At the time, the company I worked for had a military division comprised primarily of veterans, and if anyone knows the value of rank structure and chain of command … it’s veterans.
So, we’re arguing, and … it doesn’t matter what we were arguing about … because that’s besides the point.
I remember explaining to him how we have relational power dynamics, and internally, in the organization, I mean … we have the luxury of ranks and titles, and I understand the employer to employee relationship and how I am more than willing to do what’s asked of me.
And I told him how the director can speak with him in a certain way and that’s fine, because he’s the director and you’re the manager, and then … you can speak with me in a certain way, and that’s fine because you’re the manager and I’m the team member, but …
It doesn’t mean that I can speak with our clients in that same certain way because, get this:
“I am not their superior, and they are not my subordinates,” I told him.
“So I don’t have the luxury of a rank or title to help me just tell them what to do and they do it … it just, doesn’t work like that.”
I was going through a divorce at the time and was learning about things like power dynamics and how imbalances in power in relationships can just … cause things to go sideways.
So, this all just kinda clued me in to how power dynamics are present in every relationship … both business and personal.
And how ranks and titles afford us the luxury of explicitly having power, and don’t get me wrong … I value the idea of a chain of command and good order and discipline amongst workplaces and homes and society as a whole, but …
What happens when you strip away the ranks and titles?
Well, power dynamics are still there, and … what I figured out back then, is how to influence them in my favor, and it all happens in the first :28 seconds of the initial interaction.
You see, there are a lot of … things happening under the surface in the opening of any interaction.
There are several, primal, instinctive concerns running through the subconscious mind of the person you’re speaking with, and it goes, pretty much in this order:
Do I perceive threat?
Do I feel safe?
Is the person speaking with me high or low status?
Is the information useful or relevant?
Will it help me solve problems?
Is it interesting or boring?
And here’s the real problem with this:
You’ll make it past the :28 second point every single time, no matter what.
The difference, though, is …
If the person you’re speaking with views you as an Expert, they’ll actually pay attention whereas if they view you as a Novice, they’ll tune you out.
Now, they may go along with you and pretend like they’re listening, but they’ll only offer up one-word answers and not really engage in meaningful conversation.
And this is because no one wants to be perceived as “mean,” so they’ll play along just to be “nice,” but when the time comes to make an actual decision to purchase or not, if they view you as an Expert, you’ll have a much easier time closing the deal than if they view you as a Novice.
And these judgements are made in the first :28 seconds.
Want to know more? Find my FB Page … I have a bunch of videos on there where I explain this stuff in even more detail.