PATIENCE – Blog # 4

So I’m watching the Discovery Channel one night. Rare I watch that show. The Discovery Channel for me is kinda like celebrating mother earth. I’m sort of into the whole mother earth thing if we could figure out how to keep gas cheap. I was dating a tree hugger but she didn’t last.  Her bark was as bad as her bite. I got tired of driving around with her friends in a Prius convoy waving palm leaves and camped outside corporations handing out pansies. I’d end up eating vegan veggie trays, singing Kumbaya around the fire with head-banded hippies who kept asking me to get in touch with my inner rhythms – Very strange.

So when “Pawn Stars” and, “The Apprentice” aren’t on I do Discovery. There’s this episode on the mighty lion.

“See the pride as they move about with such confidence.” announcer guy says. “They truly are the King of the Jungle.”

Ah…yeah. When you’ve got muscles that are capable of ripping a hoof from the shoulder while the thing is still running and then use razor like daggers to embed into the soft tissue and rip the meat while the blood is still coursing through the capillaries and poor Bambi is running gimpy because she hasn’t figured out yet that one of the tires is gone on her four wheeler you’d be the King too.

They’re quick, they’re powerful, and they’re patient.

That was what I learned most watching that show. There’s this scene where a lion – A lion I will remind you again! – The King of the food chain, the top dog so to speak is also one of the most patient animals in society. The camera is focused on the dry swaying reeds during a hot summer afternoon. There’s a wild African wind blowing southerly and right in the middle of the screen, when you squint and eat a carrot, is this lion crouched down in the reeds.

They get a close up in what I’m guessing is camera lens technology cause even the dumbest Steve Irwin bravado wouldn’t interrupt Mufasa when he’s ordering lunch. This lion is crouched down, muscles ripped and tensed, eyes focused with pinpoint accuracy, teeth dripping with succulent anticipation, and quietly the King waits.

You see some animals pass by and the King waits. He doesn’t flinch, he isn’t impatient, he let’s some animals pass right by him till he sees what he wants. As you watch the show, which has got me sucked right in at this point, a gazelle comes prancing by.

“Run you stupid goof!” I’m yelling at the TV. “You’ve got no idea what’s waiting for you in the bushes! Run you idiot! Run from there! Run fast! Run hard! Run!” Camera keeps focused on the lion and blip. Say the word out loud. In the time it took you to say blip Mufasa was out of the bushes and on top of this gazelle. “

“Oh no!” I grimace. “Poor gazelle. Bye bye.”

That lion let others pass till what he wanted pranced by. The lion knows how to wait, how to use time in his favor, and how to watch for the golden moment instead of grab at whatever is available. I’ve seen this over and over and over in my life. Those who lack patience, the ability to wait and persevere until the time and circumstances are favorable end up in regret.

Patience requires time and discipline.  Discipline knows when not to act when it isn’t right. Regret requires time and consequence. Having to now waste time and money trying to fix what you messed up. No matter what happens you’re going to have to handle time – it’s just an issue of whether you use it for you or against you.

I have watched people get married too quickly because they’re tired of being lonely. Sometimes I will admit being at home with no companion is almost a feeling like torture. It’s tough living this life alone. In their desperate need to fix the loneliness they jump at the first person who they think will fit their requirements. Remember patience is the ability NOT to act until the time and circumstances, and people are right for you.

Marry too quick to fill one need and you will create a plethora of problems you wish you never had. Without patience and focus you will rush into things that require more time and money to fix then if you had just let it go. Those who truly succeed and achieve their dreams are people who know how to wait and watch for the right time.

So let me dwell in the valley of the power of letting go. It’s such a valuable skill it’s worth spending some time on. I think in life some of the best decisions you can make is to let go. Marrying the right spouse is a gift! Letting go of the wrong person before marriage is gold! Buying the right car is a joy. Letting go of the wrong car is headache, expense, and stress you just saved yourself. It will cost you more buying the wrong thing than buying the right one. If you’re unsure at all – let it go! There is always a better deal coming if you’re unsure about this one!

So I’m making a big decision in the next six months. I’m buying a car. I’m constantly looking on craigslist and asking around because I don’t know enough about cars to make a solid choice. I look at models, mileage, and prices to get an idea of how much I want to spend and when. Patience and focus are priceless skills when making big decisions.

