning section of the trail would be closed for weeks beginning the next day, so it seemed divine providence that I managed to squeeze my run in tonight.
I'm out of shape, so I alternate running and walking on these outings as I rebuild my fitness, the slow zebra in the herd if you will indulge me.  I haven't been up here much this year, but this was the 4th time in as many weeks as I push myself to regain fitness.  A fair number of people were walking, running, or biking the wide dirt trail.  I tried not to look into the bushes or otherwise act paranoid when I passed by those coming down; still given my history I did keep my eyes open.
Coming back down was a joy as I knew today I was a little bit stronger, and I really got into my gait as the last couple mountain bikers flew down the hill past me, leaving me with no human company in either direction for a mile or two.  Coming a round a corner I saw that I was wrong, for there was someone's big black labradour dashing into the brush on the creek side.  
When I saw that there was no dog owner around, no human activity at all, that something-isn't-right-alarm rang.  The animal I'd seen, the one somewhere in the brush to the right of me, was not a domesticated animal.  I edged to the other side of the trail, jangled my keys, and kept running.  I tried to keep my full wits about me and get out of the area quickly without leaving a blind spot.
I have encountered a dog before in such a situation and I found that dogs are dogs.  I would expect a dog to come out of the brush and either attack me or confront me, quite possible to stand in the middle of the road and threaten me, but never to hide and watch me.
Hiding, watching, tracking; stealth and the attack you never see coming: that's a cat.  The animal getting running into the brush would have looked like a black panther, if I my mind had not expecting to see a dog, but big black cats don't exist in California.  They don't exist.  I repeated that to myself a few times and found no comfort in it.
I jangled my keys for another half mile wondering if an attack would come and from what side, looking back a few times to keep any cat honest and off the trail.  For the first time this year I ran the trail all the way back to the car without stopping.  Not because I was unnerved, just because I felt fitter, honest.
Here's what Naturealmanac.com says about the existence of black cougars in California:

Many species of large cats have dark (melanistic) color phases that crop up occasionally in wild populations – notably leopards and jaguars – but no example of a melanistic cougar has ever been produced in North America. Some South American populations of cougar have been reported to produce melanistic individuals but concrete evidence of this seems to be lacking and these animals may be a different but similar species of cat that is mistaken for a cougar.

 

Large black cats have been reported in North America since earliest colonial times (long before the importation of alien species) but none have ever been shot or captured. At the time of first contact jaguars ranged as far north as Georgia and Arkansas and these animals do produce melanistic individuals but of course it's highly unlikely that they ever occurred in New England where many of the early reports of black cats originated. So unless there's another species of large cat roaming North America that somehow managed to avoid discovery for the last four hundred years reports of these animals must be based on optical illusions or tricks of light.

 

More recent (20th century) reports of large black cats are most likely black panthers (melanistic leopards) that have either escaped captivity or been released by owners unable or unwilling to care for them. It's significant that reports of black cats increased markedly (at least in Illinois) after the laws concerning ownership of wild cats changed in the 80's. Most recent sightings of these animals seem to describe feral leopards rather than cougars.

We'll call this one: sighting-uncertain; species-unknown; observer-paranoid, and maybe you can put it out of your mind.  I can't, and you'll understand why when you hear of my prior encounters.

Posted via email from Cougars You Can’t Buy a Drink