In earlier articles we wrote about the power of using hidden commands in normal conversation to increase sales, convince others to do omething or to accept your ideas. This is often done by separating out a simple command or suggestion by pausing, stating the command in a different tone of voice, then resuming normal conversation.
For example, when selling a car you might say, “This car gets 30 miles per gallon on the highway, which you’ll notice when you (pause) take it for a test drive. You’ll also notice that ….
Another way to insert a command into conversation is to use what are called Weasel Words. These phrases are based on the one of the techniques used by Milton Erickson, who was one of the foremost hypnotists of the last century. Erickson had a way of talking people into trance without giving any direct commands to close their eyes or relax. Instead he would just sort of talk around the idea of going into trance and people would naturally do it.
These Ericksonian Phrases are also known as Weasel Words because they allow you to weasel in a command without it being so direct or authoritarian. For example, you might say to someone, “Consider why you want to do this.”
With some people, giving a command can create a great deal of resistance. A percentage of them just do not like to take orders so they won’t respond to direct suggestion.
But what if your were to say, “I’m not entirely sure how well you can consider why you want to do this.” Here, you’re not trying to force them to consider why. You’re just asking them how well they might be able to consider why.
Now, in considering and interpreting that statement the mind has to actually consider why they want to do this, to some degree. When you use Weasel Words the listener does not have something to object to. In order to employ these phrases you first determine your outcome.
In a hypnosis setting, one outcome would be for the client to relax. You might say, “A friend once told me, you know, it’s entirely possible to just get relaxed.” You’re not telling the client to relax. You’re just repeating what a friend once said.
If you’re selling computers, you might say something like, “I wonder if now is the time that you might buy this computer. There are hundreds of Ericksonian Phrases that can be used for just about any outcome. Here are a few below. You can probably come up with your many of your own.
After you come to … After you’ve … As a whole new way of thinking opens up … All that really matters … All that’s really important … Allowing yourself to just naturally … And as that occurs, you really can’t help but notice … And I’d like to have you discover … And then, now you’ll discover … And you can be pleased …. And you can really use it … And you can wonder … And you will be surprised at … Give yourself the opportunity to see if … I wonder if you’ll be pleased to notice … I wonder if you’ll be reminded … I wonder if you’ll be surprised to discover that … In all probability … If you could … It is easy, isn’t it … Perhaps you wouldn’t mind noticing … So now’s the time …