The car I’m driving now I bought fourteen years ago. When the ex and I had moved back to Washington with a baby girl now in my arms I knew we needed a car. When I arrived on the lot of a car dealership and the salesman approached me I had the same anxiety women have when  a guy approaches them – is this guy safe and can I trust him? Am I going to pay too much and is the car going to be reliable since I was buying used?

So I’m gawking at a few vehicles on a used car lot expecting Mr. open shirt, hairy chest, gold chains, and white patent leather shoes to come swagga my way. Instead we got James. James was a white male, mid 50’s, Dockers and a blue cotton shirt with a crease in the wrong place. He was an affable and pleasant man with a slow and knowledgeable presence. He didn’t pressure me – just asked a few questions and was patient until I wanted to test drive. We spent about an hour together driving different models, makes, colors, and styles. I narrowed down my choice to a 95 Honda Odyssey. It was simple, dependable, and a solid decision for our needs. Then came the dreaded walk to the interrogation room.

If you’ve ever bought a used car you’ll know what I’m talking about. They walk you off the lot and into the dealership. You go from the Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music to Show Me the Money.  It’s about as close as I would guess a cow feels when they’re out in the pasture. You start out enjoying lunch and then you feel the prod guiding you into this large building where you hear the screaming inside and you’re kinda wondering what the hell is going on – Why do I have to go into the building? Why can’t I just make the deal out here? I’ve been fed well and treated nicely out here why all of a sudden the big building?

So I’m walking into the big building planning my negotiation. I know how much I have, I know what I want, and it’s just a matter of convincing James. He sits me down, points a flood light at me, lights up a cigarette and starts asking me where I was at the time of the murder. I ask for my lawyer and my mommy. OK so James says to me, “So you like the car?”

“I do.”

“If we can make a deal today you’ll take it?”

“I will.”

“So how close are we on the price?”

“We aren’t. Can I have a glass of water please? Do I get to make a phone call?”

“So you know what we’re asking?”

“I do.”

“And you really like the car.”

“I will. I mean I am. Ask me true false questions James I’m better at those.”

“Pat what’s your price? Make me an offer.”

I grab a clear Bic plastic pen. I take one of the pieces of paper on the desk. I write down a number and push the paper across to James. James looks at it, winces, and says, “I don’t know Pat that’s kinda low. Let me check with my boss.” And off he goes to the great abyss of all used car lots the back room.

I’ve bought a car once like this before. Why does every dealership have that back abyss? How does that guy go from dealership to dealership because he’s always there? Why does he never come out and talk to me directly but is always the one the salesman has to check with? And who is this authority from afar that says yes or no to the final price? It was like James was Moses coming off Mt. Sinai with the new and improved price from a higher power. James’s beard did look a little longer and he was glowing in the showroom when he returned.

James descends down upon me, tablet in hand, he’s got my number crossed out and there’s a new number from on high. He pushed the paper back to me. I look at it. I wince. “That’s kinda high James.” I cross out our holy authority from afar and write a new one. James disappears to again counsel with his holiness on Mt. Sinai.

We go back and forth until we’re a hundred dollars apart. “Pat would you throw this deal for a measly $100?” Now here is the lesson dear reader. Patience is the art and discipline of waiting. It’s the ability to make sure your life is in a strong position before you make choices so the choices you make are good ones.  It checking to see if you are in any of the danger emotions I’ll explain shortly that cloud your thinking and cause you to make impetuous decisions you’ll later regret. It’s the gift of learning to wait and if this ain’t the one there’s another gazelle coming.

“James you ask the wrong question. I have the money, and I have time. I’m not desperate and there are other places I’m going to go after this. Are you going to throw this deal for $100?”  James stares at me, I smile.

The car now has 329K miles on it.

If patience were a house you live in it would pay for itself a hundred times over in money saved, affliction not experienced, expenses not charged, and peace maintained. How much do you value peace in your life? Patience is directly related to that. The more you can afford to be patient, discern what doesn’t feel right, and let things go, the more peace and prosperity you will enjoy.

So this is my method of making patience work for me and insuring that most of the time I’m making a solid decision.

