Why Your Ego Shouldn’t Do All The Talking

Never miss a glorious update - click here!

You’re awesome. You’re so sexy. Your milkshake brings all the boys/girls to the yard.

When you walk into the room, everyone knows that your wallet says “bad mother fucker” on it.

Good for you. Seriously.

You’ve worked hard for that glorious Greek god physique and you deserve all the stares, congratulations, and panty-dropping celebrations.

And I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that calves that cut like diamonds won’t get you everywhere. There will be people that aren’t impressed by your six pack (even though we know they’d still like to run their hands over it). There are times when a potential client needs to know your credentials beyond your taut ass that can crack walnuts. 

Basically, what I’m saying is that you’re more than a sexy piece of meat – so let’s make sure everyone knows it. 

In the situations when your physical strength isn’t necessarily serving you as intended, you’re going to have to rely on your mental strength, and what that boils down to is persuasion. I want to help make sure that your eloquence and influential prowess go well beyond your pecs. 

I’ve personally studied persuasive techniques under CIA agents, con-artists, hostage negotiators, pick-up artists, and military intelligence officers.

All of them provided very interesting insights to the persuasive arts. Surprisingly, from con-artists I learned the power behind being present and appreciating the people around you. CIA agents taught me how to be more strategic in conversations and networking. And hostage negotiators highlight the importance of reserving judgment while being persuasive.

I want to give you the most powerful techniques to help you be persuasive in any conversation.

… selling your products, motivating your clients, picking up girls and dudes, or just wanting to convince someone of your opinion.

Listen for Influential Leverage Points

Here’s a little-known fact about being influential:

Influence is mostly accomplished through what you hear, not what you say.

You discover someone’s influential triggers by letting them do most of the talking. To be persuasive you’ll first need to figure out what is compelling to your “mark” – the person you want to influence. As they speak, if you know what to listen for, you’ll know how to craft your influential suggestion.

For example, if you want someone to sign on as a new client, you first want to figure out the problems they want to solve and the goals they want to reach.

Okay, you might have known that already. But be sure to pay attention to HOW they describe those challenges and goals, because that’s where the magic lies. With that information, you will know how to persuade them to sign.

Let’s say your prospect wants to get healthy and fit. Typical scenario, right? 

Then they share, “It would be really great if I could play a game of baseball with my kids and not get winded.”

That’s your influential hook.

Someone who isn’t paying attention will miss this off-hand comment and proceed to try to sell this person on the idea of becoming super sexy and ripped. You then have a situation where two people are speaking two different languages. One is focused on the attention and aesthetic of being magazine-cover-fit, while the other is more interested in the improving lifestyle and family time through fitness.

Someone with more persuasive know-how will adjust their core message.

“Buy this training package” changes to highlight the benefits that are most compelling to that particular mark. A true influencer is willing to adjust that same message to highlight the eye-drawing, ego-boosting components of getting fit for someone who finds that outcome more compelling.


The product is the same, how you sell it is what remains flexible.


Acquire Influential Intelligence 

Now that we covered the importance of listening and adjusting your message to your mark, the next question is of course, “How do I get my mark to tell me what I need to know so that I can properly persuade them?”

Very good question young Padawan. The Force is obviously very strong within you.

Sometimes asking a direct question won’t get you the best results. Asking someone you just met at a bar, “What do you want in a man?” can easily come across as desperate and creepy – no matter how chiseled your jawbone is (Sometimes because of how chiseled your jawbone is!).

Don’t worry, there are a few things you can do to figure out what that hot chick or dude is and isn’t into (Of course, these techniques work in sales, too).

Option 1: Pick a Fight

No, I don’t mean to start swinging. You’ll go to jail for that. I am not Tyler Durden. 

After creating rapport with your mark, disagree with them on something which you would like to know more about with a provoking statement. For example, as a guy talking to a woman at the bar, say, “women are always saying that they want a good guy, but they all always go for the bad boy.” Then she will proceed to tell you that you’re wrong, why you’re wrong, and talk about the kind of guy that she actually wishes she can find.

You now have insight into her mate-finding perspective…

… OR she’ll completely agree with you and share why she agrees with you. And you STILL get awesome insight.

