The 7 Principles Of Persuasion

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Whether it is to get people to buy a particular product, vote in a specific manner, donate to a cause or behave peculiarly, persuasion is a useful tool in convincing people for decades. 

Although Robert Cialdini has written on the power of persuasion to influence the behaviors of others more than three decades ago, it is still relevant today. 

Recent studies have proven that you can change other people’s decisions and actions by adopting the simple principles of persuasion. While there are various ways of persuasion, they fit under the six succinct categories, as proposed by Cialdini.

Recently, Cialdini has added the seventh principle of Persuasion- unity. These principles have been tested and proven to be effective especially among marketers to increase the rate of conversion. Not only that, it can be adopted while making other life decisions as well.

7 Principles of Persuasion -
Reciprocity ​

Reciprocity

Remember Reciprocity to be indispensable

The principle of reciprocity connotes that you do unto others what you want others to do unto you. In life, you get what you give. Therefore, if you’re going to be heard, try to genuinely listen to others because knowing their point of view might change your perspective.

Remember that you have to be genuinely interested in what they have to say and encourage them to talk about themselves as most people would love to do. In a social setting, reciprocity is one of the basic principles of persuasion that will make people behave the way you want without them feeling manipulated.

Whether you own a brick and mortar shop or you run an online business, making people feel special by offering them token, or gift will not only increase your sales, it will bring you loyal customers.

 Another way of ensuring reciprocity is by making others feel comfortable enough to turn to you for help. When you are kind and giving, people will feel indebted to you, and as a result, you can pitch your idea or proposal to them. 

Imagine entering an investment firm to inquire about their products. After getting a warm welcome from the receptionist, you were offered a seat and given your favorite coffee, and at the end of the year, you receive a thank-you-for-being a loyal customer gift. 

No matter how small the gesture is the feeling that the company values your patronage will want you to continue doing business with the firm. Reciprocity is about give and take.

Scarcity

Adopt the principle of Scarcity to be valuable

People value what is scarce and exclusive. This principle is fundamental in business, and both fortune 500 and small enterprises alike take advantage of it. Scarcity breeds the regret of not getting what you want if you don’t act fast enough. Therefore, to persuade people to buy a product, buyers are given a limited time offer. This will make people want to buy more within that window of time. As the belief is that what is worthy must be hard to get, and people are naturally attracted to what they can’t have. So make your product privilege for the buyers to have, and you will see your sales skyrocketing. 

You can persuade using scarcity in two ways; 

  • Making your product unique and exclusive
  • Placing an ultimatum on the time buyers can get the product for a particular price. 

An excellent example of using ultimatum is to create the feeling that buyers can get only a lower amount during a particular period. You are also familiar with the phrase “hurry while stock lasts,” which creates the feeling that you will not be able to get the item at a later date. Another example is that of accommodation. There are many houses in the countryside, yet people want to live in the upscale parts of the city, so they pay more for homes they can get at cheaper rates in the not so exclusive parts of town. This is because it gives people the feeling of being unique.

Scarcity ​- Limited time offer post-it
Consensus​

Consensus

Use Consensus to gather a large audience

While scarcity reduces the reach of a product to a selected few, consensus makes it abundantly popular. Also known as social proof or social validation, consensus is a persuasive principle where an individual’s decision is based on the rating and recommendations of another person they respect and like. People tend to follow what their family members, friends, colleagues, and neighbors do. Most people only trust and buy brands that have been deemed excellent by others. 

However, an important means of persuasion in recent times is social media influencer.  In recent studies, companies have found that they can reach a broader market and meaningfully persuade buyers to buy more through the use of social media influencers. That is why influencer marketers are the trend-setters for both young and old. Your sale is more likely to increase if an influencer attests to the value of your product.

For instance, in social settings and even in an office, the use of an influencer to persuade your subordinates as a leader can be very effective. As long as you can convince the most influential and focal person in a group to agree with you, the others will toll the line. Nobody wants to be a social pariah, and this is why consensus is a fundamental principle of persuasion.

