Jedi Mind Tricks: 17 Lesser Known Ways to Persuade People
From Peep Laja at www.conversionxl.com
You want to be persuasive. The power to influence people to get what you want is sometimes all it takes to be successful. These are some tactics, discovered through psychological research, that you have probably not yet heard about, but have the potential to increase your persuasive abilities.
I’m not going to cover reciprocity, scarcity or social proof and all those widely known persuasion principles. You already know all about those (in case you don’t, stop everything and read this book by Cialdini).
1. Be confident, talk fast
The best way to persuade audiences that are not inclined to agree with you, is to talk fast. Fast pace is distracting and people find it difficult to pick out the argument’s flaws. When talking to an audience who is likely to agree (preaching to the choir), slow down and give the audience time to agree some more.
Want to boost persuasive power? Talk with confidence.
Don Moore from Carnegie Mellon’s Center for Behavioral Decision Research has published research showing that confidence even trumps past accuracy in earning the trust of others.
We prefer advice from a confident source, even to the point that we are willing to forgive a poor track record. Moore argues that in competitive situations, this can drive those offering advice to increasingly exaggerate how sure they are.
People naturally associate confidence with expertise. Know your product, know the facts about its benefits and believe in what it does – true confidence becomes from knowing and believing what you’re saying. It’s essential that we communicate our confidence to others in order to persuade them.
2. Swearing can help influence an audience
Light swearing, that is. (Go overboard and lose all credibility.)
Researchers divided 88 participants into three groups to watch one of three slightly different speeches. The only difference between the speeches was that one contained a mild curse word at the start:
“…lowering of tuition is not only a great idea, but damn it, also the most reasonable one for all parties involved.”
The second speech contained the ‘damn it’ at the end and the third had neither. When participants’ attitudes were measured, they were most influenced by the speeches with the mild obscenity included, either at the beginning or the end.
The word ‘damn’ increased the audience’s perception of the speaker’s intensity, which increased persuasion. The audience’s perceived credibility of the speaker did not change.
3. Get people to agree with you first
If you want people to buy into your message, start with something they can agree with.
In a research study by Jing Xu and Robert Wyerestablished, there were lingering effects of messages people agree with. In one of the tests, participants listen to a speech by John McCain or one by Barack Obama and then watch a TV ad for Toyota.
Republicans tended to be more swayed by the ad after watching the speech by John McCain, while Democrats showed the opposite effect, finding the ad more persuasive after the Obama speech.
So when you try to sell something, make statements or represent a world view your customers can agree with first – even if they have nothing to do with what you’re selling.