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The participants had to identify


which line (A, B, or C) matched the target line on the left. What Asch did was divide the participants into groups of eight. The catch was, only one of the people in each group was actually being tested. The other seven were plants and agreed beforehand how they would answer. Each plant had to reveal which


line was most like the target line, with the real participant going last every time. The correct answer was obvious, just like in the picture. Throughout a total of 18 trials, the plants were told to give wrong answers in 12 of them. During those 12 tests, 75% of the real partici- pants went along with the masses and gave the wrong answer – even though they could clearly see which answer was correct. Guess what hap- pened with the other six trials? The plants gave the right answer, and the real participant gave the wrong answer less than 1 percent of the time. When Asch asked the real par- ticipants why they had gone along with the group, those individuals gave two main reasons: 1. They wanted to fit in with the group


2. They believed the group was bet- ter informed than they were That first reason certainly makes a powerful statement in terms of social proof: Humans follow the herd. It’s the second reason, however, that’s criti- cal in understanding the bedrock of influence. Information, or lack thereof, influences our behaviors and decisions. Let’s bounce back to the restaurant


example for a second. The reason you’re likely to head for the one with all the cars in the parking lot is be- cause of the information you’re receiv- ing. We humans are social creatures, and we’re hardwired to look to one another for evidence that something might be better, nicer, cleaner, safer. We’re talking survival instincts here. You see an empty parking lot at a restaurant and automatically think, “Maybe the food will make me sick.” Who wants to be the lone gazelle at a watering hole? Nobody. But maybe that restaurant with two cars in the lot just opened. Maybe they have better food at better prices. “Doesn’t mat- ter,” says your survival instinct. You want to be where the masses are. The group must know better than I do. Think about when you go shop- ping. When you’re in a shoe store, for example, you have the ability to directly compare one shoe to another and determine which is better. There’s not a whole lot of outside influence on which shoes you buy. Or, if you’re at the mall doing a little clothes shop- ping, you can try on a shirt, feeling the fabric, the quality, the fit. When you’re shopping online, however – as many of us often do, especially since the pandemic forced our hands – deciding which shoe or shirt is best is a lot more difficult. So, what do you


SELLING TIP


Call Me Back – or Else: How to Get Your Prospect to Return Your Phone Calls


You can reach a prospect’s voicemail, but you can’t make him call back. Of course, you can boost your chances of a return call with a message that’s anything but run of the mill. If my prospect doesn’t call me back after several messages, I make a joke out of my determination by saying, “Joe, you’re not ignoring me, are you? You know you can run but you cannot hide.” Or I’ll use a humorous threat: “I’m afraid I’m going to have to sing my next message to you if I don’t hear back from you – and, believe me, it’s not pretty.”


My funny messages almost always get me a call back; but, if they


don’t, I make good on my “threat.” Only a few of my prospects have been immune to my singing!


– LISA SCHRADER


SELLING POWER SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 | 21 © 2021 SELLING POWER. CALL 1-800-752-7355 FOR REPRINT PERMISSION.


do? Read the reviews. When it comes to buying something online, we al- most need to rely on outside opinions to make a final decision, since we don’t have the product in hand to examine it ourselves. When used correctly, social proof can (as you can imagine) be a very powerful tool for influencing someone to buy whatever it is you are selling. By highlighting the popularity of your products, service, or brand, you can drive your buyer’s confidence that what you have is what they need. Clearly there’s a science to getting


others to buy from you – a secret only the best salespeople in the world know about. Because selling, at its core, isn’t really about moving a product or service: It’s about mov- ing people. Despite all the processes and lingo and methodologies and corporate rhetoric, sales – no matter the industry – has never truly been B2B or B2C. It always has been (and always will be) done H2H: Human 2 Human 


Lance Tyson is president and CEO of Tyson Group, a Selling Power 2021 Top 25 Sales Training Company. His new book, H2H Selling: The Human 2 Human Equa- tion to Persuade, Influence, and Close the Deal, is now available for pre-order at your favorite book retailer.


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