Sunday, October 7, 2012

Top 6 Techniques for Persuasion and Influence

Now that we've spent the last few weeks discussing the 6 principles for persuading and influencing, I'd like to summarize in one blog post.

  1. Reciprocity - This is the same idea as the Golden Rule.  Treat people like you would like to be treated.  More specifically, you get what (or if) you give.  It is a deeply ingrained human predisposition to repay in kind when we are given some thing or another.  One way the Modern Marketer can apply this principle is with a good content marketing program.  Give away information that is valued by your target audience and watch your business growth soar.
  2. Liking - People are more influenced by those people they like. And people generally like other people similar to themselves and/or people who like them.  Tactics to increase your likability are praising and pointing out similarities.  Always be authentic in your praise.  One way the Modern Marketer can use this principle is using imagery and language that resonates with the target audience.
  3. Social Proof - People are influenced by the ideas, actions and statements made by or endorsed by the group of people they consider as being part of their own group or type.  One example of applying this principle in practice is the tried and true customer testimonial.
  4. Authority -  People who are viewed as experts are able to persuade and influence because of their perceived expertise.  A Modern Marketer could apply this principle by branding an internal expert as an expert in a topic where the target market has interest.  And it's always good to remember; expertise = credibility = premium pricing.
  5. Consistency - The idea behind the principle of consistency is that people will, more often than not, want to remain consistent with their stated or written opinions, values or commitments. If you want to influence your colleagues, subordinates, or your boss, getting them to state a position out loud is a powerful form of persuasion. Even more powerful is getting them to write it down and share it with other colleagues.  How could you utilize this principle in your 2013 Marketing plan?
  6. Scarcity - It is human nature to want what one cannot have or want more when we can only have less. There are many studies that prove this as true.  Remember I mentioned the struggle to obtain the elusive hot video game during the Christmas shopping season as an example.  Scarcity goes hand-in-hand with promoting your unique selling position or differentiated value proposition.  An exclusive and limited available offer is even more compelling than just a scarce offer.
Those are the 6 principles of persuasion and influence.  These are not new.  In fact, these principles have been documented and discussed as far back as the ancient days of the Greeks and Romans.  One major aspect of marketing is to influence the target audience to choose your particular product or service.  These principles should be kept in mind as you develop your 2013 marketing strategy and tactics.  What's that you say?  You haven't started your 2013 plans?  No worries, my next series of posts will be all about the Marketing Plan.

Last and most important point about the 6 Principles is to apply them with authenticity.  There's nothing any of us hate more than to feel manipulated.  Be genuine.