Persuasion is the act of convincing someone to believe, do or say something you want. We basically use it whenever we interact with someone else. It doesn’t matter the person or the subject. Convince your husband to take out the garbage, convince your girlfriend to wear that red shirt, pursue your boss to give you that salary raise or make your kid believe Santa Claus is real. It is all about how to convince them about something.
How people make decisions
It would be nice to think that people take in consideration all available data when they are taking a decision. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen too often. The fast world we live in, the huge amount of information we need to process in such a short time makes us unaware of all possibilities. Therefore we resort to shortcuts. These shortcuts are the result of repeatability, years of education, and society guidelines.
6 universal rules for decision making
Each person has its own reasons to make, or not, a decision. That is only natural. But there are 6 rules that apply to most of the people, this is why we call them shortcuts. These are:
How to convince people
- Liking: people tend to agree and do things for people who they like. You probably knew that. But what causes one person to like another. According to the experts 3 factors: we like people who are SIMILAR to us, who pay us COMPLIMENTS, and people who COOPERATE with us towards mutual goals. To use liking to your advantage try to exchange personal information with the person who you are negotiating with. Find common ground on out of the topic subjects, try to share experiences about what you both like and address genuine compliments one another. The success rate of coming to an agreement is 80% higher in these cases, comparing to negotiations where people get straight down to business.
2. Authority: people will follow the lead of credible knowledgeable experts. A diploma, a certification, even a recommendation from another unknown, non-expert person, will rise you in the eye of your client. This is a reminiscence of our education. We are used to trusting people in uniforms, like police officers, just because that uniform is a grant of their authority. The same goes for doctors, engineers or lawyers. Use this in your negotiations by asking someone else to say good things about your skills, your portfolio or experience. A 15% increase rate of success is what you should expect.
3. Reciprocity: when you receive something you feel obliged to give something in return. It is common sense, society guideline, you name it. But it happens. You do favors to people you own. Use this to your benefit by being the FIRST to give, PERSONALIZE what you give, and most important, give in the most UNEXPECTED moment. In this way, people will feel obliged towards you.
4. Consensus: people are used to do what other people already did. If you tell your clients that other 75% of your customers chose the pro package of your software the chances are that they will go for the same. Why? Because they don’t want to be the only ones who are different. Because it means that it was already tested by someone else. It means it must be good if so many had the same.
5. Consistency: people tend to break their word less if they previously committed to it. This mean that if you agreed with something in the recent past, it is most likely you will agree now as well. Use this for persuing people by making them take VOLUNTARY, ACTIVE and PUBLIC COMMITMENTS. Ideally in writing. Voluntary – don’t constrain them in any way, active – make them say they will act, that they will do something about it, and public – other people to confirm that they took that commitment will make them feel even more obliged to keep their word.
6. Scarcity: people want MORE of what they can get LESS. It is a known fact that a rare product is more expensive than one that can be found at every corner. How to convince people using this shortcut? For example, when you sell something don’t just mention the BENEFITS of your product or service. Highlight what makes it UNIQUE and even more, what they would LOSE if they don’t get it.
These are simple, practical and costless methods on how to convince people. Changing a couple of words, asking someone to say something good about you or just showing a piece of paper that makes you expert can give you a huge advantage in a negotiation.
What are the methods and principles you apply when you try to get something from someone? Do you have other shortcuts beside these? Let us know in the comment section. Thanks!