Art of Persuasion II

Art of persuasion. Sounds melodramatic. Well, it is. The last post had three ways of persuading. This post has three more. So let’s get started.

Consistency. The fourth principle of persuasion is consistency. This is activated by looking and asking for small initial commitments that can be made. Once, in a street very few people were willing to put an unsightly board on their front garden to support a drive safely campaign. But on a similar street 4 times more people were willing to put up the board. So why was the difference? This was because 10 days ago the people of the street were asked to put up a small postcard on their window to support the campaign. That was the initial commitment which led to an increase of 400% increase. So when seeking the use of consistency, you should look for voluntary, active and public commitments and get those in writing.

Liking. The fifth principle is the principle of liking. In a series of business schools, a group of MBA students were told to adopt the notion of “Time is Money” and get straight down to the business. In this group almost 55% were able to come to agreement with the person. The second group of students were asked to exchange some information, identify a similarity they shared in common before beginning negotiations. In this group 90% were able to reach successful and agreeable outcomes. So to conclude, it can be said that to harness the principle of liking, look for areas of similarity that you share with each other and genuine compliments you can give before starting business.

Consensus. The last principle of persuasion is the principle of consensus. This states that people will look to the actions of others to determine their own. Hotels usually have small cards in bathrooms to persuade guests to reuse towels. Most of this is done by informing the guest of the benefits the reusability can bring to the environment. This stratergy led to an increase of 30% reuse. But what happens if we consider the principle of consensus and include the information that ‘75% of our guests reuse their towels, so please do so as well’. Just by adding a few words and honestly pointing out what previous guests have done, increased 33% of towel reuse. To persuade others, we can point out to what others are already doing as science is telling us that rather than relying on our own ability, we should rely on others, especially similar others.

So this binds up the two blogs on persuasion which has a lot of tricks of persuasion. If you have learnt anything and feel inspired then follow my blog and leave me feedback.

“Thaw with Persuasion is more powerful than Thor with his Hammer. The one melts and the other breaks in pieces” – Henry David Thoreau

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