Sent: 14-08-2012 12:02:07
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Yes can be the hardest word - part 3
I have been discussing various techniques that have been researched and tested for getting to that often all too elusive YES word. I continue with those ideas in this week's article.
According to Goldstein, Martin & Cialdini, it is possible to use specific scientifically tested techniques that have proven to be reliably persuasive. Many of these techniques draw on one or more of "the six universal principles of social influence", namely:
- Reciprocation -we feel obligated to return favors performed for us
- Authority - we look to experts to show us the way
- Commitment/Consistency - we want to act consistently with our commitments and values
- Scarcity - the less available the resource, the more we want it
- Liking - the more we like people, the more we want to say yes
- Social Proof - we look to what others do to guide our behavior
I shall explain more about a little later, but for the moment here are some more ideas on how to get to that all important Yes!
- Use social proof to support argument suggesting, join countless others. You can do this by asking for & using testimonials, inviting current & prospective clients to function. But, for this to be effective you need to make sure you arranging the seating appropriately.
- The more similar the person giving the testimonial is to the new target audience, the more persuasive the message becomes. People will relate to others who are similar to them and so put more weight on their testimonial because they have something in common.
- Focus social proof on positive activity not negative. By way of example, when considering the attendance at meeting, praise those who attend and note those who don't are in minority. You can do this in a newsletter about the event. This works as people have natural tendency to do what most others are doing.
- Avoid magnetic middle backfire for half population by adding approval for and appreciation of those already acting in socially desirable manner. Approve the good ones rather than disapprove the bad.
- Too much choice can be counter-productive. An extremely common mistake. Fewer choices can actually increase take up. A problem the investment industry faces all the time!
- The value of item declines when offered as a gift. If someone does not have to work hard for something, it's perceived value can correspond to the effort exerted in obtaining it. Consequently, when providing gift, remind recipient of true value of that gift. That will make them think a little about the gift and the person giving it.
- This one is very clever. A superior more expensive offering can make next one down look attractive. So, when offering the choice of two, customers tend to compromise on lowest cost one. But, add a third higher priced option, middle one no longer highest priced & becomes compromise. In other words, in the first example it was perceived as being too expensive, but in the second example, the exact same item is now looking less expensive but better than the cheaper one (remember, perception is reality!)
- Scaring customers into believing that a product can help with a potential problem can actually have the opposite effect. Unless you can provide specific achievable steps to avoid such a threat. Give them a path to follow (made up of a series of small steps) that will enable them to avoid the issue.
- As mentioned earlier, the norm of reciprocity obligates people to repay others for what they have received from them. So giving something can induce this feeling.
- A little way of helping that along can be with a personalized post it note as this increases power of reciprocity, i.e. an ounce of personalized extra effort worth a pound of persuasion.
Just a few of the myriad ideas I have uncovered, more next time.
This email is general in nature only and does not constitute or convey specific or professional advice. Legislation changes may occur quickly. Formal advice should be sought before acting in any of the areas discussed. Be aware that the information in these articles may become innaccurate with time. Responsibility is disclaimed for any inaccuracies, errors or omissions. Particular investments are neither invited nor recommended and hence this publication is not "financial product advice" as defined in Section 766B of the above legislation. All expressions of opinion by contributors are published on the basis that they are not to be regarded as expressing the official opinion of any other person or entity unless expressly stated. No responsibility for the accuracy of the opinions or information contained in the contributor's articles is accepted by any other person or entity. Copyright: This publication is copyright. If you wish to reproduce this article you require a license, which can be purchased here, to do so.