For awhile we had 62 tactics in persuasion. Now we have 60 Laws and 400 tactics. When you write and ask what are the “best” or what are my “favorites” it’s almost impossible to answer because every Law and every tactic is superior for some context. Here are some of my favorites based on conversations with my Inner Circle members over the last five years.
You asked for a few quick tips and tactics that you can take and put into action today. Here they are:
Tactic 1: Loss of Ownership Tactic
“Dr. Hogan, I understand you make X dollars per year.”
Now, which approach is going to work better for the vast majority of people you talk with?
A. “I would like to show you how to make 25% more next year.”
B. “I’m worried about your income dropping 25%….”
If you said ‘B’, you’re right. We are much more afraid of losing what we already possess than getting anything of similar value.
Fear of loss is almost twice as powerful as desire for gain. Of course for about 1/3 of people the opposite is the case. Never forget the OTHER people because most people use persuasion techniques like they do medication. “It doesn’t work.” Well it DOES but it’s a PERCENTAGE. Everything in life falls from 1 – 99. If this tactic is most effective with 70% of people then 30% of the people slide the other way and that’s OK because you’ll pick up on that in conversation and adjust accordingly.
Tactic 2: Disconfirmation Doesn’t Cut It Tactic
Sometimes people are simply wrong and they need to be corrected or something bad will happen to them.
Let’s get clear. Someone believes something to be true and their belief is going to muck things up for them or their family or the business.
You have to get them to see the light but you can SHOW them the light and they STILL tell you that there IS NO LIGHT. But of course you KNOW it is there!
There are two reasons this happens:
- Once people have a belief they filter out ALL other information.
- They do NOT look for information to dis-confirm their beliefs.
No matter how wrong someone is about something…no matter how obviously they are shown to be incorrect, they will continue to look for information to support their original belief. Therefore don’t try and point out what won’t fit through their filter. It’s like taking a photo of your self with one of those filters that makes your face look like E.T. or other alien life forms. It’s a filter and it has the distorting effect every time and the results are consistently horrible. You MUST not try to get the other person to add one of YOUR filters to their currently chosen favorite alien creating filter.
So what DO you do? Instead, let them experience alternatives so they can dis-confirm their own beliefs.
Their hero is Donald Trump or Nancy Pelosi. Probably not both. So YOU saying something is not going to be 1/3 as powerful as you saying, “You know I have no idea why but Pelosi (Trump) thinks X and I am curious as to hear what YOU think about their take on this.”
Source is critical.
Source is often THE FINAL ANSWER. Absolute nonsense coming from the mouth of their hero is COMPELLINGLY PERSUASIVE. Be certain to research this BEFORE conversations and messaging of any kind.
Tactic 3: The Mistake of Asking The Wrong Question – Instead Let Them Create Criteria and Meet It…on the Spot…in the Moment
“Why did you buy the car?”
(They give you reasons only because you asked. They had none, but now they will justify and create criteria on the spot!)
People don’t know why they buy…
…so don’t ask…
UNLESS you are eliciting a NEW CRITERIA for their decision and can somehow utilize that strategy to trigger a similar needed purchase/decision.
- Covertly deal with the unconscious while you persuade the conscious mind.
Unless you have a well planned strategy, don’t ask why they buy. The simply don’t know.
“I bought it because it gets good gas mileage and it is safe.”
“Ah, I see and you would buy most things because of economy and safety?”
“Yeah of course.”
“So when buying this home you’d want the same, yes?”
And of course they just bought again. You could call it “closing a sale” but it really is simply that you asked them to create criteria out of thin air. Criteria that did NOT EXIST 10 minutes ago. And you simply asked if that’s how they would decide on THIS item/decision.
Tactic 4: Note Taking Tactic
When you have people put something in writing it’s all but accepted as gospel. THEY WROTE IT, it MUST be correct.
So have people write things down. It’s not only a dramatically brilliant teaching tool causing retention and behavioral change, but it’s compelling persuasion that’s VERY DIFFICULT to take apart for another human being!
- To get people to stick to their decisions, get them to write it down.
