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The Apex Predator Explains the 48 Laws of Power [Part IV]

The Apex Predator explains Laws 25-32 from the 48 Laws of Power and how to leverage them in the business world.

The Apex Predator explains Laws 25-32 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, and here for Part 3. And as alwasy, please prepare your minds and bodies for a cold-blooded tour of the laws that truly govern your success.

The 48 Laws of Power in Sales: Part IV

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 25. Re-Create Yourself 

Summary: Do not accept the roles that society foists on you. Re-create yourself by forging a new identity, one that commands attention and never bores the audience. Be the master of your own image rather than letting others define if for you. Incorporate dramatic devices into your public gestures and actions – your power will be enhanced and your character will seem larger than life. 

Apex's Thoughts: Like David Bowie, you need to be a fucking chameleon to win people over and stay ahead of the curve. Like Jordan, you need to reinvent your game to adapt to different phases of your career. And if you've spent your entire sales career struggling as a middling performance, you need to go full Don Draper, burn your current identity to the ground and rebuild from the ground up. Oh I'm sorry, did I just give away a major Mad Men spoiler? Get over it. 

Law 26. Keep Your Hands Clean   

Summary: You must seem a paragon of civility and efficiency: Your hands are never soiled by mistakes and nasty deeds. Maintain such a spotless appearance by using others as scapegoats and cat’s-paws to disguise your involvement.

Apex's Thoughts: Work through proxies. Learn to love backchannels. Strategically leak info anonymously. Basically, act like an SEC football coach. If you get good at it, you'll be well-paid and having way more fun than all your colleagues.  

Law 27. Play on People’s Need to Believe 

Summary: People have an overwhelming desire to believe in something. Become the focal point of such desire by offering them a cause, a new faith to follow. Keep your words vague but full of promise; emphasize enthusiasm over rationality and clear thinking. Give your new disciples rituals to perform, ask them to make sacrifices on your behalf. In the absence of organized religion and grand causes, your new belief system will bring you untold power. 

Apex's Thoughts: Law 27 here is effectively Robert Greene's version of, "Sell the dream." Give your poor prospects a new leash on life. Make them hate themselves less. Give them a ray of hope. Pro-Tip: Avoid your instinct to go flowery here. It's better to sell the dream while bashing the current reality. People love standing against things as much, if not more than standing for things.  

Law 28. Enter Action with Boldness   

Summary: If you are unsure of a course of action, do not attempt it. Your doubts and hesitations will infect your execution. Timidity is dangerous: Better to enter with boldness. Any mistakes you commit through audacity are easily corrected with more audacity. Everyone admires the bold; no one honors the timid. 

Apex's Thoughts: Fortune favors the brave. Know matter where you go, you should do so with the bravado of Prince at the 0:55 second mark of this video.

Law 29. Plan All the Way to the End 

Summary: The ending is everything. Plan all the way to it, taking into account all the possible consequences, obstacles, and twists of fortune that might reverse your hard work and give the glory to others. By planning to the end you will not be overwhelmed by circumstances and you will know when to stop. Gently guide fortune and help determine the future by thinking far ahead.  

Apex's Thoughts: Big fan of this Law. And it's a very tough and important one for sales pros to master. Chances are, everything about your sales culture is trying to prevent you from fully thinking through your moves. Don't fall for it. Seek to understand your process and client base completely. Sales is a game of chess - start thinking multiple steps ahead with each prospect.

Law 30. Make your Accomplishments Seem Effortless    

Summary: Your actions must seem natural and executed with ease. All the toil and practice that go into them, and also all the clever tricks, must be concealed. When you act, act effortlessly, as if you could do much more. Avoid the temptation of revealing how hard you work – it only raises questions. Teach no one your tricks or they will be used against you. 

Apex's Thoughts: Don't thought lead.

Law 31. Control the Options     

Summary: The best deceptions are the ones that seem to give the other person a choice: Your victims feel they are in control, but are actually your puppets. Give people options that come out in your favor whichever one they choose. Force them to make choices between the lesser of two evils, both of which serve your purpose. Put them on the horns of a dilemma: They are gored wherever they turn.  

Apex's Thoughts: Huge one here. Frame your sales correspondence appropriately. If you're performing final outreach with an at-risk prospect whose deciding whether to commit or decommit to your product, present their options as: 1) Sign the contract or 2) Refer me to some qualified industry peers.

Law 32. Play to People’s Fantasies  

Summary: The truth is often avoided because it is ugly and unpleasant. Never appeal to truth and reality unless you are prepared for the anger that comes for disenchantment. Life is so harsh and distressing that people who can manufacture romance or conjure up fantasy are like oases in the desert: Everyone flocks to them. There is great power in tapping into the fantasies of the masses. 

Apex's Thoughts: Frankly, I don't see how this Law is any different from Law 27. Sell the fucking dream.

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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