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

Good Samaritan

Princeton University psychologists, John Darley and Daniel Batson, wanted to see how students would respond if they were in a situation replicating the biblical account of the Good Samaritan. As the story goes, a band of thieves beat, robbed, and left a man traveling alone by the roadside to die. A devout priest and a reputable Levite passed by. Neither of the men stopped to help the dying man. Finally, a Samaritan, loathed and despised by society, stopped to help him. The Samaritan bound up his wounds, took him to an inn, and even paid the innkeeper to care for him until he returned.

Darley and Batson asked seminarians on a one-on-one basis to prepare and present a short speech on an assigned biblical topic. The test was set up so that on their way to the location where they would deliver their speech, each student would cross a man slumped over, coughing and groaning. Which students would actually stop and help? Before preparing their speeches, the students filled out a questionnaire asking why they had chosen to study theology. Then a variety of speech topics were assigned, including the story of the Good Samaritan. As the students were leaving to deliver their speeches, some were told, "You’d better hurry. They were expecting you about three minutes ago." Others were told, "They won’t be ready for a few minutes, but you may as well head over now."

Now, most people would surmise that seminarians stating on their questionnaires that they had chosen to study theology so they could help people, and who were then assigned to speak on the Good Samaritan would be the ones most likely to stop and help the ailing man on their way. If you were one of the many who thought this, the actual results may surprise you. Interestingly, neither of those two factors seemed to make much of a difference. In fact, Darley and Batson stated, "Indeed, on several occasions, a seminary student going to give his talk on the parable of the Good Samaritan literally stepped over the victim as he hurried on his way." The element that seemed to be most influential was whether or not the student was rushed. Of the students who were told they were already a little late, only 10% stopped to help. Of the students who were told they had a little bit more time, 63% stopped to help.

We can learn from this example that we can create atmospheres where people are so involved and feel so much pressure to be sufficiently involved that they ignore other factors they normally would not.

Create the Experience

Another good way to get people involved is to get your product into their hands. If they can begin to use it, chances are they will continue. That is why car dealers encourage test drives. You will even see car dealerships give their loyal customers a car to drive for a few days. How can you go back to your old car after driving around in a new car? By that point, neighbors and co-workers have already seen you in the car and have commented about your new vehicle. You’re thoroughly involved, and the new car is yours.

You want people to experience your product for free. Free trials are really what made the Internet company AOL (America Online) successful. Who hasn’t received at least 5 free CDs from AOL?

Infomercials are great examples of this. For example, many TV advertisers offer a free one-month trial before you have to pay for their product. After the month is up, most consumers will keep the product, even if they didn’t use it. The trial period has created a sense of ownership in the product, and consumers don’t like to relinquish ownership. This is also why so many companies use introductory offers. Credit card issuers are known for tempting customers with introductory deals that give very low interest rates. To get your product in your prospects’ hands, get them to open the box and play with the object, give them the feeling of ownership, make them feel as if they already bought it, and suggest how the product can be used in their home. There are many other examples of the Law of Involvement. Think about the listening stations in the music stores, the comfortable chairs where you can kick back and read in the bookstores, booths set up at the malls where you can try and test products and equipment, CD clubs where you get so many free CDs, frequent user programs, coupons, contests, and the variety of services offering free estimates.

Another great example is the company 3M®. At their outset, Post-it™ notes were not very successful. 3M was going to discontinue the whole line until the brand manager sent a case of Post-its to 499 of the Fortune 500 Companies. Because of their trial run, the Fortune 500 companies loved the efficiency of Post-it notes, and the rest is history.

Another common way for businesses to cash in on the Law of Involvement is to use the "magic" of written declarations. This occurs through the use of an innocent-looking promotional device. Have you ever seen companies who have essay contests? You know, where the consumer has to write a 100-word essay beginning with the statement, "I love this product because…"? Well, is there any better way to get a commitment out of someone than to have them put it in writing? What about those Crayola® drawing contests, where kids had to submit their artwork created with Crayola’s crayons? It’s the same principle.

Usually we are more inclined to favor our own ideas over the ideas of others, right? Knowing that people do not typically resist their own ideas can be key when trying to influence others. Always seek to get the other person to think your ideas are his or her own. An example of this strategy in action is when companies have the customer fill out a sales agreement. Cancellations are amazingly low when the customer has filled out their agreements on their own. It’s a double whammy: not only are your prospects agreeing to what you want, but they are also putting it in writing!

In the next Millionaire Diamond Mine
Keeping Attention:
A Bored Mind Says NO!


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.