Give first – people are motivated to return the favour. This is why free product samples are not just a good way to test a market or introduce consumers to new products, they actually increase their likelihood to buy out of a sense of gratitude!
So is it better to give than to receive? Well this proves that it takes one to make the other.
Top tips: Be the first to give, and make sure that your gift is personalised and unexpected.
Imagine how much the world’s apple lovers would pay to be one of the last people in the world to taste one? We could see apples being haggled over by billionaires for eye watering sums.
The same is true of any product, but the consumer needs to see why they want your product, what are it’s benefits – they also need to see why they couldn’t just get it somewhere else – what makes it unique, and finally they need to have a clear idea of what they stand to lose if they don’t get it from you now. This is why “limited time offers and closing down sales are so effective. They generate scarcity where perhaps none existed – and if that consumer want’s your product, they are forced to take action now.
Top tips: Get across the benefits of your product, what makes it unique, why it is scarce and what they stand to lose if they don’t act now.
This is the concept that people are more likely to listen to knowledgeable or credible experts in the appropriate field. This can be stimulated visually or verbally – for example, if a complete stranger gave you advice on keeping your house safe from fire, how likely would you be to put that advice into action when you got home? Now imagine that person was wearing a full fireman’s uniform – would you listen to them now? Exactly.
And simply by being introduced as an experienced expert, even by a friend or colleague, is far more likely to make your listeners take note of your direction than speaking without that introduction.
This is perhaps slightly misleading, as it doesn’t refer to you being consistent in YOUR message to the consumer, it actually involves gaining a degree of consistency from THEM. Examples of this include being asked to pay a very small monthly direct debit to a charity – even one or two pounds per month.
It turns out that after this initial investment donors are 400% more likely to donate a far larger amount to that charity. Similarly it’s much easier to get customers to pay a small regular amount for their mobile phone each month than it is to get them to pay for it up front, even if the monthly amount ends up costing them five times as much!
By starting a consumer down a certain path of behaviour, even if this is just by a seemingly insignificant amount, they are many times more likely to continue that path, resulting in dramatic changes of behaviour.
Surely we all know someone who bought a relatively cheap Apple product like an iPod Nano years ago and now has the latest iPhone, MacBook, iPad etc.
Top Tips: Look for Voluntary, Active and Public Commitments to your brand or product – even tiny ones – and build from there.
If you can get across even a small similarity with someone before starting a negotiation with them, you are nearly twice as likely to ultimately reach an agreement with them.
Top tips: Exchange a little personal information with customers before beginning any negotiation or sales process. Identify some common areas out before you start. If you can find something which you can genuinely compliment them on, do so. And make sure that throughout the process you are seen to be cooperating towards a mutually agreed end.
Watch this video for more great examples of how these principles have been used in real life situations to dramatically alter people’s behaviour through the powers of persuasion: