Today’s blog post is from: Yes!  50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive
By Goldstein, Martin, and Cialdini
 Small little changes to your message can have drastic improvements in results.
Persuasion is science, not art.  And Cialdini is the master of studying and teaching that. 

How can you fight consistency with consistency?

Emerson:  A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

Huxley: The only truly consistent people are dead.

People prefer that their behavior be consistent with their pre-existing attitudes, statements, values, and actions.  The desire for consistency gets greatly strengthened as they get older.  Probably because inconsistency can be emotionally upsetting.

If trying to market to an older demographic, research shows that they will be resistant against change.  So, be advised to focus message on how purchasing and using the product is consistent with the audience’s pre-existing values, beliefs and practices.

People think that those that change their minds often, are easily influenced.  But, you can use that to your advantage.

To make sure our message is optimally persuasive, we need to free them from their previous commitment but also avoid framing their previous decision as a mistake.  One message is to praise their previous message as correct, at the time.    Then next message, will realign your message to their previous decision and maintain consistency.  The best way to ride a horse is the direction the horse is already going.

What persuasion tip can you borrow from Benjamin Franklin?

When Franklin was in PA legislature once said “he who has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you a favor than someone that you yourself have obliged.”

He had an adversary in the house.  Franklin found out that he had a rare book in his collection.  Franklin asked to borrow the book.  Once he returned the book, Franklin left a nice note of thanks and praise.  They became fast friends.

Study:  they brought people in and had them do a quiz to win money.  Then the experimenter went back to a group of them and asked them to give back the money since he was using his own $ and was running out.  Almost all did.   Then they surveyed the whole group about how much they liked the experimenter.  Those who gave the $ back rated him more favorably.

Why?  People will change their attitudes consistently with their behaviors.   If I don’t like you, why would I do you a favor?  So, I did a favor, so I must like you.

Some of the most brilliant ideas are the counterintuitive ones.

When can asking for a little go a long way?

Sometimes you have to “go small” in order to “get big.”

Study:  When asked to donate to a cause, people assume that a small contribution doesn’t mean anything.   So researchers did a study.   Went door-to-door asking for pledges.   When people said they supported a cause, but couldn’t afford a contribution, they assured them that even a little money would help.

½ were asked and then it was left at that, other ½ said “even a penny would help.”   When analyzed, the 2nd half were 2x as likely to donate, and there was no change in the average contribution.  2nd half got $72 per 100 vs $42 per 100.

In workplace, to a project: even a half hour would help.  “Even a brief initial phone call would be good.”   Ask people to contribute a little bit of something.   You will be surprised how they get invested in the idea and contribute more.

This also means that getting 1 referral from a customer is more likely to get you 3.

Getting a positive review is more likely to get you repeat business.