Persuasive Communication: Get What You Want Without a Gun!

Rated 5.00/5 based on 12 reviews
Taking the art of convincing to new levels by teaching vital skills, this book offers helpful tips on presenting a point-of-view and achieving goals in a non-offensive way that will be useful in social situations, as well as business. Author Maynard "Garf" Garfield has 40-years’ experience teaching management skills and negotiation techniques to employers and their employees.

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About Maynard Garfield

Maynard M. Garfield (Garf) is the founder and chairman of Persuasive Communication. After graduating from Northwestern University with a BS in business administration, Garf spent two years in the service. He was assigned to Scientific and Professional Personnel Services and carried a top secret security clearance.

After discharge from the service he began selling medical and hospital equipment and became the top salesperson in the company for four straight years. At 31 years of age he was the youngest regional sales manager in the history of the company with his region number one in volume and profits.

Garf was offered the position as lecturer in charge of the sales courses in the evening division of Northwestern University. This position lasted for some 12 years. During that time he became a sales editor for two national trade publications and was a regular contributor and lecturer for the American Management Association. He was consistently chosen as one of the highest rated lecturers and seminar leaders.

It was early during this period that Garf wondered, “Could I make it out in the real world. Could I be successful selling and providing training services to industry?” Soon after, Persuasive Communication ( was born. Looking back, Garf remembers that his very first account was Crib Diaper Services. He rode with route salesmen and taught them how to sign up expectant mothers for diaper service. Today he jokes, “If you haven’t been in a diaper truck in the middle of August with fifty soiled diaper bundles in the back, you haven’t earned your stripes as a training consultant.”

The firm grew with clients the likes of Corning Glass, Johns Manville, American Hospital Supply, Market Facts, Environmental Resources Management, and Cincinnati Milacron. In almost every case there was something different and unique that distanced Persuasive Communication from other training firms. They almost never conducted a single stand-alone program. Instead they became an ongoing and integral part of a firms continuing training activities. Many clients used Persuasive Communication repeatedly over a ten to fifteen year period. Perhaps this is because of one of Garf’s underlying basic philosophies – “Training should not cost, it should pay for itself. If it does not contribute directly to the bottom line – don’t do it!”

Today, Garf is semi-retired and teaches on a limited basis. “I am failing miserably at retirement. I need to be needed. Some people like to grow flowers: I like to grow people!”

Learn more about Maynard Garfield


Adriano Conceicao reviewed on Dec. 19, 2011
(no rating)
Excellent reading. I'm personally applying some of the concepts on my life. It's really worth.
(reviewed 32 days after purchase)
Paul Stefan reviewed on Dec. 26, 2010

The company I work for has waited for this book for a long time because there is too little Garf to go around. Maynard Garfield has been my business coach for the last 15 years or so and advised my company for 30 years. As this book clearly lays out, Garf has a tremendous amount of knowledge about how business works and how it should work. I am pleased that he has produced a book for the benefit of all. But what I find to be most helpful about Garf is his style. He has a way of figuring out the behaviors that are barriers to great performance, and then devising a simple plan on how to overcome those barriers. The teaching and coaching in this book can be as painful as they are transformational. But once you know, you can never go back.
(reviewed 12 days after purchase)
Steve Billimack reviewed on Dec. 15, 2010

I have known Garf for many years and have always valued his sage advice. As a result, I was very eager to read Persuasive Communication.
Garf’s focus on the key drivers of persuasive communication allows one’s message to more efficiently resonate with any audience, whether family or business. I really enjoyed the example of the Jehovah’s Witness who overcome her fears of rejection because of her belief in the value of her message or “Red Wagon.” Also particularly valuable were his reminders to focus first on rapport, formulas for presenting to different types of buyers, understanding sincere vs. insincere objections and especially his section on “Concept.”
Garf’s examples and convenient support materials make it easy to transition his advice from theory into practice. I recommend you read Persuasive Communication and understand some of the reasons why many have valued Garf’s advice for years.
Steve Billimack, Managing Director, HighTower Advisors
(reviewed 29 days after purchase)
Nancy Kreisler reviewed on Dec. 14, 2010

