How to get people to do what you want them to do

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

"If you truly believe that someone’s best interests are served by hiring you to perform a certain service, you owe them a moral and ethical duty to do everything you can to convince them to hire you."

If you believe your client needs an employee handbook, for example, you don’t merely "suggest" it. No sir. You strongly recommend it, not once, but repeatedly, relentlessly, until they say yes. 

You shower them with "reasons why" — the benefits they will gain when they have a handbook, and, even more, the detriments they could suffer if they don’t. 

You tell them about other companies that didn’t prepare a handbook: What happened to them, what it cost them, how they are still suffering because of it.

And you lay it on thick, dramatizing, agitating, playing to their deepest fears, so that they don’t just understand what you are saying, they FEEL it in their gut and are motivated to act.

But be careful. Choose your words (and the moments when you deliver them) carefully. Be aware of context. Use some common sense. Because if you go too far, it can backfire.

Want an example? I’ve got a perfect one. . .

A lawyer I’m working with is conducting seminars on how to protect yourself against identity theft. Identity theft is now the fastest growing crime in America, with 27 million cases in the last five years and nearly ten million in the last year alone. One in eight people had their identities stolen last year and the FTC says in the next few years, it will be one in four!

Can you say epidemic?

It’s not credit card theft. Crooks are stealing identities and opening NEW lines of credit. They run up huge debts in your name, buy and sell property and incur taxable gains in your name, and commit crimes in your name. Typically, you won’t find out about it until years later when you go to sell or refinance your property and find judgments filed against you, or you get pulled over for a routine traffic stop and the officer arrests you for an outstanding warrant.

I heard about a woman who took her daughter to the hospital and was told her insurance had been cancelled because she had failed to disclose that she had AIDS. Someone (with AIDS) had stolen her identity and used her insurance!

A man in the midwest was arrested and charged with violating a court order to pay child support to the mother of his son in New York. But he did not have a son and had never been to New York. 

How do you prove you are not "you"?!

Anyway, this lawyer has a client who lost millions of dollars to identity theft (from millionaire to broke) and he is very passionate about getting the word out. He wants to educate people about the problem and offer them a solution in the form of a service that he thinks EVERYONE should have. Among other unique advantages, it is the only identity theft product that actually fixes the problem once it occurs. (I have the service myself.)

The lawyer gets the word about his seminar and the room is full. He shares some facts about identity theft and stories in the news of how people have had their lives turned upside down by it. He tells them that it can cost thousands of dollars to deal with an identity theft, and take hundreds of hours.

The local chief of police speaks about the magnitude of the problem and the lack of resources to combat it. "There isn’t much we can do about it," he tells them.

Everyone is transfixed–and squirming in their seats. 

And then, he goes for the coup de Gras. He finds a volunteer in the audience and asks him his name and age. First name, last name and how old he is. With just those few specks of information, he goes on the Internet and within 60 seconds, he turns the computer monitor to the man and asks him if that is him. On the screen is the man’s 

  • Home address and former home address
  • The cars he owns
  • His employer
  • Where he keeps his bank accounts
  • Which credit cards he has, and the outstanding balances
  • His wife’s name, his kids names, and his next door neighbor’s names
  • His date of birth
  • His drivers’ license number
  • His social security number
  • His wife’s social security number

If it had been a trial, this would have been the defining moment. The smoking gun was in hand, the evidence compelling, the verdict all but assured.

Imagine how this man felt. How vulnerable. How exposed. 

On the screen was everything a crook would need to steal his identity, summoned with just a few clicks of the mouse. If there is a better way to show people why they need to protect themselves against identity theft, I can’t imagine what it could be.

But nobody signed up for the identity protection service that day. 

It was TOO MUCH! Too overwhelming. Too intimidating.

People weren’t motivated by their fear, they were paralyzed by it! 

And so. . .

Be careful when you attempt to persuade someone to do something. Give them enough information, but only enough. Make them fearful, but not petrified. Be relentless, but not merciless. 

Fear is the most powerful emotion there is. Use it wisely.

P.S. If you’re interested in protecting your clients from identity theft with a unique product (the only one that actually fixes the problem when it occurs), please let me know.