Maximum Influence | Kurt W. Mortensen

Summary of: Maximum Influence: The 12 Universal Laws of Power Persuasion
By: Kurt W. Mortensen


Embark on a journey to master the art of persuasion with Kurt W. Mortensen’s insightful book, ‘Maximum Influence: The 12 Universal Laws of Power Persuasion’. Dive into the world of persuasion, motivation, and influence as you discover 12 laws that govern how people make choices, change their behavior, and build connections with one another. Explore the fundamental principles of persuasion, such as cognitive dissonance, commitment, obligation, and scarcity, and learn how to strike the right balance between logic and emotion for ultimate success. This book summary will help you unlock your potential to persuade while maintaining ethical standards, and transform your personal and professional life by wielding the power of influence effectively.

The Art of Persuasion

The power of persuasion lies in neutrality, and mastering it can lead to great power used positively. A recent study shows that persuasive selling skills account for about 26% of the US GDP. To gain influence and control over one’s success, one must master the 12 laws of maximum influence, knowing when to use conscious or subconscious approaches. The ability to persuade is a force of power that can be used for good, and by mastering these essential tactics, one can achieve greatness and reach unprecedented levels of success.

The Power of Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance, a theory developed by Leon Festinger in 1957, explains why people feel the urge to change something when their attitudes and behavior conflict. This explains a lot about human behavior as people tend to act in ways that reflect their attitudes, beliefs, and values. When beliefs are challenged, people become uncomfortable and try to move back into their comfort zones by denying that there is a problem, modifying behavior, reframing interpretation of values or searching for additional information that supports their viewpoint. The law of cognitive dissonance has several effects, including bait and switch, brand loyalty, and public commitment. Verbal commitments lead to written commitments, and private commitments lead to public commitments. By creating circumstances where any action other than the solution offered will create dissonance, people are more likely to follow through.

The Power of Obligation

The Law of Obligation, also called reciprocity, is a persuasive technique used to influence people’s decisions. This technique is why door-to-door salespeople offer freebies and why car salesmen give free sodas. The law states that whenever someone does something for you, even something small, you’ll feel an obligation to repay the favor. Businesses take advantage of this by offering incentives to potential customers and employees. However, it’s essential to use this technique ethically without manipulating people. The obligation weakens your negotiating position, so it’s crucial to strike a balance between building relationships and preserving your interests.

The Power of Rapport

The Law of Rapport states that cooperation is contagious. The more connected and attracted you feel towards someone, the more persuasive they become. This is similar to the “halo effect” where one positive trait can lead to the assumption of more positive traits. To build rapport, show interest in others, use their names frequently, smile, be funny, respectful, and exhibit positive body language. Speakers are also more persuasive when they resemble or share common values/background with their audience. The key to persuasion is to create a win-win situation where others will be eager to comply.

The Power of Social Pressure

The fourth law of persuasion focuses on the ability to apply social pressure to influence behavior. People are social animals who tend to follow the crowd, which is why businesses position themselves as “best-selling” or “the place to be seen.” Social validation drives consumers’ choices, making them more likely to try a product or service that others enjoy. This law operates in every group, and salespeople use it to their advantage by emphasizing the popularity of their offerings. By leveraging social pressure, you can persuade your audience to take action and achieve your goals.

The Power of Scarcity

Scarcity is a potent force that drives people to act impulsively. It makes rare items all the more desirable, and the fear of missing out on a unique opportunity triggers a sense of urgency that propels people towards action. The psychological impact of scarcity is profound, as it impairs our sense of freedom and increases our desire to obtain that which is limited. This book explores how scarcity can be effectively used in marketing to create exclusive offers like “by invitation only” sales, “not available in stores” products, and “one-time offers.” Scarcity can also be employed as a powerful closing tool to drive sales.

The Power of Persuasive Language

The choice of words can make or break your ability to influence others, as observed by Mark Twain. This book’s lesson is that the right words, delivery, and avoidance of negative language can persuade a buyer to purchase your product, enhancing your leverage in negotiations. This book teaches you how to choose words that create vivid imagery and demonstrate the product’s value proposition, increasing the likelihood of success. Overall, the author highlights the importance of using persuasive language effectively to achieve desired results.

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