Using Their Criteria

In the last post we talked about using Reverse Psychology and now I want to talk about another cool thing that I use both in business and everyday conversations. Some people call it Eliciting Their Criteria. We talked about it as being used in a buying context or in how people use it to make decisions and take action. So now let’s look at how to use it in other everyday things like getting a drink at a crowded bar or getting better service at a restaurant.

Now my buddy who lives in Waco showed me this. He actually uses it in his business ( when he sells his tree service. Basically he said he looks for signs on what someone responds to. When you use it in sales you ask a bunch or questions to get an idea of what your prospect responds to positively and then you match that back to them when you give your presentation.

Anyhow we went out for drinks a few years ago and the places we went to were really crowded. Needless to say I was having a hard time getting the bartenders to take my drink order. Every time it was my turn to get us a drink it seemed like it was taking twice as long as it took my buddy. After like the third time waiting for me he finally said, Jones come with me and I’ll show you how to get the bartenders to notice you.

Crowded Bar

On the way over to the bar he told me how every person is different and every bartender is different. When the bar is full and they are busy they get into whatever personal work mode¬†they need to, to do their job. In essence they get into their own particular zone and they tend to respond to people based upon what they feel they are most comfortable with. For example he explained, some bartenders respond to people who raise their hands to get noticed, while others it might be someone who yells loudly at them, or it might be someone who stands right in front of them while they’re making the drinks or who stand in some other particular spot. And it may be any combination of these things and more.

So now, before we actually fight our way to the bar let’s look at the bartenders for a few minutes and see what they respond to. The first thing I noticed was that one of the female bartenders kept her head down while she was mixing drinks. She completely missed all the people raising their hands trying to get noticed. What she did respond to were the ones who leaned in and told her what they wanted. After her doing this 3 or 4 orders in a row it got became really clear. Then we watched a different male bartender and this guy would respond to people who nodded at him. It was weird, he didn’t respond to the people raising their arms but the people who looked him in the eye and nodded at him that they were ready.

I remember just looking at my buddy like he just handed me the holy grail of getting bar service in the busiest of bars for the rest of my life. Of course I could see the other implications as well but really, this is something truly amazing. Now don’t go thinking that just because bartenders have their preferred ways of noticing people that they can’t or won’t pick people who raise their arms or yell. People have flexibility. The point is not that someone will always do things in a certain way or respond in the same way every time, but that people have their preferred tendencies and when they are busy, or in the zone, these tendencies will come out more. These are unconscious tendencies and when you can match yourself to someone’s unconscious tendencies you increase your chances of getting them to notice you.

So, it was my turn to try out my new skill. I decided to pick the girl since she had ignored me before when I stood there with my hand in the air looking like the last kid to get picked in gym class. I walked up to where I saw her respond most to the previous patrons, I leaned in while she was mixing a drink, and I told her that I would have a vodka tonic and Heineken. To my surprise she nodded and said sure. Amen this stuff works.

The next time you’re out trying to get a drink or to get someone to wait on you, try this technique. You won’t be disappointed.

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