How To Command, Influence, And Control People

by Ron Whitman

The Styles and Methods of Power

Power is the ability to get things done--your way. Sometimes it's a direct order that you give, sometimes a suggestion you make, or a request or the asking of a favor; but the result (if you have power) is always that the other person acts and you derive a benefit from the other person's actions.

One can have power in many different ways. You have it over your employees because you pay their salaries. If you are an expert in a special field, it's because you know the best way to handle matters. In a legal dispute, it's because you have the law on your side. If you have credit cards, it can be part of your life style to go into a store, hotel or restaurant, in any city, and order whatever you wish. In politics, it's because folks will give you their votes, hoping that you'll work and succeed in getting the government to serve them in their area. And there's the power that derives from being talented, charming and capable; of being up-to-the-minute and knowledgeable, so people know if they let you handle things for them or listen to your advice, they'll come out ahead.

One more aspect of power. This concerns competition. If all the world were fair and equal, one would have no need for the upper hand, for the advantage, for power. But, of course, the world isn't. Which often means that in a competitive situation you cannot merely settle for an equal chance. You must keep your eyes and ears, and indeed all your faculties, open for any clue or other tips that will move the balance in your favor. Whenever possible, make sure you get more than an equal chance.

You have to look the part

People are impressed by how a man looks. They are often not aware of exactly why they treat one man like a VIP and another gets the bum's rush. Their reactions maybe subliminal, below their conscious awareness. But take it from me, if you're well dressed, neatly groomed, hair trimmed, etc., and are driving a snazzy car, you'll be well received; while a guy who's wearing sloppy clothes, unshaven and unclean, and who's driving an old heap, will hardly get any attention at all. Look as good as you can; and back it up in other ways.

Add the other elements of power image too. Clothing--it's worth investing some money to be well dressed. Buy suits on time payments if you can (a credit card is very useful for this). That way the clothes are helping to get power, and therefore money, for you while you are paying for them. Don't forget about the car you drive around in; if the one you have is not impressive then rent one that is. Rental cars don't cost that much and driving a good one pays dividends in the power sphere. Try to join clubs and organizations (business, social, political) that have important and influential members. If at first you can't become a member, then maneuver a member into taking you as his guest.

Money and power beget money and power; the more they think you have, the more you'll get.

We must repeat that, for most people, those who belong to the power elite are those that appear to belong to it. Unless recognized personally, a millionaire will be turned away from a class restaurant if he's not well dressed.

You have to consciously act the part of one who is used to being in command.

There's another extremely important factor in appearing to already have money and power beyond what I mentioned above and that is your own manner of doing things. You must move, speak and act power. Have you ever met the grandson of a man who amassed a fortune and wondered how a grandfather who did so much could have a grandson who seems like such a weakling? It's true; that grandson could never get rich on his own; if he hadn't inherited his family's money, he'd be poor because he's week and incompetent. And it shows. The men who, like yourself, are capable of making money now, are men who can act in a strong style that almost seems to draw money like a magnet. Language, and the way you speak, can say as much as the ideas in your words. Equally important, however, is your body language, that is the way you stand, walk, move and sit and the gestures you make.

Be the man who's in demand

Power isn't just you being able to call someone and tell him what to do; it's also other men calling you and asking for your business or wanting to associate with you. If you're a man who seems to possess a wide knowledge of the world, an awareness of trends, if you're the early-bird who catches sight of opportunities first, if you're the man who's capable of handling many different kinds of situations, then people will seek you out. They'll invite you to vacation at their country homes, to meet their influential associates, to join their social clubs and their business syndicates. And when they do, all of these will enhance your image of power, and widen your power base so you can zoom ahead even more.

When the fight for power gets harder

Everything we've said so far will be useful in just about every situation; but when the struggle for power gets more intense, some other methods are needed. When the person(s) you're talking to has been open-minded and your powers of persuasion have been working from the moment you first stated talking, the usual techniques can be used. But what if you're dealing with someone whose mind is closed to your ideas and influence from the start, or who feels he is in direct competition with you? Then things must be handled somewhat differently.

Most important, be in control of the situation at all times. If you feel your control is slipping, do something to regain it. You could do something vividly dramatic and totally bewildering to the other person, like suddenly shouting or pounding on your desk. Or you could press a secret buzzer to have someone rush in and interrupt when the other side is coming on too strong.

Never ever get into a power struggle when you're at any kind of a disadvantage; if you're tired or if the discussion turns to a subject in which the other guy is an expert. Always focus your own mental energy and project your thoughts into his mind. Look him in the eyes, try to gain his confidence. Always have a picture in your mind of a victory over this person bigger than the victory you need to achieve your aims. And whatever you do don't lose; that is, if you realize that you can't beat him, then leave. It's better not to have a victory than to have a defeat.

Say Whatever does the Trick

Making a lot of money is largely a process of convincing people, of selling yourself, your service, your product. And the trick is to tell them what they want to hear. The problem is to find out what they want to hear. So you'll start out by giving them basic information about what you're selling. You then continue with your sales approach, always watching their reactions carefully. When you see their eyes light up and they then lean forward with interest, then continue on the topic that aroused that interest, no matter how odd it may seem to you. And do the opposite when you reach any of the usual parts of your presentation, if the prospect shows less than the normal amount of interest; that is, shorten that part and go on to the next.

From start to finish

You start out by telling them what the product or service is or does. The kinds of benefits people get from using it and some examples of ways, both usual and unusual, that other folks have used it. It often helps to mention that "Mr. Anderson, you know, the big shot, just bought two of them for his own use," or that "the XYZ Corporation recently bought seven of them for their executives." Or if you're selling a more heavy duty item, that "Smith's Construction Company has been using them for years." If it's almost a custom made item tell them they're one of the select few who will even get a chance to buy it. If you have an opportunity to talk to his wife or a friend of his, plan along with that other person and have them unknowingly hinting to the customer that "it certainly sounds like a good deal." If his kids are with him, get them to needle him into buying it. Use any method that works.

Suppose the guy seems convinced buy he can't seem to make up his mind to actually hand over the money or sign the contract to make the purchase. Sometimes it helps to imply that he really can't afford it. He might buy it just to show you he isn't poor or a cheapskate. Another great strategy that sometimes works in desperation to close a sale is to make him feel guilty if he doesn't buy. Imply that he deliberately wasted your time and energy, that he's rotten and thoughtless, that he just wanted to make a phony impression on his wife or girl friend or anyone who is there with him. You might want to say all this very loudly, almost yelling, so that a crowd gathers and you shame him into buying. Or you can try another method to clinch the sale, offer him a "special bonus." Say you'll give him a longer time to pay, or a contract for "free" servicing or that you'll add on a bonus of another item "free". Actually he may have been entitled to this "extra" all along, but if you haven't yet mentioned it, then now's the time. Try to keep one or two things in reserve as your last pieces of ammunition.

To sum it up Prepare in advance so you know the other man's point of view; if you're able to benefit him, he'll practically jump at the chance to let you make money off him. Tell him what he wants to hear. And above all, keep eyes and ears open for any information, clues or tip-offs, favorable or unfavorable, that will give you the power to persuade him.

In the power battle called life, victory will go to those who find the right weapons and use them. So keep your weapons handy; get a head start and don't lose it. Be alert for clues you can use to your advantage. Present yourself with confidence; broadcast your will power, speak and move with assurance, and, to make sure they get the message, have the clothes car, office and the other outer appearances of power and money. People tend to believe what they see, and if you look like you've got it made, then you will have it made.

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