The Most Valuable Real Estate

I’ve lived in Central Ohio since I was a
teenager. While it may not seem like a golf destination you would be amazed at
the number of beautiful golf courses – public and private – within an hour’s
drive from the center of Columbus. A huge reason for the popularity of the game
is Jack Nicklaus.
Jack Nicklaus is known as the “Golden Bear”
because that’s the mascot for the high school he attended in Upper Arlington. He
is considered the greatest golfer of all time, having won a record 18 majors.
It looked as if Tiger Woods would easily surpass that record but things have
been put on hold since his fall from grace, as he’s struggled in the majors the
last five years.
Jack Nicklaus is also known for having built
Muirfield Village Golf Course, the site of The Memorial Golf Tournament.
Muirfield and The Memorial hold a special place in my heart because I learned
to play golf at Muirfield as a teenager and I worked the golf tournament during
As I watched the tournament this year I saw a
player miss a relatively easy putt for birdie. That’s always disappointing because
each birdie makes it much easier to possibly win. When you’re as good as the PGA
pros seemingly small things can make big differences even though most of their swings look
the same to the average spectator. A few hit the ball significantly farther off
the tee but others make up for it in putting or chipping so the differences
between the top players and the average players is probably much less than you
might suspect.
Consider this – in a typical tournament the
player winning might do so by one or two strokes, which amounts to being
0.3%-0.6% better than the second place finisher. Quite often the difference
comes down to how a player responds to adversity.
Missing a birdie putt highlights the reality
that once you’ve attained PGA pro status, the factor that separates good from average and the great from the good amounts
to six inches of real estate. No, I’m not talking about a six inch putt. The six
inches I’m referring to is the grey matter that rests between the ears (a.k.a.,
the brain).
Understanding the importance of thought
patterns and dealing with adversity, it’s no wonder sports psychologists have
become such big business for pro athletes. If sessions with a sports
psychologist are enough to get a player to rethink his mental game, especially
when adversity hits, and that leads to better finishes then it will be worth all the money paid…and then some.
What does this have to do with persuasion? You
possess the same valuable real estate as the PGA pros and how you choose to use
it can make the difference between success and failure in your chosen field.
Just as in golf, when it comes to persuasion small changes can make big
differences. Consider the following:
The small act of generously helping someone
can engender a return favor – reciprocity – that might help you
complete a project or make a sale.
Taking a moment to compliment someone who
genuinely deserves it – liking – might be the reason
they like you a little more and do what you ask.
Remembering to mention what people similar to
the person you’re talking to – consensus – might make them
more comfortable doing what you ask.
If someone knows your credentials upfront – authority – they are far more
likely to listen to what you have to say.
Asking someone to do something rather than
telling them – consistency – will dramatically
increase they odds they’ll actually do what you’ve asked if they say “Yes” to
your initial request.
To let someone know when something will no
longer be available – scarcity – might be just the
thing they needed to know to take action.
Each of the examples above is simple. In fact,
they’re so simple anyone can do them if they’re in the right frame of mind just
like the golfer facing a tough situation. There is no guarantee that using a
sports psychologist will be the difference between winning and losing but it will
certainly increase the odds of winning. In much the same way, ethically and
correctly using the principles of influence is not a magic wand to get what you
want all the time. But, scientific research lets us know your odds of hearing
“Yes!” are significantly better when you ethically employ the principles. And
one more thing, they’re much less expensive than hiring a sports psychologist.
Brian Ahearn, CMCT®
Chief Influence Officer
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.


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