The 10 Second Rule: Persuasion Or Manipulation

Network marketing, direct sales, and all sales relationships are exactly that: a relationship-building process.

Both persuasion and manipulation leave out a key ingredient in sales, which is service.

Do Not Use Persuasion Or Manipulation

Persuasion VS ManipulationThe word sales comes from a Scandinavian word meaning ‘to serve’.

When sales representatives seek to persuade or manipulate the potential client or future consultant, the focus is on what they themselves personally want, not what the customer wants.

Effective Sales Consultants

Good sales consultants, the sales person who can literally sell ice to an Eskimo, are individuals who keep the focus on what the customer wants, not what the sales rep wants.

All sales consultants know that everyone is a lead.

The philosophy that the really good reps operate under is that it is their job to figure out which need they can serve in each client.

In the classic “sell ice to an Eskimo” scenario, the salesperson discovers the need to build an igloo and then can sell ice to an Eskimo. 

He or she does not persuade or pressure the Eskimo to buy ice!

The 10 Second Rule

Using a question and answer technique, a good salesperson can find out how they can help their prospect rather than manipulating them.

I call it the 10 Second Rule.
The 10 second rule
The 10 Second Rule goes like this:

  • Share for 10 seconds or less and ask a question.
  • Listen to the answer.
  • Share for 10 seconds or less with clarifying information and ask another question.
  • Listen to the answer.
  • Share for 10 seconds or less with more clarifying information and ask another question


Here are a few examples of 10 second rule in action:

The goal in the 10 second rule is to keep the focus on others. Whether it be your kids, new friends, your husband or any situation. You can practice this for the rest of your life and you will never get it perfect.

And yet the more you practice it, the more you be putting the focus on others and sooner or later you will find gold.

Example #1 – Kid Was In A Fight

  • Kid got in a fight.
  • Oh, Johnny what happened?
  • Jason hit me and I got mad and hit him back and then we were fighting on the ground.
  • Oh, jeez you look like it hurts, why did Jason hit you?
  • I took his phone just to look at the Angry Birds game and he just hit me.
  • Well, I hate it when you fight. Did you ask him first if you could look at it?

Had the child just walked in the door and you launched a screaming fit at him you would never have uncovered the real details!

Example #2 – Out And About

  • Checkout at grocery store
  • Hi, oh my what beautiful children you have, how old are they?
  • Thank you, Jeremy is 10 and Amy is 12.
  • Nice! You two sure are cute! What are your Summer vacation plans?

And that continues. Share for 10 seconds or less and end in a question, listen… then respond with clarifying information and end in a question.

It is NOT all about business! It IS all about keeping the conversation going!

Example #3 – At A Home Party Check Out

  • You looked like you had a lot of fun tonight, what was your favorite product?
  • I really was impressed with the…
  • Cool, I see that you did not get that though, what is stopping you?
  • I will wait till the next show, I got enough already.
  • Well, You really looked like you had fun today, I bet you would be a perfect host. Would you like to have a show of your own and get that for free?

The point is that it does not matter what the question is.

If you ask enough questions, sooner or later you will find something you can serve.

Don’t Persuade Or Manipulate!

Truly effective salespeople do not persuade or manipulate.

They focus on their lead, customer or potential consultant and learn more about them and their needs, so that they can then offer them a solution in the form of a product, opportunity or service.

The 10 second rule keeps the focus on the other person and allows you to leave persuasion and manipulation out of the picture entirely!


    Shared by: Laureen Getskow:

    My action is to practice the 10 second rule! I can see how this will help form new relationships/friendships. Ending on a question gets me out of doing all the talking, putting more focus on them and provides an opportunity to really LISTEN! I learned a lot and cannot wait to learn even more. Thank you Deb!

    Shared by: shannon:

    I like this very much. That’s is one of my goals is to get more personal with my customers or party guests. Thank you for showing me that I can and will 🙂

    Shared by: Dawn DuVal:

    What great information. Another item to put into place.

    Shared by: Renae Milburn:

    you hit the nail on the head Deb. we all trend to Throw up on people and don’t listen what they want and we go on and on Talking and don’t know when to quit. and we wonder why we did not get a booking or a lead and thinking it’s all about you when, reality it’s all about them. Thank you Deb, for the 10 Second Thumb Rule.

      Shared by: Deb Bixler:

      Thanks for commenting appreciate that it is helpful to you, Renae!

    Shared by: Dianne:

    Love this. There are so many places you can practice this action/task.

    Shared by: Suzanne Flynn:

    A simple yet powerful tool ! Thanks for the tip !

    Shared by: Vanessa:

    Practicing the 10 second rule really cuts down on my chatter chatter

    Shared by: Sandy Kreps:

    I love the 10 second rule! I get chatty when I’m nervous so I remind myself, “10 seconds, 10 seconds!”

    Thanks Deb.

    Shared by: Carol:

    Thanks, I like the idea about going out of your comfort zone. I need practice on the 10sec rule. Thank you for all your help

    Shared by: Mary Hulett:

    You make an excellent point, Deb. Listening is a skill that is best nurtured. Finding out what the customer wants is SO important. Thanks for sharing.

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