How to Use Persuasion Strategies To Get What You Want
Let’s just say you’ve got a great product or service that you know can help people, but nobody’s listening to you. You can’t get anyone to bite. Maybe you can get some but you still want to influence more people. How is it that some people seem to do this so naturally while others struggle and eventually just give up?
Don’t give up! Just learn how to influence people. I’ve mentioned Robert Cialdini’s book on How To Influence Others, in my previous blog, Top 10 Books on Persuasion.
In that book, he talks about the 6 persuasion strategies of Influence, or “Influence Weapons” as he calls them. I’m drawing from those 6 persuasion strategies for today’s blog. Hopefully, you’ll walk away with a much greater understanding of how you can influence others through my summary of Cialdini’s weapons.
Top 6 Persuasion Strategies on How to Influence People
(* based on Cialdini’s 6 weapons of influence)
1. RECIPROCITY – “You scratch my back; I’ll scratch yours!”
I was raised to help those who’ve helped me. I’m sure you’re the same, right? If someone does you a favor, don’t you feel more obligated to help them when they need you? Of course. Nobody likes to be considered a mooch or slacker.
Don’t underestimate the power of reciprocity. It can trigger some seriously unequal exchanges.
A perfect example of reciprocity is often used in network marketing with the home party concept. Basically, someone invites you to their house where they provide some tasty appetizers and drinks while they show you their line of jewelry or health products.
It’s crazy how it works. You had no intention of buying a high protein shake with magical berries from a country you never heard of, but somehow, you get home, and that’s what you’re drinking for the next month. It’s human nature.
2. COMMITMENT AND CONSISTENCY – “Power of Mindset”
I love this one. Masterminds are great for this. If you want to know how to influence people on your team, I highly recommend accountability calls or mastermind calls. Once people state their goals out loud and commit to them, they’re under both internal and external pressure to behave consistently with that commitment. This desire to stick to that goal and remain consistent is held on our subconscious.
When you can get someone to commit verbally to an action, the chances go up sharply that they’ll actually do it. Trust me on this and try it with your team!
3. SOCIAL PROOF – “Strength in Numbers”
We decide what is correct by noticing what other people think is correct. If you’re in sales, you’re looking for that day when your product/service goes viral. Social media marketers totally know how to influence people. Well, you don’t have to be a social media expert to get this concept.
This strategy of influence kicks in even more strongly when people don’t know what to do. When you show them what others like them believe or are doing, people are more likely to take the same action.
If you want someone to do something for you, be sure to let them see that many other people are already doing it or are willing to do it. Short videos are a great way to do this. Another good one are testimonials.
Show them that others like them love your product and they’d be crazy not to feel the same.
4. LIKING: “Be my friend or Be like me”
You buy from people you know and trust. Basically, they need to like you. The more like them that you are, the more likely they are to buy from you.
So when I talk about liking here, I’m referring two types of liking:
1.) They like you and want to be your friend.
2.) You’re like them, meaning you’re very similar.
The thinking here is simple. Consumers believe if you like it, they will too. If you recommend it, then they trust you.
So how do you build that trust? Spend more time with them over an extended period of time or share who you are in a more personal way through your website, blogs, facebook page, etc… It helps people get to know the real you and removes the stranger component.
Learning how to influence others takes time but is well worth it, especially when you implement this strategy. I’ve found some great friends through this via facebook and presentations.
5. AUTHORITY: “Yes Ma’am”
Most of us are raised with a respect for authority, both real and implied. If a teacher told you to do something in class, you did it. No questions asked. Police or people in uniform know how to influence people. We tend to respect them more.
Uniforms aren’t necessarily the only things that show authority – titles, status symbols (cars, watches, clothes, house), degrees, etc… are all great examples of authority you can use to influence people.
This persuasion strategy is used in media all the time. You never see a pharmaceuticals commercial with an unkempt flip flop wearing hippie, do you? No. You see doctors in white lab coats (their uniform).
You can put this general principle to use by citing authoritative sources to support your ideas. Look and act like an authority yourself. Be sure others know that your education or experience supports your ideas. Carry yourself like you already have that authority. You’ll start to feel it, then you’ll be it.
You can see how combining this with the other principles could be very powerful. Testimonials of trusted people who are like them are a very powerful way to influence people.
6. SCARCITY: “Fear of Loss”
Only 2 hours left, then they’re gone!
Only 3 spots left!
It makes you anxious just reading it, right? The fear of loss or being left out is a huge driver. This is a great example of how to influence people to take action quickly. It’s just human nature to see opportunities as more valuable when they’re less available. Hard-to-get things are perceived as better than easy-to-get things.
Honestly, who even thought of twinkies until we were told they’re discontinuing them? Best way to apply this strategy is to show limited resources and time limits to increase the perceived value of the benefits of working with you. Fear of loss is way more powerful than the benefit of gain.
Obviously, you can see how this list of persuasive techniques on how to influence people can overlap and should be used in conjunction with one another.
I highly recommend picking up Cialdini’s book, Influence to hone your skills here. And once you become a true ninja on how to influence, I just ask that you use your skill for good and not evil! 😉