How to Get Anyone to Say “Yes”

A Subtle Psychological Trick You Can Use to Nudge Decisions in Your Favor

How to use tag questions to get anyone to say "yes"

Introverts aren’t generally known for their conversation skills. As a rule, we like to stick to ourselves and spend far too much time in our own heads to succeed in a world that was created by and for extroverts. So, if we want to carve out a place for ourselves (either in our personal or professional lives) we have to learn conversation tactics to help us get what we want and need.

One of the biggest ways we can change our lives is buy learning how to get other people to say “yes.”

The Power of Yes!

Thinking of going to your boss and asking for a promotion or a raise? How are you going to get them give you the green light? Planning how to approach a potential romantic partner a t a party? How do you get them to agree to a date? Seeking capital to get your start-up business off the ground? How can you get an investor onboard?

In all these situations you need the listener to say “yes.” One little word—just three letters—yet so powerful!

And while there are a ton of variables that go into achieving a successful outcome in any of these situations—from wearing the right clothes, to having enough experience, to showcasing great financials—there is an easy psychological trick you can use to put the frosting on the cake and put your listener in a more agreeable mood.

Tag Questions Trick the Mind Into Agreeability

Derek Borthwick, author of How to Talk to Anybody: Learn the Secrets to Small Talk, Business, Management, Sales & Social Conversations & How to Make Real Friends, introduced me to a tool called Tag Questions. These questions are specifically created to generate a positive response—to get the listener to say “yes”—and are placed at the end of a statement.

For example: “I’m glad the sun has come out. It’s going to be a beautiful day, isn’t it?”

It may or may not turn out to be a beautiful day but the natural (and expected) response to that question is “yes.”

Although tag questions can be used in any situation from the board room to the bar room, Borthwick mentions tag questions in conjunction with sales pitches. Studies have found that people will be more likely to buy a product or service when asked if they have simply said “yes” several times before being asked.

This phenomenon happens at the subconscious level. We repeatedly agree with a person’s statements and it shifts our mind to be more apt to say “yes” even when we’re unsure if we actually agree!

This tactic is widely used in psychotherapy and hypnosis the generate susceptibility and a “therapeutic alliance.” It’s actually called The Yes Set.

How Does the Yes Set Work?

It sounds too simple to be true:  by getting someone to say “yes” to disparate tag questions you’re able to subtly change their attitude and overcome mental obstacles to “buying” what the speaker is selling.

But when you dig into the mental mechanics of it, it’s not so hard to understand why it works. People like to be liked. We also like to be around people like us. We gravitate toward individuals who have the same hobbies, attitudes, and speech patterns as us—even body language plays a tremendously important role in how we feel about people we haven’t even met.

Tag questions allows us to use subtle suggestibility to create:

  • Authority
  • Comradery
  • Feelings of good will

All of these can effectively change how a listener perceives a speaker on very basic levels. Therefore, if the speaker then proposes we go out to dinner Saturday night or that they deserve a 15% raise because they’ve worked so hard, we’re more likely to say “yes.”

Groundwork is Essential for Tag Questions to Work

While the Yes Set is powerful, it won’t move mountains by itself. If a listener already has existing assumptions or feelings about the speaker, those must be overcome first through positive social interaction, effective communication, and presentation of facts that paint the speaker in a good light.

However, if the subject has no preconceived notions about the speaker or if they already like the listener, the power of the Yes Set can be tremendous. This tool can reap significant financial benefits for folks promoting their products or services to targeted audiences. It can also change the course of a career if your boss already likes you. It can even change the dynamic in a long-standing personal relationship to a more positive note.

Next time you’re in a conversation, sprinkle tag questions throughout your conversation and see first-hand how this psychological tactic really works!

An Introvert’s Guide to a Wealthy Life is now available in Kindle, Paperback, and Hardcover editions!

How Has Your Introversion Affected Your Life?

Your Innate Personality Type Impacts Your Life at Every Level

Even If You Realize It or Not!

Introversion has been in the spotlight a lot recently. Mostly, the books, the blog posts, the websites, and such have been about how you too can succeed as an introvert! While that message is great (and completely true) it strikes me funny that it seems to miss the point. Why do introverts need to be told they’re good enough to do anything they want to do in life?

your introverted personality type can impact everything from your own perception of yourself to your paycheck.

The Extrovert Bias

The introduction of Susan Cain’s groundbreaking book Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking is all about how her life and the lives of other introverts she’s come across over the years have been molded and impacted by our society’s inherent extrovert bias. It’s something that we’ve all internalized as a result of overt and subconscious exposure over the course of our lives—starting at a very young age.

This extrovert bias essentially boils down to the idea that extroverts are basically better at more important things in the real world—leading companies, making money, managing people, running households, being role models, and so much more.

Cain points out not-so-subtle brainwashing that occurs even in children’s cartoons that lead us all to buy into this fallacy and (as introverts) subjugate ourselves automatically to the extroverts that run the world.

The Extrovert Bias Impacts Our Ideas About Success

Cain traces the birth of the extrovert bias to sometime around the Industrial Revolution and its infancy stretched into the 1920s and 30s. When our world’s societies changed from agrarian lifestyles of subsistence to industry-driven lives of relative luxury, we also elevated a certain type of person above all others. We’re talking about Men of Industry! Explorers! Radio and Movies Stars! Inventors (and people, like Edison, who stole from them)! Robber barons! Industrialists! The World’s First Millionaires!

