There’s a reason why the Agree and Repeat strategy is one of our favorite persuasion techniques. It’s a very simple, yet very effective way to ethically influence people. In some situations, it’s even guaranteed to work every time.
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As with any other persuasion technique, the objective is to get someone to behave in a certain way. Just like it’s useful for someone to comply with your request, it’s especially helpful to promptly refuse a request you don’t want to follow.
The strategy was successfully employed by our CEO, Chris Thompson, to win a credit card dispute (click here to read). The reason why it’s so powerful is you don’t show any resistance when someone attempts to persuade you to do something. As counterintuitive as it may seem, you actually agree with them before turning them down, and that’s what makes it super effective.
A good example would be if your policy is not ever lending money. Some people might get angry, frustrated and try to coerce you into lending them money by appealing to your emotions. Here’s what you do: instead of arguing with them, offer back the validity of what they’re saying, then refuse the request.
If they say to you: “Listen, I have no one else to turn to and really need this money. You’re my only hope. Just lend me some cash and I promise you’ll pay it back next month.”
You simply respond: “I totally understand, but I don’t lend money to people.”
They’ll insist: “I really need your help. Without this, I’m completely screwed. I’m counting on you.”
And so you repeat: “I’m sure you do, but my policy is I don’t lend money.”
As you can see, by validating what they’re saying before denying their request, you leave no room for argument. That will make it clear it doesn’t matter what they say, it’s not going to change the simple fact that you don’t lend money to anyone, no matter the circumstances. Be patient and repeat until the dispute is settled.
This is one of those situations when it’s guaranteed to work because you’re the one making the final decision. Of course, almost anything would work for that same reason. But this strategy makes it so the interaction is quicker and less stressful because you don’t have to go through the trouble of arguing with the person. It’s also very empowering for those who find it difficult to say “no”.
When you’re not in charge of the decision, it can still be a very effective technique. Because it negates the entire argument, the other person might see no other option than to comply with your request. But don’t expect it to work every time. As with every influence strategy, context matters and the circumstances might not favor your persuasion attempts.
Bonus: Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys
A variation of this strategy can be used when someone wants to get you involved in something you have no desire of being involved in. We call this the “Chris’ Mom Intervention”, because consists of something Chris’ mother used to say very often: “Not my circus, not my monkeys”.
Say it with a big smile, because it will work every time.
Conversational Hypnosis Free Course
For more simple, yet incredibly effective verbal techniques that will boost your influence potential, definitely check out our conversational hypnosis free course. NUVI, as we call it, stands for Nominalization Unspecified Verb Induction, and is a 45-minute video course containing Ericksonian hypnotic language patterns you can use at any given time.
Click here to download.