2HALT

That’s it. That’s the formula I use to make solid decisions that are based on the right time and circumstances to choose or not choose something. It’s 2 H’s and A L T. If you are ever in one of these stages you never make a major decision. Here’s what it stands for:

  • HUNGRY, HURT
  • ANGRY
  • LONELY
  • TIRED

HUNGRY

Never make a major decision when you’re hungry. Never go shopping or to a restaurant when you’re starving. Eat something first. Mood is everything when you’re making decisions and the wrong mood can lead you to think incorrectly and make choices that could take years to reverse.  Hunger messes with your brain. It skews your perceptions. You’re more emotional and irritable when you’re hungry. Eat something before you make choices

 HURT

Wow – have I seen people really mess up with this one. We all get hurt. People will always betray us, or cross us, or do something that will hurt us. You will not get through this life without being hurt so the sooner you recognize the signs of emotional hurt the better.

You can’t sleep

You can’t eat

You think about the betrayal constantly and you can’t function

You want revenge

Seeking revenge when you’re hurt by someone is like injecting poison in your arm and hoping the other person dies. They’re going to be fine and you’re going to be damaged beyond belief. It’s the worst thing you can do. When you are hurt the best choices you can make are no choices. Don’t do anything rash, major, or life changing. Find constructive ways to lessen the pain. Run. Latch like a leech to your closest friends and buy tissues from Costco.  You are vulnerable and blurred with pain you have to completely heal before you can see and think clearly.

 

ANGRY

Anger takes many forms. Some people have an inner rage, others are outwardly very angry. Anger is an extreme emotion that is brought on by perceived injustice. You’re angry because what happened was so unfair and you are powerless to correct it. Now this is where patience truly helps. If you learn how to wait and give things time I promise you that those that things eventually work out.

Some wrongs can never be made right again and I get that, but most of the time you’ll be better if you don’t submit to your anger. You will heal, rise above it and be stronger. Never make a major life changing decision when you’re angry.

LONELY

Solitary confinement is one of the most brutal punishments in prison. Loneliness is the same pain when we feel it. It’s like torture sometimes when we have no one to turn to, or talk to. It’s a deeply embedded emotional agony when we feel we are alone and no one is listening or cares.  When you’re lonely you‘re vulnerable – When you’re vulnerable you make bad choices.

I had a friend who was a heavy drinker. He knew he had a problem and went to AA for a while. I even went with him a few times. When he would start drinking I’d ask him why. “Why do you want to ruin your life again?” His answer really struck me.

“When I drink I’m not lonely anymore.” That’s because when you drink you’re numb to the pain of loneliness and deeper into an addiction you go.  Take appropriate steps to help loneliness. Find some friends, join a club. Take a freaking night job some place for free if you’re sick of sitting home with nobody there, but don’t make a major decision just to cure loneliness. It’s like buying a restaurant just because you’re hungry or an Evian water plant because you’re thirsty. You’ll be in deep regret when the need is filled.

TIRED

Who hasn’t made a bad decision when you haven’t slept well? Fatigue, especially when you’re drooping from lack of sleep is like billowing clouds in the brain. You don’t see well and you seriously don’t think straight when you’re tired.  Rest is as important as gas in the car. People neglect this to pack more into their lives. Ironically that’s the reverse mistake.

If you aren’t getting enough sleep something has got to go. You’ll excel better at a few things with proper rest than too many things half asleep. You’ll also make really poor choices when you haven’t slept well. Go to bed on time and make sure your alert and awake before facing a major decision.

Patience is about recognizing if you’re in any of the 3HALT stages and making the very wise decision of making no decisions until you’ve changed those states. If you aren’t fully bringing all the advantages to the negotiation table walk away and change your position before you come back to negotiate again.  Strength is being patient; doing everything you can to be prepared and passing things by till what you want you’re capable of getting.

In the long run you will be happier with what you have, and thrilled with what you never had to deal with.

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PASSION – Blog # 3

There is an energy crisis in the world. It’s not gas, oil, or electricity – it is passion. Show me anyone who is extremely persuasive and I’ll be mesmerized in the presence of a person who is aflame with ardor and enamored with power! I’ll be looking at electrical circuitry embedded deep inside their being that surges to overload for a cause. There is nothing more moving, motivating, magnanimous, magnificent, mac and cheese please, than to see someone who truly believes.

