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Chapter
4

Persuasion boosts

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Finally, we have the tactics that can be used to persuade people, tipping the decision scale further in your favor. However, these should only be used after you’ve already put the instinctual, emotional and rational drivers in place.

Based on Cialdini’s principles of persuasion, these boosters are:

  • Reciprocity. When we receive something, we’re more likely to return the favor. If you’ve ever received a free calendar from a charity or enjoyed free high-value content from a website, you’ve seen reciprocity in action.
  • Urgency. This persuasion booster is only available for the next six minutes… We’re great at putting decisions off. Without any sense of urgency, prospective customers may put off making a purchase indefinitely.
  • Social proof. When making a decision, we want to see that others have made the same choice. By using existing customer testimonials and/or logos where possible, you offer proof that your product is a safe bet.
  • Authority. Several studies have shown that seeing just the appearance of authority (such as wearing a suit / lab coat) makes people more likely to follow instructions. The more relevant the authority, the better. For example, tooth paste manufacturers will mention how their product has been recommended by dentists.  
  • Liking. We are more likely to buy from people we like. Cialdini identified that we often like people who are similar to us, people who pay us compliments, and people who work with us toward mutual goals. Where possible, put a human face to your product that prospective customers can identify with.
  • Scarcity. The rule of supply and demand means that if a resource (or product) is in short supply, there’ll be increased demand. If there’s a limited supply of your product, make it clear (“Only four left in stock!”) to motivate your customers to take prompt action.
  • Unity. Remember, one of the key emotional triggers is to bond. By giving people an opportunity to come together and be united in a common purpose, you can tap into this persuasion booster.
  • Consistency/commitment. We like to be consistent with the decisions we make and the values we hold. For example, if your first smartphone was an Android, and you had to explain to all your Apple-owning friends why you chose that, you’re more likely to carry on using Android phones in the future. This means that if your customers make even a small commitment, they’ll likely stay consistent to that with even bigger commitments.  

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