Science Of Persuasion

Science Of Persuasion

Researchers have been studying the factors that influenced us to say yes to the requests of others for over 60 years and there can be no doubt that there is a science to how we are persuaded and a lot of this science is surprising when making a decision. It would be nice to think that people consider all the available information in order to guide their thinking but the reality is very often different in the increasingly overloaded lives we lead. More than ever we need shortcuts or rules of thumb to guide our decision-making. My own research has identified just six of these shortcuts as universals that guide human behavior. They are reciprocity, scarcity, authority, consistency, liking, and consensus. Understanding these shortcuts and employing them in an ethical manner can significantly increase the chances that someone will be persuaded by your request.

00:12
researchers have been studying the
00:14
factors that influenced us to say yes to
00:16
the requests of others for over 60 years
00:19
and there can be no doubt that there is
00:22
a science to how we are persuaded and a
00:25
lot of this science is surprising when
00:28
making a decision it would be nice to
00:30
think that people consider all the
00:32
available information in order to guide
00:34
their thinking but the reality is very
00:36
often different in the increasingly
00:39
overloaded lives we lead more than ever
00:42
we need shortcuts or rules of thumb to
00:45
guide our decision-making my own
00:47
research has identified just six of
00:50
these shortcuts as universals that guide
00:54
human behavior they are reciprocity
00:58
scarcity Authority consistency liking
01:02
and consensus understanding these
01:05
shortcuts and employing them in an
01:08
ethical manner can significantly
01:10
increase the chances that someone will
01:13
be persuaded by your request let’s take
01:16
a closer look at each in turn
01:19
so the first universal principle of
01:22
influence is reciprocity simply put
01:25
people are obliged to give back to
01:26
others the form of behavior gift or
01:29
service that they have received first if
01:32
a friend invites you to their party
01:33
there’s an obligation for you to invite
01:35
them to a future party you are hosting
01:37
if a colleague does you a favor then you
01:39
owe that colleague a favor and in the
01:41
context of a social obligation people
01:44
are more likely to say yes
01:46
to those that they owe one of the best
01:49
demonstrations of the principle of
01:51
reciprocation comes from a series of
01:53
studies conducted in restaurants so the
01:56
last time you visit a restaurant there’s
01:57
a good chance that the waiter or
01:59
waitress will have given you a gift
02:00
probably about the same time that they
02:03
bring your bill a liquor perhaps or a
02:05
fortune cookie
02:06
or perhaps a simple mint so here’s the
02:09
question does the giving of a mint have
02:12
any influence over how much tip you’re
02:14
going to leave them most people will say
02:16
no but that mint can make a surprising
02:18
difference in the study giving diners a
02:22
single mint at the end of their meal
02:23
typically increase tips by a
02:25
around 3% interestingly if the gift is
02:29
doubled and two mints are provided tips
02:31
don’t double they quadruple a 14%
02:36
increase in tips but perhaps most
02:38
interestingly of all is the fact that if
02:40
the waiter provides one mint starts to
02:43
walk away from the table but pauses
02:45
turns back and says for you nice people
02:48
here’s an extra mint tips go through the
02:50
roof a 23% increase influenced not by
02:54
what was given but how it was given so
02:58
the key to using the principle of
02:59
reciprocation is to be the first to give
03:01
and to ensure that what you give is
03:03
personalized and unexpected the second
03:07
universal principle of persuasion is
03:08
scarcity simply put people want more of
03:11
those things they can have less of when
03:14
British Airways announced in 2003 that
03:17
they would no longer be operating the
03:19
twice-daily London New York Concorde
03:21
flight because it had become uncanonical
03:24
to run sales the very next day took off
03:29
notice that nothing had changed about
03:32
the Concorde itself it certainly didn’t
03:35
fly any faster the service didn’t
03:37
suddenly get better and the airfare
03:39
didn’t drop it had simply become a
03:42
scarce resource and as a result people
03:45
wanted it more so when it comes to
03:48
effectively persuading others using the
03:50
scarcity principle the science is clear
03:52
it’s not enough simply to tell people
03:55
about the benefits they’ll gain if they
03:57
choose your products and services
03:59
you’ll also need to point out what is
04:02
unique about your proposition and what
04:05
they stand to lose if they fail to
04:08
consider your proposal a third principle
04:11
of influence is the principle of
04:13
Authority the idea that people follow
04:15
the lead of credible knowledgeable
04:17
experts physiotherapists for example are
04:20
able to persuade more of their patients
04:22
to comply with recommended exercise
04:24
programs if they display their medical
04:27
diplomas on the walls of their
04:28
consulting rooms people are more likely
04:31
to give change for a parking meter to a
04:33
complete stranger if that requester
04:36
wears a uniform
04:37
than casual clothes what the science is
04:40
telling us is that it’s important to
04:42
signal to others what makes you a
04:44
credible knowledgeable authority before
04:47
you make your influence attempt of
04:49
course this can present problems you can
04:52
hardly go around telling potential
04:54
customers how brilliant you are but you
04:56
can certainly arrange for someone to do
04:58
it for you and surprisingly the science
05:01
tells us that it doesn’t seem to matter
05:02
if the person who introduces you is not
05:05
only connected to you but also likely to
05:08
prosper from the introduction themselves
05:10
one group of real estate agents were
05:12
able to increase both the number of
05:14
property appraisals and the number of
05:16
