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Law of the Few- Mavens and Salesmen Fact Sheet

Gladwell states the law of the few as “a tiny percentage of people do the majority of the work to build momentum” (19). The law of the few incorporates three kinds of people who, according to Gladwell, have “a particular and rare set of social gifts” (33). They are known as connectors, mavens, and salesmen. The rules of mavens and salesmen are summarized and examples are given below:

  • Mavens
    • Have lots of information
      • “Mavens, according to Price, are the kinds of people who are avid readers of Consumer Reports” (65).
    • Want to share their information to help others
      • “What sets them [mavens] apart is that once they figure out how to get that deal, they want to tell you about it too” (62).
    • Instinctive maven-like traits
      • “There’s something automatic, reflexive, about his level of involvement in the market place. It’s not an act” (65).
  • Real world maven
    • Mark Alpert
      • “He simplified everything. He has everything processed. That’s Mark Alpert. That’s a Market Maven” (66).
      • Mark Alpert said, “In a way, that desire to be of service and influence -whatever it is- can be taken too far. You can become nosy. I try to be a passive Maven” (65).

  • Salesmen
    • Are very persuasive
      • “Those with the skills to persuade us when we are unconvinced of what we are hearing” (69).
    • Rely on details to persuade
      • “Little things can, apparently, make as much of a difference as big things” (78).
    • Use both verbal and non-verbal gestures
      • “Non-verbal cues are as or more important than verbal cues” (79).
    • Persuasion very subtle
      • “Persuasion often works in ways that we do not appreciate” (79).
  • Real world salesman
    • Peter Jennings
      • “Jennings, after all, wasn’t injecting all kinds of pro-Reagan comments in his newscasts…Simple physical movements and observations can have a profound effect on how we feel and think” (79).