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What happens when you use 6 tools of influence to pre-suade your customers?

Pre-suasion prompts your customers to be receptive to your products, services and ideas before you even present an offer.

Pre-suasion captures and channels a potential customer’s attention and focus to your business. Rather than changing what they think, you are directing their attention and changing what they are thinking about.

Your powers of pre-suasion will determine the success of your business. Worth taking seriously?

In his ‘must-read’ book, Pre-suasion – A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade, eminent social psychologist Professor Robert Cialdini describes pre-suasion as:

“changing the focus of attention to prime, anchor, frame and set the agenda for subsequent choices.”

He argues that:

“influence is a game of attention and association, not persuasion. Pre-suasion focuses on when to influence rather than what to say to persuade people.”

Remember: ‘It’s what you say and do BEFORE you say and do what you want to that really matters.’

Professor Cialdini points to 6 tools of influence when pre-suading:

1. Reciprocity – Give a little something to get a little something in return.

People may say yes if they feel they owe something. Shoppers are 42% more likely to make a purchase if they received a gift of chocolate when entering a store.

If you offer your customers something unexpected for free, such as a book or a discount, you increase the chances of them saying yes to your offer.

2. Liking – People say yes to people they like – and they like people that are like themselves. 

Similarities and compliments can be effective. Take time to get to know your customers’ interests, likes and dislikes, and then use that when having pre-suading conversations.

3. Social Proof – People follow the lead of people like themselves. Validity makes social proof stronger.

There is nothing like feeling validated based on what others are doing. ‘If others can, then I can too’. In its simplest form, it’s safety in numbers. Present social proof of the success of your business when having pre-suading conversations.

4. Authority – Authority-based evidence increases persuasion. 

Expertise and trustworthiness determine the authority of the message.  It’s why we tend to obey, for example, police officers or doctors – it’s human nature.

5. Scarcity – When you believe something is in short supply, you want it more.

This is why limited discounts and ‘one-time only deals’ are so popular. Scarcity is the perception that products are more attractive when their availability is limited. Use this perception to boost your pre-suasion conversations.

6. Consistency – Be consistent with your existing commitments. 

When you get a customer to take a pre-suasive step towards your chosen outcome, it makes later, larger commitments more likely.

Use these 6 tools of influence in your business, applying them to your pre-suasion interactions and conversations with your customers.

Don’t be afraid to test new ideas, to give away a free sample or two or to apply a ‘limited time’ discount to some of your products or services.

Click here to learn how, used properly, the 6 tools of influence will improve your pre-suasion skills and ensure that you get the business outcomes you want.

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