SOTTILE: Business Articles
Devastating Disarmament
Seats of Power
Power of Risk
Extreme Entrepreneurs
Bottom Up vs Top Down
Axis Power
Pomp & Circumstance
Easing The Pain Of Loss
Devastating Disarmament
Classic Close Calls
Major League Slump
Sales vs Mgmt Income
Contracts: The Bottom Line
PR Lessons From Space
Sexual Healing
Marketing Triggers
Hoist Up Your Sales
Navigational Sales Aids
Taxing Problem
King Of The Hill
Creatives In Conflict
Fathers & Mothers
Fallacy Of Composition
"Tele" Marketing
MHT "Tele" Marketing
User Groups
High Tech Retirement
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Devestating Disarmament


"Tip, you and I are political enemies only until 6 o'clock;

it's now 4 o'clock... can we pretend that it's 6 o'clock?"

chortles Ronald Reagan.

"How can you dislike a guy like that?" muses Tip O'Neil.

"He's always... disarming."

Conversationally, it's called "stopping them dead in their

tracks." It comes from the analogy of dropping a charging

wild animal in its own footprints with a rifle shot. And to

do so requires a pretty hefty round.

Catching the public, the press, and his negotiating

counterpart offstride is one of Reagan's great communications

skills. Though Ronald, the Great Communicator, he has other

skills as well, he plays this technique for an Academy Award

each time. All in sales, marketing and pr should take note.

Muskie shed as tear and he was a whimp. Nixon shed a tear

and he was a slobbering sleaze. Reagan chokes at Normandy,

at the mass funeral for crash victims of a troop transport,

and at most any other time that is packed with emotion and he

is a strong President.

Reagan's open expressions of feelings are disarming. They

allow those around him to lower their guards and communicate

through either words or gestures. They also make others

bumble for answers as they attempt to regroup from the

disconcerting frankness.

There are six basic conversational responses: silence, self-

disclosure, questions, interpretation, reflection, and


Some disarm more than others...

Clearly, self-disclosure tops the list, since the one doing

the disclosing is voluntarily leaving themselves vunerable.

That's a position many spend their entire life shoring-up

against. Isn't it then understandable how openess attracks

attention and fosters trust.

Reflection is also disarming. In a world of hustle, bustle

and rustle, isn't it also understandable how an accurate echo

of one's voicing crying out in the wilderness is endearing.

Close to reflection is questioning. Not the parental

"gotcha" questioning, but the revealing questioning that

relaxes the other party into voluntary disclosure.

Advisement follows reflection and questioning. It doesn't

work for everybody, however. How often have we all heard

"if I need your advice, I'll ask?" Obviously, that's the

response of someone who has not been disarmed.

Interpretation, though often confused with reflection is far

different. Where relection seeks to mirror the position

of the other party, interpretation seeks analyzes the others

behavior or feelings to catergorize or rationalize. If done

right interpretation can disarm; if done wrong it can anger.

Reflecting, questioning, advising and interpreting are the

four horsemen of c-a-r-i-n-g. Simply stated, if one doesn't

care about another person, they don't go out of their way to

perform any of the four. In modern business that can oft

times be cold and distant, communication that reaches also

touches... and when it does the recipient is play dough in

the extender's hand.

Finally, there is the important element of silence, or better

yet timing. Comedians rely on timing to delivery the impact

of their words. Good conversationalist rely on timing to

allow the other party the space to get their piece said.

They also allow timing to build trust and impact. It's

doubtful that interpretion has any chance of being disarming,

if it is offered without contemplation.

So if you or your campany's sales, marketing or pr force is

not using the above techniques in their daily activities,

they are depriving themselves of devastating disarmament... a

key element in soft selling.

Sottile's Winning Action Team
Tactical Marketing Agency

"Marketing Tactics Make Corporate Strategies Happen!"
                                                                   John DavidSottile