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Interrogation Techniques: The Reid Method

I’ll be honest with you: I don’t like cops. Not one bit. Between the so-called “bad-guys” and cops I would rather be around neither.

Why? Because there are no good people, that’s just something mommy and daddy told you to feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside, and stuff of movies.

In reality, everyone is self-centered, they care about themselves, not others, and wouldn’t hesitate to run all over you if they were in trouble.

Just be honest and ask yourself:  how many people really care about you, without having any other motives for it other than just wanting to help you. How many? Oooh, that’s right…

Cops are no different than crooks, in fact, they are worse because they are hypocrites. While “crooks” already know what they are and are honest with themselves, cops aren’t.

They use a uniform and use “The Law” pretext as a false means of authority, to justify their need and desire to impose themselves on people by verbally or physically assaulting them, as they feel better by doing so.

They get a kick of doing what they want, to get forced respect from others by the use of “justified” force as they are “law enforcers”.

Notice the expression: “enforcer”… They like this power because they get no attention from people otherwise.

They like to enforce it as they feel that in this way, they get a sense and “aura” of importance as if you look for what they really are, they are nothing more than a bunch of dysfunctional people trying to get their sense of importance by enforcing it on others,  justifying this behavior with “The Law”.

They love to have a green light to push people around either verbally or physically. So, yeah, law enforcers are hypocrites and I don’t like them. Not one bit.

But just because I don’t like them, it doesn’t mean that their methods are not effective.

As Entrepreneurs, we are problem solvers and since you and I are in Sales, we are looking for ways to improve.

I am a life insurance agent and spend much spend the majority of my day cold-calling people. Since I need to eat, I need to be effective in my encounters so that I can close people on the spot, gaining more from my encounters.

And just like anything in life worthwhile achieving, you must aim for greatness. You do that by improving your skill-set. And improvement by its very own definition, entails practice.

So, if you are practicing, you need to practice a method that works, so you can improve your technique.

I devote all my time and efforts to developing my sales and closing abilities. So, everything that is effective, especially with such a long track record, I am all down for it.

I learned about the Reid Method by watching cops conducting interviews. I started noting a pattern of what they said and how they behaved and watched how people usually gave the same type of responses and showed the same type of behaviors, and this got me interested.

So I started learning and practicing the Reid Technique in order to close prospects more effectively in the first encounter.

We are not putting people in jail here, we are learning how to be more effective in our encounters with prospects.

So I studied the method and looked for ways to incorporate some of its techniques in my cold-calls, so I could be more in control of the situation when dealing with people either on the phone or in a face-to-face situation.

By using this method, I started to notice some of the same patterns and started getting more consistent results.

By following what I will share with you and practicing it, you will be able to close prospects more effectively on the spot, and as a result, improve your closing-ratio.

We will first learn about the Reid Method and then implement this as a sales tactic.

Read on as in this article, I will show you how.

In order for you to navigate this article in a clearer way, I broke things down in 8 categories.

Table of Contents

  • What is the Reid Technique
  • How is the Reid Technique used
  • The Interview
  • The Interrogation
  • Room setting
  • Manipulation Tactics
  • Brain Resistance
  • Putting it all into Practice

All set? Let’s Go.

What is the Reid Technique?

The Reid Method or Reid Technique is a system of interviewing and interrogation used by police departments all across the world, especially in the United States. The term is a registered trademark by John E. Reid Associates Inc.

The Reid Method was developed by John E. Reid, a  psychologist, polygraph expert, and former Chicago police officer.

Throughout his career, he showed consistency of results with the use of his method which started gaining more followers as it proved to be consistent.

Today it is pretty much the standard routing cops use to conduct their interviewing and interrogations.

How is the Reid Technique used?

When something happens, a murder, robbery, or other similar events, cops bring in people for questioning: either witnesses or the actual perpetrators.

Unless it is something they already know that you were the one that did it, this is usually a 2-step process: the non-accusatory information gathering “conversation” and the accusatory, more in your face information gathering “conversation”.

To make this clear for you,

In the eyes of the investigator, you are only one out of three:

1. the victim

2. the witness

3. or the perpetrator

And they will use the Reid Technique procedure on you to find out more information.

To do this, The Reid Technique is used in two different settings:

1. The Interview

2. The Interrogation

Let’s go over both:

The Interview

The interview is a non-accusatory information gathering “conversation” where the interviewer asks both investigative and behavior-provoking questions.

The interviewer is accessing the facts and finding out more about your level of involvement in the murder.

He is not accusing you at this stage. He is finding more about what happened, but at the same time, he is watching how you react when he provokes you with triggered questions. We will come to these in a minute.

The 4 Characteristics of an Interview:

1. Non-accusatory, information gathering conversation

During the interview, the interrogator remains neutral about the situation. But he is taking notes, and testing you from a verbal and non-verbal perspective.

2. Question and Answer Process

Here the interviewer lets the subject tell their story.

If they are a victim what’s their story?

If they are a witness what do they say they saw or heard?

If they are a suspect, what were their activities during the time period the situation happened?

3. Investigative and behavior provoking questions

The interview has 2 types of questions:

a) investigative questions

these are questions that deal with: who, what, when, why, how.

Here the investigator will:

1. allow the subject to tell their story

2. ask questions to clarify details of the story

3. ask direct questions to develop additional information not addressed
in the initial story or in the clarification questions

4. develop information to ascertain motive and opportunity

b) behavior provoking questions

these questions are designed with the sole purpose of finding out if you are being truthful or being deceptive.

