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Benefit for Me

 

Techniques General persuasionKellerman and Cole's 64 Strategies > Benefit for Me

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Persuade them by showing that you would benefit significantly from them complying with your request.

Be clear about the extent of the benefit and how helpful this will be. Indicate that you value this. Imply that you will be grateful (though there is no need to be explicit about this).

Example

If you pay my college fees, I'll be able to get a better job.

Could you do this? It may seem small but would help me so much.

I'd be able to enjoy my holiday much more if you could keep your eyes on the house for me.

Discussion

While the benefits for you when you want others to do something may seem abundantly clear to you, they are not always obvious to other people, even those who 'should know'. Telling people that their actions are valued in itself can be powerfully motivating.

Even if they understand this, when you are explicit about the cause and effect of their actions and your benefits, you are telling them that you know that you will be in their debt. We do not always feel obliged to people for complying with general requests, but we do feel this debt rather more when they have helped us. When we explain we know about this, we are effectively telling them we will repay this debt.

It can appear to be a bad idea to tell them what you are getting from their actions as it could seem that they might resent this or try to take advantage of your openness. In some cases this might be valid, yet in many the honesty itself can be very persuasive. People are not stupid, either and will guess, often incorrectly, what you are getting from their compliance.

Benefit for Me is also known as Benefit (self).

Benefit for Me is the 11th of the 64 compliance-gaining strategies described by Kellerman and Cole.

See also

Obligation principle, Cause-and-Effect Reasoning

 

Kellermann, K. & Cole, T. (1994). Classifying compliance gaining messages: Taxonomic disorder and strategic confusion. Communication Theory, 1, 3-60

 

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