Persuasion Rules from Bananas

What’s yellow, filled with potassium, and loaded with Persuasion Principles?

Sam the Banana Man made a 20th century fortune in the banana trade. The rags-to-riches story incarnate, Sam started with nothing but managed to own the largest home in New Orleans, along the way learning much about bananas, business, and, it turns out, the Rules of Persuasion.

The WSJ article sketches several practical problems that Sam solved with persuasion thinking.

He and a competitor both wanted to buy a piece of land that was claimed by two governments. Sam’s competitor hired lawyers for a legal solution. Sam bought the land twice, once from each government.

During the economic hard times of the Great Depression, Sam improved his business by visiting the docks and talking with the men who manned the boats that picked up and delivered South American bananas. He discovered that local supervisors had ordered the ships to move at half speed to save fuel, a smart move that saved fuel, but aged the bananas, making them less valuable. Sam ordered full speed ahead.

All Persuasion Is Local.

Persuasion Is Strategic or It Is Not.

Great Persuaders Don’t Need Rich Uncles, Kindness from Strangers, or Third Party Vote Splitters.