It’s watching Rocky fight, Michael Jackson dance, Emeril cook, Samuel Jackson act, and Dale Chihuly craft glass. The passionate have energy, they have style, and an almost sensual prescient presence to what they do because they’re lost in the moment. They draw us in because they’re already so far in that we want to follow them. Passion is cayenne pepper to scrambled eggs, and Red Merlot to beef stew. It’s the spice of life.

Watch their mannerisms! Hear their voice! See their eyes dance like the mighty Iroquois around a crackling fire before battle. Observe their demeanor. When the passionate care, deeply, viscerally, down in the grit of their guts are consumed with a force beyond mortal flesh and blood for a cause, things change! Human energy, excitement, and drive are the most unstoppable forces on the planet! Ahhhhhhh! There is nothing more inspiring, more enlightening, or more moving than a man or woman who wants something so badly they’ll do anything!

I have two girls. When they were babies my life was filled with cuteness. Their little soft feet, those crinkly hands, and their adorable cheeks brought me such joy. My ex wife, who back then was my pre ex wife but wasn’t aware of the pending changes, baked a platter of cookies. The platter sat on the counter above their little heads, at the time, but the smell was spreading like a rumor in church.

Neither was allowed to have a cookie before dinner, but the pre ex wife was away running errands and had left me the pre ex husband watch over the future heirs of the vast Grant Empire. Two little baby girls come waddling over to their dad sitting on the couch. My eldest child who is the same temperament as her Dad, God help her, says,

“Daddy can we have a cookie?”

“No sweetie,” I reply, “Your mom said nothing till after dinner.” Both girls look at each other, look back at me, and say in unison, “Please?”

“No sorry girls Daddy doesn’t want to get timed out too – so you’ll have to wait.” For the next fifteen minutes I watch two girls who can barely reach the island counter jumping up and down to see the cookies. They grab chairs and try climbing onto them, they grab wooden spoons and try moving the platter closer to the edge so they can see them. They sit by the base of the Island and talk about how sweet mom’s cookies taste. They hear their Dad saying, “No” but even within their little hearts there is the primal drive for something you want so badly that you may hear but you don’t fear.

They both move a chair close to the island where the platter is. They are united, they are determined, they are focused, they are strong willed, and they don’t listen to their damn father. I watch this cookie campaign go on for fifteen minutes. I watch the energy, the drive, the relentless pursuit of chocolate and sugar perfection and I am moved at the resolve of these two. I would have gotten away with it if she hadn’t found the crumbs in their play room.

There is a shortage in the world of those who believe, receive, and conceive the impossible in their minds. There are thousands of hands and hearts ready to align with those who have seen their destiny and are hacking a swath through the thick brush of fear. Energy is the vital fuel of leadership and the missing spark in the engine of life. To be persuasive, to be one of the truly gifted in persuading others toward your cause, is to flick a lite match from your raging soul into the dark dry tinder of a receptive audience who needs light.

My girls take piano lessons. There are as many piano teachers available as there are ivory keys under their fingertips. I pay Joanna Zagelow of Evergreen Music Studios her asking price. I drive further, sacrifice more, have less time, and eat less caviar to make sure Karisse has her lessons. I have the option of hiring other teachers for far less, but it cost far more to endure the teaching of a teacher with no passion.

It is expensive to be the captive victim of the boring, lifeless, uninspired doofus. Yes look that word up. Grab your dictionary right now, Google the word right now, if it ain’t a word it ‘otta be – Doofus is that cold and frail defeated person who has no life, and appears to be dead but you just can’t get past his eyes blinking so you don’t bury him.

I pay Joanna for her reaching as much as her teaching. Joanna may be physically five foot two but her drive and charisma exceed Shaquille O’Neal standing on Dwight Howard’s shoulders. (For any secluded Amish readers in desperate need of a slow drip relevance iv in Rip Van Winkleville – those are two tall dudes.) Joanna reaches my kid and grabs her in the heart. Her eyes dance to the music of Mozart and Chopin, hell she named her dog after Chopin. Her voice rises when Karisse doesn’t live up to her expectations and her energy and joy radiate and warm the neighboring houses. Joanna has energy and she inspires my kid to love the piano not just learn the piano.

