Last Updated on March, 2023 by Edison
I have captured a list of the most effective persuasion techniques in this article.
One Sentence Persuasion
Blair Warren captured the essence of persuasion in one sentence…
“People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions, and help them throw rocks at their enemies.”
Now let’s analyze each emotional motivator:
Aspiration – How would you feel about someone telling you, you can make it?
Shame – The correct way to deal with shame is to expose and wipe it away.
It’s comforting when others understand why you are in this tough situation. Explain that it’s not their fault.
For example, “If you’re overweight and have failed to slim down, it might not be your fault, but simply a problem with your metabolism.”
Fear – We all seek different ways of avoiding fear and pain. And we are drawn to people who can make us feel safe.
Confirming suspicions – Who doesn’t want to know they have been right all along? Don’t you love saying, “I fucking knew it?” We all do.
Belonging – A sense of belonging is a powerful motivator. That’s why we act so emotional about sports teams.
It’s the feeling that we belong to something bigger than ourselves.
Since we were kids, we learned to rely on authority figures for sound decision-making.
Authorities such as parents and teachers were the primary source of wisdom while we grew up, but they also controlled us. That’s why we’ve been taught to believe that respect for authority is a moral virtue.
As adults, it’s easy for us to transfer that respect to society’s authorities, such as doctors, police officers, and bosses…
We assume their positions give them special access to information and power.
You will encounter resistance if people doubt you’re an expert on the solution or idea you’re selling. But, if they perceive you as competent and trustworthy, they will do what you ask them to do.
A research paper from Eric Jaso stated
“In the study, salespersons with high expertise attempted to sell nutraceuticals to customers. The study revealed that the consumers who felt the salespersons were competent were more likely to purchase the nutraceuticals.”
In addition, another study from Cunningham (2008) showed that athletes were better representatives of the energy bars than were the actors.
For example, a well-known athlete is a better endorser for Gatorade than a television actor.
So, how can you establish credibility and expertise?
– The quickest way is to show your credentials.
For example, when you enter someone’s office, you see that their wall is decorated with degrees and awards. And that can make you trust them more.
But do not tell your prospect about your degrees or awards because it can make you appear arrogant.
And it goes without saying, but your qualifications should match the product you’re selling.
The literature degree won’t help your credibility if you’re selling software.
– Hang out with other experts.
When you associate yourself with other experts, people will perceive you as an expert. Attend different events and get to know and connect with those people.
– Create a website and write helpful articles about the topic you like. You can also increase your online presence by joining Quora. It’s a perfect place to share advice.
The magic bullet
We have seen many celebrities advertising a product but aren’t experts. They’re just paid to say what others tell them to say.
Why do their endorsements sell so many products?
The reason is that we like them, and most importantly, we trust the people we like.
Likability is a crucial part of persuasion.
Understanding what makes someone likable is complex, but some basic rules exist.
For example, we prefer good-looking people… to a disturbing extent.
Various studies have shown that we perceive physically attractive people as more intelligent, stronger, successful, and have higher moral character.
All of this is based only on their physical appearance.
Next, we’re more prone to like and trust people we know personally. A 1999 News poll from CBS showed that 85% of the respondents expected the people they know personally to be fair.
In addition, experiments by Dr Jerry Burger showed that we’re more likely to comply with a request by someone who shares a birthday or a first name. You can make yourself more likable by simply pointing out a similarity. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a date.
Salespeople know this trick. Why do you think they often have a friend from your hometown or children the age as yours?
Every argument has two sides, even if sometimes we hate to admit it.
Whether you are arguing online or offline, you can notice that people tend to think their side of the argument is the only alternative.
They only talk about the benefits of their idea/product. And it might scare them to point out a weakness in their ideas.
We tend to choose the safest course… presenting only our side; otherwise, we risk losing traction.
But does this approach works?
Daniel O’keefe from The University of Illinois did a meta-analysis of over 100 studies to see which are more persuasive, one-sided or two-sided arguments.
He concluded that two-sided arguments were more persuasive than one-sided arguments. But only when they provided counter-arguments.
When discussing the benefits of a particular action, accept that there might be some drawbacks but then offer counter-arguments that minimize those disadvantages.
You’re overcoming objections before they even raise them.
Fear is our old friend. It has helped us survive for so long in an unforgiving environment.
At the same time, fear is a very persuasive tool.
Many politicians use fear to influence people.
A study showed that politicians could use fear to manipulate the public into supporting policies they might otherwise oppose.
Manipulation is more likely to happen when the public doesn’t fully understand the issue or can’t overcome the fear instilled by the politician.
We also need to understand that using too much fear can backfire.
Many anti-smoking campaigns terrify people as a way of convincing them to quit. But that seems to make things worse.
Many ad campaigns tried to persuade people by stating the dangers of obesity. But that didn’t have the desired impact.
So, the best way is to use fear combined with a clear solution.
If you want to persuade someone to be healthy, give some scary facts about obesity and then show him a step-by-step guide on losing weight.
Inoculation is a technique that makes people immune to persuasion attempts by exposing them to small arguments against their position.
In medical immunization, weakened viruses are injected into the body, which triggers the production of antibodies in response.
Later, the body will know how to respond when exposed to the more potent virus.
Attitude inoculation exposes someone to weak arguments.
Then, when exposed to a strong argument, the individual already has arguments to use in defense.
Let’s say you want to ensure your teenage son doesn’t smoke.
You warn him that his friends will probably say he’s too scared to try smoking. And that he should say something like I’d be a real chicken if I smoked to impress you.
“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”– Philip Pullman
Everyone loves a good story. For thousands of years, humans have been telling stories to each other.
It is an excellent tool for persuading people.
There are four categories for finding compelling stories:
1. A time you shined – This story is about something good that happened to you. When everyone told you to quit, but you didn’t listen to them, it turned out great.
2. A time you blew it – This is about when something terrible happened, and it was your fault. Sharing a personal failure will make people trust you, and they might share a similar story.
3. A mentor – Was a person who significantly impacted your life? Then tell a story about him/her.
Telling a story of admiration and gratitude towards that person communicates that you’re humble.
Also, people will assume you share the same qualities and values as your mentor.
4. A book, movie, or current event – There are millions of stories from articles, books, or even movies that might help prove your point.
26 Powerful Techniques to persuade anyone by Akash Karia
The Power of Persuasion by Robert Levine