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What Are Some Basic Persuasion Techniques I Can Try Right Away?

Legal Productivity Q&A Video Series

This is the latest edition in our quick-and-practical Q&A style videos. Questions come from social channels, keyword analysis, and readers of this blog. A transcript accompanies each video.

What Are Some Basic Persuasion Techniques I Can Try Right Away?
What are some basic persuasion techniques I can try right away?
There’s a lot of interesting information out there about influence in the sense of persuasion. One amazing book that I would recommend picking up is a book by a guy named Robert Cialdini, and it’s called Influence: The Science of Persuasion or something like that.
So, one of the core ideas in that book is the idea of reciprocity. We are human beings. We are animals of some kind, and we have inherent biology, and we react to certain things, and it could be cultural, or it could be our actual nature.
So, the idea of reciprocity is that if I give you something, like a gift or something like that, you are going to feel obligated to repay that favor, and, also, you’re going to feel uncomfortable until you’re able to repay that favor. So, the concept of reciprocity is a very powerful one between humans.
Another one is the contrast principal. So, the idea of the contrast principal is that you anchor, and anchoring is a related concept, but you anchor numbers and prices and things like that to related things.
So, if I walk into a department store, odds are the salesman will show me an Armani suit before they show me a sweater because, in comparison, a sweater, even if it’s several hundred dollars, will seem very cheap compared to a $3,000.00 Armani suit, right?
Oftentimes, you go to a restaurant and there’s a very expensive piece on the menu that nobody is going to order or it is not intended to order. So, there’s going to be an anchor piece that is the most expensive piece on the menu. It could be a $100.00 steak or something like that. Everything else seems cheap in comparison. So, the contrast principal works very well.
When you look to sign up for a lot of different services online, you will see oftentimes a number of different options. People generally go for the one in the middle. If you think about when you go and you order wine at a restaurant and you’re with friends, you probably won’t order the most expensive glass of wine, and if you are, then I don’t want to go to dinner with you, or you won’t order the least expensive glass of wine. You’ll probably order the one in the middle.
So, those are some basic influence and persuasion techniques that you probably didn’t even realize, but now that you think about them, you see them all the time.