That’s what the truly persuasive look like. There is this almost indescribable drive they possess that makes you stand a little straighter, look a little harder, and think a little deeper about what you’re doing and why. They make you want to listen, buy, move, act, taste, smell, touch, feel, love, call, hold, forgive, repair, and try again. Energy in the life of someone who believes is like diamonds in the hands of someone in love. Very shortly several other people are going to be crying with joy and their lives will never be the same again.

And if you think passion is only in those that can yell louder, speak better, and laugh heartier, think again. The quieter can inspire in their own unique ways. My friend Sheryl is one of those people. Sheryl isn’t the one at the front with the pom pom’s rah rahing, She’s the one in the back making sure the pom pom girls have their uniforms on right, the guests are all in the right seats, the tickets are all sold, the money has been properly accounted for, the items are all organized, catalogued, and categorized so the upfront people can do their parts quicker.

Sheryl, two years ago, decided she wanted to change her life. She was 340lbs and barely alive. She couldn’t walk well, breathe well, live well. She made a decision one sad, sorrowful night that she wasn’t going to die this way and started her path. Passion is Sheryl getting up every morning at 5am to waddle the gym where for the first six months all you can do is walk the treadmill while others are running around you.

Passion is living most of your life reckless with the fork and knife and now resolute in passing up the sugar and cream. Passion is keeping the dream alive of wearing a size 8 when you’ve known a size 28 (For the guys – this means she went from a watermelon to a banana).  She stayed on track, kept on one course not seven or eight courses, and never wavered even when she was discouraged. Two years later she brought herself down to a size 10 and water skied for the first time this past summer. She gets hit on as much as a good youtube video. That’s what the indescribable energy and power of the human spirit can do when she decides on a cause worth living for. How many others will not be inspired when she tells her story?

If you want to be persuasive how excited are you? Do you dance with the possibilities? Does your heart soar with joy thinking about what could be? When you describe it are you almost off the earth and touching the stars? If you are then you’ve been called to help others follow you home baby – if you’re not for the love of humanity and in mercy get out of the way so someone who will be can lead the masses to glory!

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Blog # 2

When does a person make that final decision? When is that moment, deep in the fissure of the mind that an individual makes the choice to take one thing and let go of another? I have worked as a chaplain for almost 14 years before I became an auctioneer. I’ll never forget that decision. The circumstances and information that came at me slowly clicked away my resistance and that decision changed my life. It’s as clear to me today as it was when I was making it.

I was watching the movie “Taken” one warm sunny afternoon in Washington State. I remember it was warm and sunny because in Washington its six days a year you get that kind of weather. If you haven’t seen the movie it’s about a father’s daughter who is abducted by thieves in a sex ring in Europe. I remember being so angry that this really does happen in the world. When the movie was over I muttered to myself, “God if you ever give me the chance to fight something like that I’d do it!” Always be careful what you say out loud.

One week later I got a phone call from a lady I had never met. “I need your help.” Being a chaplain I got phone calls like this frequently so this wasn’t any big surprise.

“Sure what can I help with?” Thinking there was a death in the family, a funeral she wanted done, or someone was getting married and they wanted me to officiate.

“I need you to do an auction.”

At first when she said the word auction I was taken back. “Ah, you must have the wrong person.” I started. “I’m a chaplain not an auctioneer.”

“I know.” She said, “I got your name from a friend of mine who told me that if anyone could help it would be you. I’ve got this auction set up and my auctioneer just cancelled. I need you to come and do this auction for me please.”

“Lady, I don’t think you understand. I’ve never done an auction, I don’t know how.”

“Please!”

“What’s the organization?”

“It’s for the Institute for Justice – to help stop sexual exploitation of children in third world countries.”

I’m not kidding, I’m not making this up, and this is not an exaggeration. That was the call I got a week later. I clutched the phone, put it down for a moment, looked up at the ceiling and said, “This isn’t funny.”

“Yes I’ll do it.”