subsequent contracts that they wrote by
05:19
arranging for reception staff who
05:21
answered customer inquiries to first
05:23
mention their colleagues credentials and
05:25
expertise so customers interested in
05:29
letting a property were told lettings
05:31
let me connect you with Sandra who has
05:33
over 15 years experience letting
05:35
properties in this area customers who
05:38
wanted more information about selling
05:39
properties were told speak to Peter our
05:41
head of sales he has over 20 years
05:43
experience selling properties I’ll put
05:46
you through now the impact of this
05:48
expert introduction led to a 20% rise in
05:51
the number of appointments and a 15%
05:54
increase in the number of signed
05:55
contracts not bad for a small change in
05:58
formed from persuasion science that was
06:01
both ethical and costless to implement
06:03
the next principle is consistency
06:07
people like to be consistent with the
06:09
things they have previously said or done
06:12
consistency is activated by looking for
06:15
and asking for small initial commitments
06:18
that can be made in one famous set of
06:21
studies researchers found rather
06:23
unsurprisingly that very few people
06:25
would be willing to erect an unsightly
06:28
wooden board on their front lawn to
06:31
support a drive safely campaign in their
06:34
neighborhood however in a similar
06:36
neighborhood close by four times as many
06:40
homeowners indicated that they would be
06:42
willing to erect this unsightly
06:44
billboard why because 10 days previously
06:48
they had agreed to place us
06:50
small postcard in the front window of
06:53
their home that signaled their support
06:56
for a drive safely campaign that small
06:59
card was the initial commitment that led
07:02
to a 400% increase in a much bigger but
07:07
still consistent change so when seeking
07:11
to influence using the consistency
07:13
principle the detective of influence
07:15
looks for voluntary active and public
07:19
commitments and ideally gets those
07:21
commitments in writing for example one
07:25
recent study reduced missed appointments
07:28
at health centers by 18 percent simply
07:32
by asking the patient’s rather than the
07:34
staff to write down appointment details
07:37
on the future appointment card the fifth
07:41
principle is the principle of liking
07:42
people prefer to say yes to those that
07:45
they like but what causes one person to
07:48
like another persuasion science tells us
07:50
that there are three important factors
07:53
we like people who are similar to us we
07:56
like people who pay us compliments and
07:58
we like people who cooperate with us
08:00
towards mutual goals as more and more of
08:04
the interactions that we are having take
08:06
place online it might be worth asking
08:08
whether these factors can be employed
08:10
effectively in let’s say online
08:13
negotiations in a series of negotiation
08:16
studies carried out between MBA students
08:19
at two well-known business schools some
08:21
groups were told time is money
08:23
gets straight down to business in this
08:26
group around 55 percent were able to
08:28
come to an agreement a second group
08:30
however were told before you begin
08:33
negotiating exchange some personal
08:35
information with each other identify a
08:37
similarity you share in common then
08:40
begin negotiating in this group 90
08:45
percent of them were able to come to
08:46
successful and agreeable outcomes that
08:49
were typically worth 18 percent more to
08:51
both parties
08:52
so to harness this powerful principle of
08:55
liking be sure to look for areas of
08:58
similarity that you share with others
08:59
and genuine compliments you could give
09:02
before you get down
09:04
business the final principle is
09:07
consensus especially when they are
09:09
uncertain people will look to the
09:11
actions and behaviors of others to
09:13
determine their own you may have noticed
09:17
that hotels often place a small card in
09:19
bathrooms that attempt to persuade
09:21
guests to reuse their towels in linen
09:24
most do this by drawing a guests
09:27
attention to the benefits that reuse can
09:30
have on environmental protection it
09:32
turns out that this is a pretty
09:34
effective strategy leading to around 35
09:37
percent compliance but could there be an
09:40
even more effective way well it turns
09:43
out that about 75 percent of people who
09:46
check into a hotel for four nights or
09:48
longer will reuse their towels at some
09:50
point during their stay so what would
09:53
happen if we took a lesson from the
09:54
principle of consensus and simply
09:57
included that information on the cards
09:59
and said that 75 percent of our guests
10:02
reuse their towels at some time during
10:05
their stay so please do so as well it
10:08
turns out that when we do this towel
10:11
reuse Rises by 26% now imagine the next
10:16
time you stay in a hotel you saw one of
10:18
these signs you picked it up and you
10:20
read the following message seventy-five
10:23
percent of people who have stayed in
10:25
this room have reused their towel what
10:30
would you think well here’s what you
10:32
might think I hope they’re not the same
10:35
towels and like most people you probably
10:38
think that this sign will have no
10:40
influence on your behavior whatsoever
10:42
but it turns out that changing just a
10:45
few words on a sign
10:47
– honestly point out what comparable
10:49
previous guests have done was the single
10:53
most effective message leading to a 33
10:56
percent increase in reuse so the science
11:01
is telling us that rather than relying
11:03
on our own ability to persuade others we
11:06
can point to what many others are
11:08
already doing especially many similar
11:12
others so there we have it
11:14
six scientifically validated principle
11:17
persuasion that provide for small
11:19
practical often costless changes that
11:23
can lead to big differences in your
11:25
ability to influence and persuade others
11:27
in an entirely ethical way they are the
11:31
secrets from the science of persuasion
11:40
you

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.