- Works far better than asking for people’s decision and having them stick with it.
Getting people to write anything down creates involvement. If they were even to write down the possibility of doing business with you contrasted with not, they STILL have written down the possibility of doing business with you! THAT increases sales, increases compliance, goes along way toward creating a LONG TERM RELATIONSHIP.
Tactic 5: People Can’t See the Future So Get Them to Commit to It Now and Just Maybe Pay Later.
- They can see the car.
- They can see food.
- They can see today….
BUT, most people can’t see the future. It’s not just foggy it’s fogged in. A blizzard. Blinding. So don’t ask people to think about being smart for tomorrow. Instead make tomorrow about the commitment and today about something they will experience here and now.
- So you often must covertly move the commitment into the future to hear “yes” today.
The future is impossible to imagine for most people. Therefore get them to set the date WAAAYYY out there. But get the agreement today. Payment can happen later. Get the agreement now for the later date project. People don’t care if they agree, they are only uncomfortable with the money.
What if you are influencing your spouse or your kids?
“Look today we go to the park and play but you put on the calendar that you’ll work on your science project every afternoon for two hours for the next week until we have it mastered. Deal?”
Tactic 6: Law of Inconsistency: The 15th Law of Persuasion
- After making perceived progress in some way, a person becomes more likely to do contrary behaviors.
The person who just lost 10 pounds is quite likely to celebrate with a milk shake (or something similar).
The person who makes a donation is likely to splurge on themselves.
The person opening their Retirement Account is more likely to buy the New Car.
The Passive Goal Guidance System in the brain makes sure that you will switch off goals as soon as SOME TINY progress has been made. That means you have to have a next step function that the brain doesn’t “feel” is part of the original goal so the person is more likely to follow through.
You don’t want to scrape all the windows and then prime and then paint the. The Passive Goal Guidance System will freak out and send you straight to the cookie jar or bed.
BUT if you write down, “Scrape bedroom windows,” “prime lower level windows,” “paint upper level windows,” well now you have THREE separate projects and the PGGS LOVES separate projects. It allows the brain to BOUNCE from one thing to another. Of course you can’t tell the person they have tricked their own brain with this strategy…but you will know…
Tactic 7: The Single Differentiation Tactic!
- Focus a great deal of attention on one benefit.
(Increases word of mouth…easier to spread fast!)
Makes it easy to differentiate you from the competition.
“There’s a million reasons to do or not do something but the reason you learn to swim is so you will be healthier because what is more important than your health?”
“There’s a million reasons to do or not do something but the reason you learn to swim is so you will be able to TAKE CARE OF YOUR KIDS in case anything ever goes wrong with the one thing you suck at.”
See it doesn’t matter what ONE “reason” or “benefit” you attend to. You want a “meme” for one here.
People think in single unit terms more than they ever have in history.
Take advantage of this fact and use SINGLE UNIT triggers when possible.
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It took 19 months to put this set together because the research was so in-depth and it was crucial to make sure it was right. I wanted to give you the answer to “There are so many techniques which should I use?”
I never had the answer to this question…but now I do. The studies have been done. A number of the laws of persuasion have been tested and we actually can compare which do best in certain circumstances!
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[Notice carefully the change of font right here…find out why…]
The Valences of Persuasion
The research says there are 8 “valences” of persuasion.
I’ve never talked about this with you before. (Of course, I didn’t have all of this until I had completed all the research…)
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- Self-Confidence, Personal Mastery that Cause Persuasion
- Transformational Persuasion Techniques
- 8 Techniques to Build Persuasive Messages
- Advertising That Works
- The Landscape Effect In Depth
- Power of Perception
- Hedonic Choice Influence
- Influencing Decisions Rational and Otherwise
- The Three Most Powerful Emotions in Influence
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- Proven Most Effective Techniques in Selling
- Covert Selling: Jump on the Hottest Trend in Advertising
- The Person of Influence
- They Don’t Know What They Know
- Marketing Your Face
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- Persuasion with False Memory
- 7 Action Points for Instant Sales Success
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Sophisticated Persuasion: Science of Influence 37 – 48