The Power to Influence: Summary & Review (Tony Robbins)

The Power to Influence is an early Tony Robbins product to influence and persuade people.

Exec Summary

  • Agree and redirect, never argue!
  • Sales are about making friends
  • Don’t tell people what’s bad about their current supplier, ASK them what could be improved with their current supplier

Full Summary

Pain and Pleasure

Tony Robbins says there are two main drivers in life: avoiding pain and seeking pleasure.

As a top salesman, you gotta build both!

When a person buys it’s because he associates more pleasure in buying than not buying. Buying means pleasure, not buying means pain.

Tony Robbins says that if you want to sell you must get the person to a point where they are really dissatisfied with what they are and/or with what they have.
Once you get them to that point, they are now compelled to change.  Now heal them with your product.

Tony Robbins says that AT&T reaches out and touches someone advertising masterfully using both pain and pleasure at the same time.

Basically, to stir pain, you must disturb your prospect. And then heal him again.

On the pleasure side instead, persuasion is the process of getting your customer to clearly associate their most desired feelings or states to your product or service.


Tony Robbins uses the example of selling a real estate property. Let’s imagine the objection is the distance from the city. This is how you deal with it:


Find out what the likely objection to your products or service is and start with them.
If the house is 50km from the city you can say

“I will show you this property, it’s amazing, the biggest I’ve seen around here. and most importantly it’s 50km outside of this filthy city. You can be out there in the open space and smell fresh air. And if you gotta get here, in 40 minutes you are. And when you get home, freedom.


If the objection comes later, make a question out of it and then address that question.

Let’s imagine the prospect raises the distance objection, you say:

OK, but you really liked the property.
Yes, but too far.
How long will it take to get to the place you’d like to go to? (turn the objection into a question)
How much longer will it take than the place you were possibly thinking.
20 minutes
Isn’t it worth 20 minutes for living outside of the filth of the city?


Tell them they’re not good enough for it.

It’s too far away
I’m kinda glad you said that, I didn’t think you could qualify to live in this community

And now he’ll be proving to you that he’s good enough.

Check Dan Rather interviewing George Bush for that.
On the topic of integrity, Bush first tries to reframe, which doesn’t work and then goes for deframing. Now the interviewer is chasing. Now it’s about Dan’s integrity, not Bush.

Set Outcome

Tony Robbins suggests setting outcomes for your goals rather than listing a set of activities.


  1. That You Have Their Best Interest in Mind Believe in your product and care about the person. The most important tenet
  2. That Your Product Fills Their Wants Many salesmen sell what they wanna have. So if they are adventurous they tell their clients “oh this trip around the world will be so adventurous”. While if the customers want to connect they should say “connecting with people of all cultures will make you feel great”.
  3. What Will Others Think: We are human creatures, we always care what our neighbors, friends, and colleagues will think. And of course, our partner.
  4. It’s Worth It: The question for the customer is what they have to give up to get your product. It’s not just money, but do they need to wait, do they need to learn how to use it, to install it, to tell another supplier they don’t wanna work with them anymore? You want them to believe the pain to acquire your product pales in comparison to the benefits they will get

If they don’t wanna break a relationship, you make them hurt even more.
So ask them: wow you know what, I’m jealous of your supplier for such a great relationship. Tell me, what does he do so great (telling he’s wrong goes against his beliefs)?
And then tell me, what could he do better?
Now, drill on the things he could do better: what does it mean to your company? What if the mistakes keep going on…?

Align and Redirect -Never Argue-!

If he says it’s too expensive, never say “no” because that would break rapport.

Ask why it’s too expensive, or compared to what it’s too expensive.
Then ask “well, mr prospect, have you ever had a situation when you tried to save money and were dissatisfied with a cheap product you bought? It just happened to me some days ago with… “.

And then ask if they’d rather have a quality product.

Another great way is to actually agree with them and then redirect.

And if they don’t know the answer to one of your questions you can say. I can appreciate that, I know you don’t know the answer, but if you did know what would you probably say”.

Or: “I know you can’t but if you could, what would it be”

Handling Gatekeepers

Tony Robbins says some salespeople’s strategy to go through gatekeepers is to bully them into compliance. I have seen the “bully technique” in action and experienced it firsthand. Definitely, not the best way to go.

He suggests instead that you be nice to the gatekeepers while staying steadfast to your goal at the same time. The approach he recommends is that you call and say something like:

Hallo, this is Janet, good morning
Hallo Janet, good morning, this is Tony Robbins from Robbins Research is mr Smith in?
Who wants to speak with him?
Yes, this is Tony Robbins from Robbins Research
Oh, OK, can I take a message for you sir?
No it’s personal

Tony Robbins says it’s OK to say it’s personal because it is personal since your target is the only one who can actually evaluate your proposal and answer.
If the gatekeeper tells you he’s in a meeting, here’s the move Robbins proposes: you say “OK, I’ll hold”. Holding, says Robbins, will pile up lots of pressure on the gatekeeper that will eventually yield and pass your call as soon as the meeting or the call your target was on is over.

Believe in Your Products

Similar to many other sales training and books, Robbins repeats a big truth of what it takes to be successful in sales: you have to believe your product is good and will help your targets.
Call not because you need to call, but because you want your prospects to be better off.

Make Friends

Lastly, Tony Robbins reminds us that salespeople are paid to make friends!
You have to love people!
Enjoy people, and like them, everyone has something you can like. Even annoying ones might have a bad day, and they will remember if you help them.

The people who are loved the most are those who can induce state changes. If someone is sad, that’s your opportunity, make them happy!

How You Can Apply It

  • Never argue with a customer, agree and change his mind with questions instead
  • If you want to change someone’s mind don’t tell them about what’s bad, ask them about what’s bad and let them tell you


It’s an audiobook and, like a few other Tony Robbins’ products, it doesn’t seem to follow a precise structure, it jumps a bit left and right which can make it slightly harder to follow


Some great gold nuggets from Tony Robbins.

Especially the part in which the author says you don’t ask what someone else is doing wrong as that’s too direct. Make a compliment first, then ask what they could do better and let the prospect see the other party is not that great after all.
If you enjoyed it also check: Personal Power II

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