The key to reading this book is to imagine that you are sitting with the author after a hard day at work. In the office or out on the road, you were trying to persuade someone that you had something that would benefit the person. You left at the end of the day feeling defeated because you did not know how to sell your ideas.
From a young age Maynard Garfield started to solve these types of problems by training people in the art of persuasion. He called his company Persuasive Communications and sold his concepts to some of the world’s leading companies. Making the transition from the classroom to the blank page has not been easy, but “Garf,” as he likes to be called, had plenty of friends and clients ask him to write down his concepts.
“Persuasive communication can go a long way toward liberating you,“ he writes. “For many it is the key to self-empowerment.”
Because readers will bring a variety of life experiences to the book, some chapters will be more relevant than others. Someone who feels intimidated by a boss or a customer will focus on the techniques for gaining control and achieving a goal. Another might not understand the benefit offered in a negotiation and want to practice techniques for gaining the right mental attitude.
A drawer full of testimonials reveals that Garf’s lessons can be applied at home just as easily as at work. “Life works better when you accept a friend for the good you see in them and simply ignore the urge to convince them or change their mind,” he writes. ”If you are going to persuade someone of a concept, though,“ he writes, “you have to allow the person to try to feel the material, and feel comfortable with it or it isn’t theirs.”
Throughout the book Garf pounds hard on learning what works, rather than flying by the seat of your pants. “Intellectual knowledge isn’t of much use until it has become instinctual,” he writes. “I can assure you that inadequate implementation will thwart the most brilliant idea.”
From there Garf gets down to the details of learning how to deal with a concept, “which creates a need for a different way of doing something” before a brand, which is “simply an alternative way of fulfilling a concept.” Following that are practical suggestions for overcoming stage fright and changes in approaches to use with customers who use reason, sensation or emotion to make decisions.
It is hard to synthesize a lifetime of experience when you reach 80 years old, but this hits most of the highlights. Take out your marker and highlight what works best for you.
(reviewed 27 days after purchase)
Rick Mathes reviewed on Dec. 5, 2010

This is a terrific book that is worth many, many times the cost to download it. You don't have to work in sales to both enjoy and profit from this material. We ALL need to persuade others, whether it's dealing with a customer, a vendor, a spouse or a child. Garf brings a gentle wisdom and humor to the material that makes it a very easy read, but also a very educational one. Buy this book, read it, and use what it teaches. You'll be glad you did!
(reviewed 19 days after purchase)
michael mckibben reviewed on Dec. 2, 2010

Michael McKibben, Chief Operating Officer, Bureau Veritas, North America
Buy the book! I've known Garf for many years and have had the luck and opportunity to have spent many one on one hours with him. He is a mentor, leader and teacher- and maybe a bit of a philosopher. Bottom-line-- he is a gentleman first and foremost who understands people and how to talk with them to develop a win-win relationship. He teaches that hard work and persistence mean everything; perception is reality; what gets measured gets managed; and ethic is the key. If you read his book, you will get inside the mind of a wonderful person and become much the better for it.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Greg Salley reviewed on Nov. 29, 2010

What a great resource for your business life or your personal life. Garf is a rare example of a thoughtful and caring person, who has walked the walk, learned from his walk, and is able to effectively communicate and help all those who are exposed to him. In order to succeed we all have to communicate with others and sell our concepts every day of our lives, in some way or another. This book gives us real life tools to improve in these areas. Do yourself a favor, buy the book, enjoy the read. You will be better than you were before.

Greg Salley CPA - founding partner of Greg Salley & Associates, PC - CPA firm in Austin, Texas.
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)
Bruce Ross reviewed on Nov. 24, 2010

Over the past 20 years that I have known ‘Garf’ through his training of several of the sales teams I have managed, I have been living with ‘Garfisms’. This book, with its understandable and very usable tools for communicating is like going back over the reasons for successes in my career… I have used what I learned from Garf!

This book is a teaching tool, and a great refresher that will refocus even the best communicators… from the parent who needs to sell the child on the value of taking out the garbage… to the writer who has to sell his book… this is a great read.

When selling is the spice in your life, this will taste great!
(reviewed 8 days after purchase)
Richard Hucke reviewed on Nov. 21, 2010

Finally the secret is out for all to know. As a Human Resources executive, I have benefited from Garfield's stand up presentations and seen the results as he taught technical wizards the art of selling their ideas. Now, as I read this book, I am reminded how my own "hidden self" came out because of the coaching I received from Garf. I have experienced success,growth and improved relationships both with my clients as wlll as in my personal life. When the going gets tough, reading this book will make the ride a whole lot easier.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
fran werner reviewed on Nov. 21, 2010

I normally have trouble with self-help books, as they get too burdensome and boring. Not so with this one! This book is easy to read, with good examples, and gives tons of great ideas for improving how you communicate with everyone and anyone. It doesn't matter whether you're trying to apply the techniques to the business world or to your personal life--this book is sure to help! Most of the ideas are common sense, where after reading you say to yourself, "Of course! Why didn't I think of that and approach it that way?" This book is sure to help improve your communication with everyone.
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)

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