Sent: 21-08-2012 13:17:02
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Yes can be the hardest word - part 4
I have been discussing ways of getting to the YES word and have provided a number of ideas that I discovered. All of them have been tried and tested in some way.
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 that this article will look at a little more detail:
Reciprocation - People Want to Treat Each Other Fairly
If you give someone something, anything, even a soft drink, they will want to repay you in some way. This is a normal human reaction. This can take the form of agreeing to your suggestions or making a larger purchase from you. It is a very simple but extremely effective approach.
To apply this principle, consider what you could do for others. How could you help them? What could you give them? You will have an automatic persuasive edge with people you've helped or enriched.
This is what reciprocity is all about. If you do something extra for someone, even scrawling a brief personal message on an attached Post-It Note when you send a document, that person will agree with you more easily and respond more quickly. That is exactly why a waitress in a restaurant will give you the bill, often with a little smiley face and a personal thank you on it. She (or perhaps he) is reminding you that they have given you their time and effort and have done it with a smile (at least one would hope so).
But, there is a caveat (there always is).
The value associated with doing something nice for someone changes over time. The way it changes depends upon your perspective.
- People value a favor most highly right after you bestow it. However, the value they associate with that favor will diminish over time.
- In contrast, you, as the person who did the favor, are quite likely to value that favor more highly over time.
As you can see these things are diametrically opposed and as a result these differing perspectives can all too easily create tension. Therefore it is important to make allowances for these changes in attitudes, both theirs and yours, when you request a favor in return.
Authority - People Want to Follow the Experts
Credibility is important, but you can give the impression of arrogance if you are not careful, and no one likes a 'know it all'. It is a delicate balancing act and one that is all too easy to get wrong.
Consequently you can face a dilemma if you need to persuade people of your worth or convince them about a topic you know well. You want to demonstrate how good you are and how expert, but you don't want to seem like a showoff.
So what is the answer?
It is easier than you may think. Get someone else to speak for you. You can even pay a speaker, since people generally disregard "situational factors." People don't pay attention to how a situation shapes other people's actions, so they trust what they see more than they should.
Believe it or not, you can use this predisposition in your office to your advantage very easily. Designate someone as a specialist in some area, then refer related calls to that person accordingly. You can even have a number of 'experts' in the same office, all covering slightly different areas but in reality working together.
People will give more weight to the so-called specialists' words, even if they do not actually know anything extra. (It is yet another example of that marketing adage, Perception is Reality!) If you work alone, display some sign of your expertise for visitors. Even posting a diploma helps. So if you have qualifications, display them where visitors can see them.More next time.
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