Truthful subjects answer these in a certain way and deceptive individuals answer these in the opposite way.

The investigator as a benchmark response he expects from truthful individuals, in the Reid Method this is called Principle.

If your answer is in accordance with the Principle, you are showing yourself as a truthful individual, if not you are showing yourself as being deceptive.

They want to see how you respond so they can make an assessment of you in the situation.

There are 5 types of behavior provoking questions:

1. Punishment

“John, what do you think should happen to the person who did this?”

Principle:  Truthful subjects usually offer an appropriately strong punishment.

2. Think

“John, did you ever think about killing someone even though you didn’t do this?”

Principle: Truthful subjects tend to offer direct denials, particularly as the seriousness of the issue escalates

3. Second Chance

“John, do you think the person who did this should be given a second chance?”

If he is suspicious of you he will ask:

“Under what circumstances would you give someone a second chance?”

Principle: Truthful subjects usually reject the idea of leniency – no
second chance.

4. Investigation Results

“Well, when the investigation is complete, how do you think it will turn out, as far as you are concerned?”

Principle: Truthful subjects usually express confidence that the investigation will exonerate them.

5. Bait

Here, the interviewer implies the possibility of developing incriminating evidence in the future against the subject he is speaking now.

He is not stating, as at this point, most likely the interviewer doesn’t have enough information yet.

Nevertheless, the interviewer is trying to assess if the subject shows signs of discomfort when asked the questions.

Here’s an example:

“John, as you know, the forensics team is currently conducting a thorough analysis in the victim’s house.

When they come back with their report, is there any reason why it will show a match between the victim’s bloody scarf and your fingerprint?

Now, I’m now saying you did this, but, maybe you went into the house after this happened, and were hesitant to tell me that earlier.”

Keep in mind that, earlier in the interview, the investigator asked the subject if he went to the victim’s house.

So when he is now asking the subject this question he is clearly setting up a trap.

Principle: Truthful subjects spontaneously reject the implication of the Bait question.

4. Non-accusatory, information gathering conversation

During the interview, the interrogator remains neutral about the situation.

He will ask:

1. Biographical Information

2. School activities and Interest

3. and have a Casual Conversation

The sole purpose of this is to establish your baseline. They are looking to check your posture, body language, tonality, and overall demeanor when you are more relaxed.

Later on in the interview when they start asking you behavior provoking questions, they will compare your body-language with the initial baseline and watch for significant changes.

He is taking notes, and will deliberately engage in silence with you to see if you get uncomfortable.

In an interview, there is the 80/20 rule. They ask open-ended questions to get the subject to talk.

The more they talk, the higher chances of shooting themselves in the foot with what they just said.

Especially if the interviewer is taking notes and the whole thing is being recorded on both audio and video.

It has been proven that you lose power when you are doing most of the talking.

On the other hand, you are the one in control when OTHERS are talking. This is especially true in telemarketing.

Your sole purpose is to get them to talk, so you can later on use what they said against them.

This is easier said than done, but I can validate this from my own experience: every time I was the one doing most of the talking, I didn’t get the sale, whereas if I was the one probing them with open-ended questions and getting them to talk more, in almost all these cases I got the sale.

How do you keep the conversation going? You do that with the use of open-ended questions.

What are open-ended questions? Open-ended questions are questions that cannot be answered with a simple yer or not.

Here are some examples:

“Then what happened?”

“What happened next?”

“Where did you go after that?”

“How do you see yourself in 5 years?”

“How do you feel?”

“How was your week?”

“What happened?”

“Why did you apply for this job?”

“Tell me more bout yourself”

“How are you going to implement this?”

Sometimes you can ask semi open-ended questions as you are already waiting for typical responses.

You are doing two things here:

1. getting them to talk, so they start losing power, and

2. getting them on the same page as they already said what they want.

A good example would be: “Do you have any preference for a particular insurance carrier?”

Here, the prospect usually has one of two answers:

Answer#1: “No, the cheapest”. This way you know they are 100% price-shoppers and you can show a quote from any carrier you are representing.

Answer#2: “All but carrier A.” This way you know you can present a quote from all carriers except the one they just rejected.

They are still price-shoppers but have a rejection-ratio built in their logic and since they already told you that you can use this information to your advantage.

The Interrogation

The interrogation is accusatory.  They already made up their minds that you are going down for this.

It doesn’t matter if you did it or not. Here is where the “magic” happens as it is unlikely that you are getting out of an Interrogation without going to jail.

The Reid Technique is designed to break you psychologically. You might be thinking: “I could never admit to something I didn’t do?” Wrong. You will, and you won’t get out of there until you do.

This method is so effective that even people that didn’t do it, end up admitting they did it. How could this be, you might ask? Keep reading.

They already made up their mind that you are going down for this, so they will start a process to break you psychologically until you do. How do they do this? By using


Step 1: Direct Positive Confrontation

Step 2: Theme Development

Step 3: Handling Denials

Step 4: Overcoming Objections

Step 5: Procurement and Retention of Subject’s Attention

Step 6: Handling the Suspect’s Passive Mood

Step 7: Presenting an Alternative Question

Step 8: Having the Suspect Relate the Various Details of the Offense

Step 9: Converting an Oral Confession Into a Written Confession

Room Setting


Manipulation Tactics


Brain Resistance


Putting it all into Practice




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How To Sell Over The Phone - The Ultimate Guide

The post Interrogation Techniques: The Reid Method appeared first on Diogo Marques.

This post first appeared on Learn Sales, please read the originial post: here

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Interrogation Techniques: The Reid Method


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