Persuasion is a very useful skill that comes in handy in so many circumstances. In fact, the art of persuasion is one of the most practical skills you could learn.
Maybe you need to close an important sale or coax your boss into giving you a raise. Perhaps you want to get your spouse to see your point of view, or you simply want to persuade someone to do a favor for you.
In situations like these, it’s good to know how to use psychology to your advantage. Especially, since convincing others (mostly those with strongly opposing views) can be difficult.
Understanding how and when to use the following tricks will also help you detect when they are being used on you!
1. Explain The Reason For Your Request
Have you ever had to stand in line for something important, but you were in a real hurry? Maybe you even tried to seek permission to cut in line. It probably didn’t work.
You know… you could have increased your chances if you had given a compelling reason! You could have simply said something like:
“Can I cut in line? I only have a few items and I’m in a rush.”
“Can I cut in line? I’m about to miss my flight!”
Giving reasons for your request will increase the chances of persuading the other person. And remember, the bigger your request, the more compelling your reason should be.
2. Use Polite Expressions
“Please” and “thank you” are magical words that you need to learn to apply when trying to persuade people. As humans, we have been generally raised and conditioned to react well to the usage of these words.
We are more open to requests than instructions – after all, no one likes to be ordered around. A smiling face and a “please” can work wonders.
So, use polite expressions whenever you’re trying to persuade someone to do something. You may just get your request granted.
Compliments can go a long way. They are very useful in persuasion because when you compliment someone, they are instantly more open to hearing what you have to say.
Also, when you give people compliments, it can change some of the preconceived notions they might have had about you. You just have to ensure your compliments are very honest and subtle.
Complimenting people when you don’t really mean it will do the exact opposite of what you want it to do.
4. Offer A Drink
Take things a step further. While talking to the person you’re trying to persuade, offer them a warm beverage such as a cup of coffee or tea.
Research suggests that a warm drink put in someone’s hands can project feelings of warmth from you toward them – making them feel that you are a welcoming and likable person.
Be careful, however, because giving them a cold drink can have the opposite effect!
5. Be An Active Listener
One of the main qualities of top persuasive people is that they are very good listeners. Why is listening to an important part of persuasion?
In persuasion, you’re trying to sell your ideas, or get consent to your request. But how do you get people to accept your request? This is where listening becomes a real benefit.
Listening will help you understand the person you’re trying to persuade. You will come to discover some of the objections and worries they might have regarding your request.
And this will, in turn, help you to be able to present your ideas and requests in more appealing ways. In the art of persuasion, listening is more important than talking.
6. Use Fluid Speech
Confidence is key to persuading people. When you speak with your sentences colored with hesitant words such as “like” or “I mean”, it makes you appear less confident and less sure of what you’re talking about.
Often times, people interpret fluidity in a speech to mean confidence and validity. Basically, the more confident you appear in your speech, the easier it will be to persuade others.
7. Talk Faster
Talking at a faster pace can also help when you’re trying to persuade people. How’s that?
When you’re speaking quickly, the person you’re speaking to has to listen quickly enough to be able to soak in and follow what you’re saying.
They won’t have enough time to pick apart your points. Talking faster will also make you seem more confident.
When you’re speaking quickly and fluidly, your listeners, either subconsciously or consciously feel like your confidence indicates that you really know what you’re talking about.
Therefore, they will be more inclined to listen to your arguments and agree to your requests.
8. Repeat Speech And Action
Another psychology trick in persuading people is to sometimes repeat their words and copy their actions. When you repeat what someone has said back to them, it makes them feel like you are listening, and they will be more compelled to talk and listen to you.
This can help you establish a bond with them, and they will be more open to your request. Even therapists and psychologists have been known to use this method in trying to get their patients to relax in their sessions with them.
However, make sure that you don’t overdo this, because you will come across as weird or awkward – which is the exact opposite of what you want.
If you want people to feel like you’re paying attention and agree with their opinions, then nod! Nodding is another psychological trick that is often used by people when they’re trying to persuade someone.
