Managing expectations, and your victim
You only get one chance to make a first impression. The old saying holds even firmer if you are planning on separating a mark from his cash as painlessly as possible. So how to not just impress, but to blow their socks off and make them pants-wettingly keen to hand over their bank details?
A) Do your research. There is no excuse, with social networking sites so widespread, not to know something about your mark before you even meet them. No longer do you have to drive out at midnight and go through their trash looking for clues. Their dirty laundry is usually all online. B) Go to their house. Do not make them come to you. You can't really afford to pass up the clues that looking around and inevitable nervous chatter gives you. C) Cold read them. It is a simple technique, requiring nothing but misdirection, empathy and common sense, that can frighten them out of their socks if done right. Combined with information you obtained in steps one and two, they will believe that you are more real than Santa Claus, ghosts and helpful government. Remember, we are not talking about terribly discriminating people here.
Of course, you may well find a sceptic... one half of a couple believing, the other one looking for a con. Defuse him – for some reason, it’s usually an angry dude – unless you want to be hounded out of town. The simplest way is by disarming expectations. A sceptic will expect you to grab the money and run like the wind. So don't. Be up front about your charges. A fee to visit, sure, even a plumber does that, but no massive fee and a promise to fix things. Doctors perfected this decades ago. It is called fee splitting. Four or five visits will net you enough to cover your month, then pass them on to another psychic who specialises in the type of problem they have. Done correctly, one couple can keep 6 or 7 psychics in business for a year.
Never, ever, try to attack the sceptic by claiming that “your talent doesn't work around unbelievers.” Even the most moronic UFO believer knows that is just code for fake. And they will react accordingly, reaching for the phone, if you are lucky, the shotgun if you are not.
Of course, you can even dazzle sceptics, if you use...
Sure, you can walk in, hands in pockets, look around and say “Yeah, you got a ghost,” but it is not terribly interesting. People expect props. Cards. Crystal balls. Slightly strange outfits. When the author, who paid his way through university by telling fortunes and playing poker, went from using ordinary playing cards to tarot cards, takings went up by 300%.
If they really want some drama with their flummery - a well run séance will help you out. You will need a shill, and some equipment for them to use, to bring off a superb séance. The shill normally is introduced as your assistant, or a nurse, because seances are dangerous to your health. Play that up. Getting the audience on your side is one of the fundamental rules of a successful con.
Remember, if you want to keep sleeping on your pile of cash instead of with your "husband" Big Vinnie, that cons are risky for a reason. If they can be proved, you face 5 years inside for obtaining benefit by deception. The other thing which trips various artists up is the whole tax thing. Keep your books and pay your taxes like a good little boy, and Uncle Sam won't give a damn.
And if you read this expecting to become a real psychic – get real, bro. The nearest radioactive waste dump is your best bet.
- - Have a good background in the occult : http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt29/yowhound/psychic/ASH-BuffySeasonThreeCastL.jpg http://i.imgur.com/A1oNI.jpg
- - Know the Language: http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt29/yowhound/psychic/bertliz.jpg
- - Get accredited: http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt29/yowhound/psychic/sciluna.jpg
- - Managing expectations, and your victim: http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt29/yowhound/psychic/rub.jpg
- - Showmanship: http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt29/yowhound/psychic/liza_minnelli.jpg
- - Legal Ramifictions: http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt29/yowhound/psychic/behind-bars1.jpg