“… the ethics of persuasive success. Just because we can use psychological tactics to gain consent doesn’t mean we are entitled to them. The tactics are available for good or ill. They can be structured to fool and thereby exploit others. But they can also be structured to inform and thereby enhance others.”
Before continuing the review, a bit of warning…
This book should be used for good not evil. Nearly everyone is susceptible to persuasion. We all have our biases. We all have our faults.
In fact, in Robert Cialdini’s book Pre-suasion (Amazon) there’s a whole chapter dedicated to the ethics. Yes, it is powerful stuff. If it wasn’t then search, “Google manipulating search results” and you’ll see all the subtle ways they try persuade the masses.
…Maybe you want to be more persuasive, maybe you just want out-of-the-way knowledge like I do.
Either way, the book is a niche book dedicated to all the things happening before you open your mouth.
Some of the techniques used are tactics employed in copywriting, sales, and psychology.
If you study these topics like I do, then you will get more out of this book. Even now, as I write this, I’m using techniques I’ve learned in those books…more on that later.
Some things you’ll learn:
- Why changing the restaurant name “Studio 17” to “Studio 97” caused people to spend more.
- Athletes with a high jersey number, performed better than those with lower numbers.
- Drawing long lines vs short lines in an experiment caused people to think differently
- Why playing German songs in a store, caused people to buy more beer.
Will this book teach to be more persuasive in everyday life?
In addition you will also improve your mindset. A topic I’ve written about before.
We’ve all seen posters, you know those motivational kind, the ones that say, “Keep calm. Keep on winning.” Or something like that.
It turns out, those posters may be on to something.
Multiple studies have shown that subtly exposing individuals to words that connote achievement (win , attain , succeed, master) increases their performance on an assigned task and more than doubles their willingness to keep working at it. Evidence like this has changed my mind about the worth of certain kinds of posters that I’ve occasionally seen adorning the walls of business offices.
In this post I’ve used the techniques outlined in Pre-Suasion
If you look at the beginning of this post, you’ll notice that I put a warning. “Before continuing this review, a bit of warning…” I then go on to briefly describe some reasons why.
In sales this is called setting the persons hair on fire, while you stand by with the water hose. It’s also a very persuasive way to talk about something.
Don’t believe me? Check out this video:
Yes, I know the guy above looks like a salesmen. But the knowledge is top-knotch. In the video, he covers, status quo bias (a very real and powerful bias) and the “set the hair on fire, stand by with the hose” technique I was talking about.
So what does Pre-Suasion say?
How to be trustworthy.
Rather than succumbing to the tendency to describe all of the most favorable features of an offer or idea up front and reserving mention of any drawbacks until the end of the presentation (or never), a communicator who references a weakness early on is immediately seen as more honest.
The advantage of this sequence is that, with perceived truthfulness already in place, when the major strengths of the case are advanced, the audience is more likely to believe them.
After all, they’ve been conveyed by a trustworthy source, one whose honesty has been established (persuasively) by a willingness to point not just to positive aspects but also to negative ones.
Telling the truth is a good thing.
But if you want to go deeper…
THE ORDER, in which you present the negative information is a big factor. Re-watch the video above and you’ll see.
As you can tell, there are many layers to persuasion. If you’re a writer, blogger, you will benefit from reading the books mentioned in this post.
So pick up a copy, share this article, and let me know what you think.