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Exactly What to Say: The Magic Words for Influence and Impact by Phil M. Jones

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Want to prepare yourself for almost any conversation to give yourself a fair advantage?

Magic words are used to get attention, here are the secrets:

I’m not sure if it’s for you, but …

Gets their attention

How open-minded

Would you be open-minded

As everyone wants to be open-minded harder to refuse

What do you know about …

Allows you to mind out how the other person formed their opinion

How would you feel if …

Just imagine …

Allow the other person to consider how they will feel if a scenario occurs, allows you to trigger both positive and / or negative emotions.

When would be a good time …

Prompts other person to assume that no is not an option

I’m guessing you haven’t got around to …

Pushes a negative scenario, the other person is likely to want to give a positive reason or outline how they will fix it

Improve some of your phrases:

Ending a presentation change:

“Do you have any questions?” with

“What questions do you have for me?”

The minute you assume an outcome, the easiest response for them to give is that they have no questions


“Can I have your phone number?”

with “What’s the best number to contact you at?”

The former creates a permission-based resistance in the other person. 

You have three options, followed by what is going to be easier for yourself? This helps people come to decisions.  In a similar fashion you can state there are two types of people which can encourage people to take an action you wish them to. 

“I bet you’re a bit like me …” then watch the other person agree with you

“What most people do is …” this can encourage the other person to undertake action

Remember he easier the question is to answer the easier you gain your decision.

The person in control tends to be the person who is asking the questions.  Therefore when you face objections ask “What makes you say that?”

People say thank you when they feel they owe you something -this is the best time to ask for someone’s help.

Ask “Just out of curiosity …” to finds more details

Use Columbo’s famous words and say “Just one more thing” this might keep the conversation alive and help you leave with a sale

If you want to explore more about communication then I would highly recommend checking out these two interesting books I have summarised by Robert B. Cialdini called Influence and Pre-Suasion

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