The Ben Franklin Secret to Sales & Persuasion

Tucked away neatly in the autobiographical pages of one of America’s most influential men lies a subtle secret to effective influence.

Mr. Franklin was no stranger to rebel thought and direct challenge to ideas he vehemently disagreed with, yet he wrote reflectively…

“Disputations”… are “a very bad habit, making people often extremely disagreeable… and thence, besides souring and spoiling the conversation, is productive of disgusts and perhaps enmities where you may have occasion for friendship.”

When he discovered the superior persuasion power that simple questions had over authoritative statements of argument (via his studies of the Socratic Method), he wrote…

“I was charmed with it, adopted it, dropped my abrupt contradiction and positive argumentation, and put on the humble inquirer and doubter.

… I found this method safest for myself and very embarrassing to those against whom I used it.

Therefore, I took delight in it, practicing it continually, and grew very artful and expert in drawing people, even of superior knowledge, into concessions, the consequences of which they did not foresee, entangling them in difficulties out of which they could not extricate themselves, and so obtaining victories that neither myself nor my cause always deserved.

I continued this method for a few years, but gradually left it, retaining only the habit of expressing myself in terms of modest diffidence (humility);

…never using, when I advanced anything that may possibly be disputed, the words certainly, undoubtedly, or any others that give the air of positiveness to an opinion;

…but rather say, I conceive or apprehend a thing to be so and so; it appears to me, or I should think it so or so, for such and such reasons; or I imagine it to be so; or it is so, if I am not mistaken.

*Jim Rohn would give us the phrase “It seems to me….”

This habit, I believe, has been of great advantage to me when I have had occasion to inculcate my opinions and persuade men into measures that I have been from time to time engaged in promoting…

For, if you would inform, a positive and dogmatic manner in advancing your sentiments may provoke contradiction and prevent candid attention.

If you seek information and improvement from the knowledge of others, and yet, at the same time, express yourself as firmly fixed in your present opinions, modest, sensible men, who do not love disputation, will probably leave you undisturbed in the possession of your error.

And by such a manner, you can seldom hope to recommend yourself in pleasing your hearers, or to persuade those whose concurrence you desire.

Pope says, judiciously:

Men should be taught as if you taught them not,
And things unknown proposed as things forgot;

In summary…

Influence is best achieved with friends & allies vs. enemies.

The spirit of friendship is best fostered via a sense of common ground.

1. Don’t argue or arrogantly assert your position.
2. Humbly ask questions in a spirit of looking for the truth vs. claiming to already have it.
3. Don’t try to make others wrong or even “one-up them” via your questioning.

People want to feel important. People want to feel like they matter. People want to preserve status.

By placing yourself on the same humble, truth-seeking ground as your audience, everyone preserves status and you can go on a journey, to find the best answers, -> together.

When the best answers are realized, it doesn’t take any convincing to follow them.

Your prospects will buy naturally and it feels a lot more like ‘magic’ than it does ‘sales.’

It’s not magic, though, is it?

It’s just the Ben Franklin Secret to Sales and Persuasion, and now you’ve got it even more than you already did with this little reminder. 😉

Thanks for reading and whatever you do, always go for your dreams!


PS: This ‘Enlightened Wealth Machine‘ presentation is only up for 3 more days. If you haven’t seen it yet, and want to, please be sure to check it out before we take it down this Saturday.

PPS: Here’s some of what you’ll get, if you decide to watch…

  • My Personal Doorway To Freedom
  • How I went from single-parent home poverty to becoming a debt free millionaire in my 40’s…
  • The most valuable thing I inherited from my grandparents… (FAR more valuable than money)
  • How I said ‘Good Bye‘ to my soul sucking cubicle job and built a wildly profitible business that feeds my soul instead.
  • How I earned my first $100 per month in residual income and lived to regret it.
  • Why becoming a ‘millionaire‘ might be the wrong goal for some…
  • The Dirty Truth about ‘Push Button Riches’…

All that and more, in this Enlightened Digital Wealth Seminar that’s up for just 72 more hours

Leave a Comment