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Covert Persuasion: Psychological Tactics and Tricks to Win the Game Hardcover – September 18, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

When we make decisions we like to think we weigh the options carefully, look at all the possibilities, and make the best choice based on a rational examination of the facts. But in truth, much of our decision making happens on a subconscious level based on feelings we might not even be aware of. Understanding and managing those subconscious feelings is the key to the art of persuasion.

By observing and predicting human behavior, we can learn to react and direct behavior in others with the right kinds of words and body language. If you want to learn how to convince people to buy your product, contribute to your cause, or vote for your candidate, this book has the answers. Covert Persuasion syn-thesizes the latest research in psychology, linguistics, sales tactics, and human communication to reveal the most effective methods for consistently and effectively persuading anyone of virtually anything.

Covert Persuasion sounds like a secret operation because it is; when you master these techniques and put them to use, no one will even notice your tactics. But that doesn't mean these techniques are sneaky or underhanded. They aren't! You aren't tricking anyone; you're simply using all your abilities to encourage them to make the choice you want them to make. It's not unfair or underhanded—it's just powerful, practical, and effective.

If you work in sales, Covert Persuasion will arm you with new skills and techniques you can put to use every day to dramatically increase your commissions. And if you don't work in sales, you can still use these tactics to convince colleagues, subordinates, and supervisors to help you meet your goals and get things done on a daily basis. Even outside of the office, persuasion is a vital skill everyone should have.

This reliable resource will help you with all your persuasion efforts, in every situation. Dip into it for fresh ideas and new techniques or use it to sharpen the skills you already have. For salespeople, Covert Persuasion will help you increase your sales almost immediately. No matter what you do for a living, this book will help you do it better. Not convinced yet? Look inside and you will be . . .

From the Back Cover

Praise for Covert Persuasion:

"This book is a treasure trove of ideas you can use to turn a 'no' into a 'yes' almost instantly—in any sales situation."
—Brian Tracy, speaker and author of Create Your Own Future and Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life

"Hogan is the master of persuasion. I urge you to persuade yourself to buy this book and everything he's ever written and recorded. It will help you understand yourself, understand others, and succeed. This information is bankable."
—Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, Little Red Book of Selling, and Little Red Book of Sales Answers

"There's more wisdom in this book than in 500 pages on the same subject. Whether you need to persuade your lover, your spouse, your boss, your clients, your friends, or yourself, this powerhouse collection of mind tricks and secrets will give you the upper hand. In today's competitive world, this is the persuasion wizard's manual you need to control circumstances and get what you want."
—Dr. Joe Vitale, author of Life's Missing Instruction Manual and The Attractor Factor

"When you read Hogan's writing, it feels like you're getting sage advice from a master. Would you like other people to decide on their own (or so they think) to go along with your every whim? Then this is the book you've been looking for."
—David Garfinkel, author of Advertising Headlines That Make You Rich

"There is more practical information on the dynamics of selling and communication in these pages than you could ever acquire in a lifetime on your own through trial and error. Take advantage of the authors' wisdom and read this book!"
—Todd D. Bramson, Certified Financial Planner and author of Real Life Financial Planning


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (September 18, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470051418
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470051412
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

424 of 441 people found the following review helpful By David Relyea on December 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book, although well written and well laid out, is simply a rehash of Hogan's earlier book, "The Psychology of Persuasion". This book introduces literally nothing new, simply reorganizing the material.

If you own the Psychology of Persuasion, do not purchase this book. Otherwise, definitely buy one or the other.

(As an aside, I find it amusing that Hogan and his publisher believe the key to sales to be re-introducing the same material in different works, rather than creating "new editions". They may be right, but as someone who almost bought two "identical" books, it's a little annoying!)
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160 of 169 people found the following review helpful By Ben on January 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was thinking that this book was going to be a little more about getting compliance out of individuals, along the lines of verbal judo. However, I found the book to be mostly about sales, and most concepts related to salesmen. Some of the concepts could be applied to getting compliance out of non-compliant individuals, but it seemed like the main focus was how to sell a product.
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91 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Happy Face on August 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just sat down and got through 4 chapters of this thing and I literally had to put it down and come vent a bit.
When I ordered this book (based on so many positive reviews) I was excited and eager to read it.
But I'm pretty disappointed in and more than moderately annoyed by it.

