Persuasiveness is one of the most important skills anyone can learn because it is useful in countless situations.At work, at home, and in your social life, the ability to be persuasive and influence others can be instrumental for achieving goals and being happy.
Learning about the tricks of persuasion can also give you insight into when they're being used on you. The biggest benefit of this is that money will stay in your pocket as you realize just how sales people and advertisers sell you products that you don't necessarily need. Here are several techniques that work on a subconscious level.
When someone tells you "Don't think about an elephant" you find it difficult to comply; by just mentioning "elephant", the image pops into your mind, regardless of the context. This is a classic example of framing. Framing is frequently used by skillful politicians. For instance, politicians on both sides of the abortion debate cite their positions as "pro-life or pro-choice" because "pro" has better connotations than "anti." Framing subtly uses emotionally charged words to shift people towards your point of view.
To frame a persuasive argument, select words that conjure images (positive, negative or neutral) in the minds of your audience. Even with other words nearby, a single framing word can still be effective. Another example is illustrated by the difference between saying "Having a cell phone will keep me out of trouble" and "Having a cell phone will keep me safe". Ponder which word is more effective for your message: "trouble" or "safe".
2. Mirroring. Mirroring is the practice of mimicking the movements and body language of the person you are trying to persuade. By acting as the person listening does, you create a sense of empathy. You can mirror hand gestures, leaning forward or away, or various head and arm movements. We all do this subconsciously, and if you pay attention you'll probably notice yourself doing it. Be subtle about it and delay 2-4 seconds between the other person's movement and your mirroring. Mirroring is also known as "the chameleon effect"
3. Scarcity. Scarcity is frequently used by advertisers to make opportunities seem more appealing because they have limited availability. The assumption is that if a product is scarce, there must be a ton of demand for it! (Buy one now because they're selling out fast). Be aware that this is a method of persuasion to which you are frequently exposed and take it into account when you make your purchase decision.
4. Reciprocation. It's the old saying, "Do unto others...". When someone does something for us, we feel compelled to return the favor. So, if you want someone to do something nice for you, why not do something nice for them first? In a business setting, maybe you pass them a lead. At home, you might offer to lend your lawnmower to a neighbor. It doesn't matter where or when you do it, the key is to complement the relationship.
5. Timing. People are more likely to be agreeable and submissive when they're mentally fatigued. Before you ask someone for something they might not readily agree to, consider waiting until they've just done something mentally taxing. This could be at the end of the work day when you catch a co-worker on their way out the door. Whatever you ask, a likely response is, "I'll take care of it tomorrow."
6. Congruence. We all try, subconsciously, to be consistent with previous actions. A technique used by salespeople is to shake your hand as he is negotiating with you. In most people's minds, a handshake equates to a closed deal, and by doing this before the deal actually closed, the salesperson is more likely to actually close it. A good way to use this yourself is to get people acting before they make up their minds. For example, if you were out and about with a friend and you wanted to go see a movie but the friend was undecided, you could start walking in the direction of the theater while they are considering it. Your friend is more likely to agree to go once he or she is walking in the direction you set.
7. Fluid speech. When we talk, we often use little interjections and hesitant phrases such as "ummm" or "I mean" and of course there is the ubiquitous "like". These little conversation fillers have the unintended effect of making us seem less confident and sure of ourselves, and thus less persuasive. If you're confident in your speech, others will be more easily persuaded by what you have to say.
8. Herd behavior. We constantly look to those around us to determine our actions; we have the need for acceptance. We are far more likely to follow or be persuaded by someone we like or by someone who we see as an authority. An effective way to use this to your advantage is to be seen as a leader -- even if you don't have the official title. Be charming and confident and people will place greater weight on your opinion. If you're dealing with someone who isn't likely to see you as an authority (such as a superior in the workplace, or your significant other's parent) you can still take advantage of herd behavior. Casually praise a leader who that person admires. By triggering positive thoughts in that person's mind about a person they look up to, they'll be more likely to associate those qualities with you.
9. Man's best friend. To give people the impression that you're loyal, and to inspire them to be loyal to you, put up a picture of you with a dog (it doesn't even have to be your own dog). This can make you seem like a team player, but don't go overboard; putting up too many pictures can make you seem unprofessional.
10. Offer a drink. Give the person who you're persuading a warm drink (tea, coffee, hot cocoa) to hold while you're talking to them. The warm sensation of the drink in their hands (and their body) can subconsciously make them feel like you're an emotionally warm, likable and welcoming person. Giving them a cold drink can have the opposite effect! In general, people tend to feel cold and crave warm food or drinks when they're feeling socially isolated, so fill that need in order to make them more receptive.
11. Break the touch barrier. Whether you're closing a deal or asking someone on a date, touching them (in a subtle and appropriate way) can improve your chances by subconsciously activating the human desire to bond. In a professional it is usually best to 'touch" someone verbally by offering reassurance or praise as a physical touch can be interpreted as sexual harassment. In romantic situations, any soft touch from a woman will usually be taken well; men will require further reading in order to avoid making a woman feel uncomfortable.
Via: wiki how