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How to Avoid A Ticket
  • Posted January 3, 2019

How To Talk Your Way Out Of A Traffic Ticket

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Dec 30, 2018, 12:29pm

How To Talk Your Way Out Of A Traffic Ticket

Henry DeVriesContributor

Leadership StrategyAttracting high-paying clients by marketing with a book and a speech.

 

Here is a magical marketing secret with the side benefit of saving you money on traffic tickets.

In marketing you often need the cooperation of others to get what you want. The path to attracting high-paying clients is paved with the cooperation of others.

I am not proud of the fact that in the last decade or so I have been pulled over by the police 10 times; however, I am proud of the fact I am 10 for 10 in talking my way out of a traffic ticket. How I do this has important business development implications.

But first, credit where credit is due. I learned how to talk my way out of a traffic ticket, and indeed to get amazing cooperation in business, from the author Bob Burg. I highly recommend Burg’s books Endless Referrals and The Go-Giver.

Here is how to talk your way out of a traffic ticket:

1. When you are pulled over quickly roll down your window, throw your wallet with your driver’s license on the dashboard in plain sight, and grasp the steering wheel at the top of the wheel (as opposed to 10 and 2, have your hands at midnight).

2. If, and only if, you can open the glove compartment where you keep your registration and proof of insurance before the officer exits his or her car, then open the glove compartment so the contents are visible. You are doing the first two steps to communicate to the officer that you know his or her biggest fear: that they might get shot on a routine traffic stop. These two moves show respect and also communicate you probably know a police officer and they instructed you to do this.

3. When the officer asks you what you did, admit it freely and without excuse. “I was doing 45 in a 35 mile an hour zone and there is no excuse for that.” They have heard every excuse in the book.

4. Next say the magic phrase that Burg taught to me. “Officer, if you could let me off with a warning I would appreciate it; and if you can’t I certainly understand.” Say that word for word. Do not insert the word but for where I suggest and. The word but negates what you previously said. When the boss or client says they like your work, “but there is something we need to talk about,” you know something bad is coming.

5. The officer might ask you some follow up questions. Resist all urges to give an excuse. An officer once asked if I was late for work (I was.) I said: “Being late for work is no excuse. If you could give me a warning I would appreciate it, and if you can’t I certainly understand.” The officer said that was the right answer and he let me off with a warning.

Now I am not saying this is foolproof. But I am the fool that has tested it 10 times. I am happy to report many clients and workshop attendees I have taught this to report excellent results. One client even went the wrong way down a one-way street in front of Los Angeles Police Department Headquarters and it worked.

Now here is the lesson for business development. Whenever you ask for something in business, especially when the other person has the power to cooperate or not cooperate, use the magic phrase: “If you could do this I would really appreciate it, and if you can’t I certainly understand.” Try it and you will discover how magical those words can be.

Henry DeVries, M.B.A., cofounder and CEO of Indie Books International, speaks to thousands of business people each year on how to persuade with a story. In his writing and speaking he shares, in humorous ways, pragmatic strategies that can double sales results and achieve ma...