Using Robert Cialdini’s Five Weapons of Influence criteria, Bruce and Barry tell readers how they’ve managed to secure such a series of high powered, influential and well remunerated roles in companies like Qintex, HIH, AWB and OneTel, and how they became patrons of a variety of cultural institutions such as the Ballet and enjoy membership of some of the best Clubs in Australia.

WEAPON OF INFLUENCE: SCARCITY

Rule 2. Scarcity breeds Desire

From time to time, change the voice message on your mobile phone, out-of-office email bounce-back or answering service etc to say, “I am sorry I am currently overseas in <XXX> (choose far away and exotic country) finalising a deal. I will return your call/email upon your return.

Also, never answer your mobile phone, always let the call go to voicemail. This makes you hard to track down and therefore more in demand. If of course you do happen to answer your mobile by mistake, always ask can you call the person back as “…I’m on a call on the other line”. Doubly impressive because so few mobiles have two lines.

Two final notes. Never your mobile phone number on your business card – this makes it just that bit harder to contact you and it also suggests that you are influential enough that you have had to seek some anonymity to avoid unsolicited calls. Secondly, if you do choose to share your mobile number on your card or with colleagues, always call it a ‘cellphone’. This will imply that you are so internationally well travelled and experienced that you have forgotten the local terminology.

As a final note. If you’re going to use new communication technology like BlackBerries or Skype, etc, make sure you’re amongst the very first users or the very last. Being first means you’re ‘with it’ and a switched-on executive. Being last means you remain just that bit harder to contact.

Being in the middle clearly brands you as just another member of the pack and should be avoided at all costs.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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