I saw a sign the other day that said, “I’m Busy. You’re Ugly. Have A Nice Day!” It’s crazy. But if I think about that, it irritates me. And the person that posted it probably thought it was funny, or they didn’t think at all. I guess I just shouldn’t wonder why someone would post that sign.
Is there a hidden meaning. What something is. What something means.
While in college, I attended a weekend political management school. Political consultant Morton Blackwell had founded The Leadership Institute to help prepare students in politics, government and the news media. (info here) I thought that the seminar was amazing.
He taught us how to create excitement with flashing cameras; never give a bureaucrat a chance to say no. For instance, it was recommended to just set up brochure tables and hand out campaign material rather than waiting for campus zoning permits. Or, schedule organizational meetings, instead of waiting to be a recognized college campus official group. (it’s better to ask for forgiveness rather than ask for permission). Just getting things done!
In the realm of persuasion, don’t let a candidate have a picture taken with an alcoholic drink in their hand. Make sure that you always wear your name tag on your right lapel, so people can easily shake your hand and look directly at your name tag.
Little items of persuasion that make a difference in a political campaign. It could have also been called “How To Persuade With More Than The Spoken Word”. I guess that’s why they say that a picture is worth a thousand words!
As I got older, I found persuasion in the practice of law. About ten years ago, we were involved in the representation of clients with claims against pharmaceutical giant Merck, relating to their manufactured drug, Vioxx. It was determined that Vioxx, an anti-inflammatory non-steroidal drug, was causing heart attacks and strokes and Merck knew it.
Ultimately, Merck was fined or sanctioned over 950 million dollars for conduct relating to pushing the drug for off-label use and other illegal marketing. (CNN) One Merck sales rep admitted to CBS (article here) that “I knew damn well it was dangerous”. Still, even after knowing the overwhelming evidence of the dangers of Vioxx, the company continued to push sales, and millions of prescriptions were still written.
The company created a high pressure sales training program to continue to sell the drug. It was ultimately revealed during litigation that the company told their 3000 sales people that they were prohibited from telling doctors about the studies that showed increased risks of strokes and heart attacks.
The sales people were specially trained in body language to create empathy with the doctor. They were taught persuasion techniques that included how to shake the doctors’ hands, how to use verbal and non-verbal cues to subconsciously raise their level of trust. All this training was heightened to help push Vioxx, while the company must have known that ultimately the medication would be pulled from the market.
Ultimately, the sales techniques came to an end. Merck entered into a global settlement of 4.85 billion dollars to settle over 27,000 claims nationwide. It was one of the largest civil settlements ever. (ABC News)
When I see that the new healthcare bill being pushed through Congress, I often think about the various pressures that are being persuasively applied to these legislators. Why are some legislators trying to include provisions in a healthcare bill that would give immunity to pharmaceutical companies. Hidden persuasions that disguised in healthcare.
And for our pic o’ day…