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Take Advantage of The Nay-Sayer

 

Techniques General persuasion > The Art of Being Right > Take Advantage of The Nay-Sayer

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

If you observe that your opponent designedly returns a negative answer to the questions which, for the sake of your proposition, you want him to answer in the affirmative, you must ask the converse of the proposition, as though it were that which you were anxious to see affirmed; or, at any rate, you may give him his choice of both, so that he may not perceive which of them you are asking him to affirm.

Example

Do you want the company to fail?
Do you want to miss out on this opportunity?
Will you delay the purchase further?

Do you want to go, or do you not want to go?

Discussion

Most people prefer to agree and say 'yes', as it is often a social rule to be pleasant and agreeable.  Some people react against the 'yes' position and take a polar opposite, saying 'no', denying access, refusing offers and so on.

If you want such 'naysayer' people to agree, them you cannot give them a question to which 'yes' is the right answer for you, but you can simply reverse the question so by disagreeing with the question, they effectively agree with what you want them to agree.

An alternative, particularly with people who block but do not choose, is to give them a stark and time-limited choice. When forced to decide many will (at last) make a sensible decision.

'Take Advantage of The Nay-Sayer' is the tenth of Schopenhauer's stratagems.

See also

Yes-set Close, Objection-handling

 

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