The One Minute Millionaire Diamond Mine
 Inner Wealth Perspective
 Law of Involvement: Create & Awaken Curiosity
 by Kurt Mortensen


Another participation technique is to use visualization. No one can follow through on an act or message without first thinking or seeing in his or her mind that it is possible to accomplish it. You can mentally achieve participation by helping your audience visualize, and see in their mind how your product or service will help them. Real estate agents attempt to help their clients visualize living with their family in a certain home. When showing the home, the agent wants the people to envision it as their own. A group of researchers went door-to-door selling cable TV subscriptions. When they included the phrase "imagine how cable TV will provide you with broader entertainment," they immediately achieved more success. Forty-seven percent of those who were told to imagine cable TV bought a subscription, while only 20% of the control group did. The mind is activated when you help your prospect visualize your product or service.

In many persuasive situations, your audience may not be interested in your message, service, or product at all. How do you pull in passersby? Many times when we see a persuasive situation, we like to remain anonymous. We don’t want to feel any pressure, so we watch from a distance. If someone at the clothing store asks for help, we say "no." We avoid the involvement because deep down we know that becoming involved will decrease our resistance. I remember spending some time on Key West in the Florida Keys. Every night before dusk, everyone would gather at Sunset Pier to watch the sunset and enjoy the view. It is a great time of the day to unwind and enjoy nature’s beauty. It is also the perfect opportunity for vendors and street performers to hawk their wares. We saw jugglers, sword swallowers, magic tricks, the works. One night, as I watched people walk by, many of them wanted to watch but felt timid unless a crowd had already gathered around the performers. The performers knew if they did not get a crowd, they would not make any money. When someone remains anonymous, they feel little pressure to donate. I saw someone who was doing a magic act call over to someone who was trying to remain anonymous. Soon, the performer got the man involved in his act. This attracted more people to watch and also got a donation from the gentleman, who was no longer anonymous.

If you see someone around you, or in your audience, who is avoiding or rejecting your message, try to get him or her involved. You can get a volunteer from your audience and, by getting his to willingly participate, you will completely change his perspective. Pet store owners are famous for this. They see children come in just to look around. The parents don’t want to have a dog in the house, but their son or daughter still wants to look. The owner waits patiently to see the child’s eyes light up and instantly fall in love with a new puppy. The child holds and hugs the puppy and the dad knows he is in for a struggle. The owner is wise and does not want to fight the father. He just says, "It looks like she has fallen in love with this puppy. I understand your apprehension about having a new puppy – who will be in charge of it? Tell you what – just take the puppy home for the weekend, and if it doesn’t work out, bring him back." Of course, you know that the rest is history. Who can’t fall in love with a puppy after a weekend? The owner has successfully pulled a reluctant customer to get involved.

One of the most influential salesmen for the U.S. army was Major General Walter S. Sweeney. In one city, where he and his troops were staying, there was a strong feeling of hostility toward the troops. The Major General wisely invited one of the civic clubs to lunch. There, club members were served by army members while they listened to the army band play and different speeches. The meeting was successful, and others followed. It was not long before the hostility was forgotten. The Major General knew that the only way he would gain support was if he could involve and get to know the civilians.

Physical Movement

Making your audience physically move can also affect the way your message is received. Involvement can be something as simple as getting people to say "yes", to raise their hands, or even just to nod their heads "yes". The more movement and involvement you can create, the greater your ability to persuade. Great persuaders look for times when they can get affirmation from their audience. They engineer their persuasive message to get as many verbal, mental, or physical "yeses" as they can throughout their presentation. And there is good evidence to support this practice. One study brought in a large group of students to do "market research on high-tech headphones". The students were told that the researchers wanted to test how well the headphones worked while they were in motion (while wearers were dancing up and down and moving their heads to the beat of Linda Ronstadt and the Eagles). Following the songs, the researchers played an argument about how the university’s tuition should be raised from $587 per semester to $750 per semester. One group of students had been told to move their heads up and down throughout the music and the speaking. Another group was told to move their heads from side to side. A last group was told to make no movements at all.

After "testing the headsets," the students were asked to fill out a questionnaire about not only the headsets, but also the university’s tuition. Those nodding their heads up and down (yes motion) overall rated a jump in tuition as favorable. Those shaking their heads side to side (no motion) overall wanted the tuition to be lowered. Those who had not moved their heads didn’t really seem to be persuaded one way or the other. In a similar study at the University of Missouri, the researchers found that TV advertisements were more persuasive when the visual display had repetitive vertical movements; for example, a bouncing ball.


Use questions that will create "yeses." As you create your marketing and persuasive presentations, you must engineer the number of times you get your audience to raise their hands, say yes, or nod their heads. How many verbal yeses are you getting? One easy and effective way to get more affirmative responses is to engineer questions that will receive a positive answer. For example, when a word ends in "n’t" it will bring a "yes response." Consider the following: Wouldn’t it? Isn’t it? Couldn’t it? Doesn’t it? Shouldn’t it? Won’t you? Can’t you? Wasn’t it?

Store and mall owners understand the concept of participation. They attempt to get you participating by making eye contact with you, by arranging their stores to force you to spend more time in them, and by saying hello as you pass. When you shop for goods in Mexico, for example, the storeowner knows that if he can get you in the store and get you involved, there is a greater chance of persuasion and a purchase. As such, he will make eye contact and do everything in his power to get you into the store. If you don’t go in the store, he might follow you for blocks, showing you his products and trying to get you to buy.

The amount of time one spends in a store is directly related to how much they will buy. The more time spent, the more money spent. For example, in an electronics store, non-buyers averaged about 5 minutes and 6 seconds shopping time, while buyers averaged 9 minutes and 29 seconds in the store. In a toy store, the longest any non-buyer stayed was 10 minutes, while shortest time spent for a buyer was just over 17 minutes. In some cases, buyers stayed up to four times longer than non-buyers.

Many other arrangements are made by stores to persuade people to get interested and get involved. For example, hallways and walking paths at malls are made of hard marble or tiles. But the floors of individual stores are soft and carpeted, encouraging you to stay longer. Have you ever noticed that it is easy to get disoriented in a mall you are unfamiliar with? Malls purposely design their structures with hexagonal floor plans, which are the most difficult to navigate: complicated hallways, confusing angles, and consistent temperature and lighting. The Mall of America in Minnesota, the largest mall in America, wants you to get lost – you can walk forever and still not know exactly where you are. This is also the reason why malls place department stores at opposite ends of each other. Department stores are draws, so for people to get from one to another, they will have to walk past every store in the mall before they reach the next one. Grocery stores place their milk at the back of the store so customers have to walk through the rest of the store to grab a carton. All of these tactics increase the time that customers spend in the store. And, as we know, increased time in a store means increased sales.

In the next Millionaire Diamond Mine, we will review more pieces to gaining Influence by Participation, like Making Contact, Atmosphere, and more.


Excerpts taken from Magnetic Persuasion by Kurt Mortensen

Kurt Mortensen, author of Exponential Success Skills and Weapons of Influence, is one of American’s leading authorities on Persuasion, Motivation and Influence. After receiving a Masters of Business Administration and a Bachelors of Arts, he began many successful entrepreneurial ventures, through which he has acquired many years of both experience and success. In addition to his extensive entrepreneurial and sales experiences, Kurt is a sales and persuasion coach helping thousands of people reach higher levels of success, income and persuasion mastery. Currently, he is a speaker, consultant, and a Trainer for Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen Protégés.