Leadership Guide

Harness the power of persuasion in six effective, scientific ways

Persuasion is an effective tool for attaining success in both our professional and personal lives. The goal of business owners is always to increase sales and persuade more people to buy the products or services that they are offering. Persuading the target audience is not easy. Scientists have been working for a long time to find out which factors help in persuasion and how people make decisions.

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People do not process all the small and big details in their mind before taking a decision. Due to the overload of information and the high levels of daily stress, our mind follows six shortcuts for making decisions. These shortcuts are reciprocity, scarcity, authority, consistency, liking and consensus. If someone plays these factors wisely then they can persuade almost anyone to do anything. The conditions are clear and simple. While utilizing these shortcuts one has to remain honest and ethical. Applying these shortcuts is going to cost you almost nothing but can be very effective in building a good image for your business and make people agree with your propositions without fail.

Reciprocity:

Our brain works in a rational and reciprocal manner. When we get something unexpected but heart felt we want to reciprocate the gesture in some way or other. Scientists found that the chances of getting higher tips increase by three percent when a waiter gives a free mint to the customer after meal. If the waiter offers two free mints, the tips get increased by almost 14%. The most curious thing is that if a waiter first offers only a single mint walks away but then comes back to give another mint to the same customer the tips can get raised by a surprising 23%. This shows that people feel eager to reciprocate and give back more when they get something unexpected. Your approach should be genuine and the small favor or gift you offer should be sweet and unexpected. The person in front of you will feel an obligation and urgency to return the favor.

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Scarcity:

The second easiest way to persuade someone is to create a sense of scarcity and urgency. A lot of established business houses and manufacturers use this technique while persuading their target audience. They make their consumers believe that they are missing something wonderful. When people feel that they are missing out on something they feel the urge to obtain it. Every human being wants the things that they cannot have. Some ecommerce sites announce limited offers on exclusive products so that the consumers feel the urge to buy immediately. This technique can be used both in professional and personal life.

Authority:

People always obey or follow the instructions or advices of someone who is knowledgeable and credible. To persuade clients and consumers you will have to establish your credibility and brilliance. Now, someone cannot go round claiming to be brilliant or credible so they will have to hire someone else for doing this. The information desk staff can come handy to let people know about your experience and knowledge or it can be the receptionist. Establishing your authority in your domain will help you in persuading as many people as you want.

Consistency:

Another way of persuading people is to get a small and genuine commitment from them to get their compliance. People are not likely to take a ‘Drive Safely’ signboard seriously and show their support for a drive safely campaign. If organizers ask them to put up a small drive safely sticker on their front window for the week ahead and they comply then they are far more likely to follow the rules.

Liking:

Our liking depends on four small factors. We generally like people who are similar to us or people who compliment us. We also tend to like people who are co-operative in nature. So, if you can make someone believe that your product is perfect for them and manufactured keeping only their needs in mind then you will be able to persuade them to buy it.

Consensus:

People most of the times follow the decisions of the majority. When a customer is told that people of same age, sex and with the same requirements have bought your products then they feel the urge to do the same. A lot of companies use exact percentages of previous users or buyers to gain credibility and persuade people.

Summary

Persuading people is necessary both in professional and personal lives. The brain uses some quick factors to make decisions. Using these factors in an ethical manner we too can persuade people.

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Dr Prem Jagyasi

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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