The Six Principles of Persuasion


So for me the psychology of persuasion is using one or another of these six principles.  They are, for example, reciprocation – where we give something to people first, they want to give back to us. 

Secondly is liking. If we show our similarity to them, our comparability, it increases the rapport and they want to work with us. 

Another is commitment and consistency. If we ask people to make a commitment, a public commitment in our direction, even a small one, they will be more likely to say yes to a request that is an extension of that small commitment, and even much larger extensions. 

Another is scarcity. People want those things that they can have less of so we need to tell them what is distinctive, what is unusual, what is unique about what we have to offer and how they will lose, they will forgo those unique advantages, if they don’t move. 

Another is authority. We need to tell them what we know in an expert kind of way that will help them reduce their uncertainty of which is the best step to take. 

And finally is consensus, or what we call social proof, evidence that a lot of people just like them have been doing this or are doing it. When that is the case, when we have a most popular option, we should be sure to tell people that this is our most popular choice among people like you. 


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