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Advanced persuasion techniques for top producers, Part 1

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Selling involves influencing and motivating prospects and clients to implement the things you want them to do. Two advanced persuasion techniques you can use are Mental Pivots and Mental Removers. This month, we’ll explore Mental Pivots.

Mental Pivots

Mental Pivots work by connecting an agreed-upon statement with the persuasive direction you want the client to take. These are phrases and techniques top producers use to persuade their clients to execute their advice. An example of a Mental Pivot is to first make an undeniable statement and then pivot it to what you are trying to convince the client to do.

An example of a mental pivot is: “ObamaCare will incorporate 30 million people and raise taxes 3.9 percent.” “And” in the statement is a Mental Pivot that connects the undeniable truth with the statement directing mentally where you want the client to go.

Examples of Mental Pivot connectors are:

• WEAK­—and, or, but

• MODERATE—as, while, during, since

• STRONG—make, cause, force, require

Another example is, “Most seniors retire with only $29,000 and could have dramatically increased their retirement income had they purchased an annuity protecting their investments from risk.” Pivots connect an accepted statement and redirect to a concept you want the client to accept.

Trigger words can create predictable responses from people, too. In fact, the word “because” is a good example of a trigger word. For example, say a student attempts to cut in line to make photocopies. She can say, “I need to make some copies because I’m in a rush.” 

Her being in a rush achieved compliance. But you and I both know the word “because” is more than a trigger word. It’s actually a mental pivot.

One of the techniques I use in my coaching practice is to tell a client how well he is doing before I try to motivate him to improve. For instance, I might say, “I can tell you’ve been working very hard at your revenue producing contacts (RPCs), but if you want to double your income this year you have to make RPCs a much higher priority every single day.” My client accepts as gospel the notion that he’s working hard on RPCs, but then also accepts my persuasive redirection getting him to make even more RPCs and treat them as a priority.

Next month: Mental Removers

By using these connectors, you can nudge your clients in the direction you want them to take.

Kerry Johnson, MBA, Ph.D., is a best-selling author and frequent speaker at financial planning and insurance conferences around the world. He has a new coaching program at or call 800-883-8787 for more information. 



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