Tag Archive for: Chevy Chase

The 7 Best of the Best

This week’s post is a little different. Rather than going with a new post on Dale Carnegie advice I’m going with “The 7 Best of the Best” for a couple of reasons. First, I have a lot of new readers and I’d like to expose them to some prior posts folks seemed to really enjoy.

Second, with the Thanksgiving holiday I didn’t want to work too hard because it was time to enjoy friends and family. I hope you took time to relax and give thanks too. So here goes, in no particular order, seven interesting influence posts. I hope you find them humorous, entertaining and most important, informative.

Reverse Psychology and the Vacation Bathing Suit
Okay, maybe I wasn’t completely ethical when I tricked Jane into buying the bathing suit I liked for vacation but I think you’ll agree, it’s a funny story.

My Best Parenting Advice
Want your child to be better behaved or smarter? Here’s a great tip to make one, or both, of those happen.

Why Influence is about PEOPLE
Learn about Powerful Everyday Opportunities to Persuade that are Lasting and Ethical.

Fanzese or Frazetta: Do Names Really Matter?
Did Dennis become a dentist because of his name? Did Mary move to Marysville because of the association with her name? Science says it’s very likely.

What Chevy Chase Didn’t Do Before Vacation
Don’t make the mistake Chevy Chase did before vacation and lose business as a result. Find out what you need to do before you leave the office next time. Timely advice with Christmas just around the corner.

“Because I Said So” Mom or Dad
One simple word can make you significantly more persuasive and help you get what you want. Read on and find out…because I said so.

Golf Advice from Corey Pavin
It didn’t matter that I said it first, Jane only paid attention when Corey Pavin said it! Sometimes it’s not what’s said but who says it that really matters.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, thank you to all of you who follow Influence PEOPLE each week. I’m amazed that people in nearly 70 countries have read what I write each week! I enjoy writing this blog and it makes my day when I hear you enjoy reading so if you have comment, click on the comment link below and let me know what you think.

Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes!”

What Chevy Chase Didn’t Do Before Vacation

I’m sure many of you reading this remember the classic movie Vacation where Chevy Chase played the well meaning but inept family man, Clark Griswold. This week I’m going to share a principle of influence with you then give you a great idea, something Clark Griswold probably didn’t do but you can.

Did you know most people are more motivated by what they stand to lose as opposed to what they might gain? That’s right, people presented with the same opportunity will take you up on that opportunity more often when it’s presented in terms of what they might lose rather than what they stand to gain or save. For example, talking about the money someone might save using your product will not be as big a motivator to buy the product as it would be if you told them how much money they’ll lose if they don’t buy it. “Mr. Customer, if you install our thermal sealed windows you’ll save $300 on your electric bill over the next year,” will not sell as many windows as, “Mr. Customer, if you don’t use our thermal sealed windows you’ll end up paying $300 more on your electric bill over the next year.” It’s really the same thing just stated in a different way.

This all goes back to a psychological principle of persuasion known as scarcity. We are motivated to action when we see something that’s rare or when we believe something will suddenly become less available. It creates in us a greater desire for the thing that’s perceived to be scarce. If you doubt that just think about how much we take people for granted until we lose them or fear we might lose them.

Okay, so perhaps you’re wondering, “How does scarcity tie into Vacation and Clark Griswold?” As I write this we’ve unofficially entered summer because we’re into the first week of June. For those with families it means kids will soon be out of school and summer vacations are just around the corner. That also means many of you will leave work for a week or two in the coming months. You can tap into the scarcity principle to make your vacation a little more enjoyable, provide great customer service and possibly land (or prevent losing) some accounts.

In the past, before you’ve left for vacation, have you ever contacted all of your customers a week in advance to let them know you’d be gone? If you haven’t don’t feel bad because I’m willing to bet 99.9% of people don’t do that even though email and customer lists make it very easy to do. Most people simply tell co-workers they’ll be gone, change their voicemail and turn on the out-of-office message. Think for a moment about what would happen if you took the extra time to contact your customers to let them know a week in advance that you’ll be gone and when they can expect you back.

Doing this allows you to tap into scarcity because I guarantee customers will call or email you very quickly saying something like, “Thanks for letting me know you’d be gone because I really need to talk with you about…”

You may not have ever considered this before but you are a scarce resource because many people depend on you. If those people know you won’t be around much longer that simple fact will change their behavior just like your behavior is changed when you hear or read, “Sale Ends Sunday” or “Only While Supplies Last!”


With those calls and emails come your opportunities to land new business and possibly prevent losing some. After all, if a customer needs you they might not want to talk with someone else in your absence. To them that could be the right time to give the other guy, the one who’s begged for their business, a chance. But you can prevent that from happening!


And here’s another cool thing. When those people thank you, it’s your chance to strengthen your personal brand so don’t blow them off with something stupid like, “No problem” or “I’d have done it for anyone.” Both of those statements devalue what you’ve just done for them.


A better response would be, “That’s part of the great service you can expect when you deal with me. Can I ask you a quick question? Don’t your other suppliers (reps, agents, etc.) let you k
now in advance when they’ll be gone and when they’ll be back?” The answer to that will be, “No, they don’t.” Bingo, you’ve not bad mouthed the competition but you’ve set yourself apart by comparing what you do to what your competitors don’t do.


Maybe if Clark Griswold had done this he would have been a little farther up the food chain at work and could have afforded some nicer vacations!


Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes!”