1. The editing is weak. From a reader's vantage point I am continually distracted by awkward phrasing, minor typos, debatable punctuation and Laissez-faire writing. "There she is." "Sharp as a tack."
"Funny thing is that before you paint those pictures you want to address the resistance." What kind of sentences are these? They're irritating and begging for rephrasing.
Was the author trying to be "folksy?" Ugh. Even worse... was he just trying to fill up the pages?

2. The content seems to be nothing but rehashed pop-psychology. Sure there's a bibliography at the end, but I don't need a bibliography to summarize the author's points: Make people want what you're selling. Help customers see your product in a positive light and dismiss the competitors. Get the customer to imagine himself using your product. Make people think they're coming up with the ideas you are feeding them and they will be happy to embrace the ideas. Don't get in a shouting match with anyone, rather be subtle and cunning.
How is this even a book? No one needs to be told this stuff. People want to understand HOW to use the ideas.

3. Even if you think these "insights" are important enough to justify a book, does the author NEED to write what he's written about again and again?
If you look at page 30 you will see three successive short paragraphs that begin as such:
"If you will recall, I shared with you that when people...
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119 of 132 people found the following review helpful By Phil on September 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I like this book because it focuses on practical tools that work. You'll recognize some strategies and tactics, others will be new to you, and a number will surprise you. Hogan goes beyond the worn platitudes and shows what research has shown to work in persuasion. "Covert Persuasion" is packed with examples to show how you can put these tools into practice.

I love chapters 8 and 9. We've all heard about the importance of using stories to persuade. And that's correct. But they need to be the right stories with the necessary ingredients. And they need to be told the right way. How can we avoid the mistakes that so many of us make in storytelling?

Chapter 8 gives you 20 keys to using covert persuasion in story. You'll then read stories that grab you...because they illustrate those 20 keys. You'll be able to tell stories that move others in the direction you want.

Chapter 9 shows how to use questions most effectively in persuasion. It's much more than making a list of questions and plowing through them. Which questions should we use in what parts of the persuasion process? This chapter gives excellent information and examples.

The last chapter gives you four worksheets to quickly choose ways to deliver your next message most effectively.

Anyone I can think of...whether or not they formally consider themselves as "salespeople"...will earn a high return by using these tools in daily interactions with others.
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Paul C. Smith on August 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book partly on the strengths of previous reviews, and as such I expected a much more in depth and meticulously researched book than it was.

The book is squarely aimed at a sales audience, so the writing style is more that of a motivational book than an introduction to or tutorial on covert persuasion. So many of the techniques are prefaced with superlatives about their effectiveness that it begins to sound a bit silly. Many of the book's tip lists are embellished by duplicating previous entries with somewhat altered wording.

The word "covert" was irrelevant to the majority of the book's examples; many are simply restatements of classic personality skills. The conversation examples are awkward at times, and it's hard to imagine them unfolding in a real-world setting. My own biggest disappointment, though, was the shortage (or lack, in many cases) of references or hard data to support the effectiveness claims that you'll find peppered throughout the material.

I won't call the book useless; it has its merits, and there are a good ten or eleven pages worth taking notes on. In fairness, books I consider very good contain maybe 10% noteworthy pages, while the rest consists mainly of explanation and examples, which is as it should be. However, there is little to be learned here that you wouldn't find in a day or two's worth of reading on Wikipedia, and having done that before buying the book, reading it felt like an episode of déjà vu, even as a newcomer to the subject of NLP.

If you're in sales, relatively green at it, and you want a motivational book with mostly good advice on how better to communicate with prospects and clients, this book does fit that bill. If you're a skeptical sort like me looking for data, statistics, concrete examples and copious authoritative and neutral references, this is not that book.
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