Summary of Persuasion IQ

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This book is a useful primer for learning well-established persuasion techniques. Although author Kurt Mortensen makes few new points, he does a good job of compiling and synthesizing the current wisdom. Nothing here will challenge readers who are already familiar with the art, but newbies will find Mortensen’s book a useful introduction, with references to classic motivational writers such as Napoleon Hill, time-management gurus such as Stephen Covey and classic thinkers such as Ben Franklin and Mohandas Gandhi. His enthusiasm helps, as do his checklists and examples. getAbstract recommends his book to aspiring salespeople and negotiators, and to anyone else who wants to improve his or her persuasion skills but doesn’t know where to start.

About the Author

Kurt Mortensen speaks and trains people in persuasion techniques. He founded the Persuasion Institute and is author of Maximum Influence.



Rules and Obstacles

Ultimately, your financial success depends on your skill at persuading people. No matter what or whom you know, if you can’t convince people to listen to your ideas, the ideas are essentially worthless. Most U.S. CEOs come from sales, which depends upon persuasion. Fortunately, persuasion is not an inherent talent but rather a skill you can learn – even though these days, persuading others is more challenging than ever, for both positive and negative reasons. People are better educated, but they also are more vulnerable to trickery and exploitation.

Most would-be persuaders run up against these 10 obstacles:

  1. “The Woebegon effect” – In radio humorist Garrison Keillor’s fictional town of Lake Woebegon, “All the women are strong, all the men are good-looking and all the children are above average.” Similarly, most people believe they are above-average persuaders. As a consequence, they think they have nothing to learn.
  2. “The brick wall of resistance” – Consumers assume salespeople are insincere and deceptive, and salespeople fail to confront this stereotype.
  3. “Thinking like an...

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