Home > Ideas > P.E.R.S.U.A.D.E!!!


We have heard Experts and Senior Pros say that success in Sales calls for the use of Persuasion Skills. In this Post I wish to write about some Masters in the Art of Persuasion!

By the time my son, Nikhil, was 18 months old he loved going for rides on my motorbike – he would be perched in front of me, tiny hands rested on my thighs, upper body erect and as we cruised along, with joy writ large on the face, he would look one way and then the other like a King surveying his domain.

On the days my friends came by he would get a bonus – they knew his love for bike rides and were happy to oblige.  It is customary to find a bar of chocolate in his tiny hands after each trip – adults love gifting kids with chocolates and candies. It’s given without being asked!

But there was one instance (Nikhil was a bit over 2 years old by then) when my friend Rakesh took the little guy for a ride –  as he parked the bike in the front yard, after discharging his duty, I saw my friend shaking his head in disbelief. Little Nikhil jumped off and charged into the house shouting, “Mom, look what I’ve got. Uncle purchased a He-Man toy for me.”

I said to Rakesh, “You didn’t have to get him that toy. How much did it cost? Let me pay you. Did the little rascal insist that you buy it?”

Rakesh, still with the dazed expression on his face, said “You know what – he never insisted that I buy it.Not once did he say that he wants it. But he told me stories about He-Man, from the cartoon series he watches on TV – how good He-Man was in defeating his opponents and so on. He even explained how the toy is used to play make-believe games. The entire description was so good that I could not deny him the pleasure of playing with it.”

We had a good laugh over the masterful con-job the little brat had played on him. It set me thinking – I wondered how kids repeatedly manage to pull off such tricks on their parents and other elders.

Parents of teenage children would agree sheepishly how their “less world-wise” kids outsmarted them to get permission to go on a vacation with friends or to purchase an expensive gift.

Well, the kids were using two powerful Persuasion / Influencing techniques.

  1. The power of conversational hypnosis
  2. The art of asking for something more expensive to win a smaller prize

Little Nikhil had used Conversational Hypnosis without being aware of it – I guess we are born with the skill and forget it when we grow up. As adults we only see obstacles in our path and loopholes in our pitch – we convince ourselves constantly that it can’t be done; the possibilities are grossly ignored!

Children don’t  think about losing at all – they only see possibilities and focus on the win; that helps them achieve the objective with amazing ease.

The 2nd technique is clever  because it lulls the donor into feeling relieved and joyful because he is getting away with “giving less” – when friends insist on a treat and the outlay is Rs. 800 or Rs.1000 ,the college going son or daughter would ask dad for an allowance of Rs. 2000 to 3000, and push for it continuously; in the end, as a throw away option the child would say, with resignation in the voice, “Ok, here’s what we can do; give me a bit less – I am sure you can give me Rs. 800, right? I will convince my friends to pool in the rest.”

Dad is relieved that he got away by paying less and the young Persuasion Pro walks away with the required funds.

The idea here is to stay focused, be insistent and never ever flag – you need to have a strong pitch and make the other party believe that they are only providing a small part of the actual requirement.

Kids also use it in this manner-“Can I go for a movie? Please!”.


Kid-“Can I go over to my friend’s place for a little while then?” (Bingo! Dad thinks he got off easy)

There are other Persuasion methods and we can speak about them another day.

No kidding! Be it Sales or any other form of negotiation, your conviction and commitment are the strongest Persuaders!

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  1. G.Venu Gopal
    February 20, 2012 at 4:50 am

    that s a good one

    • JayadevM
      February 20, 2012 at 6:47 am

      Thank you, venu!

  2. February 20, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Hey Jay! I couldn’t agree with you more.My son doing an IGCSE syllabus,has one of the optional subject ‘Art& Design.He opted for ‘Photography’ and spent last year with compact camera.This year he graduated to SLR and started telling us that all his mates are bringing nothing less than Canon 550D or 600D.We spoke to the teacher and he said, any entry level SLR will be good enough,as he wants them to spend the year learning manual focus and play of lights on the object and work on themes.We we accosted him with his teachers remarks he slyly agreed for a Canon 1100D.We thought we had a good deal and now I know, the rascal was having us.

    • JayadevM
      February 25, 2012 at 2:11 pm

      Hi Sunil, can empathise with you – been there a few times myself.

      I wish I got hundred rupees for each time I got conned by my son .. would be a rich man now. Surely, some lessons for us to learn there.

      Thank you for sharing that anecdote.

  3. February 25, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Excellent.. Am really busy..didn’t have time to read the entire article,..but u caught me with that ‘Can I go for a movie anecdote?’.. ..so I scrolled up to read the entire article.. You write well indeed Jayadev.. and the content/message ,, I got it easily..

    • JayadevM
      February 25, 2012 at 1:04 pm

      Shiv, am glad you liked it and found the content useful too.

      Thank you for the words of appreciation. Look forward to hearing from you again.

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