Post No.: 0078
You’d think everyone would consider all the information presented to them and then make rational decisions based on this information, but people tend to actually rely on a few mental shortcuts…
Reciprocity – people are more likely to give you something if you give them something too. So to enhance persuasion, be the first to give, and it’s even better if you can make it personalised and unexpected too.
Scarcity – people tend to value rare, time-pressured or hard-to-get things more highly. It’s related to the fear of missing out (FOMO). So to enhance persuasion, highlight to people what’s unique about your proposition, as well as beneficial, and what they’ll stand to lose if they don’t choose you or buy from you.
Authority – people tend to more readily trust those whom (they perceive) are in positions of authority. So to enhance persuasion, talk, move and dress with an authoritative tone, display your qualifications overtly, and get someone to introduce you and your credentials before people get passed onto you in order to make you seem important (e.g. a personal assistant).
Consistency – people like consistency, and people also relax more/worry less after they’ve had a few satisfactory trial runs of something or with someone. So to enhance persuasion, get people to commit to one or two small, feasible, voluntary, active and/or public commitments first (and try to get these in writing – even better is to get them to write it down themselves) before asking for a, or the, larger request that you really want (the ‘foot-in-the-door’ technique). This small request doesn’t even need to relate to the larger request down the line.
Liking – people tend to like people who are similar to them, who pay them compliments and will cooperate with them. So to enhance persuasion, get to know the other party first and find things in common before getting down to business.
Consensus – people tend to follow others (‘group conformity’). So to enhance persuasion, highlight clearly if some desired action is popular and normative, particularly if these actions are done by other people who are similar to who you’re trying to persuade (e.g. from the same peer group). (It may therefore have the opposite desired effect if you e.g. highlight that a park is being ruined because hundreds of people dump rubbish there – better to show that millions of people like them pick up rubbish and recycle.)
As you may be able to realise, these mental shortcuts can be easily exploited (such as by presenting a fake scarcity ‘limited time offer’ that’ll really be repeated again, or by merely wearing a high-visibility jacket and carrying a clipboard to deceptively augment the perception of authority when someone is really a con artist!) Thus knowing these sorts of tricks can help protect you from being taken advantage of. As long as you’re alert and paying attention to what’s going on that is!
Woof. Furrywisepuppy is looking after your safety and interests!