The Apex Predator explains Laws 33-40 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, here for Part 3, and here for Part 4.  The rest of you, please prepare your minds and bodies for Laws 33-40 in the 48 Laws of Power.

The 48 Laws of Power in Sales: Part V

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 33. Discover Each Man’s Thumbscrew

Summary: Everyone has a weakness, a gap in the castle wall. That weakness is usually an insecurity, an uncontrollable emotion or need; it can also be a small secret pleasure. Either way, once found, it is a thumbscrew you can turn to your advantage. 

Apex's Thoughts: Every person, no matter how badass, has a weakness. One that is ready to bring them to their knees and enable you to prevail in total victory. Which is why you should find the weaknesses of all your competitors and begin a ledger that documents them, inside and out. Think of it as a LiveJournal, but for winners. 

Law 34. Act Like a King to be Treated Like One   

Summary: The way you carry yourself will often determine how you are treated; In the long run, appearing vulgar or common will make people disrespect you. For a king respects himself and inspires the same sentiment in others. By acting regally and confident of your powers, you make yourself seem destined to wear a crown. 

Apex's Thoughts: Acting like you belong isn't going far enough. You need to act like you run s***. You need to get in the room with that C-Level prospect and make him think less of himself/herself before your presence by showing that you're smarter and you make more money. How do you do that? By acting like it, in accordance with the other laws of power, of course.

Law 35. Master the Art of Timing 

Summary: Never seem to be in a hurry – hurrying betrays a lack of control over yourself, and over time. Always seem patient, as if you know that everything will come to you eventually. Become a detective of the right moment; sniff out the spirit of the times, the trends that will carry you to power. Learn to stand back when the time is not yet ripe, and to strike fiercely when it has reached fruition. 

Apex Predator: Newsflash: People don't like dealing with tense, stressed people. No matter how well-meaning they may seem. Cool down, take deep breaths and don't let your embarrassingly high blood pressure levels shine through in your correspondence with others. Convey relaxation, thoughtfulness and charm, and others will be drawn to you.

Law 36. Disdain Things You Cannot Have.  

Summary: By acknowledging a petty problem you give it existence and credibility. The more attention you pay an enemy, the stronger you make him; and a small mistake is often made worse and more visible when you try to fix it. It is sometimes best to leave things alone. If there is something you want but cannot have, show contempt for it. The less interest you reveal, the more superior you seem. 

Apex Predator: There's nothing like hearing a sales professional get worked up over things he or she cannot control. The leads are weak? You're weak. This is Glengarry 101, boys and girls. 

Law 37. Create Compelling Spectacles   

Summary: Striking imagery and grand symbolic gestures create the aura of power – everyone responds to them. Stage spectacles for those around you, then full of arresting visuals and radiant symbols that heighten your presence. Dazzled by appearances, no one will notice what you are really doing. 

Apex Predator: This is my all-time favorite scene from Silicon Valley, in that it conveys a man perfectly on top of his 48 Laws of Power game. I have nothing further on this point. 

Law 38. Think As You Like but Behave Like Others     

Summary: If you make a show of going against the times, flaunting your unconventional ideas and unorthodox ways, people will think that you only want attention and that you look down upon them. They will find a way to punish you for making them feel inferior. It is far safer to blend in and nurture the common touch. Share your originality only with tolerant friends and those who are sure to appreciate your uniqueness. 

Apex Predator: This is fairly straightforward, but just in case it went over your head. Yes, you can still be original, creative and unique. Just not too ahead of your time. That's how you become a fish washing ashore.  

Law 39. Stir Up Waters to Catch Fish     

Summary: Anger and emotion are strategically counterproductive. You must always stay calm and objective. But if you can make your enemies angry while staying calm yourself, you gain a decided advantage. Put your enemies off-balance: Find the chink in their vanity through which you can rattle them and you hold the strings. 

Apex Predator: Speaking of fish, you can make your competitors sleep with them by getting them emotional and off-balance. Once you have your opponents making emotional decisions, as opposed to rational ones, you are winning. Also: Don't get caught on the other side of this tactic, lest you end up like Sonny Corleone.

Law 40. Despise the Free Lunch  

Summary: What is offered for free is dangerous – it usually involves either a trick or a hidden obligation. What has worth is worth paying for. By paying your own way you stay clear of gratitude, guilt, and deceit. It is also often wise to pay the full price – there is no cutting corners with excellence. Be lavish with your money and keep it circulating, for generosity is a sign and a magnet for power. 

Apex Predator: No one likes a cheapskate. Pick up the tab everyone once in a while, for chrissakes.

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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