I showed up at the Avalon Golf Course to the sight of 125 people sitting eating dinner. I couldn’t believe it I wanted to die right there. I had no idea what I was doing, nor did I have any experience, and now I was about to lead an auction. The hostess met me, was very polite, and then introduced me as the auctioneer. I felt like a fraud from the moment we started.

When the time came for the auction I stood up was introduced, and then something spiritual happened. She put the mic in my hand. The moment I held that mic, thunk the door opened to a world I never knew. I fumbled through that auction, went home and found an auction school. I knew. Two months later I took vacation time and went to Western College of Auctioneering. I run my own auction business now.

In that time I have learned so much about the art of persuasion and how to sell. Auctioneering sharpens your skills in ways I don’t think other professions can. You know how to work under pressure, and what to say to encourage someone in that gap of indecision where they’re thinking about bowing out or bidding again. It’s in that gap of time what you say, and how you say it, can make a huge different in making the sale or losing the bid. It’s the power of vision.

So every person has this innate gift given to us. It’s the ability to dream. Within you are this rare and valuable skill to put a picture in your mind of what the future could look like. You could be sitting in the middle of the North Pole with fur and gloves and transport yourself to the powdered sugar sands of Waikiki. You could be hiking the rocky ridge of Mt. Rainer and start picturing the soft pillows, and the comfy couch at home as you’re ensconced into its receptive comfort watching the discovery channel.

Those mind movies sell! It’s the entire point of this chapter. It’s a click thing when you can put the right movie in their minds. Here’s the value of this chapter. Most people aren’t good at putting the DVD in their heads. I not sure why this is but it is. I know of lots of people who don’t envision the beach when they’re struggling at the North Pole or their couch when they’re hiking. I know lot’s of people who don’t try and watch the mind movie of a better outcome when they’re facing a sacrifice in the present.

People dwell more on the consequences of what is in front of them then the benefits of what could be coming to them. The reason most people make bad choices is because they didn’t see what the future would look like if they made this choice in the present. This law also works delightfully the other way. If you are trying to sell something and you can put the right movie in their minds, you lower their resistance, click, and eventually open the door.

So I’m doing an auction for a Christian school and I’m selling a trip to Hawaii. Pretty common item I see at event auctions.  At this one auction I’ve got the trip down to two bidders who want to go. I start raising the energy level up and get them both excited. As we get to the higher amounts the bidding is getting slower. I’ve got the trip up to $3300.00 and I turn to the undecided bidder and chant $3400.00. He’s not responding, he’s just looking in the distance.

He’s in that gap. It’s a gap of indecision. Everyone has those. That gap is the space between yes and no and he’s trying to do a quick calculation of which way he wants to travel. If he’s like most people, they don’t envision. They don’t do a quick movie map of what this choice is going to look like in the future, they’re thinking about what the consequences are going to be of letting go of that much money in the present.

Here’s the clicking process. Your job now as the seller, is to put the DVD into their heads. Remember this is an auction. I only have a few moments before I have to close out the sale.

“What’s your name?”

“Jerry.”

“Jerry you’ve stayed in this fight right to the end and I know we’re close to making this deal. Ever been to Hawaii?”

“Yep.”

“So you’re sitting on the white sands of Waikiki and there’s an ocean breeze swaying through the palm trees. You’re reclined in a chair and the warmth of the sun is felt on your face. You’re holding a white creamy foo foo drink with an umbrella that isn’t keeping the rain off your head. The condensation is dripping down the sides of the glass and that’s the only cold wet drip you feel. You’re wife, (I look at the lady next to him), who I hope is you ma’am, or is she your girlfriend, or have I just brought attention to something Jerry no one should know? (Laughs) She, your girlfriend, wife, Russian catalog order, looks over at you and says, ‘Honey this is glorious!’

And while you’re basking in the hot Hawaii sun, drink in one hand, gorgeous girl in the other, there are six little kids sitting in your school with brand new books and supplies playing in the new playground that your money helped to build. You’re tanning and they’re planning their futures, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – Amen!”

He bid .Sold the package for $3700.00. It doesn’t always work, but it’s pretty effective most of the time. A few picturesque words will make such a difference in the minds of your bidders.