Consistency

Embrace the principle of Consistency to build relationship that lasts

It is not enough for people to browse through your shop or check your product online. Getting people to buy your products is a small consolation for the efforts involved in marketing.

What you need is to make them want to come back; they should stick to you no matter the competition. Before you can achieve this, you must get them to make an active commitment and follow through with it.

An enthusiastic commitment must be made in public; this way, your customers will feel the need to stick by their words. 

People do not want to be seen as a liar, so to be able to hold them accountable for what they say, ensure there are witnesses. While you may feel compelled to want people to come back, you do not want to force them. Adopt subtlety in your approach so they can feel like they voluntarily commit themselves.

This is because a person convinced against his will agrees still. Make sure your audience makes that commitment the moment you are passing the information because the effects of the persuasive message decrease with time except with the sleeper effect. 

Sleeper effect in persuasion is a way of dissociating information due to a lack of credibility. This implies that after the message has been around for a while, people will forget about the origin of the message and make use of the content alone.

Embrace the principle of Consistency to build relationship that lasts
Liking

Liking

Stimulate Liking in others to forget alliance

To persuade people to your way of thinking, you need to show that you sincerely and genuinely like them. This is both true with business as with social situations.

How will you feel if you fear spiders and ads about spiders keep popping up on your phone? This brings about personalized advertising, which has become a reliable means of conversion for marketers in recent times.

Therefore, when you meet people whose interest aligns with yours, you will instantly want to interact with them. 

You can make people like you by sincerely complimenting them. The sincerity of your praise can go a long way in achieving a positive result.

Also, people are more likely to listen to what you want to say if they have something in common with you. Find common ground where you are inclined to agree like a hobby or interest and create an opening through it.

Authority

Use Authority for credibility

It is an age-old tradition to use people dressed as dentists in toothpaste and toothbrushes adverts.

You know why?

People rarely contradict authoritative figures. If a civilian asks you to pull-over while driving, you either completely ignore them or you think twice even if you will eventually do so.

By the sheer authority embedded in their uniforms, law enforcement officers like the police get people to obey them. Patients know they run the risk of complications, so they listen and follow the doctor’s instructions. The same thing goes for a physiotherapist who displays their awards and certificate in their office to show that they are qualified for the position they hold.

While all those mentioned above have the avenue to show that capability, you might not likely have that easy avenue unless you subtly pass the message across without sounding like you are bragging. You can also post the review of authoritative figures in your industry on your website to create conversion

Use Authority for credibility
Utilize Unity to influence

Unity

Utilize Unity to influence  

While the first six principles have been well established, especially in marketing, Cialdini recently added unity in another book titled “Pre-suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade. 

People are more influenced and persuaded by their close knits. The sense of “us” among relations can be used as a powerful tool to get people to do what you want. 

The principle of unity does not necessarily have to do with family; it is also related to a sense of belonging that makes people behave in a particular manner. It can be due to gender, race, and even the nationality you find yourself. 

Conclusively, these principles of persuasion, when appropriately adopted, can be used to influence others to behave in a particular way.

 

Conclusion

While reading this article, you might have noticed that the 6+1 principles are not only applicable to marketers alone.

You can employ them both in your life and in your business. There is a beauty in using these principles singularly or combined.

Say you want to have a more online presence with a high rate of conversion; you can mix social proof and commitment.

Note, though, that you need to read and digest each principle to know which one is suitable for you. The principles of persuasion, when appropriately adopted, can be used to influence others to behave in a particular way.

Similarly, the mastery of the principles can indeed easily upgrade you from an underdog in your chosen field to the boss. Take care not to abuse the principles in the application as they can be deadly weapons of manipulation.

