Executive Masterclass - George Batey's Guide to Continuous Success


Time-Pressure Techniques

Some people are simply slow at making decisions. It is often important to the master persuader to move the process along. It would he wise to keep in mind the law of SCARCITY.

” When a person perceives that something he might want is limited in quantity, he believes that the value of what he might want is greater than if it were available in abundance.”

For 2,000 years, church leaders have used time-pressure techniques very effectively. The leaders instruct their congregations to act morally, evangelize more, lead better lives, and, yes, give more to the Church because the return of the Messiah is imminent. The technique is very effective. As we have moved into a new millennium and as tensions in the Middle East continues to heat up, who knows, this may be the year!

Nonprofit organisations are masterful at using time-pressure techniques. If the public doesn’t act now to support causes, the death of children, adults, even the environment can occur. Your support, the public is told, will prevent the terrible things from happening. If you give today, it is virtually assured. Tomorrow may be too late. At least for one child, they say.

A number of years ago, I bought an entire set of encyclopedias from Britannica. An encyclopedia salesman recently told me that I should buy the additional set of “Great Books” now because prices would soon be going up. It wasn’t enough to sell me. Had he offered me £100 off the retail price and interest-free financing if I bought today, I might have gone for the books!

If you are going to buy into something like time-sharing, realise that, for the salesperson, there is no tomorrow. Therefore, the salesperson must be prepared to offer whatever it takes to make the sale. Knowing this, the prospects that are truly interested should not sign on the dotted line right away. Allow the salesperson to come down and down and down. Don’t be afraid to offer an incredibly low price for your week of time-sharing. Many developers will take your offer so they can announce to the rest of the prospects in the room that you are the proud new owners of a week of time-sharing.

The more time you spend with any salesperson, the more he is pressured to offer his product to you at the lowest price possible. Time is money. 

If you spend five to six hours with a salesperson, he will feel compelled to make any kind of a deal with you that he can. Master Negotiator Herb Cohen says, “I care, but not that much.” If you can assume that attitude and realise that life and death aren’t involved in this particular persuasion process, you’ll be more relaxed and less pressured.

If you can walk away arid say no when the deal turns from WIN/WIN to LOSE/WIN, you will do well.

If you are a salesperson who works by appointment with businesspeople, especially those in retail, here is a golden nugget for you: Friday is the busiest retail day of the business week. Therefore, set your appointments on Friday, a day when the storeowners are very busy and have little time to “dig into” your product or service on the phone. You can let them know that you know they are busy and will stop by to fill them in on the details on Tuesday. They will generally appreciate this, and on most early-week appointments will have the time to sit and talk to you face to face.

Remember, time can be either an asset or a liability. The person who needs something the fastest will normally pay more than the person who can wait. One-hour film developing can cost from 50 to 100 percent more than two- to three- day developing. When time is something we don’t have a lot of, we will pay for it!

In negotiations of all kinds, if you are under no time pressure, you probably have little to lose. When this is the case, you needn’t worry. All the pressure will be on the other party.

Time pressure relates to all aspects of persuasion as we can see.