Let’s use another example.  Jen is a forty year old mother of two, a successful business owner and is out at the grocery store buying fruit when suddenly, enter stage right, a tall, dark, handsome stranger notices her.  He walks up to her and says, “Will you go out with me?” Jen is thinking, “What if he’s dangerous, or a player, or a murderer?” Women’s first concern is safety. Without enough information the gap is filled with those questions. Cantaloupe Casanova has only a few seconds to fill the gap with a vision that is prettier in the future than her fears are in the present. People buy because their perceived benefit in the future exceeds their current loss to achieve it.

If I’m buying a candy bar my perceived benefit of how sweet and gratifying that piece of chocolate is going to be exceeds the amount of money it’s going to cost me to test my theory. If I’m buying a car my perceived benefit of how it’s going to feel to have that car must exceed how much it’s going to cost me in the present. AND If I’m going to buy an afternoon with some guy I don’t know my perceived benefit of how pleasurable that afternoon is going to be must exceed the amount of time I’m willing to sacrifice to accept this offer.

So as you are probably guessing Cantaloupe Casanova has several things he can do to play a DVD in his favor in her head. He has to start clicking cause the clock is ticking and she’s already in worry land needing to be lead to peace and tranquility.

“Hi I’m sorry to startle you. I’m Alex.  I think you’re beautiful and I was wondering if perhaps you might consider a cup of coffee with me. We only have to meet for a half an hour I promise you but I think you’ll be very happy we did. I’m a project manager for a construction company and I really want to get to know you better and a Mocha Frappachino with a piece of really moist pumpkin bread at a public coffee shop would be great if that’s okay with you?” And then smile big!

What Alex is doing is pushing play on the mind movie Jen has going now. Alex is trying to place a picture of a favorable future into Jen’s head and, thunk, hope she’ll say yes. If Jen is undecided this will click, lower her resistance, if she sees the picture – chances are she’ll take a chance. That is the impressive power of vision. All great leaders have it, all great auctioneers have it, all great sellers have it, and it’s easy to learn! Fill the gap with a vision.

I’m going to buy some fruit – see you guys later.

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Blog # 1

Every once in a while I’ll try something new. Being a single male in a small town is like being a Zebra at the Kentucky Derby. You’re the same species so there’s commonality, but they all still look at you as a unique museum artifact. I got on craigslist to see if there were any other Zebra’s in my little town. I met someone.

So her name was Jen.  After I told her my credentials and work history she asked me, ‘What are you doing on craigslist?” So the question immediately made me feel sleazy.  I felt like I was this highly dignified business executive wearing dark sunglasses driving up to some stiletto call girl and saying, “Hi there, you a cop or under 21?”

“The same thing you’re doing.” I replied, “Looking for someone to connect with.”

We started talking.  Just a few general questions at first.

“Where do you live?”

“Where do you work?”

“Any history of mental illness or sexual dysfunction?”

Then she asked me THE question. The one that started it all honey! This smart, sexy, sultry, soft stature of womanhood asked the question that I was trying to figure out how to describe over the phone. When she first asked I didn’t quite register the full thought processing it would take to answer it, but about three minutes after the question I knew this conversation was going to produce some profound changes in my life.

“What fascinates you?”

The question fulminated a firestorm in my brain. It was like Jen just lit a fuse that exploded a fury of thoughts and emotions.  All the years I’ve lived and worked I knew what I found fascinating. I knew the answer. I had known the answer to that question twenty years ago when I graduated from the UW in communications. I knew the answer in the glow of a vermillion sunset when I knelt down with a diamond glistening in burnt orange light and got a “are you sure about this?” reply.

I knew the answer when I went off to seminary and got my masters degree and was preaching every weekend for 14 years of my life. I knew what the answer was when my wife took the diamond, the savings, the cook books, the pictures, and left me in an empty space looking at the ceiling thinking, “What the #@$% happened?”. I knew what the answer was when the church did the same thing the ex wife did only they waved at me when I drove away. And I know what the answer is now that I’m single all over again.

My bookshelves were inundated with tomes on the subject. My articles were filled with the principles of it, my life has been dedicated to it, and my profession depended on it.

“Jen I’m fascinated by the click!”

“The what?” She replied.

“The click!” I replied more excited as I began to grapple for words to vividly describe it. You ever watch a movie where there is a safe cracker?”

“Sure.” She says.