Conclusion: words have power

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These principles of persuasion include

  • Reciprocity
  • Scarcity
  • Consensus
  • Consistency
  • Liking
  • Authority
  • Unity

Whether it is to get people to buy a particular product, vote in a specific manner, donate to a cause or behave peculiarly, persuasion is a useful tool in convincing people for decades. 

Although Robert Cialdini has written on the power of persuasion to influence the behaviors of others more than three decades ago, it is still relevant today. 

Recent studies have proven that you can change other people’s decisions and actions by adopting the simple principles of persuasion. While there are various ways of persuasion, they fit under the six succinct categories, as proposed by Cialdini.

Recently, Cialdini has added the seventh principle of Persuasion- unity. These principles have been tested and proven to be effective especially among marketers to increase the rate of conversion. Not only that, it can be adopted while making other life decisions as well. 

 

7 Principles of Persuasion -

Reciprocity

Remember Reciprocity to be indispensable

The principle of reciprocity connotes that you do unto others what you want others to do unto you. In life, you get what you give. Therefore, if you’re going to be heard, try to genuinely listen to others because knowing their point of view might change your perspective.

Remember that you have to be genuinely interested in what they have to say and encourage them to talk about themselves as most people would love to do. In a social setting, reciprocity is one of the basic principles of persuasion that will make people behave the way you want without them feeling manipulated.

Whether you own a brick and mortar shop or you run an online business, making people feel special by offering them token, or gift will not only increase your sales, it will bring you, loyal customers. 

Another way of ensuring reciprocity is by making others feel comfortable enough to turn to you for help. When you are kind and giving, people will feel indebted to you, and as a result, you can pitch your idea or proposal to them. 

Imagine entering an investment firm to inquire about their products. After getting a warm welcome from the receptionist, you were offered a seat and given your favorite coffee, and at the end of the year, you receive a thank-you-for-being a loyal customer gift. 

No matter how small the gesture is the feeling that the company values your patronage will want you to continue doing business with the firm. Reciprocity is about give and take.

Reciprocity ​

Scarcity

Adopt the principle of Scarcity to be valuable

People value what is scarce and exclusive. This principle is fundamental in business, and both fortune 500 and small enterprises alike take advantage of it. 

Scarcity breeds the regret of not getting what you want if you don’t act fast enough. Therefore, to persuade people to buy a product, buyers are given a limited time offer. 

This will make people want to buy more within that window of time. As the belief is that what is worthy must be hard to get, and people are naturally attracted to what they can’t have. So make your product privilege for the buyers to have, and you will see your sales skyrocketing. 

You can persuade using scarcity in two ways; 

  • Making your product unique and exclusive
  • Placing an ultimatum on the time buyers can get the product for a particular price. 

An excellent example of using ultimatum is to create the feeling that buyers can get only a lower amount during a particular period.

You are also familiar with the phrase “hurry while stock lasts,” which creates the feeling that you will not be able to get the item at a later date.

Another example is that of accommodation. There are many houses in the countryside, yet people want to live in the upscale parts of the city, so they pay more for homes they can get at cheaper rates in the not so exclusive parts of town.

This is because it gives people the feeling of being unique.

Scarcity ​- Limited time offer post-it

Consensus

Use Consensus to gather a large audience

While scarcity reduces the reach of a product to a selected few, consensus makes it abundantly popular.

Also known as social proof or social validation, consensus is a persuasive principle where an individual’s decision is based on the rating and recommendations of another person they respect and like.

People tend to follow what their family members, friends, colleagues, and neighbors do. Most people only trust and buy brands that have been deemed excellent by others. 

However, an important means of persuasion in recent times is social media influencer. 

In recent studies, companies have found that they can reach a broader market and meaningfully persuade buyers to buy more through the use of social media influencers.

That is why influencer marketers are the trend-setters for both young and old. Your sale is more likely to increase if an influencer attests to the value of your product.

For instance, in social settings and even in an office, the use of an influencer to persuade your subordinates as a leader can be very effective.

