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Benefit for You

 

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

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Help to persuade them by showing them how they will benefit if they comply with your request.

Even for things which are mostly for you, think about how they will benefit the other person, if only because they will be happier because you will be happier.

Example

If you work hard now, you will be able to go to college and get a good job.

Come to the club with me tonight, you'll enjoy yourself. You know you will.

Yes I know it's mostly for me, but I've been poor company recently and this will cheer me up no end. I'll be so much much nicer to be with, I know.

Discussion

When you ask people to do things, they may assume that the only beneficiary is you. In fact even if you do get something out of it, there can easily also be benefits for them (and if there appear to be too few, you can add some).

Beware of reframing things that are obviously for you as being really for them. It is often better to admit that, while you are a beneficiary, they, too, can get something positive from the action, even if it is just experience.

Teenagers are a classic case of not seeing the benefits of requests from their school and parents. When simply telling them they will benefit does not work, it can be helpful to show them, for example by ensuring they get jobs and work for their money rather than simply getting payouts from their parents.

One of the dilemmas of describing benefits is that when they are in the future, the other person may discount them so they seem less significant in the present. Depending on the person, they may also have difficulty thinking about the future (teenagers are like this) and so need to have the benefits described in more present terms.

Sales people learn early on in their careers about features and benefits, and that it can be more powerful to show the benefits of a product to a customer rather than just describing the features. This is a useful point for all of us. When we are trying to persuade others, think what they will really get from what we are selling.

Benefit for You is sometimes written as Benefit (Target).

Benefit for You is the 12th of the 64 compliance-gaining strategies described by Kellerman and Cole.

See also

Reframing, Features and Benefits

 

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

 

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