This is a blog on how to manipulate people using words.
We keep hearing we should empower people to use the new system, lose weight, advance their careers, etc but I’ve recently read only 3% of any audience is ready to be empowered or influenced. If they were empowered they could do it on their own and they wouldn’t need you.
The other 96% need to be manipulated or persuaded in order to be conditioned so they become empowered.
Let’s define manipulated because I think many of us hold a very negative connotation of the word. Manipulate literally only means to be moved from an outside source.
Persuaded means to be pushed based on values.
So our job, if we want to drive change, is to communicate differently!
Here are some good rules of thumb to follow when writing any communication:
BEGINNING: The first thing you say is what will be accepted. Starting with a question is the best way to pull people in and engage them.
MIDDLE: The content in the middle is where emotions are engaged, which determines if we store the information in our short term or long term memory. Use “You” focused statements to turn on shared emotions.
END: The last thing you write is what people will remember. If you are asking them to take an action make sure you include a deadline (the subconscious will go to work figuring out “the how” if it knows there is a deadline). End with what you want them to remember.
So let’s do an example specifically geared towards sales people who refuse to use your new CRM system. (As written from the project team)
Do you realize we are here to make your life easier? You want more sales, more money, and less hassle in getting your job done but something appears to be stopping that.
So we have just 1 question for you: Is the new CRM system making your life easier?
If so, we would like to know how so we can amplify your results.
If not, we need to know so we can take care of the blockages and get you back to doing what you are best at, building relationships.
We want to enable you to serve more people and make more money, this system is a tool to help us all reach that vision together.
Please reply by (this date) if the CRM is making it easy for you to serve our customers more effectively or not. We need to know so we can do what it takes to make you successful. You are our front line to the customer and the lifeblood of our organization, without the whole sales team operating as a cohesive unit our customers will suffer and none of us want that.
An email with your suggestions or an in person conversation can be scheduled by emailing —-@—- prior to (this date).
The project Team
So, now that we’ve walked through an example does that seem manipulative? Not at all. You are aligning your values of wanting to add value to them and to your clients. You are moving them (manipulating) to take an action that helps them improve. Sounds a lot better than, “Let us know why you aren’t using the system.” Or assuming there are technology issues that are preventing them from using the system when in fact it may be fear or a lack of knowledge. The way you word the communication significantly impacts the responses you will get.