As long as you can convince the most influential and focal person in a group to agree with you, the others will toll the line.

Nobody wants to be a social pariah, and this is why consensus is a fundamental principle of persuasion.

Consensus​

Consistency

Embrace the principle of Consistency to build relationship that lasts

It is not enough for people to browse through your shop or check your product online. Getting people to buy your products is a small consolation for the efforts involved in marketing.

What you need is to make them want to come back; they should stick to you no matter the competition. Before you can achieve this, you must get them to make an active commitment and follow through with it.

An enthusiastic commitment must be made in public; this way, your customers will feel the need to stick by their words. 

People do not want to be seen as a liar, so to be able to hold them accountable for what they say, ensure there are witnesses.

While you may feel compelled to want people to come back, you do not want to force them. Adopt subtlety in your approach so they can feel like they voluntarily commit themselves.

This is because a person convinced against his will agrees still. Make sure your audience makes that commitment the moment you are passing the information because the effects of the persuasive message decrease with time except with the sleeper effect. 

Sleeper effect in persuasion is a way of dissociating information due to a lack of credibility.

This implies that after the message has been around for a while, people will forget about the origin of the message and make use of the content alone.

Embrace the principle of Consistency to build relationship that lasts

Liking

Stimulate Liking in others to forge alliance

To persuade people to your way of thinking, you need to show that you sincerely and genuinely like them. This is both true with business as with social situations.

How will you feel if you fear spiders and ads about spiders keep popping up on your phone? This brings about personalized advertising, which has become a reliable means of conversion for marketers in recent times.

Therefore, when you meet people whose interest aligns with yours, you will instantly want to interact with them. 

You can make people like you by sincerely complimenting them. The sincerity of your praise can go a long way in achieving a positive result.

Also, people are more likely to listen to what you want to say if they have something in common with you.

Find common ground where you are inclined to agree like a hobby or interest and create an opening through it.

Liking

Authority

Use Authority for credibility

It is an age-old tradition to use people dressed as dentists in toothpaste and toothbrushes adverts.

You know why?

People rarely contradict authoritative figures. If a civilian asks you to pull-over while driving, you either completely ignore them or you think twice even if you will eventually do so.

By the sheer authority embedded in their uniforms, law enforcement officers like the police get people to obey them. Patients know they run the risk of complications, so they listen and follow the doctor’s instructions. The same thing goes for a physiotherapist who displays their awards and certificate in their office to show that they are qualified for the position they hold.

While all those mentioned above have the avenue to show that capability, you might not likely have that easy avenue unless you subtly pass the message across without sounding like you are bragging. You can also post the review of authoritative figures in your industry on your website to create conversion

Use Authority for credibility

Unity

Utilize Unity to influence  

While the first six principles have been well established, especially in marketing, Cialdini recently added unity in another book titled “Pre-suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade.

People are more influenced and persuaded by their close knits. The sense of “us” among relations can be used as a powerful tool to get people to do what you want.

The principle of unity does not necessarily have to do with family; it is also related to a sense of belonging that makes people behave in a particular manner. It can be due to gender, race, and even the nationality you find yourself. 

Conclusively, these principles of persuasion, when appropriately adopted, can be used to influence others to behave in a particular way.

 

 

Conclution

While reading this article, you might have noticed that the 7 principles are not only applicable to marketers alone.

You can employ them both in your life and in your business. There is a beauty in using these principles singularly or combined.

Say you want to have a more online presence with a high rate of conversion; you can mix social proof and commitment.

Note, though, that you need to read and digest each principle to know which one is suitable for you. The principles of persuasion, when appropriately adopted, can be used to influence others to behave in a particular way.

Similarly, the mastery of the principles can indeed easily upgrade you from an underdog in your chosen field to the boss. Take care not to abuse the principles in the application as they can be deadly weapons of manipulation.

Conclusion: words have power