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You will generally gain more power in life if you can get people to identify with you and commit to you. Brands like Apple and Nike are successful because they have people that identify with them. If you have ever seen Apple release a new product, you probably also saw people in line waiting to get the new product.
Herb Cohen, the author of ‘You can negotiate anything’ is one of the people that know the importance of getting customers to identify with you. Herb Cohen once asked the clients of IBM why they preferred IBM over other manufacturers. Now, IBM’s system was more expensive than others and not the best system out there. It was also quite complex. And customers knew they had better choices, however, they chose IBM because they were professional and helpful.
They knew that if they ran into any problems, IBM would help them. The professionalism and empathy of IBM employees got customers to identify with them. Similarly, Amazon has a loyal customer base because of their customer care and professionalism. Customers know Amazon will do anything to solve their problems.
How to get customers to identify with you
Likewise, if your customers know you’re there for them and you’re ready to do anything to increase their satisfaction and solve their problem. They will have no problem identifying with you and committing to your brand.
You can get people to identify with you by speaking to their hopes, dreams, needs, and problems. If you can act professional and reasonable when dealing with customers, you will gain their cooperation, loyalty, and respect. Approach them with the hopes of solving their problems and satisfying their needs. Always convey yourself as an honest, empathetic, and professional person, so people can identify with you.
Identification influences the decision-making process of many people. Some people may even vote for a political candidate that is not in their best economic interest. But they do so anyway because they can identify with that person.
How Herb Cohen used identification to win a case
Identification can also defeat logic. Herb Cohen once worked as a lawyer. This one time, he had a client that was a really bad liar. In order to prove his client was not guilty, Herb had to bring someone to testify for the criminal. He decided to get the criminal’s mother to testify for his son. Turns out the mother was also a bad liar, it was clear Herb had lost the case.
Unfortunately, the prosecutor there abused the elderly lady and made her cry. When break time came, Herb went to help the elderly lady get off the podium. When doing so he looked at the Jury. Turns out, The Jury was thinking about how the lady already had a criminal son and now had been abused. After seeing how helpless she was and how Herb helped the poor lady. The jury could simply not identify with the prosecutor and chose not guilty despite all the evidence.
Book: You can negotiate anything by Herb Cohen