Interview with Kevin hogan

  1. How did it happen that you became interested in field of psychology called exerting influence in business and persuasion in sales?

 

I was raised in poverty in Chicago in the 1970's. Our home was 66 square meters for a mother, both a dying father and grandfather, along with 4 other children. I was the oldest child. From age 8 – 14, I sold greeting cards, cut lawns, shoveled snow from driveways,  pulled weeds, did babysitting… all when I was not doing homework and taking care of my family after the "men of the family" passed away.

 

I learned very early that I needed to not just work hard, but to work hard AND do a good job AND be as influential as possible to get as many of those jobs as I could. My first official job was working for McDonalds when I was 12 years old. I made hamburgers.

 

In early college I studied journalism and theater. I was not a great actor and not an excellent journalist. Journalists don't get to have opinions, they have to simply report the news. This was not my strong suit. But I did learn a lot from my time in theater in  journalism. Eventually psychology and social psychology became my passion.

 

 

  1. What do you consider today as your greatest success?  What are you thinking about it?

 

It sounds silly. I'm a good Dad. I did everything I could as a parent to keep me kids healthy, safe, thinking as individuals, create passionate interests inside of them, a strong drive to read and ask questions. I wanted my kids to have choices as they  got older because they would love so many things. There were lots of times as they were growing up that I turned down full season television shows, international events… and instead took time with my kids instead.

 

The standout business event that stands out happened 10 years ago when I spoke to a group of 12 billionaires in Rotterdam. I  laugh when I think about it because they were there to learn from me. I had never been so nervous in my life. I’ll share the story in Romania.

 

13 years ago in Poland I worked with the Health Ministry on their HIV/AIDS prevention project which was exciting to be a part of.

 

My greatest success has probably been the work I’ve done with professionals in my Inner Circle group. We have a unique approach to helping people go from zero to success. I’ve watched a lot of people pass my accomplishment resume’ and go on to be multimillionaires, television stars, celebrities and on and on.

 

Perhaps having received thousands of letters and emails of appreciation from around the world has been one of the best “feel goods” a man could ask for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. (In your opinion) What are the most common mistakes made by young sellers (or generally business people) who want to build their strong position in the market?

 

  1. They focus on MONEY. Focus on money creates desperation. Desperation triggers fear and fear repels others.

 

  1. They focus on PROFIT and sell junk products when they could use those same skills to sell quality products.

 

 

  1. They forget that their business is NOT what they sell but their customers and their future customers.

 

  1. They fill their head with junk when they could feed their minds and souls with great books, audio, video, etc.  (of course this means you have to have a criteria to select what IS good!)

 

 

 

  1. What determines success in sales in world full of globalization? Quality, price or maybe something else? And about today -  selling is more difficult, or easier than a few decades ago?

 

Sales is no longer about a product and benefits. It's about the identification and connection between the salesperson and the buyer. If that connection is strong, the price is secondary. If that connection is strong only quality products and quality services will be sold. I treat everyone like they are part of my family.

 

Globalization will continue to bring prices down which means that people in business MUST learn to compete on their own BRAND as a human being. What is it that makes ME different from my competitor.

 

Competing on price is for amazon and Walmart. Don't be tempted. Sell to the high end market who can afford to do business with you...the person who WANTS to do business with you because of who YOU are and then secondarily, oh yeah, my company is great too.

 

Selling with 1998 sales skills is simply not going to ever work...again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Is psychology in sales is (in general) necessary? Can I limit my purchase to a regular transaction - I want to buy / you want to sell?

 

 

The sales person is the most under-rated person on the planet. Without the sale, nothing else happens. No one else gets paid.

 

People buy what is in front of them IF there is no reactance or resistance. Sales psychology has helped us evolve. A small but growing group of sharp minds who understand what buyers need.   

 

Connection, empathy, someone to listen, a person they can talk about with friends and family.

 

There will always be "I want to buy and you want to sell" transactions, but all things being equal we will now do business not with the cheapest but the person who is most like us, who understands and cares about us.

 

The person who remembers my sons birthday, not just mine.

 

 

 

  1. How big is the role of body language in sales?

 

Big. (Body language is a subset of nonverbal communication)

 

Skip it and you will be mediocre and no better. Master body language and nonverbal communication and you go from being good to approaching mastery.