“Ok so you see this safe cracker with his ear up to the safe, or he’s got a stethoscope or some listening device and he’s carefully spinning the dial. 10 to the left – click. 40 to the right – click. 59 to the left – click, and thunk the door opens. That click has been what I have longed to pursue all of my life.

“So you’re a thief?” She says, “No Jen stay with me for a second.”

Everybody has a click. Say you’re in a grocery store buying produce. You’re carefully picking grapes, potatoes, and assorted dried goods for the week. While you’re wheeling and feeling the food this guy walks up to you. Early forties, tall, black hair, tan skin, chiseled look with a glint of grey in his hair. He looks at you and says, “Hi. I don’t mean to be so abrupt but I think you’re very attractive and was wondering if you’d like to go out with me?”

Yep it’s the ol’e pick up on aisle four routine. He’s got you cornered, you’re captive, and he’s plum bananas over you.  Now you’ve got a decision to make right? You’ve been taken off guard, you’re not prepared, and he’s standing right there so there’s time pressure for you to make a decision. If all you’ve got to go on is his looks you will probably say no because there are a host of unanswered questions you need to have answered before you’re willing to buy.

How old is this guy?

What does he do for a living?

Is he safe?

Does he have a criminal record?

How is he with kids?

Is he just a player or a really stable guy?

These questions are all rushing through your head and you’re only fifteen seconds into this deal. There it is, the offer is on the table awaiting your response. If this guy is smart and wants to close this deal he has to know how to get you to click in his favor. Right now I’m guessing you’re locked. The door of receptivity is closed, but in the next few seconds Mr. Banana’s about you can say a few things that would click your combination and lower your resistance.

“Keep going” She says, “How tall is he? Is he really good looking cause that would make a difference?”

“Jen it’s an example.”

“Oh yeah, ok continue.”

There is going to be a point where you make the final yes or no decision. It’s an important decision and it’s going to be made in a few seconds, and what this guy does in the next sixty seconds will determine whether there is a click yes or a click no. What he says, how he acts, and how he presents himself is like a, 10 to the left, 40 to the right, and 59 to the left, click, thunk…

“Yes I’ll go out with you.” OR

“Thanks but I have a boyfriend already.”

So I’m fascinated with those things that you can do that cause the clicks that open the doors! I’m an auctioneer by profession. I love my job – it’s fast paced, exciting, and you meet a variety of marvelous people in all kinds of settings. I learned early in my career that it’s literally seconds, fragments of seconds that people will sometimes make thousand dollar decisions at an auction.

During competitive bidding when two people are battling for an item at an auction each of them has a threshold line. A threshold line is a boundary to where they’ll bid and no more. If the item up for bid is especially appealing or rare and desirable the threshold goes up. Everyone has that line they won’t cross.

As an auctioneer I’ve spent years trying to figure out how to get them to click towards crossing that line. It’s the ability to dismantle their resistance until, “think!” they open the door for you! How do you persuade someone in few moments to bid again, or try again, or buy again, or go out with you? Well I’ve fond there are 12 things. If you can nail these 12 things you become so persuasive doors you never thought would open for you are swung wide sweet chariot!

What can I say, how should I look, what kind of persona is the best and most optimum to click in people’s minds and unlock their resistance those are just a few. That’s what fascinates me! Our conversation continued and we never saw each other again. I know – right after that kind of discussion you think she would have wanted to see me. She stood me up. Jen started me down this path though and that was too cool.

That girl is someone I will forever be grateful for cause now I’m going to write for you dear reader everything that has ever fascinated me about the art and discipline of persuasion. I’m going to write about the details and what those small turns are that you can do to dismantle a person’s resistance and open the doors. I bring an auctioneer’s perspective – which I believe is even more valuable to this deal. An auctioneer has to think quickly, think like his buyer, and has to know how to sell in the most effect way under time pressure to up the bid.

What a normal salesman has an hour or a week to do; an auctioneer has to know how to do in a few seconds.  This blog is written to help you master the art and discipline of persuasion in a tight, time constrained situation where the outcome is important. The purpose of this book is to teach you how to click in people’s minds and lower their resistance. Thank you for joining me on this journey and you will soon see this blog will be very valuable to you.

 

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