The Apex Predator explains Laws 17-24 from the 48 Laws of Power and how to leverage them in the business world.

Welcome back to my series on the 48 Laws of Power.  

To get up to speed, click here for Part 1, here for Part 2.  The rest of you, please prepare your minds and bodies for Laws 9-16 in the 48 Laws of Power.

The 48 Laws of Power in Sales: Part III

In this 6 part series, I'm breaking down 48 Laws of Power and applying them to the sales context. Each installment will discuss 4 Laws of Power. 

So what is "The 48 Laws of Power?" Published in 1998, it's a Best-Selling book by author Robert Greene. Greene wrote the book based on his own experiences as a Hollywood screenwriter, upon realizing that today's power elite share the same traits as powerful figures throughout history.

For the purposes of this post, we're applying each law in the sales context. If you lead a sales team, have them read this at all costs.

Law 17. Cultivate an Air of Unpredictability

Summary: Humans are creatures of habit with an insatiable need to see familiarity in other people’s actions. Your predictability gives them a sense of control. Turn the tables: Be deliberately unpredictable. Behavior that seems to have no consistency or purpose will keep them offbalance, and they will wear themselves out trying to explain your moves. Taken to an extreme, this strategy can intimidate and terrorize. 

Apex's Thoughts: Be like Frank Underwood.

Law 18. Isolation is Dangerous  

Summary: The world is dangerous and enemies are everywhere – everyone has to protect themselves. A fortress seems the safest. But isolation exposes you to more dangers than it protects you from – it cuts you off from valuable information, it makes you conspicuous and an easy target. Better to circulate among people find allies, mingle. You are shielded from your enemies by the crowd. 

Apex's Thoughts: Don't get stuck on an island. Get out there. Be amongst your peers. 

Law 19. Do Not Offend the Wrong Person 

Summary: There are many different kinds of people in the world, and you can never assume that everyone will react to your strategies in the same way. Deceive or outmaneuver some people and they will spend the rest of their lives seeking revenge. They are wolves in lambs’ clothing. Choose your victims and opponents carefully, then – never offend or deceive the wrong person. 

Apex's Thoughts: Your buyer is potentially Patrick Bateman. Treat him/her the right way, get tons of sweet referrals. Treat him/her the wrong way, get found at the bottom of a ditch after getting ax murdered while listening to Huey Lewis & the News. 

Law 20. Do Not Commit to Anyone  

Summary: It is the fool who always rushes to take sides. Do not commit to any side or cause but yourself. By maintaining your independence, you become the master of others – playing people against one another, making them pursue.


Apex's Thoughts: Your allies in business are not your friends. You hear me, you naive fool?? These people are not your friends. They will tear you apart the second it's convenient for them. Do not go ride or die with any of yours partners. 

Law 21. Seem Dumber than your Mark 

Summary: No one likes feeling stupider than the next persons. The trick, is to make your victims feel smart – and not just smart, but smarter than you are. Once convinced of this, they will never suspect that you may have ulterior motives. 

Apex's Thoughts: The greatest trick the Devil ever played was getting other people to believe he/she didn't exist. Be like the Devil. Not the poor suckers he/she tricked.

Law 22. Use the Surrender Tactic     

Summary: When you are weaker, never fight for honor’s sake; choose surrender instead. Surrender gives you time to recover, time to torment and irritate your conqueror, time to wait for his power to wane. Do not give him the satisfaction of fighting and defeating you – surrender first. By turning the other check you infuriate and unsettle him. Make surrender a tool of power.

Apex's Thoughts: Forget winning with honor. Trojan Horse your enemies early and often. 

Law 23. Concentrate Your Forces     

Summary: Conserve your forces and energies by keeping them concentrated at their strongest point. You gain more by finding a rich mine and mining it deeper, than by flitting from one shallow mine to another – intensity defeats extensity every time. When looking for sources of power to elevate you, find the one key patron, the fat cow who will give you milk for a long time to come. 

Apex's Thoughts: What's you Goose that keeps laying the Golden Egg? Don't know? Find that mythical creature and reap from it until it runs dry.

Law 24. Play the Perfect Courtier  

Summary: The perfect courtier thrives in a world where everything revolves around power and political dexterity. He has mastered the art of indirection; he flatters, yields to superiors, and asserts power over others in the mot oblique and graceful manner. Learn and apply the laws of courtiership and there will be no limit to how far you can rise in the court. 

Apex's Thoughts: Serving two masters? Welcome to the machine. Figure out how to serve both as expediently as possible. Be Tom Hagen.

Read More from the Apex Predator

The Apex Predator writes regularly for Ambition. He has a contractual obligation to recommend scheduling a demo to see Ambition's sales management platform. Read his previous articles below.

  1. Sales Motivation from the Apex Predator
  2. More Sales Motivation from the Apex Predator
  3. Sales Rescue with the Apex Predator
  4. The Return of the Apex Predator
  5. The Apex Predator's 5 Essential Sales Articles
  6. Sales Mailbag with the Apex Predator
  7. 15 Real Songs to Pump Up Your Sales Reps
  8. Why You're Losing the War for Talent
  9. The 50 Worst Things Happening in Sales Right Now
  10. The Apex Predator Explains the Laws of Power

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