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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 11-May-14


Sunday 11-May-14

The power of other people

When we are trying to persuade, it is easy to think that it is all about the methods we use and the messages we send. But while this is important, it is far from the whole story. There are always at least two people in a communication. You and the person (or perhaps many people) you want to persuade. And what you say is not as important in persuading them as how it makes them think and feel. This makes an understanding of general psychology as well as the specific make up of your target demographic important.

There is also a third group of people who can have a huge effect.

Whether you write, sell or just want to influence a decision, one of the most powerful ways you can do this is to get other people to praise you or your products. Just look at the effect that reviews on Amazon and other sites have. Effectively what happens is that people who have gone before you are offering you their sage advice based on real experience. They presumably have no particular motivation to persuade you and so you are likely to accept their advice.

Third parties are also helpful for providing information about things that could help you even before you know you need it. Blogs and websites act in this way, telling you about other sites and otherwise giving you useful information.

References are the lifeblood (or at least a shot in the arm) for many of us, from sales people to web writers. So I was rather pleased to get referenced in a posting on no less than Fast Company magazine. It was also rather nice that I was told about it by my hotshot consultant daughter, who was impressed that her dad was getting such good press. The author was one Kevan Lee who writes for the estimable Buffer blog. So thanks, Kevan!

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