 

About 10 years ago I was in Poland and my interpreter had an emergency and my sponsor had a commitment.  I called Agnieska and asked her to go for a walk around the embassies in Warsawa one night. She spoke no English, I spoke no Polish. We had a great time. When we are in Bucharest, ask me about the experience at the Russian Embassy and what it's like to be on a date with someone who doesn't speak your language... all.

 

Being able to project a strong self is somewhat self fulfilling. Projecting strength quite often leads to strength. Projecting weakness leads to weakness in the self. Project deception and people won't believe you and they are more likely to not trust you...whether you are telling the truth or not.

 

It's our body language more than anything that creates or eliminates "liking" and liking matters for connection and gaining agreement.

 

  1. (In your opinion) What are the three most effective techniques of hidden persuasion?

 

 

Ask me this question tomorrow and I might change my mind.

 

Empathy - Get inside of the other persons mind and heart to know what they want/need, and how they feel.

 

Eliminate Reactance and resistance. If either of these are present you lose before you begin.

 

Identification. Your future client MUST see you or feel you as LIKE THEM in SOME even obscure way for them to want to connect with you.

 

  1. What is the role of questions in "hidden persuasion"?

 

"How is it that you became successful as a speaker and author when 98% of people in your field fail?"

 

Questions are LOADED with good or bad inferences and ideas. The questions above is my favorite question to ask everyone in some context.

 

Questions open doors but they can also be condescending and cruel. Not all questions are "good." You can hurt people badly with questions.

 

You can make people believe they committed criminal acts if you ask them the right questions in the right sequence.

 

The brain is very malleable. Ask the right questions, you win for life. Ask the wrong questions and you can hurt people permanently.

 

I've never seen a a good salesperson or leader that didn't ask great questions and then LISTEN...and listen some more.

 

 

  1. You were a trainer of managers the largest companies in the world: IBM, 3M, Microsoft, Boeing and Starbucks.
     

You have published texts in The Financial Times, Investors Business Daily, The Wall Street Journal,  "Cosmopolitan" and "Playboy". You commented on the presidential campaign in the USA in 2004…
 

Which of these experiences was the most valuable for you and why?

 

Is it true that Goldman Sachs told the Wall Street Journal your book was one of only two that was allowed in the company?

 

 

Oh my. We can talk about Playboy in Bucharest, but I got a chance to not only train at 3M but do a HUGE study there. We were able to gather massive amounts of evidence of specifically where you stand, literally where you stand on a stage and how each person

in the audience perceives your message. I'll share these results in Bucharest. I appreciated them giving me the opportunity to  do this!

 

The Wall Street Journal story was shocking and true. Reading the newspaper and seeing that Goldman Sachs listed my book as one of two allowed…was impossible to mentally digest.

 

The most meaningful published piece was two years ago in Harvard Business Review. That meant a lot to me. "What technique does no one know about...and they should?" I finally came up with ONE and it was a huge hit...

 

 

11. If you had to put your life philosophy in one sentence, how would it sound?

 

Listen without needing to talk, find out why they hurt and how you can help. Wake up feeling proud of what you did yesterday and love the people around you. (That's two sentences...)

 

12. On May 10 2019, we'll see each other in Beirut. What can the participants of this meeting expect from you? Why is it worth taking part in it?

 

I do more testing with live audiences, leaders and salespeople in the real world than anyone I've ever met. I will share what really works.

 

But it's more than this. Culture DOES make a difference. I want to show Lebanon how to continue to evolve while avoiding the mistakes of wealthier nations.

 

When people meet me, they have my attention. I will stay until the last person's book is signed. Every person matters to me. Every photo will be taken.

 

The participants will know that what they have heard is what they can do tomorrow to implement for a seriously better future. It is a good feeling to know that you can be competent and in control of the environment around you.

 

There is no airy fairy (idiom) philosophy. Everything is either a) flat out scientific facts of selling and business or psychology, or b) Kevin's opinion from personal experience... and I'll make sure you know the difference.

 

You'll be more effective, liked more, appreciated more, respected a LOT more and be damn proud you are in the business you are.

 

And I will be proud to have met you all.

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21 December 2018

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