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How to Persuade Prospects to Say Yes

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As social creatures, relationships and community have a tremendous influence on a person’s willingness to buy. Keep these six principles of social influence in mind when you’re looking to persuade prospects.

1. Reciprocation
People say yes when they receive something first.

This is why stores give out free samples. Featured products get a sales lift as people feel obligated to reciprocate by purchasing the product. When a New Jersey waitress offered diners a free piece of chocolate, her tips went up by 3.3 percent, but when she returned and offered them a second (unexpected) chocolate, her tips rose by 21.3 percent!

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To delight your customers, include a small extra with your next printing piece or customize an accessory with a name or meaningful label.

2. Liking
People say yes to those who are like them.

This may be as simple as a shared nationality or common hobbies, but it can be as nuanced as a salesperson mirroring the gestures, posture, or body language of a potential customer.

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Affirm your customers by highlighting similarities or lavishing authentic compliments, and you will see a measurable impact. Prospects want to feel you like them!

3. Social Proof
People say yes when they believe others are saying yes.

For example, by merely labeling certain dishes “most popular menu items,” a restaurant in Beijing found these dishes sold 13-20 percent more frequently! When people believe others have responded similarly, a pending purchase seems more sensible.

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To activate this persuasive tactic, share glowing testimonials or data on the number of customers who have recently purchased.

4. Scarcity
People say yes when supply is limited.

Because people have an aversion to missing out, they want more of something they might get less of. For example, automobile manufacturers who limit production of a new model are able to charge substantially higher rates.

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Employ scarcity by using time-limited offers or constrain buyers to “x” number of products and you will increase the worth of what you offer.

5. Consistency
People say yes when they’ve taken small steps first.

Work towards personal alignment that will stimulate customers to follow through on new commitments.

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Woo your prospects toward a sale by reminding them how your product or offer corresponds with something they’ve already said they value (family, safety, saving money, health).

6. Authority
People say yes to authoritative or “trustworthy” communicators, especially when listeners are uncertain.

Communicators are perceived as trustworthy when they are highly qualified, when they are honest about weaknesses or mistakes, or when they say something positive about the competition.

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Use brand story pieces to share how your company is seeking to improve or use highly respected community members to endorse your product.




Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade
by Robert Cialdini

REVIEW

The acclaimed New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller from Robert Cialdini—“the foremost expert on effective persuasion” (Harvard Business Review)—explains how it’s not necessarily the message itself that changes minds, but the key moment before you deliver that message.

What separates effective communicators from truly successful persuaders? With the same rigorous scientific research and accessibility that made his Influence an iconic bestseller, Robert Cialdini explains how to prepare people to be receptive to a message before they experience it. Optimal persuasion is achieved only through optimal pre-suasion. In other words, to change “minds” a pre-suader must also change “states of mind.”

Named a “Best Business Books of 2016” by the Financial Times, and “compelling” by The Wall Street Journal, Cialdini’s Pre-Suasion draws on his extensive experience as the most cited social psychologist of our time and explains the techniques a person should implement to become a master persuader. Altering a listener’s attitudes, beliefs, or experiences isn’t necessary, says Cialdini—all that’s required is for a communicator to redirect the audience’s focus of attention before a relevant action.

From studies on advertising imagery to treating opiate addiction, from the annual letters of Berkshire Hathaway to the annals of history, Cialdini outlines the specific techniques you can use on online marketing campaigns and even effective wartime propaganda. He illustrates how the artful diversion of attention leads to successful pre-suasion and gets your targeted audience primed and ready to say, “Yes.” His book is “an essential tool for anyone serious about science based business strategies…and is destined to be an instant classic. It belongs on the shelf of anyone in business, from the CEO to the newest salesperson” (Forbes).