While having a conversation with someone, nod occasionally to affirm what the other person is saying. When you do this while you’re talking, it will be difficult for the listener not to nod too.
They will eventually become more accommodating and agreeable subconsciously to what you’re saying.
10. Use Reciprocation To Create An Obligation
Imagine a scenario where your neighbor lends you their lawnmower or a colleague at work unexpectedly passes you a lead. How would you feel? I can tell you how you’ll feel.
You’ll feel very grateful and feel like you owe them something in return. Often times, when you do someone a favor, they feel obligated to return it; especially when they weren’t expecting it at all.
You should learn to use this psychological trick to help make your relationships buoyant. The feeling of indebtedness in people will trigger an obligation to reciprocate, and when you make your requests, they’ll be far less likely to reject you.
11. Use The Contrasting Technique
The contrasting technique is a very effective tool that is commonly used in bargaining. What is it all about?
The contrasting technique is mainly a method in which you make demands which are much higher than what you actually want, and then you gradually bargain back down to what you really desired.
This method works on people because of the huge contrast between the first demand and the bargained one. In the other person’s mind, they think the much lower price is relatively more ideal.
12. Use Timing To Your Advantage
Another key trick is learning to use timing to your advantage. If you study people closely, you will discover that some people tend to be more agreeable when they are mentally fatigued.
Whenever you have a request that someone might not quickly consent to, watch the person closely, and make the request just after they’ve done a mentally daunting task.
Even if you don’t get their response immediately, you will at least be able to get the person to listen to your demands. You should note that there is no guarantee though.
The success of this technique actually depends on the person, but trying never hurts.
13. Use Balanced Arguments
The best concepts often have flaws in them—even if very minimal. While many people think the best way to persuade others to buy an idea or perspective is to focus on all the positives and totally avoid all the negatives, research has proven otherwise.
It is actually proven that presenting a balanced argument is the best way to convince someone. Don’t completely focus on the positives of your ideas and ignore the negatives.
Some people will see it as deceptive if you don’t talk about the obvious negatives that might come with your plans. Even if they can’t find any flaws, they will feel your ideas are too good to be true and try to avoid having anything to do with it.
It is easier to persuade people when you present both sides of an argument. They tend to deem you more trustworthy, and will likely be more open to what you have to say. When someone trusts you, they are much easier to persuade.
14. Use Congruence To Obtain A Wanted Outcome
In your pursuit of the desired response, you can get people to act even before they make up their minds. Let’s assume you are out with a friend, and you want to watch a movie at the cinema but your friend is not sure if they want to go.
Here’s what you can do… Start moving toward the cinema as your friend is trying to decide what to do. They will be more likely to agree with you and go see the movie.
This is the same method salespeople apply when closing a deal. Because handshakes are often attached to cementing deals, a salesperson will shake your hand while you’re trying to make up your mind. By doing this, they are more likely to close the deal.
15. The Power of Repetition
The power of repetition should never be understated or underrated. I’m sure you know a song that you didn’t like the first time you heard, but eventually, it grew on you after hearing it multiple times.
That is how powerful repetition can be. Our brains like patterns and repetition in establishing familiarity. Many times, we like ideas and plans better after we have been repeatedly exposed to them.
Whatever idea or argument you’re trying to sell, the crucial information should be repeated in different ways over the course of your conversation.
You shouldn’t repeat them more than three times though. Because saying the same thing too often can make the person resistant to it. Too much of anything is bad.
Persuasion is key to getting others to agree to your requests, but you should know where to draw the line. There is persuasion and there is manipulation.
They are both vastly different concepts. Good intentions are always the mindset behind persuasion, while manipulation always has bad intentions.
A manipulator does not respect boundaries. He or she will do anything to get someone to agree with them – even if they have to lie.
When lies and half-truths are involved, you’ve crossed boundaries into manipulation and nothing good ever comes from that. So be sure to keep this in mind if you decide to use any of these psychological tricks!
Have you ever used these tricks before? Or, have you noticed others using them on you in order to get you to do something?
Let me know in the comments below!
* Why some people move on easily after a relationship ends?