How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Persuasion Principles: Getting People To Do What You Want
Guest articles > Persuasion Principles: Getting People To Do What You Want
by: Adam Costa
Convince your boss for a 15% raise, sway people to your side of a difficult issue, or increase your business's bottom line - getting people to do what you want is a powerful skill... ' and persuasion can be boiled down into a few simple steps. Learn to use these tactics and harness your own powers of persuasion.
Mimicry = EmpathyYou know the saying 'Imitation is the greatest form of flattery'? In the world of persuasion, subtle imitations help build rapport between people. According to a study by the INSEAD business school, sales people who mimicked their prospects gestures closed over 67% in sales. Compare that to only 12% of sales people who didn't, and you'll see how powerful mimickry really is. This leads me to my next persuasion principle which is...
Shifting Perception Through FramingCopywriters have long since used framing to loosen up prospects preconceptions. Instead of attacking an issue head-on (e.g. 'This product costs $95), they ask the prospects to 'look at it this way...' and explain that $95 is actually 'less than $4 a day - a cup of coffee - for just one month.' Framing the price makes the product appear much less expensive than it really is, all because the prospect 'looked at it this way'. And if framing fails to sway opinions, try...
Wearing Down ObjectionsHave you ever had a discussion (or negotiation) where eventually you throw your hands up and say 'Fine! Whatever!'. That person didn't persuade you their position was better... but they did convince you it wasn't worth your time to argue. Don't underestimate dogged determination as a persuasion principle. The longer you can force an issue - and maintain focus - the higher your chances of success. Of course, this doesn't mean you should keep changing arguments. Instead...
Keep Your Arguments Simple and Crystal ClearA recent study at Ohio State University proved this point. Researchers told students they would include additional exams to the course (something no one wanted). They asked half of the students to provide two reasons why exams should not be added; the other half were asked to provide eight reasons. Their findings? The students with two reasons were more opposed to the idea. So as a persusasion tool, stick to your main points and never, ever concede them! But do so gracefully. And the best way to accomplish this is to...
Agree With Them (Even When You Don't)Certain phrases raise defensive mechanisms, and hinder persuasion. The trick is to subtly move your adversary to your point of view, without making them feel rejected or put down. To do this, simply substitute negative phrases with positive ones. For example, instead of saying 'You're wrong' try 'I agree with that, but...' and counter the argument. Or instead of 'You missed this...' try 'I don't think this was mentioned'. See how much smoother - and more effective - this approach is? And the best way to turbocharge this tactic is to...
Use Logical Phrases and Perceived AuthorityWhich of the following sentences is more persuasive? Sleeping eight hours a day is important to your health. OR... Studies at the American Medical Association have proven sleeping eight hours a day is important for your health. As you can see, the second sentence is much more powerful. Not only does it reference a credible source (the AMA), it also utilizes a logical phrase ('have proven'). This credibility lends itself to the speaker. Obviously, someone who cites credible sources must be credible themselves, right? Now here's an exercise. Don't worry, it's not hard. But it will help you understand the Persuasion Principles. Ready? OK, read through this article again and note how many times logical phrases are used. Look at how many references are included, and the conversational tone in which facts are delivered. And if - after rereading this article - you're not convinced these principles work... congratulations, you are a bright, independent thinker completely immune to persuasion. At least we can agree on that, right?
About the Author: Adam Costa is a freelance copywriter and information security strategist.
Contributor: Adam Costa
Published here on: 14-Aug-11