Monday, August 11, 2008


I'm fascinated by interpersonal communication. Being in Sales for a living, I find I'm very aware of the way people try and sell you on their idea. People 'sell' each other all day long - even if they don't realize they're doing it. For example: you want Mexican for dinner, but your girlfriend wants Chinese. It's up to you to sell her on the benefits of tortillas vs. the pitfalls of MSG.

One of the latest trends I've noticed people using to make their point is to start a sentence with the word 'Look'. It's everywhere. I bet I hear it 5 times a day - especially during this election season where the candidates are pitching us all day long. The jury is still out - but I think 'Look' is here to stay, mostly because it's just so effective.

When you start a sentence with the word 'look', especially in an argument or debate - it's very final and declarative. It's a way to say 'this is the final answer to this discussion' - and it's very hard to continue a debate after you've been 'look'ed. However, you do need to be cautious in your tone - because if you're not careful, it can come off a bit rude. Still, in the hands of a silver-tongued charmer..the 'look' is a knockout.

John McCain, and more so Obama, are huge users of the 'look'. Just listen to either one of them in an interview, and I guarantee you'll start to notice it more and more. Or anytime you see a couple talking heads debating a point on TV - I guarantee you'll see this trend play out as well.

So as a little experiment - I tried working 'Look' into a few different Sales visits last week, and the results were amazingly positive. As a 'close' (as we say in my business), I found it was very effective because 'look' in essence gives me the last word - and I'm giving the final outline as to how things are going to play out.
"Look, if you don't make a commitment to furthering your research by evaluating my technology - you're going to be passed by your competitors who are."
It's so final. The 2 different people I tried it on were putty in my hands - because it's so hard to come back from a 'Look'. I watched closely to gauge their responses, and the best way I can describe it was "Well, I guess you're right." And who doesn't like to be right?

So, try it out. And keep your ears open - I think you'll be surprised where it pops up - Machiavellian as it may be.

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