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Why Musk was a good salesman (Trying to answer the boss question)

The boss of this website was not sure why Elon Musk was a good salesman: Elon Musk: The Emotional Idiocy of A Genius | The Power Moves

In my humble opinion, we need to first recognize the following facts:

  1. High-income or highly educated individuals are more rational (https://www.nber.org/papers/w16791)
  2. Group is more rational than individual (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022103103001793?casa_token=sgGeZn1EvkEAAAAA:3TCbGb718awcLki-7pzyHlttaqnz4E4mj4O16sY-B3oYsLLfIYWQJA2O-VHZSMSJCylaZ_kICWo)
  3. Large institute is more rational than individual consumer.

Psychologically manipulating consumers or building an emotional bond with the consumers might work well for average individuals, for example in the retail industry, gambling industry, car and housing market. But for the deals between larger institutes or highly educated individuals, people are more convinced with rationality, logics, intelligence, and statistics.

For example, if the boss of this website is buying a house, will he be convinced if the realtor trying to use power-moves on him, elicit (fake) competition, and build a strong emotional bond with him?

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Great observation, selffoe.

Also, we might apply that same logic to the type of people Elon Musk deals with the most.

His businesses are very much high-tech and engineering-driven, and programmers and engineers also tend to be more rational.

Still, I remain skeptical as to whether Musk could be considered a stellar salesman.

Quote from selffoe on March 22, 2021, 10:05 am

For example, if the boss of this website is buying a house, will he be convinced if the realtor trying to use power-moves on him, elicit (fake) competition, and build a strong emotional bond with him?

Those techniques work, selffoe.

They do work more on some people than other, for sure.
And for sure they'll probably work more on people who don't know those techniques.

But they tend to work with the majority of people, and also tend to work even when you spot them.
If the seller elicits fake competition and you think "uh-oh, power move", your rational mind thinks "discard that information", but that information is there now, no matter how much you try to rationally cancel it.
Plus, even rationally, you are still left wondering "but... What if it's true? Man, I like this house...".

Also, begin a good salesman is not all about techniques or manipulation, but also about being a generally high-value person, and being generally good socially.
In the case of an entrepreneur, it's also about being charismatic and having people fall in love with your goal -and with you-.

"BOSS OF THIS WEBSITE"

Check out this thread on that one.

Matthew Whitewood and selffriend have reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewoodselffriend
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on March 22, 2021, 5:12 pm

Great observation, selffoe.

Also, we might apply that same logic to the type of people Elon Musk deals with the most.

His businesses are very much high-tech and engineering-driven, and programmers and engineers also tend to be more rational.

Still, I remain skeptical as to whether Musk could be considered a stellar salesman.

Quote from selffoe on March 22, 2021, 10:05 am

For example, if the boss of this website is buying a house, will he be convinced if the realtor trying to use power-moves on him, elicit (fake) competition, and build a strong emotional bond with him?

Those techniques work, selffoe.

They do work more on some people than other, for sure.
And for sure they'll probably work more on people who don't know those techniques.

But they tend to work with the majority of people, and also tend to work even when you spot them.
If the seller elicits fake competition and you think "uh-oh, power move", your rational mind thinks "discard that information", but that information is there now, no matter how much you try to rationally cancel it.
Plus, even rationally, you are still left wondering "but... What if it's true? Man, I like this house...".

Also, begin a good salesman is not all about techniques or manipulation, but also about being a generally high-value person, and being generally good socially.
In the case of an entrepreneur, it's also about being charismatic and having people fall in love with your goal -and with you-.

"BOSS OF THIS WEBSITE"

Check out this thread on that one.

Hi Lucio, I agree most part of your thoughts.

Also, begin a good salesman is not all about techniques or manipulation,

I never say that a good salesman is all about manipulative techniques summarized in TPM. In fact, I advocated the contradiction of it. I think Elon Musk is a stellar salesman not because of his techniques -- as you can also see his "techniques" are bad -- but, because of his other abilities. One of the important abilities, I think, is to present himself as a harmless nice guy-ish nerd who spend all his time on techs. This way, smart people, billionaires and their team, whose EI/PI/SI are ten times of ours, will less likely to think Musk is manipulative and therefore trust him more.

If the theory above is acceptable, then the publicized video between Musk and Riley could well be a marketing material to tell us that Musk is just a harmless nerd who will honestly spend all his time on value-creation for shareholders (but I have no formal evidence). Note that the best marketing material is the material that you don't think it is relevant to marketing. Also note that Riley is an actress. Also note that Riley and Musk has a pre-nuptial agreement, so if Riley was truly manipulating Musk that much successfully and Musk was truly ignorance, she should have a better agreement, or even no agreement at all, by her manipulation techniques.

Further observation on Musk and why you should consider him as one of the best salesmans: 

In short, he is the best salesman who can make you dream by linking the most unbelievable miracles in this world with his projects, and by covert marketing.

Let me give a snapshot of Tesla's marketing campaign in my personal view.

Note that roughly two years before the first Tesla electric car went out market, thousands of documentary on the died innovator N Tesla start to circulate on World Wide Web. Those videos and articles are either long and short, in all major languages, all bragging about the innovation of N Tesla: alternating current, alternator, ball lightning, radio, light, x-ray, wireless, UFO-like helicopters, etc. Many of those innovations are overly exaggerated to the extend of god-like. Later, some popular Hollywood movies, which all indirectly depicted a godly innovator, N Tesla, who invented things like time-machine.

It is hard to believe if anyone is willing to invest in a died person, if his name was not Tesla.

Now, if you bought a Tesla just because N Tesla gave you a positive emotional link, will you be happy? I guess most people will not. I am not sure how many people can exactly see through this link and this marketing strategy, but I am sure that not many can.

Funny enough, later, another electric vehicle company, Nikola, was established in 2012, trying to free ride the marketing public good, Nikola Tesla. Then, an endless war between Nikola and Tesla began.

Of course, my observation is only one tiny tip of the iceberg, and my analysis is by no mean perfect. I again don't have real evidence that Musk invested in all those documentaries and movies about N tesla. Any opinions, comments or discussion, long or short, will by highly appreciated.

Great findings! I have always observed that group decision is based more on rationality than individual needs and wants, didn't know that there are research done on such studies.

Come to think about it, its actually Pratfall Effect at play. Elon Musk exhibit extraordinary attribute in term of having a broad and deep enough knowledge in various science and technology field. As selffriend mentioned, STEM field requires higher degree of rationality and competence in order to convince anyone to onboard. He definitely able to pull this off due to his vast domain knowledge, at the same time make up for his social awkwardness.

When you look at some genius who seems to have the ability to do extraordinary things, one probably cant help but felt that level was unattainable. Yet when you see he struggling at public speaking and awkwardness in social life, it effectively bring him down to normal human being and be more relatable. From investors' point of view, yes he does seem to be a harmless nerd who mind his own vision and does not come across as hungry for power or dominance.

I grew up with group of friends, which some of them are like that too. Folks who are complete techie, extremely good at what they do but socially inadequate. Yet, they are more well liked by everyone due to value they can bring to the table and also came off as harmless nerds who minds their own business. In contrast , the social butterflies of the group need to pour more effort in establishing connections, almost always the one initiating conversation or hosting events.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano
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