About ten years ago, a salesman used an old trick on me. He asked a series of questions designed to elicit a ‘yes’ response. He did this in front of a room of carefully selected prospects. Gradually, one or two folks started responding to his questions, and finally, by the time his carefully crafted speech was over, he had the whole room nodding and responding. He snuck about $1,000 our of my wife and I for a bogus travel and vacation plan.
I saw the same technique this week when a corporate leader stood in front of a room and asked a series of questions. At first, I felt that they were condescending. After all, we knew the answers. It’s not like we needed to be convinced. But after a few minutes, some folks were answering ‘yes’ and nodding. It occurred to me that this leader was using the same technique.
Selling? perhaps. Selling is just a set of techniques used to get people motivated to do something that you want them to do. It doesn’t just mean money. It means support, loyalty, obedience… whatever it is you want people to do. You can get there through selling.
I don’t know if you can sustain the ‘sell’ but you may not have to. This leader probably doesn’t have to maintain the sell. This leader got the support that mattered at the time that mattered. And perhaps that’s just as important.
So, as much as I admit to feeling a little offended by this person’s choice of speaking technique, I have to also admit that it was effective. It worked. This person is a leader for a good reason and is likely to succeed.
Interesting, the things you learn by watching others lead.