Robert Cialdini says that the best persuaders are the best at pre-suasion. Those who spend more time crafting what they did and said before making a request are better at persuading. They are the best at arranging the recipients to be receptive to their message before they engage with it. Here we will find some effective strategies to improve the likelihood of customer agreement
Part 1: The Front-Loading of Attention
There are certain moments when an individual is more receptive to a message. Often, factors which elevate a person’s chance of acting in a certain way are factors that have been elevated in attention throughout the conversation. For example, if a marketer asks a customer if they are helpful, the customer is more likely to become a survey participant. If the customer agrees that they are helpful, they will then feel like they need to act in order to prove it. Another important factor to remember is that we have the tendency to think what we are focusing on is the most important thing. Therefore, sometimes we can be convinced something is important merely because they have been led to give it our attention. Through these factors we gain an importance of utilizing the customer’s attention.
Part 2: The Role of Association
In persuasion, the main purpose is to direct the listeners’ attention to a selected section of reality. Exposure to words, images, and metaphors can create strong associations in the mind of the listener. Individuals have the strongest association with themselves. People can have positive associations with things they perceive to be related to themselves. For example, individuals prefer products with names that share letters with their own names. This is just one type of association that can be utilized but there are many. The idea is guide the listener’s attention to move them into a state where they are more likely to agree before they are actually given a sales pitch
Part 3: The Optimization of Pre-Suasion
There are six concepts that empower the principles of human social influence
- Reciprocation: People say yes to people they owe. We have a tendency to feel those who give us benefits are entitled to benefits in return. Take a chance and give first
- Liking: People trust those who are similar to them. To cause people to like you and want to do business, mention similarities and give compliments.
- Social Proof – People believe, feel or do something if others believe, feel or do the same thing. Mention the many other people that are doing the same thing.
- Authority – People will listen to those that are authoritative. Show your audience that you are trustworthy and knowledgeable on the topic.
- Scarcity – The scarcity of an item raises the perceived value. In the consumer’s mind, any constraint on access increases the worth of what is being offered.
- Consistency – People want to be consistent. Communicators that can get people to take a step in the direction of a particular idea will be able to increase their willingness to take a larger step when asked.
It is important to use these steps wisely. If an organization were to use these steps in an improper way, it could backfire wildly and have extreme consequences for the organization such as poor employee performance or fraud. Nevertheless, it is important to remember the key to success at pre-suasion is to remember to channel the audience’s attention to a psychological concept favorable to the marketer’s message.