Feb 13 2014

I’m A Fraud, A Liar, And A Cheat!

That was the opening line of magician and mentalist David Hoy’s mind-reading show back in the early 50’s.  Why would he say something like that?  That’s a pretty bizarre thing to say to an audience of strangers!  That line was crafted to turn skeptics into followers.  He understood what it took to get people on his side, to trust him, to get them to tell all their friends about him.

“So all I have to do to get someone to like me is tell them I’m full of crap?”  Uhhh, not exactly. 🙂  Many magicians, and especially performers who apparently read the minds of their audiences, will use a disclaimer at the beginning of their show.  They want to make sure no one thinks they have super powers or real psychic abilities.  It is typically referred to as ‘suspending disbelief’.  It’s like saying “Hey, I’m going to show you some things that look like I have supernatural powers.  I assure you I don’t.  But just come along with me and pretend it’s possible for the next hour and enjoy the ride.”

There were many skeptics in David’s audience.  You’ve seen the type.  Very rigid posture, arms crossed, a look on their face that screams “yeah, show me!”  After all, how many people have you ever met that really could read your mind? (besides your significant other)  However, when they left the show, it was very likely they would tell their friends what fun they had.  It’s because he established rapport immediately and let them know he’s just like them.

What are you saying to your customers the first time you meet them?  Are you completely up front with them?  Do you allow them to give you feedback?  Do they like you when they find out who you really are?

I would love to hear how you turn your skeptics into followers!


  • By Jimi Jones, March 6, 2010 @ 2:28 pm

    Good piece, Tim.
    It’s great to see you cranking out the content, man.

    To answer your question here, turning skeptics into followers is easy, just be who you are and do what you say you will do. The rest will take care of itself. I don’t set out with trying to prove anyone right or wrong, just leave them to their own opinions, which everyone is entitled to.

    Site looks great, rock on!

  • By Eric, March 6, 2010 @ 3:23 pm

    I agree with Jimi on this one. Just be you and do what you said you would do. Also, do the most important stuff first and once in a while do what you hate first. Let time take care of itself and the rest is a breeze for the most part.

    Getting personal and allowing someone to know you’re just like them but giving them extra value to their lives is a great way to attract attention. You’re just like them but you’re showing that you’re also different in your own way. This is what I feel attracts most people. They find something they like, not even realising it’s different and they jump on it and there many great things can come about.

  • By Tim, March 6, 2010 @ 7:52 pm

    Jimi, Cool seeing you here! Yeah, you have to be real. No question. Thanks for your nice comment.

    I agree Eric, people know the score when they see you add value. Thanks.

  • By TheInfoPreneur, March 7, 2010 @ 2:30 am

    Hey brother I love this post, I always say that if you start with a lie you are going down.

    It’s far too easy to catch people out these days, top work Tim

  • By Dave Doolin, March 7, 2010 @ 2:48 am

    I like it. That’s calling it out directly. Everyone knows it’s not for real, and calling it out puts everyone on his team.

    Transparency is good, emphasizing the right thing is also good. And that takes some practice.

  • By Tim, March 7, 2010 @ 9:17 am

    Hey James, thanks for stopping by. I hear ya, why would you risk a reputation with a lie?

    Dave, you make a good point about emphasizing the right thing. I’m the first to admit that taking shortcuts looks attractive, but do my best to avoid it. Thanks for your note.

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