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

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INTRODUCTION
LET’S START AT THE
VERY BEGINNING
B
usinesses fail because they fail to persuade. You may
think that this is a sweeping statement but think about
it for a moment. The small engineering company collapses
because it fails to persuade the bank to lend it any more
money. The banks collapse because they fail to persuade
the City to make short-term loans against their long-term
mortgage lending. The car manufacturer goes under because
they cannot persuade the workforce to return to work after
a damaging strike – and, perhaps the saddest of all, the new
enterprise that never got off the ground because it failed to
persuade potential customers to give it a try.
There are so many inspirational and instructive business
books that cover everything from management to self belief,
but that vital ingredient, persuasion, is never really viewed
correctly. Persuasion is a process that, when mastered, can
be applied beneficially to all or any aspects of business – or
life!
Probably the best way to view this process is as a jour-
ney. Imagine for a moment that you are planning a trip.
The trouble is that we humans have been travelling for so
long that we carry out what is a very complicated procedure
in such an automatic way that we dont realize how clever
we are being. If we dismantle the process we will see just
how sophisticated we have been. Firstly, we decide where
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IRRESISTIBLE PERSUASION
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we would like to go, and then we make sure we know where
we are now. We check out the distance between these two
points, decide our mode of travel, the likely obstacles we will
encounter, assess the cost and calculate the time required.
You do that every day, from a walk to the shops, a drive
to see Aunty Hilda, or a trek around the world. How many
times have you failed to reach your destination? Sure, there
are unexpected events – we bump into a chum for a chat,
there is bad traffic, or we get pursued by ravenous head
hunters, but I bet that you have almost never ever failed to
get where you wanted to go. In fact, you quite often overes-
timate the obstacles and come in early and under budget.
For the Aunty Hilda trip, we might employ the aid of
a road atlas. Imagine if it was written by a motivational
speaker:
“How far is it to Aunty Hilda’s town?”
“Its not as far as you think!”
“How do I get there?”
“By believing in yourself!”
“How do I plan the trip?”
“By positively visualizing yourself there!”
A road atlas like that wouldnt remain very long in your
possession until it found itself a new career as kindling, yet
we tolerate that sort of rubbish in our business lives. When
we find ourselves betting our whole future and everything
we own on our enterprise, we cannot afford ‘ifs and buts’.
What is needed is a road map to success – and that is what
this book sets out to do.
We must see our pathway to business success in the same
way we see a journey. Where do we want to get to? Where
are we now? And what obstacles and landmarks do we see
along the way? The persuasive skills that we use change as
they are applied at different times and to different areas of
the enterprise.
Staying with the concept of the journey for a moment,
a unique thing about human travel is that we have a fairly
clear idea of where we are at any moment in the journey.
The early mariners, when out of sight of land, expended a
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