In this chapter I’m going to reveal a few of my most closely held secret
methods of determining what people are thinking in the moment. I am
going to give you some incredible tools.You will learn one of my favorite
models for determining current thought, and I am going to give you one
of my favorite models for utilizing that specific information in gaining
Maybe it’s just me, but I like to know what other people are thinking.
I don’t want to guess.
I want to know.
When you can know, you can determine how best to help that person
get what they want in business and in life. Instead of being involved in a
long-drawn-out process, you can get rapid outcomes that are favorable to
everyone involved. Ultimately that’s what we all want. Most people expe-
rience massive idiopathic fear when it comes to communication in almost
any context. In other words, they feel uncomfortable putting their feelings
and thoughts on the table for fear that they will be hurt in some way.
When people cloak thoughts and feelings it makes communication in-
credibly difficult. Honesty becomes compromised and everyone gets poor
outcomes.You see this in every aspect of life.
When people don’t tell you what they are thinking/feeling, you sim-
ply need to discover, calculate, or determine those thoughts in other ways.
You can utilize body language, psychographics, evolutionary psychol-
ogy,psychobiology,cultural beliefs,religious beliefs,peer pressures,psycho-
logical profiles, and expectancies along with prior behavior to determine
almost anyone’s current thoughts with some significant degree of accuracy.
On larger scales you can read groups, cultures, specific demographics,
and nations using essentially the same tools.
The more you know about someone or some group, the easier it is to
gain compliance. It’s that simple.
It’s true in relationships, it’s true in family and friendships, it’s true in
the selling context, it’s true for all aspects of business, it’s true for the ther-
apist, and it’s true for nations dealing with other nations.“Intelligence” in
the military sense is what separates the wheat from the chaff in every as-
pect of life.
The ethical use of influence is never more necessary than when you
have good intelligence about your client and customer. Knowledge is
potential power, and that power can just as easily be used for good as it
can be for bad.The line is not always instantly clear, and sometimes the
Without having excellent intelligence about your clients and con-
sumers you have little chance of being persuasive beyond random luck. With good intelligence, you can achieve incredible results in gaining com-
pliance.And if you think it’s important in business, can you imagine how
important it is in personal relationships?
But before we get into utilizing intelligence, I want you to look at
some ethical issues that arise in acquiring and utilizing intelligence. Influ-
ence hinges on good intelligence, and more than that, the ethical use of
persuasion techniques can be compromised if you aren’t careful.“Win-win
or no deal” is more than a slogan; it is a necessary reality to build long-
term relationships that are mutually beneficial for two people or parties.
The United States led the invasion of Iraq using intelligence that sup-
posedly revealed Iraq had biological and chemical weapons that it had not
destroyed. Will those weapons ever be found? I have no idea. Certainly
they were there in the prior couple of years.The bigger question, though,
is does it matter? It’s tough to find anyone in the free world who wasn’t
appalled when thousands of people were found to be buried alive by Sad-
dam Hussein’s regime.Never had the connection between Hitler and Sad-
dam been so clear. Such a person and such a regime doesn’t deserve to be
in power on the planet, and it’s arguable whether they deserve the privi-
lege of life itself. So, the intelligence may or may not have been excellent
but an even more extraordinary discovery of brutality essentially makes the
One of my favorite movies of all time is Meet John Doe. This 1941
black-and-white movie starred Gary Cooper.The movie was released as
Nazism and fascism were rapidly spreading in Europe, and it was in part a
response to those who would find fascism an alternative in the United
States.The movie was superb and it did its job.
A young newspaper reporter (Barbara Stanwyck), about to lose her
job, concocts a story about a man who is so disgusted with the world that
he is going to commit suicide on Christmas Eve. His fictitious note “sent”
to the newspaper office is signed “John Doe.”The reporter keeps her job
but eventually has to find the would-be martyr—who exists only in her
mind. She interviews possible role players and ultimately convinces a
homeless man (Gary Cooper) to be “John Doe” to the public.
Further interviews and press launch a John Doe movement across
the country, based on principles of being a good neighbor, trust, helping
others, and making the little guy feel important. Ultimately John has to
run for president.The unwilling but trapped John does indeed give the
speech of a lifetime to a huge audience.Wondering how he can live with
himself as a fraud, John seriously contemplates suicide and is saved only
by a throng of John Doe fans. One woman’s deception to save her job in
wartime turns into a wonderful movement of enormous good.A home-
less man’s agreement to play the role of John Doe becomes a massive in-
ternal struggle between self and public fraud and greater good of the
country and the world.
Two paragraphs do not do the movie justice. It doesn’t do justice to
the ethical issues involved, and it doesn’t do the subject of persuasion and
influence justice. Rent this two-hour movie to challenge every ethical and
moral view you hold. I promise you will be glad you did!
I would venture to guess that if you take advantage of the information
I am about to reveal to you, you will nearly double your response from
your sales, adding clients and making successful your influence efforts.
(Notice I didn’t say “increase by 10 percent,” I said nearly “double.”)
Here is who John Doe is in the twenty-first century.You are selling
your ideas, products, and services—and yourself—to John every day. So
you may as well meet him (and his dear friend Jane Doe).
In general people aren’t as satisfied as they could be.
Most people have only a moderate amount of self-esteem.
Two-thirds of women and one-third of men don’t like the way
Nearly everyone worries and has a deep-seated fear of rejection.
Almost everyone is afraid to grow old.
Virtually everyone has a fear of death.
Almost everyone works to avoid pain, and once in pain will do
what it takes to get out of pain.
People don’t have time to be smart shoppers, and they don’t com-
parison-shop that much.
When people get their minds set on something, they want it now.
(As a rule, people will not delay gratification!)
Most people still perceive credit cards as not being equal to real
People want to make decisions that will make them look good to
That’s just a thumbnail sketch of a few of John’s and Jane’s traits.They
are universal because we have all evolved from the same gene pool and in
some transactions tend to respond similarly in social exchanges. In other
words, people are somewhat predictable.
Realizing this, how do we sell to John Doe and how do we market to
him? How do we make use of the information used by the largest adver-
tising firms in the world on our shoestring budgets? How do we talk to
John and Jane so they listen and comply quickly? How do we know what
they are thinking and feeling?
Once we know what our prospects’ needs, wants, and desires are, we
can use this information to prepare a message that firmly impresses on the
mind how we can help them.We can clearly show our prospects how they
will feel better, get out of pain, and look like they make great decisions to
the people in their peer group.
Here is a good model for you to latch onto and make your own:
1. Paint a clear picture for your reader and bring it up really close. It
needs to show this: what you presently have, who you presently
are, or how you presently feel is not satisfactory.You can do, have,
or be more, and you can feel better!
2. Product/idea/service X helps many people just like you get that
3. Try it once.You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
4. Other people will respect you and like you more for using this
5. Imagine your future as you deserve it to be.You can reach your
dreams and achieve your goals if you use this product/idea/service.
6. This product/idea/service is guaranteed, so you can feel secure in
making a decision now.
7. To take advantage of this product/idea/service, call/write now be-
cause only Y number of people will be allowed to participate.
Here’s all you have to do . . .
Now, obviously not all market messages use this model or all compo-
nents of it. But, based on the market research I have done, this model ap-
peals to John Doe. Research reveals that John and Jane do act now when
responding to this model!
Now it’s up to you. How can you implement this model in your sales
or business, and will you start today or wait until tomorrow?