These individuals (both men and women) had big personalities, took bold risks, made big moves. They invented new things. They changed cultural norms. They created new habits, hairstyles, and fashion. And how could they not? Our collective consciousness was obsessed with them. They were plastered all over newspapers. Everything they did made it into radio broadcasts. They were the Reality Entertainment Stars of their generations.

Woman walking toward the Hollywood Sign

The names that stick out to me are big ones in history:

  • Charles Lindberg
  • Teddy Roosevelt
  • Thomas Edison
  • J.P. Morgan
  • John Jacob Astor
  • Henry Ford
  • Douglas Fairbanks
  • Bonnie and Clyde

Because so much attention was focused on these audacious people, Western Society began to associate with their success (real or perceived) with their personality rather than their actions. This divorcing of success from action makes no logical sense as those successful people still had to put in hard work to get where they were. However, in our collective Zeitgeist, these individuals became celebrities. Hence, we have the first real modern rise of The Cult of Personality.

This is the point in history which created our modern views about how personality integrates with admirable traits like:

  • Innovativeness
  • Courage
  • Charisma
  • Intelligence
  • Power
  • Wealth

And, unfortunately, these connections persist today and impact us all in very real, very measurable ways.

“The Extrovert Ideal has been documented in many studies, though this research has never been grouped under a single name. Talkative people, for example, are rated as smarter, better-looking, more interesting, and more desirable as friends. Velocity of speech counts as well as volume:  we rank fast talkers as more competent and likeable than slow ones.”

–Susan Cain

The Extrovert Bias Impacts How People See Us

the bias against introversion can change how people feel about us--even if they don't know us.

Because of this inherent bias in how people perceive introversion and those of us who were born with these types of personalities, we’re often categorized as lesser citizens. Consciously or not, people will rate introverts as:

  • Weaker
  • Less intelligent
  • Less successful
  • Less attractive
  • Less interesting
  • Less desirable as friends

This skewed perception of introverted people has been spotted in anecdotal studies but also confirmed with experimentation. Researchers have devised ways of removing this bias or skewing people’s perception by priming their mental pumps in such a way that the end up rating introverts higher on these subjective scales of success.

Usually, such experiments involve showing participants photographs of an individual and creating descriptions of them with deliberately chosen words which subtly paint the individual as either introverted or extroverted. Participants are then asked to rate the individual based solely on the photo and the description they’ve been given. The ratings vary greatly depending on the description associated with the photo.

This clearly singles out the participants’ own preconceptions about introverts and extroverts as the deciding factors for the ratings they give.

The Extrovert Bias Impacts How We See Ourselves

Sadly, the extrovert bias present in our modern society doesn’t just impact how people see us introverts, it impacts how we see ourselves as well.

Cain points to a study conducted by psychologist Laurie Helgoe in which people who had been classified as introverts via standardized and accepted methods were asked to describe themselves. These individuals used objective identifiers (like “green-blue eyes” and “high cheekbones”), pointing to specific, verifiable physical attributes.

On the other hand, when those same people were asked to describe a “generic” introvert, they used negative, almost derogatory terms like “ungainly” and “skin problems.” There’s no possibility that those same introverts don’t internalize at least some of those negative impressions!

This stigmatization of the word introvert has impacts that reach far beyond our own emotional happiness. In fact, this negative bias can literally change our lives!

The Financial Impact of the Extrovert Bias

This bias against introversion can limit a person’s professional growth, colors their professional relationships, and even cuts into their paychecks.

Introverts will make one-half million dollars less in their lifteitme than extroverts will.

For example, one study found that extroverts fill an estimated 88% of all roles at the supervisor level or higher across various industries nationwide. That’s even more shocking when you realize that only 50%-66% of the population are extroverts. Why is there such a disparity? Several management studies have found that introverts are much less likely to be groomed for promotion that extroverts. Companies and leaders are engaging in this biased behavior even when it doesn’t make good business sense. Indeed, a study conducted at Wharton found that introverts are objectively better managers and outperform their extrovert counterparts on multiple measurable level of success.

So, there are far fewer introverts in leadership positions than there should be. That means that we’re also making much less than we should be. Indeed, a study conducted by The Ascent found that the average annual salary of an introvert is $12,600 less per year than that of an extrovert! That means an introvert will make, on average, one-half million dollars less over the course of their career than an extrovert does.

But what does this really mean for you and your family? Well, what could you do with 23% more money in your paycheck every week?

What Can You Do Crush the Stigma of Introversion and Take Back Your World?

You can get those promotions you’ve been passed over for. You can get the job of your dreams. You can make people look up to and respect you. You can make more money than you ever thought possible.

All these things are within your power even if you’re an introvert.

The first step is changing how you view your personality type. You need to shed those outdated ideas and attitudes about introversion that you’ve adopted, inherited, accepted, and internalized. Learn to recognize the power in your introverted personality traits and those habits that set you apart from friends, family, coworkers, and even your boss.

That’s what An Introvert’s Guide to Wealth is all about. Unlock the power of your personality and embrace a new life.