CHOICE Priming!

Hear "YES"  BY 



Ever wonder why some people buy our products and services while others decline? All influencers have been stumped from time to time as to why a seemingly perfect candidate will decline to get involved. On the other hand, we have all had the experience of watching a prospect shock us by buying our products and services. Why them? They didn't seem like our typical buyer.Stickmanchoices

As students of Professional Influence know, many of the reasons behind persuasion are so covert that even over 97% of all sales professionals will miss them. With that in mind, let's now uncover yet another phenomenon of the human buying behavior.


Pretend you are at an art show. There are many booths displaying various paintings. You are walking with a friend when someone approaches you and asks if you would like to buy the painting they are selling. You like the painting and the price is reasonable. You, however, are not motivated enough to purchase. You graciously say no, as you and your friend continue on.

But then...

You proceed to the next booth. As you are approaching, your buddy asks you who you are going to vote for in the upcoming election. You answer him. The very next moment, a vendor approaches you and asks if you would like to buy the painting they are selling. You like the painting and the price is reasonable. This time you say yes, and the sale is made!

But why?

Choice priming!

According to the Journal of Consumer Research it turns out that by simply being asked to make a choice (prior to being asked for the sale) will make you like the next thing you see more. It does not matter what the choice is. It could be a choice between candidates or a choice between cabernets.

Those researchers found that simply asking people to choose among something prior, primed them to think about positive attributes in other things as well. Subsequently, it caused them to be in a positive frame of mind when evaluating the next item they saw.

Simply asking participants to decide if they would buy (vs. reject) each of a set of products shown to them disposed them to search for favorable attributes before searching for unfavorable ones in an unrelated product evaluation situation," explain Hao Shen and Robert S. Wyer, Jr. (both of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology). "As a result, they evaluated the product they considered in the second situation more favorably than they otherwise would.


PROFESSIONAL INFLUENCER: "Bob, I saw a Corvette and a Porsche parked next to each other outside. If you were going to buy one of those cars, which would it be?"

BOB: "Hmm, I would probably take the Corvette. Why"

PROFESSIONAL INFLUENCER: "Just wondering. I like them both and was curious which you like better. Anyway, let's get on to the proposal that I worked on for your company."

Many times, sales professionals have gifts that they like to bring to potential clients. Instead of giving away all your perks, it would be wise to have them choose. Why? Because it is yet another way to actually jump start the decision-priming phenomenon.

PROFESSIONAL INFLUENCER: "John, I have a gift certificate for an Italian restaurant or a Japanese restaurant, which would you like?"

BOB: "Japanese! Definitely! I love sushi."

PROFESSIONAL INFLUENCER: "Here you go. I like sushi too. Now on to business, I have two proposals to show you..."

The study goes on to say

Unrelated experiences can activate a search process that governs the order in which favorable and unfavorable product descriptions are identified and the evaluations that are made on the basis of them.

Journal reference: Hao Shen and Robert S. Wyer, Jr., "Procedural Priming and Consumer Judgments: Effects on the Impact of Positively and Negatively Valenced Information." Journal of Consumer Research.


Steven Sanchez is one of our star students. He sells vacation ownership packages. As a student of Professional Influence he was #1 in his company. Wanting more, he set out at the beginning of the calendar year to beat his own company record for sales (It should be noted that this was in the worst economic year that any of us had seen in our lifetime). Nevertheless, he was determined to have his best year ever.

Asking us for more help, we listened to his presentation and poured over his delivery. Steven Sanchez is a true professional and it was hard to find anything to add to his game. Until, we showed him this research. Steven added one simple new step to his presentation. That was to simply ask a series of questions to his clients before they were asked to purchase his timeshare package.

This one little tweak increased his sales volume almost 20% that year. This made him the undisputed #1 agent in his company's history.

It is funny how one little thing can make such a huge difference. Even to a veteran of Professional Influence.



We teach a more indepth version of this topic in our certified course "Professional Influence." You might have already heard that our trainers will actually show you how to formulate "contrast options" into your specific products and services.  You may already know, by now, that employers are attracted to people that are different, new and unique.  Today we have overwhelming scientific proof that sales people that differentiate themselves from the crowd are more successful.  They are more likely to close that sale, get that promotion and have longer lasting relationships. 

Show your employer that you are deadly serious about reaching the companies goals.  Increase your income and line yourself up for the next big promotion.  All of this can and will be achieved when you enroll in the "Professional Influence Certification Course." 

Upon successful completion of this course you will become CERTIFIED!  Your certification goes on the "BIO" page and is registered with the INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDIES OF PROFESSIONAL INFLUENCE (ISPI).  As you read through this you may begin to realize that a link to this bio page can also be a powerful part of your resume. 

Are you ready to take your game to the next level?  If so email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  For more information about this and other certification courses simply click here.

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