There are two powerful and almost irresistible elements of persuasion that when used correctly, can have a profound effect on the target of your influence. Without these two items, you will have to put a gun to somebody’s head, or implicitly promise some kind of sexual or monetary reward in order to move their thinking towards what you want them to do.
The fact that many advertisements you see today blatantly (and some very covertly) use sex in any way possible to promote products and services shows that even huge marketing and advertising companies are unaware of the power of these two elements.
Because you’ve come across this blog today, you are about to learn them. When you finish reading this, you’ll have a firm understanding of how and why they work, and some sneaky tricks that will allow you to use them starting today to get other people to do what you want.
So what are they?
Social Proof, and Authority.
Humans are hard wired to make decisions quickly. Back in the old days, before agriculture, people lived in small groups of around 200 people. If you made a wrong decision, you usually didn’t last long. Because the environment and living conditions were extremely dangerous, you couldn’t afford to make any mistakes.
Imagine going out chasing a woolly mammoth, and you always had the fear that if you twisted your ankle, or tripped over a rock, or got an infection from a small cut on branch, you were done. Game over. You’d likely be left behind, and probably wouldn’t last long. That’s hard to imagine today when almost any kind of medical ailment is easily treatable.
So humans developed a few shortcuts in decision making. One was social proof. Social proof is a powerful influential factor that causes people to get rid of logic and rational thinking and simply follow the crowd.
This worked beautifully on a woolly mammoth hunt. It kept everybody together and safe from predators. It worked terribly in Nazi Germany when everybody agreed it was ok to murder Jews. It is still working everywhere you look today, from fashion trends, to car styles, to popular restaurants. People don’t like to admit it, but at our core, humans are pack animals.
The second “shortcut” in thinking is authority. Whoever is recognized as the authority in the group will usually be obeyed without question. This goes hand in hand with social proof. The more people follow a leader, the more authority he will have, which of course gives him or her more social proof as a leader.
If you were walking down the street and some homeless guy that reeked of alcohol asked you for your drivers license, you’d laugh. But if a well built police officer with two smaller officers following obediently behind him asked for your drivers license, you probably couldn’t get it out quick enough.
If the man that collects your garbage told you that eating three raw onions a day is the secret to a hundred and fifty years of good health, you’d think he was a nut case. But if you heard a famous doctor, who has written several best selling, and well regarded books on health, say the same thing, you’d likely head straight over to the onion shop. And if you saw many others buying onions by the cartload, that would cement your decision even further to eat three raw onions a day.
The same message from two different sources can have a widely different effect, based only on the source. Shortcuts in thinking.
So how do you apply this to your own persuasion? Simply suggest that some kind of authority agrees with whatever you are saying. And suggest or imply that many people have already done what you are suggesting your target (or mark) do.
For example, if you are selling cars, which do you think is more persuasive:
This is a great car. It gets great gas mileage and will fit nicely in your garage. It’s got many safety features that will keep you and your family safe. It’s red, and red is a good color. I think you should buy this car. Whatta ya say?
Car and Driver is just one of many leading consumer magazines that has given this car a five star rating, based on many factors. When this model first came out it won three awards at the International Car Show in Italy. And of all the thousands of people that have bought this car already, two of the reasons they like it is the great gas mileage, and the incredible safety features. Of course it’s red, which is a very popular color. Many people have found that when they drive a red car, for some crazy reason they feel a boost in self-confidence. Leading Psychological experts have shown that driving a red car boosts your sex appeal as well. Of course, because this model is so popular, you’ll have to make a decision pretty quickly. I have three more appointments today that want to take a look at this car.
Which do you think is more persuasive?
Many experts in the science of persuasion have shown time and time again that the leading sales people who use these two powerful techniques of social proof and authority have quickly become the leaders in their field. Not only that but they get a lot more money and sex. And when you begin to use these powerful techniques in your daily conversation, you’ll be amazed how effective you will be.