The worst thing that could happen to you when you are trying to persuade someone is for that person to say “no” to everything that you say. And let’s face it – there are many individuals who are experts in saying no to people.
Don’t worry – there is actually a language pattern that can help you win in this kind of situation. This hypnotic language pattern focuses on reducing the resistance of the subject to your ideas by forcing agreement at every turn.
How does this work? Well, think about it: people generally don’t like it when people disagree with them. With the agreement pattern, you will agree with a point while at the same time adding your point at the end.
The hypnotic language pattern itself is quite simple:
“I agree with (A) and would add (B)”
This pattern only has three essential elements but it is an extremely powerful pattern that can be used in a variety of situations (like the redefining pattern).
Here’s a quick example:
“I agree that this new product is pricier than its counterparts and would like to add that it has extremely useful features that is not offered by any of the existing competitors”
You can also combine the redefining pattern and the agreement pattern to create an ultra-persuasive pattern that will knock your subject’s socks off:
“I agree that this new product is pricier than its counterparts and would like to add that the issue here is not the price of the product but how much time it will save you in just a few months’ time and how much more profit you are going to rake in by using this product which I may add is being offered at 30% discount to you by our good company”
You might be wondering: does this mean that I have to say yes to everything that the other person says?
Well, you do have to agree with the other person but you don’t have to agree with anything he has said that you don’t like. Or you can just agree with something else just so you can include the agreement pattern in your dialog.
If you don’t agree with anything that the person has just said, you can always just agree that he just said something to you.
This may sound a little odd but it can work. Here’s an example: “I agree that you have just lambasted my business and would add that only someone with the least amount of professional experience would say that”.
A lot of people would react to the fact that I just called someone an amateur with a statement. What good would the agreement pattern do if I just questioned someone’s professional experience?
Well, it’s better to agree with people than to disagree with them. People are universally hardwired to get along with others who agree with them (even if the agreement doesn’t benefit them at all).
Agreement frames are excellent during arguments and heated debates because it actually defuses other people’s defenses automatically. If someone agrees with you, your brain will automatically lower its defenses.
But if someone disagrees with you, all your logical and creative defenses are up and you are ready to fight tooth and nail to defend your position (even if it is wrong).
That’s just how the human brain works. It’s not manipulation or being a controlling person at all. We’re just taking advantage of the fact that people love hearing agreement.
Under normal circumstances, people don’t usually need to point out that someone lacks professional experience (or competence, at that).
Most of the time, you just have to show the other person that there is another way of viewing or analyzing a particular issue:
“I agree that you just disagreed with my point earlier about real fur coats and I would add that there are many ways of analyzing the fur trade issue and your take is just one of many”
You have to be careful when using “but” and “and” in your agreement pattern sentences.
Normally what people do is they agree with someone and follow up their agreement with a “but”. The word “but” is universally understood in the English-speaking world as a sign of disagreement.
Remember the rules of positives and negatives? When you combine a negative element and positive element the result will always be negative.
Therefore, if you say something nice in the beginning but you follow that up with the word “but” the recipient of the message will automatically know that you are about to disagree with him.
It doesn’t matter how nice you were when you said the affirmative/supportive part of the statement. You are still clearly disagreeing with the other person because you used “but”.
Now compare the impact of a statement that uses the word “and” instead of “but”:
Statement # 1
“I agree that the new project is over-budget but I would like to add that everyone was doing everything they can to stay on budget”
Statement # 2
“I agree that the new project is over-budget and would like to add that everyone was doing everything they can to stay on budget”
Notice that the second statement was affirmative throughout. The first statement sounded like it was making an excuse for being over-budget. No one likes excuses.
An excuse often feels like a slap to the face which is why it is universally disliked.
Would you want to sound like you were trying to make an excuse while you were trying to persuade someone? Most probably not – so as much as possible avoid using but when using the agreement pattern.