Sent: 05-09-2012 15:11:02
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Yes can be the hardest word part 6
This series of articles have outlined various of getting to the YES word and have illustrated a number of ideas that I discovered. All of them have been tried and tested in some way. I have mentioned that the book "Yes! 50 Scientifically proven ways to be persuasive" has lots of ideas about how to get people to say that little but vitally important word. Goldstein, Martin & Cialdini came up with a number of ideas and I will explain a few more of them in this article:
"Liking" - People Want to be Liked
In the service industry, you can observe a foundational persuasive technique at work. People can tell the difference between a server's "authentic smile," and a fake or forced smile. Customers like receiving authentic smiles and are more apt to like you if you greet them with one.
If you're serving their table or checking them in at a hotel, people are apt to judge your performance as superior if you say hello with a genuine smile. Admittedly, such positive, genuine expressions don't come easily in every situation. You could train your staff in emotional skills, but that's costly. Instead, practice seeing the good in people. This is very valuable with someone you dislike. Try to reflect on what he or she does well. Look until you find something admirable and you'll like the individual more easily. Much easier said than done admittedly.
People also are more prone to like you if you share their "personal characteristics." These can be large, complex traits, like beliefs, but it also works with smaller traits, even ones you don't choose, such as a shared name. I found this myself with students I teach (I teach a range of business subjects at several US universities). I have encountered people with my name and who have English or Australian roots. I found myself automatically liking such people.
This phenomenon happens in all sorts of ways. More people responded to mail surveys from people with names similar to theirs. This surprising tendency applies in many areas. People are more likely to choose careers that sound like their names ("dentist" and "Dennis").
If you move, you're more likely to move to a state with a name like yours ("Florence" to Florida) or to a street that sounds like your name. Believe it or not, some people are even more likely to marry others with similar names.
You can use this tendency several ways.
Make projects more attractive to workers by assigning them to people with like names or make a sale by echoing the prospect's name. For instance, call your proposal to "Mr. Peterson" at Pepsi, the "Pepsi Proposal" or the "Peterson Plan."
Activate a related form of connection by mirroring someone's body language or repeating a menu order back to the customer verbatim - that makes tips go up. You can also use mirroring literally: People are more likely to act honestly when they see themselves in a mirror or know they are being observed. I have actually used this approach in negotiations, literally mirroring another person's body movements. It was amazing how the agreement seemed to come more easily!
"Social Proof" - People Want to Act Like Their Peers
When a person makes a decision based on their peers' opinions and context, the are relying on social proof. Once you realize the power of this persuasive technique, you can use it to get people to do as you wish.
Hotel guests responding to a program urging them to reuse towels were more prone to comply when told how many other people had cooperated. This worked even better when the information was more specific, such as how many guests who stayed in that same room had complied.
Generally, people tend to align themselves with social norms. If you can establish these norms clearly (as a library mandates silence), people are more likely to follow them. They're also more inclined to act as you wish if you offer testimonials from people like them who did so.
In related reasoning, if you attach a handwritten note to a document, people are more likely to trust its contents if your handwriting is neat (which is where I have a major problem!). And if you have the skill to write a rhyming message, people hear that as even more credible.
As you can see, there are ways to get to that sometimes elusive word, Yes.
Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive
Noah J Goldsetin, Steve J. Martin Robert B. Cialdini
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