Anytime you use this technique, you must remember 3 things:

  1. Always make sure that you’ve built a RAPPORT before you use it.
  2. Pay attention to HOW they try to influence you to their opinion. We always try to influence others the way we WANT to be influenced. 
  3. Make sure that you CONCEDE or give them the “win” at the end so that you can reestablish rapport. “Oh! Ok. Yeah. I never saw it that way. Interesting.” And you’re golden. 

 Option 2: Play Dumb

Ok, I gotta break some news to you. Sometimes, you shouldn’t try to be the smartest person in the room. (Gasp!) I know. It’s a lot to take in. Just breath and we’ll get through this together.

There are times when you might need to suspend your ego for the greater good and put on a little naïveté in order to get the influential intelligence that you need.

“I’m sorry. I don’t quite understand. Help me out. What’s the reasoning behind not liking to approach men and expecting them to do the approaching?” To which she’ll explain her reasoning, or she’ll disagree and say that she doesn’t mind it.Either way, you’ve learned some helpful information.

Either way, you’ve learned some helpful information.

Typically (I’ll say it again…typically), men find it more difficult to use this technique than women. We can have a conversation all day long about the societal influences that created this situation, but let’s just call a spade a spade.

With that said, let’s be very clear that using this technique doesn’t mean that you need to put on airs of complete stupidity. You don’t have to have big Bambi eyes and speak in baby-talk when you ask questions. 


Asking for clarity and further understanding doesn’t mean that a dunce cap should be put on your head.

You are just momentarily seeking insight and knowledge around something that you don’t know, don’t understand, or aren’t letting onto knowing as much as you do, SO THAT you can learn the perspective of your mark. That’s all.

Once you get the information that you seek, you can bring back as much pomp and circumstance as you like.

 Option 3: Share a Little to Learn a Little

To get sensitive, personal, and vulnerable information from someone, you need to take the lead by sharing something personal about yourself – something that is related to what you want to know about your mark. “I don’t know about you, but I feel kinda silly to admit that this whole bar scene is a bit overrated. I don’t know if you feel the same way.”

Well Positioned Persuasion

Whenever you want to persuade someone, it’s important that you know where in the conversation to place your persuasive conversation.

This is where the hourglass theory comes into play.

The basic principle is this: we remember the beginning of experiences and the endings of experiences with more clarity and emotional context than we remember what happens in the middle.

Spies use this structure to their advantage when they are trying to elicit sensitive information from their marks. The mark is less likely to remember, and be suspicious of, the middle part of the conversation. Maybe that’s why James Bond always pumps his mark for information in between pumping them between the sheets. Get it?


This whole concept can be boiled down to a stand-up comedy adage: start strong, finish strong.

It can be applied to books, movies, sales pages, proposals, and conversations. Make sure that you create a positive experience for your mark at the beginning of the conversation and the end of the conversation, while positioning your influential intentions nicely between the two.

At the very least, this means being in strong rapport with your mark at the start and at the end. Start with a smile, end with a hug … or however that might translate in your world.

Being persuasive is a matter of being observant, making a connection, and then influencing. With these proven skills and techniques, you will not only be turning heads with your sexy, awesome good looks; you’ll also be turning minds with your sexy, awesome eloquence and conversational influence.

About the Author

Sharí Alexander is a leadership and persuasiveness coach based in Los Angeles. She works with entrepreneurial leaders on how to be influential in all aspects of their business - from sales, to client and investor relations, and persuasive speeches. Her mission is to bring the “dark arts” of influence into the light. She personally learned persuasive techniques from CIA agents, hostage negotiators, con-artists, and others. She teaches business leaders how to use the same skills in business, making them the leaders that people want to follow.

Comments for This Entry

  • Anisa Woodall

    This is helpful info that requires regular reviewing, at least for me. Being introverted with more IQ than EQ, I've been trying my whole life to learn how to make good conversation. I'm still working on it ;)

    July 7, 2016 at 3:43 pm

  • Philip Kastinger

    The second half of the article is great - good content, good writing. Didn't like the introduction, felt like you need to sell the topic a bit too much. But as said, I enjoyed it and would like to see another article from Sharí Alexander.

    August 26, 2015 at 3:56 pm

  • John Fawkes

    Great to see articles about social skills popping up here- I study this stuff too, and it's a crucial part of being a well-rounded (and sexy) person.

    August 24, 2015 at 8:40 pm

  • Muscles and Stuff

    I needed this. A good reminder that life isn't always about working out lol.

    August 22, 2015 at 4:11 am

Leave a Comment