Persuading others can be overwhelming especially when you might consider to remember a long list of techniques which might be helpful. However, I would suggest for you to consider using a select few “triggers,” or mental shortcuts, to streamline the process which I believe is much easier. Here is a list of 8 persuasion triggers which include — contrast, liking, relationship, reciprocity, social proof, commitment and consistency, authority, and scarcity. This persuasion triggers can make all the difference if properly, and ethically leveraged. Activate a mix of these triggers to help ensure the greatest chance of success in your next persuasion attempt.
When people make decisions, they often look for a benchmark on which to base their choice. This benchmark is usually used as an anchor for the basis of their decisions.
In order to activate the “contrast” trigger, create a benchmark to “anchor” the judgments of the person you need to persuade, preferable to a well-known or at least commonly known benchmark. Many salespeople do this by first showing the most expensive item in a product line. This makes a mid-priced item seem much more affordable. Maybe we will discuss this in greater details in future posts.
People tend to accept the ideas of people they like, it is our natural favoritism. Liking arises when people feel esteemed by another person and when they share something in common with him or her. A manager might choose an inferior deal from a supplier’s representative over a better deal, just because he likes the first rep and they share a common interest in football.
To activate the “liking” trigger, create bonds or rapport with others by informally discovering common interests such as music, children, pets, or sports. Demonstrate your liking for others by paying genuine compliments and making positive statements about their ideas, solutions, abilities, and qualities. And your efforts to activate the “liking” trigger must be sincere. While insincerity is likely to undermine your persuasion efforts and drive people away. Nowadays, it seems easy to spot a fake person.
People are more likely to adopt a proposed idea if the individual advocating the idea is someone with whom they have a relationship, even if it’s just something in common and the person makes them aware of that relationship. In a study conducted on a college campus, charity solicitors more than doubled their success by preceding a donation request with these five words: “I’m a student here, too.”
To activate the “relationship” trigger, point out the length of your connection with the person you want to persuade. Note things like “We’ve been at this together for three years.” Identify shared interests, experiences, and goals. Sprinkle your messages with words like “we,” “our,” and “us.” Create an illustration of ‘us versus them’ mentality.
People feel a deep urge to repay favors in kind. To activate the “reciprocity” trigger, give before you ask for something. In considering what to give, look for solutions that meet other individuals’ interests and needs. Hence, it is reciprocity which lead to the expression “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”.
(5) Social proof
People are more likely to follow another person’s lead if what that person is advocating is popular, standard practice, or part of a trend. Just look at the widespread use of celebrity endorsements in advertising.
To activate the “social proof” trigger, make a connection — yourself, your organization, your product to individuals and organizations admired by those you’re seeking to persuade.
(6) Commitment and consistency
People are more likely to embrace a proposal if they’ve committed to it through their own choice and have done so publicly; for example, by announcing it or in writing. Researchers noted that nine out of 10 residents of an apartment complex who signed a petition supporting a new recreation center later donated money to the cause.
To activate the “commitment and consistency” trigger, get others’ voluntary, public, and documented commitment.
Many people are trained from childhood to automatically obey requests from or support the ideas of authority figures such as parents, doctors, and police. Authority comes from a combination of position and its associated credentials.
To activate the “authority” trigger, make sure the people you want to persuade are aware of the source of your authority.
When something is in scarce supply such as information, opportunities, resources will inevitably influence people to value it more. In one experiment, wholesale beef buyers were told that they were the only ones who had received information on an expected beef shortage. Their orders jumped 600%.
To activate the “scarcity” trigger, convince your listeners that they’re being offered something rare or something that at surface value appear rare.