Sent: 28-08-2012 13:17:02
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Yes can be the hardest word part 5
Over the last few weeks 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. I also 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 outline some more of them in this article in a little more detail:
Consistency - People Want to Act in Alignment with Their Beliefs
The basic human desire to be consistent can play out in several ways. If you want someone to do you a large favor, he or she will be more likely to do so if you lay the groundwork by asking for a small favor first. Remember the idea of small steps. This works as it will establish a specific image in the person's mind.
If you're trying to make a large sale, try selling a small sample first as this has a similar impact.
But wait, there is more. This principle also works when you label a person.
- For example, if you tell a man that you can discern that he is good, he'll be more likely to be good in order to align his actions with your favorable perception.
To get people to perform a "socially desirable behavior," like voting, get them to agree to it in public. The more actively you can get someone, including yourself, to commit to an action the firmer the commitment will be.
So write your plans, don't just ponder them. When scheduling appointments, get the other person to select the time. In that way he or she has an investment in keeping that appointment. To boost turnout at a meeting, ask potential attendees how they'd like to be reminded of the session.
To change people's previous behavior, appeal to their desire for consistency. Don't tell them that they did something wrong. Instead, frame the new choice as being more akin to their values. Use a variation of this idea to reshape relationships that aren't going well.
- For instance, if you work with someone who doesn't like you, ask him or her for a small favor. That takes nerve, but people who grant you a favor are more apt to shift to seeing you more positively, because that would align their actions and their attitudes. It also does wonders for their ego. They will feel that you value them especially if you have asked for their advice.
"Scarcity" - If It is Rare, People Want It
When manufacturers announce that they are discontinuing a product due to falling sales, sales usually increase. Why? Simple really. People realized it is not going to be available in the future so they had better get one now. The product becomes scarce and people want rare things. This is a powerful idea as people are generally loss averse: They prefer avoiding losses (or even the thought of losses) to acquiring gains. Those who read my series on Behavioral Finance will recall that the effect of a loss is several times stronger than the impact of a gain, making people keen (very keen) to avoid that feeling.
You don't have to discontinue your product. Just explain what it offers that the customer cannot get elsewhere.
By contrast, you can actually make an offer unappealing by making it free. What you are doing is communicating that it lacks value. So instead, spell out how much the gift would cost. Then emphasize that you are giving it to people without that cost to them. How many times have you seen markets sellers saying that an item is going to cost, not $50, not $40, not $30 etc.. By doing this they are setting the bar in people's minds that this is actually an item of value that they are going to get very cheaply.
This principle works in service situations as well. If a restaurant gives away mints after a meal, customers take them for granted. However, if the servers give customers mints with a personal touch, tips increase. If the servers give people mints, and then more mints, or mention how nice the group has been, tips climb still higher. It is adding that personal touch which sadly is all too rare these days.
Hopefully this is proving to be useful information. More next time.
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