Want outstanding success in business and in life? You’ll achieve your goals when you can influence others to agree with you and act on your requests.

Successful people get things done with and through others. They get decisions and results through one skill: the power of persuasion. Persuaders rule. They always have, they always will. They accomplish their wildest dreams for wealth, power and influence.

Persuasion is critical to success. What do we know today about persuasion that we didn’t know before? What can you learn that will change your life for the better?

What’s New and Different Today?

The difference is simple, dramatic and exciting. With new, live, real-time brain-imaging technology, we know definitively how the brain actually processes information. We finally know how to influence other’s decisions and actions. And we’ve been doing it wrong for 2,500 years, since Aristotle wrote that the best route to persuasion is through reason, logic and rational input.

Dr. Richard Restak, renowned neurologist and author of the book and PBS series The Secret Life of the Brain, put the lie to that long-held belief, clearly showing that we are not thinking machines but feeling machines.

Dr. Restak explains, “Your brain is not a logic machine. Emotions and feelings about something occur before you’ve made any attempt at conscious evaluation.”

Logic and reason do not persuade. Why not? Because we respond more effectively to emotional input than to logic and reason. From birth we each build a database, an internal self-guidance system triggered by emotions. To persuade successfully and easily, simply activate the other person’s emotional triggers—his or her internal self-guidance system.

With live brain technology we can pinpoint what triggers people use to help them make quick, automatic decisions—decisions that are right for them.

The Power of Bonding

One of these is the critical friendship trigger, which is a prerequisite for activating the other triggers. The emotional part of our brain stores data for the friendship trigger starting at the moment of our birth. Infants bond with whomever cares for them. Bonding creates trust and liking. We are emotionally hardwired to respond quickly and favorably to those we like and trust and who are similar to us.

How do we activate another person’s friendship? By sharing common interests and common feelings. The great news is that activating the friendship trigger is quite easy to do.

Just how effective is the friendship trigger? Bill, a sales rep, needed a critical operation and wanted the world’s best surgeon. Problem: the surgeon took few new patients and would operate only on perfect candidates. Bill didn’t fit his criteria. The doctor was a real curmudgeon, and as Chairman of the College of Physicians and Surgeons at one of the world’s top hospitals, was also a very busy guy.

Before seeing the surgeon, Bill was told to be brief and deal only with the facts—no small talk. He proceeded to violate all this advice. Entering the office, he asked, “So Doc, what do you like to do when you’re not working so hard?” The rather surprised doctor glared at Bill for a long minute, then motioned him around to his side of his desk. He said, “I love blue water sailboat racing.” He logged onto his yacht club’s web site, where his sixty-five-foot ocean racer was displayed along with all his racing credits.

Now, Bill is not a sail enthusiast, but he is a boater. They talked about the pleasures of boating. They bonded. They became friends. At each subsequent meeting Bill would ask, “What’s new for the yacht?” The doctor regaled Bill with tales of his new GPS equipment and racing stories. Wow! They’re friends.

By activating just one internal trigger, Bill persuaded the world’s top surgeon to operate on him. And thanks to that trigger, Bill is alive today.

Activating the Friendship Trigger

How do you employ the friendship trigger to produce the decisions and actions you want? Here are seven buttons you can push to activate this universal trigger. Ask about:

These are but a few of the infinite number of ways to activate the friendship trigger and become a friend. Liking is a prerequisite for emotional triggers to be activated. We also prefer to deal with people we believe to be like us.

We all crave the power to get things done, to get the decisions and actions we want. Power is nothing without the power to influence. That power is in your hands; wisely apply it and you will achieve a successful business and a happy life.

RUSSELL GRANGER is the founder of ProEd, an international
training consultancy specializing in management, sales and personal
productivity courses. His decades of persuasion research lead to
many sales and persuasion books, including
The 7 Triggers to Yes.