The 3 tenors of persuasion, Robert Cialdini, Steve Martin, and Noah Goldstein, are back with a new book, The Small Big: small changes that spark big influence. They were at the RSA last week talking about their findings; here’s a video of their talk.
Here are the key takeaways from the talk.
3 most successful persuasion strategies
People desire to make the most efficient, effective and rewarding decisions
Core to this motivation technique is that the outcome you want has to be realistic so people can reach the goal and gain a sense of accomplishment. And always go for one specific request, first. Getting approval for one request creates follow-up positive behavior.
The example given was for weight loss clients where one group was given a target of losing 3lbs a week, and the other 2 – 4lbs a week. The second group lost more weight and were more persistent that the first.
Affiliate with and gain the approval of others
We are motivated to create social bonds and connect with others. Reciprocity is one way – but only when we get something, first. And the obligation to reciprocate is typically activated by the person who goes first, because there’s an obligation to give when you receive, first. So give first and make it surprising.
There are slight cultural differences in the need to gain approval of others; in the East, the need to gain approval from others is a stronger influencing factor than Western countries. In the West the need to look good is a more dominant social trigger.
We want to be seen in the best possible light and will behave accordingly
Get a confirmation from the other about an appointment. Confirm the appointment. On the phone, pause and get them to repeat the appointment time back.
None of the persuasion triggers requires changing your product offering. What you change is the environment, or the context of the “offering”. The key to these three persuasion techniques is pointing to something already inherent in the offering.
What did you think of the ideas from the talk? Do you agree or disagree with anything? I’m sure our readers are interested in your thoughts.
PS. Stay tuned for the book summary where I’ll explain how you can use the techniques to grow your sales.