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Book Review: Pre-SuasionReview of the Book…
Author: Dr. Robert Cialdini, Published 2016
As Reviewed by
Wayne C. Sedlak, Online Marketer, Copywriter and Trainer
So there’s this guy who gets arrested, he really is innocent but the police don’t know it. He’s taken downtown and begins the interrogation process, mostly to see if they can trip him up in some way maybe so he can betray his real involvement, they think, in the alleged crime.
As he sits across the table from the detective, he notices that the videotape camera is right over the shoulder of the detective. In other words it sees the detective’s back only but clearly sees all the features of his nervous face. So he moves his chair over out of the immediate line of the videotape camera. He does this because he knows a PRE-SUASION truth… He knows that what’s “focal is deemed causal” among people, including the judiciary. And that’s strongly held position of judges, juries, attorneys, and just about anybody involved in the judicial system. What does that mean? It means whatever gains attention – a nervous smile, a word misspoken, some sweating, an embarrassing forgetfulness, inexperienced nervousness – all very natural, incidentally, especially for the innocent and those with little experience with the authorities.
So the detective doesn’t like the movement of the chair, out of the direct line of the videotape because he knows, more often than not, if there’s any nervousness or awkwardness, generally speaking, what’s focal on the camera will be judged… guilty, much too often and way out of proportion to what would be expected as “normal” and fair.
So our innocent friend says he wants an attorney. The detective, irate, challenges him, “So why are you nervous? You got something to hide? If you’re innocent why do you need an attorney?”
So our innocent friend replies calmly, “I need an attorney because that’s what Dr. Robert Cialdini taught me. Although I’d like to cooperate fully with you sir, I read a book called PRE-SUASION and in that book he urged me to consider extensive police questioning unsafe, even for innocent individuals. He told me in his book to blame him if I’m asked by you, so that’s what I’m doing. That videotape camera will be used to convert any nervousness of mine into something that reflects an alleged guilt. What is “focal will be deemed causal.” And I’m not guilty!”
PRE-SUASION is a book that teaches all of us, even those of us who are online marketers, a revolutionary way to influence and persuade individuals. No, we don’t use videotape cameras over the shoulder and this is not legal advice - Just good ole’ fashioned educational info.
But we do understand there are key principles that are “precursors,” preconditions to being effective persuasively. The word “precursor” means “forerunner,” that is to say, there are conditions that precede the actual persuasive acts and enhance the ability to persuade. And the opposite is true too. Prior conditions may decrease your chance to be “moving” to people.
There are dozens of such principles in this book, including the principle utilized above “what’s focal is deemed to be a causal.” So if you are ever innocent and you’re facing an inquiring, investigative detective, ask yourself “Is there anything I can do to reduce police suspicions?” Dr. Cialdini has a suggestion for you – “Blame me” he says. “Say that, although you’d like to cooperate fully on your own, you once read a book that urged you to consider extensive police questioning unsafe, even for innocent individuals. Go ahead, blame me. You can even use my name.”
Of course, you must first read the book, PRE- SUASION, to be able to make that point. After all, you have an entire lifetime ahead of you and it’s more than likely you’ll need to be persuasive… and effectively so… in a lot more circumstances than you would care to imagine. Go ahead, buy the book, PRE-SUASION, you’ll learn a lot. Blame me.
- Wayne C. Sedlak, Online Marketer, Copywriter and Trainer
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