Revised and adapted from The Science of Influence by Kevin Hogan c. 2002, 2003
I’m like you. I don’t like to rely on anecdotal evidence, guessing or listening to what people who haven’t a clue have to say. I only share with you what works in real life. In this article I’m going to show you four scientifically proven tactics (not strategies) to increase your sales and get more clients.
If you will carefully read about and open these four doors to your client’s mind, you can’t help but make a great deal more money next month than you did this month. In fact, it would be almost impossible not to…unless you don’t determine your income! (In this case, read carefully and you will truly gain some incredible distinctions about what gets people to say “yes” or “no.”) I guarantee this is surprising and shocking.
Our first tactic is something we all expected for a long time…we just didn’t KNOW if it was true. The last three tactics? Prepare yourself. This stuff is brand new!
Tactic 1. Get something of yours (your product, your idea, your service) that has value into your customers’ hands/mind as soon as possible! As soon as someone possesses something, they perceive it to be more valuable than they did immediately prior to owning it. In order to implement this strategy the client MUST sense or perceive ownership of a decision, item, idea or service.
Research brings these examples to our attention:
(a) Individuals who ultimately bet on “Team A” in a football game are often ambivalent as to which team to select between the two until they actually place their bet on Team A. Once they have placed their bet, they tend to dramatically favor Team A and show little hesitation in sharing their certainty that Team A will win.
(b) Students given mugs in a research setting are given the opportunity to sell the mug. Other students are given the opportunity to buy the mug. On average students will not take less than $7.12 for the mug they have taken possession of. On average students will not pay more than $3.12 for the same mug. Lesson: Possession is 9/10 of the law. Once you own something you value it as higher than those who do not own it….even if it has only been owned for 10 minutes!
Tactic 2. Create a frame (a word picture in your customers mind) that your product/service/idea is something that they already possess…so that it becomes the status quo in their thinking.
“Once our lawn service is yours we help you eliminate all that crab grass that the old services you used to use never were able to control.”
(a) Students in one class are given a decorated mug as compensation for filling out a questionnaire. In another class, students receive a large bar of Swiss chocolate. When given the opportunity to trade with members of the other class, only 10% of students traded their item while 90% stayed with what they had.
(b) More impressive: 45 students received a gift package of a Stanford Calendar and a free dinner at MacArthur Park Restaurant. In another group of 45, the students received a Stanford Calendar and a certificate for a 8 X 10 professional portrait. Later that day all the subjects were told they could trade their current package for either TWO free dinners at MacArthur Park Restaurant or A professional portrait sitting including ONE 8 x 10, TWO 5 x 7’s and a Wallet Photo. Results? 81% of the dinner/calendar group swapped their package for the TWO dinners.
LESSON: People want what they have and more of it!
Tactic 3. Create a word picture that creates a moderate amount of tension if the client doesn’t do business with your company. In other words, what will the clients LOSE if they do NOT do business with you?
(a) Research: In one experiment with gambling, individuals were given the opportunity to flip a coin and bet $10. Only with a payoff of $25 and a possible loss on the individual’s part of $10 were most willing to gamble! That’s a 2.5:1 ratio for a 1:1 bet!
(b) Research on real life applications? Loss aversion is more pronounced for safety than money. (People will do more to protect themselves than their money.) Loss aversion is more pronounced for income than leisure. (Losing a chance to travel isn’t as powerful as losing income.)
Lesson: People move away from loss. Determine what people LOSE if they don’t do business with you and artfully develop word pictures that clarify the hurt they might experience if they don’t.
“You are seven times more likely to become disabled than die in any given year…and if you become permanently disabled your family will lose everything because you will be unable to work and they will have the added expense of taking care of you. If you carry insurance against this enormous risk, you avoid losing everything and have the ability to maintain a high standard of living no matter what happens to you.”
Tactic 4. Don’t confuse opportunity costs with “out of pocket expenses.” Your customer doesn’t and is watching you to see how you promote your business.
(a) Research conducted in two cities by telephone sampling: Scenario 1. A shortage has developed for a certain popular make of automobile and customers must now wait two months for delivery. The dealer had been selling the cars at list price. Now the dealer prices the cars at $200 over list. Is this acceptable or unfair?
Scenario 2: A shortage has developed for a certain popular make of automobile and customers must now wait two months for delivery. The dealer has been selling the cars at $200 below list price. Now the dealer sells this model at list price. Is this acceptable or unfair?
(b) Same sampling as above. Scenario 3: A company is making a small profit. It is located in a city experiencing a recession with substantial unemployment but no inflation. The company decides to decrease wages and salaries this year by 7%. Acceptable or unfair?
Scenario 4: A company is making a small profit. It is located in a city experiencing a recession with substantial unemployment and inflation of 12%. The company decides to increase salaries by only 5% this year. Acceptable or unfair?
In both pairs of scenarios the situation presented is identical to the previous situation. However the consumer reacts very differently to each option. Consumers do NOT want to perceive money coming out of their pockets. Be certain to frame every promotion in such a way that the consumer is CLEARLY saving and assume no mathematical ability on the part of the consumer.
If this is the kind of fresh and powerful knowledge you want, get the Science of Influence Series at our Store now. (or see below for more information) It is the culmination of hundreds of street tested tactics and strategies and all are proven with the best academic research available.
The Science of Influence is the place to begin. What makes the Science of Influence different from every other program about persuasion? This material is fresh, potent, tested, and has nearly all of what you will discover is new! There is no rehash of past salespeople or scholars.
Science of Influence Master’s Home Study Course (12 CDs)
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