Getting to “yes”: the magic rule of authority

marketing rule of authoritypart 1 of a 2-part article

This is a true story …

Decked out in a uniform, badge, and baton, a television reporter stationed himself in front of a Las Vegas bank. On the ATM, he placed a sign with large lettering that read OUT OF ORDER — GIVE DEPOSITS TO GUARD ON DUTY. In the center of the sign was the shape of a large, gold badge.

When bank customers approached the ATM, the “guard” smiled, looked them straight in the eyes, and asked, “Do you need to make a deposit or a withdrawal?”

No bank would ever allow a guard to conduct private transactions like this, but were people suspicious? Not a bit. Without hesitation, customer after customer handed over not only cash and checks, but also Social Security numbers, credit cards, account numbers, PIN codes … private information that in the wrong hands could leave them penniless.

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