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Irresistible Persuasion: The Secret Way To Get to Yes Every Time by Geoff Burch

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113
CHAPTER 10
THE CUNNING PLAN
In which we start to pull the threads together
by planning who, where, when, why, and how
W
hilst just a callow youth, I gravitated towards sales
jobs because in my mind they were an easy option.
My performance was chaotic, but instinctive, so I tended to
produce enough figures to stay in work. Pause here for some
festery old motivational sayings:
“He didnt plan to fail, he failed to plan!”
Or:
“Dont plan to work, work to plan!”
Neither of the above meant a thing to me until I encoun-
tered a grizzled old sales manager who realized I was getting
along by flying courtesy of the seat of my pants. He gave
me a scrap of paper and said, Every time you leave a call,
answer these questions or you’re fired!” I had the plan now
and would have to work it. As I am a scatological mess, this
little bit of paper changed everything for me and it may
help you. It had on it a few simple questions:
1. Did I achieve my chosen goal for this visit? I know that
the threat is that I will be  red if I dont answer the ques-
tions when I leave the call but if I hadnt got a goal when
I went in I could hardly answer in the a rmative when I
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IRRESISTIBLE PERSUASION
114
come out. If you are going to visit someone on a mission
of persuasion, then have a very clear idea exactly what it
is that you want to achieve. It doesnt even matter if you
dont achieve what you set out to do – as long as you have
set down what your objective is you can at least judge
where you are in relation to it.
In quantum mechanics there is a puzzle called
Schrödingers Cat which rambles on a bit about isotobes
and half life, but the fun bit is that you lock a cat in a box
with a potentially lethal bit of nuclear doings. Now, without
opening the box, tell me, is the cat dead or alive? See – you
cant be sure, so the dotty professors, to  ddle their results
and convince us that the planet grew from a cosmic stone
or something, say that the cat is in a state which is both
alive and dead – or neither alive nor dead. is is, of course,
cobblers, but while we give a little chuckle we must face
the fact that this is how we tend to live our lives. at lot-
tery ticket in your pocket is the winner until you see the
results. at scratch card has as good a chance as any until
we scratch it. Dont look under rocks, dont look under your
teenager’s bed, dont look at the timbers in the loft, and all
will be well with the world. ats why v.int is so com-
forting, because as long as we can keep that going we dont
have to hear a big fat no’. Its time for a change. Before you
go in, choose and decide a clear goal and then ask clear
questions about the progress you are making.
2. What am I learning about this person, this company,
this situation? is is the next item on this checklist.
Even if you have been saddled with the o ce boy dont
write the visit o . Just ask those valuable questions, for
example, “So who is in charge of this project?”, “I notice an
o ce is being redecorated. Is someone getting a promo-
tion?”, What is your company planning to do in that new
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