The Human Operating System

Have you ever noticed that the harder you try to talk prospects into something or pitch the more resistence you get?

The problem is the word “into”.

Whenever people feel like they’re being talked “into” things or pitched, they want out.

Same intent.

Same behaviors.

Same results.

If you want to get better at persuading, the first step is undertanding the human operating system (hOS) so you can work with it, instead of against it.

Principle One: The best way to persuade is not to persuade.

Prospects are afraid of you.

They’re afraid you’re going to persaude them.

When your intent is to persaude, prospects can smell your comisssion breathe. They know you have a vested interest. That you’re putting your best interests before theirs.

It’s not your job to persuade people.

Your first job is to get prospects to lower their guard.


Be open to the possiblity that prospect’s might be able to make progress without you.

When you let go of assumptions, people lower their gaurds because they don’t feel “sold” or “manipulated.”

Instead of pitching, ask a question that makes prospects think about their current solution. Then give them space to make up their own mind.

In other words, poke the bear. Plant a seed of doubt and then lean back.


Prospects rarely believe what salespeople tell them because they’re biased, however they always believe what they conclude for themselves.

Here’s what leaning back on a cold call for Gravy might sound like:


“Hi, Josh. My name is Amy. We’ve never spoken before, but I was spinning through the courses on your website and was hoping you could help me out for a moment.”


“Thanks. I’m with Gravy. Not sure if you’re experiencing this, but we’re seeing that a lot of course creators are losing 6-8% of their revenue YoY due to failed credit card transactions.”

Poke the Bear

“Just out of curiosity, how are you recovering failed payments today? Do you have an in-house team, is it automated, or are you using an outsourced recovery team?”

Then be silent.

Listen without having an agenda.

Be curious. Peel the onion using mirrors and labels.

Go where the prospect takes you instead of where you want to take the prospect.

Ironically when you detach from the outcome, you have more truthful conversations, which leads to more opportunities because people don’t feel the pinch of the pitch.

The truth might be that you’re not a fit, which is perfectly okay.

You’re sorting, not selling. Sorting is about having conversations with an “s,” not a conversation.

The debilitating feeling of rejection melts away when you realize you’re not for everyone.

Different intent.

Different behaviors.

Different results.