Degrees of Manipulation

Is it manipulation, or not?  Where is the dividing line?

It’s sort of like speeding.  No matter how fast you are going, you’re not speeding, but the guy going faster than you is.  Of course, anyone driving slower than you would say that you are speeding.

Same with manipulation.  Most salespeople will tell you that what they do is not manipulation.  They don’t cross that line, although others do.  In their eyes, it’s just influence and persuasion, a subtle nudge here and there, but not manipulation.  What they do is only manipulation in the eyes of someone who does it less.

Most salespeople know that pushing too hard is bad for business.  The question is, how little can you push, and still make sales?


Author: Carl Ingalls

Administrator for High Probability Selling Blog

4 thoughts on “Degrees of Manipulation”

    1. Hello Joseph,

      “Manipulation” does not have a clean enough definition for a black&white, is-it-or-isn’t-it determination when the intensity of influence is very low. The cleanest definition I could find is in the Wikipedia article on Psychological Manipulation.

      Your question points to one of the many paradoxes to be found in High Probability Selling. I am trying to get people to think about what they believe. I am trying to influence people. Am I using some degree of manipulation to get people to question what they believe about manipulation?

      When we practice HPS, and when we do our best not to influence people’s decisions, are we in fact influencing their decisions?

      Carl Ingalls


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