Former Cultist Teaches Business Owners And Sales People Persuasive Strategies For Creating A Cult Of Customers

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New business book demonstrates how to persuade anyone -- business owners line up to learn how to create a cult following.

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Leave me penniless, homeless and jobless in any town in America and I’ll have food, lodging, funds and fans by the end of the day because of my ability to persuade people by helping them get more of what they desire.

Dave Lakhani is a prominent businessman with a past . . . he was raised in a cult and now he teaches other business owners how to persuade customers like cultists using scientifically proven persuasion techniques. But Lakhani doesn’t advocate the unethical manipulative side of cult recruiting, rather he focuses on what cults do right when applied ethically and persuasively in his new book Persuasion: The Art Of Getting What You Want (Wiley, 2005).

“I started studying persuasion over 25 years ago because I wanted to understand what made my mom, a brilliant woman, decide to raise her three sons in a cult, and what made her stay. Even though she finally left the cult, on her deathbed she wondered if she’d made the right decision, it was at that point that I thought to myself, shouldn’t every business have customers this convicted and if they ever leave, shouldn’t they always wonder if they made the right decision”, said Lakhani.

“Cults have a very unique methodology for recruiting new members and the model is actually one that works exceptionally well in building brands and businesses when used ethically,” says Lakhani.

The most significant challenge in recruiting new customers today is having something relevant to say that penetrates the armor that protects them from the bombardment of advertising and sales pitches they receive on a daily basis. But, by carefully applying the key principles of persuasion, virtually anyone can become a better persuader in any situation. This is some of the most important information not included in sales training today.

The book focuses on demonstrating how ethical advertisers, salespeople and even suitors can use powerful persuasion techniques to get more of what they want. Lakhani says, “Everyone is persuasive to some degree, but by understanding how to just use a few of the 17 key concepts from the book like Persona, Exclusivity, Giving To Receive or Desire To Believe, businesses are able to better present a message that is not only compelling but persuasive to an increasingly skeptical consumer."

The processes in the book focus on initiating our sub-conscious behavior patterns that allow the persuader to achieve a predictable result. More importantly, the message builds real loyalty by providing the one thing that cults promise and that businesses should, salvation. There are many examples of cult brands, Jimmy Buffet Parrot Heads and Harley Riders come to mind. There have even been a number of books about creating cult brands but until now, none have given the precise steps to take to move someone from an ambivalent consumer to a persuaded customer capable of cult like loyalty.

“There is a subtle but significant difference between persuasion and manipulation as practiced by real cults, and that difference is intent. If you intend to manipulate, you are focused only on your own outcome and usually at someone else’s expense. Persuaders simply help people come to their own best conclusion while remembering that the person being persuaded always has choice. When cult brands are created choice always remains at the forefront of the process rather than being systematically destroyed as is the reality in destructive cults."

Lakhani says: “Leave me penniless, homeless and jobless in any town in America and I’ll have food, lodging, funds and fans by the end of the day because of my ability to persuade people by helping them get more of what they desire.”

Dave Lakhani is the President of Bold Approach Inc., the nation’s first Business Acceleration Strategy™ firm headquartered in Boise, Id and is the author of Persuasion: The Art Of Getting What You Want (Wiley, 2005) and The Power of an Hour (Wiley, 2006). Dave is an in demand speaker whose clients include many of the Fortune 500 as well as small and mid-sized businesses. For more information please call 208-323-2653.

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Caitlin Gray
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