What Is Persuasion?
Many people think of persuasion as evil. Well, we’re going to disprove this fallacy right now because there is absolutely no truth in this common belief. Persuasion, more than anything, is a form of human communication. Persuasion is a sub-type of human communication that aims to introduce change in people. Of course, this is usually done to help manifest an ideal outcome for the speaker.
The art of persuasion can be applied to a variety of situations, from regular conversations to important meetings. Persuasion is used by politicians, marketers, advertisers, and even by your tough teachers back in high school. Persuasion, unlike power, has the capacity to reach out and introduce new concepts and ideas to a wide array of people without the need to resort to threats or punishment.
And unlike people who abuse authority or power, persuasive individuals are viewed as positive members of organizations and groups. The art of persuasion is used in political propaganda, speeches, television commercials, radio commercials, print advertising, etc. Everywhere you look, strategies of persuasion are being used by businesses and organizations to fortify their respective positions and to stay on top of their game.
And now you too can enjoy the benefits of being truly persuasive. With this course, you will learn the basics of persuasion and how you can apply it to real-life situations. Just remember: persuasion is a skill, just like driving or skiing. You need to practice frequently to perfect it!
Why Emotions Matter in Persuasion
The classical approach to persuasion is to create elaborate arguments that will convince the other person to acquiesce to whatever you’re saying. Persuasion is mostly one-sided if we use this technique, and it won’t work. People are no longer interested in traditional sales pitches, negotiations, etc. So what will work nowadays?
Based on the current literature on persuasion, the best way to persuade someone to believe in what you’re saying is to tap into known emotional triggers. Emotions actually play a huge role in persuasion because people usually act based on their emotions. People rarely use their critical faculties once a persuader is able to tap into emotional triggers.
The most common emotional response is the buying response. If you watch television commercials close enough, you’ll start to see triggers embedded in the commercials that prompt the audience to buy the advertised product. The triggers are subtle and yet, after days and weeks, it’s possible for a person to suddenly want to buy that product – based on the memory of an emotion that they felt while watching the television commercial.
So the next time you want people to agree with you, don’t focus too much on facts and figures. Instead, try to appeal to your audience’s emotions. Do this and you automatically have the upper hand. They’ll become more trusting and they’ll be more comfortable accepting your ideas.
Do Rewards Work?
Another classical method in the world of persuasion is the “reward and punishment” technique. I admit that this technique has its benefits. If you’ve ever seen an online sales letter (or a landing page), you know what I mean. These sales letters frequently make use of the “reward and punishment” model of persuasion.
If people agree with the arguments, they instantly get a chance to get the rewards. But if they disagree, people are ‘punished’ because their problems remain, they won’t save money in the long-term, etc.
This model of persuasion might work in the short-term, but if you’re a business owner and you want repeat business, you have to rethink your persuasive strategy. Even if this model worked in the beginning, people will eventually want more rewards because they’re sticking with your business.
If you run out of concessions for your customers, they’ll lose interest in your offers and will look for better offers. This fickle nature of consumers is the main reason why you should not depend wholly on the reward and punishment model. It’s extremely tiring to keep giving concessions over a long period of time. Besides, this persuasion technique rarely creates a long-term impact on people, and that’s what we really want.
There are many other strategies that can create a big impact on your audience. You can appeal to your audience’s intelligence (tell them that smart people choose your services and products), or you can tell them that over the long-term, they’ll save a lot of money by choosing your idea or product.
Experiment: You might be surprised how people respond to the simplest of persuasive arguments.
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