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Getting to Yes

Getting to Yes

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Published by Keith Parker

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Categories:Types, Brochures
Published by: Keith Parker on Jun 03, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Waysto Be Persuasive
Inconvenience the audience by creatingan impression of product scarcity
. It’s thefamous change from “Call now, theoperators are standing by” to “If the line is busy, call again”, that greatly improved thecall volume by creating the impression thateverybody else is trying to buy the same product.
Introduce herd effect in highlypersonalized form
. The hotel sign in the bathroom informed the guests that many prior guests chose to be environmentallyfriendly by recycling their towels. However,when the message mentioned that majorityof the guests who stayed in this specificroom chose to be more environmentallyconscious and reused their towels, towelrecycling jumped 33%, even though themessage was largely the same.
Ads quoting negative behavior en massereinforces negative behavior
. PetrifiedForest National Park A/B tested twoversions of a sign imploring people not tosteal pieces of petrified forest from the park.One mentioned large amounts of petrifiedforest taken away on an annual basis, theother one simply asked the visitors not toremove petrified wood. The first oneactually tripled the theft ratio as it showedstealing petrified wood as somethingcommonplace. Same effect was observedafter airing an ad that implored women tovote, but mentioned that 22 million singlewomen did not vote last year. That kind of information actually portrays not voting asmore socially acceptable.
Avoiding magnetic middle
. A Californiasurvey measured energy usage of aneighborhood on a week-by-week basis.When the average electricity consumptionfor the neighborhood was calculated,researchers sent thank-you cards to thoseusing the energy conservatively, and a nicereminder to perhaps conserve to those whoused electricity liberally. Net effect? Why theliberals tried to cut down on unnecessaryenergy usage, the conservatives, finding outthey’re way below average, suddenly becameway more liberal with their energy usage,which actually increased the amount of energyused by the neighborhood. Proposed solutionthat worked? Sending a smiley face card toconservatives with a request to keep doingwhat they were doing, instead of pointing outthey were at the right end of the bell curve.
Too many options necessitate selection, andhence frustration, when brain decides it’sunnecessary work 
. The example here is given by a company that manages retirement fundsfor other companies, and hence has access toretirement information of 800,000 employees.When employees were offered a choice of 2funds, roughly 75% signed up for a retirement program. When the number of funds wasincreased to 59%, even though qualitativelythis was a better deal for employees, only 60%decided to sign up. When
Head & Shoulders
 brand killed off 11 flavors of the shampoo,leaving only 15 on the market, the sales rose10%.
Giving away the product makes it lessdesirable
. Researchers gave one group of  people a picture of a pearl bracelet and askedto evaluate its desirability. Another group of  people was given the same task, but prior tothat was shown an ad, where the same braceletwas given away for free, if you bought a bottleof expensive liqueur. Second groupconsidered the bracelet much less desirable,since mentally a lot of potential buyers (35%of them to be exact) shuffled the bracelet onto“trinkets they give away for free” shelf in their  brain.
A more expensive product makes the oldversion look like a value buy
. An examplehere is a Williams-Sonoma bread maker. After an introduction of a newer, better, and pricier version, the sales of the old unit actuallyincreased, as couples viewed the new item as“top of the line”, but old product was all of asudden reasonably-priced, even though a bunch of features were missing.
If a call to action is motivated by fear,people will block it, unless call to actionhas specific steps
. A group of peoplereceived a pamphlet describing the dangersof tetanus infection. It didn’t describe muchelse. The second group of people got adescription of tetanus infection, plus a set of instructions on how to get vaccinated. Thesecond group exhibited much higher sign-uprate for tetanus vaccination than the firstone, where many participants tried to block out the high-fear message urging thatsomething as rare as tetanus would never happen to them.
A small gift makes people want toreciprocate
. People who received a smallno-strings-attached gift from a stranger weretwice as likely to buy raffle tickets from himthan those who were just pitched on raffletickets.
Hand-written Post-It note improvesresponse rate on inter-office letters
.Researchers distributed three sets of questionnaires around the office. First setincluded a hand-written Post-It noterequesting completion of the survey. Secondset got the same survey, with the request toreturn it hand-written on Page 1. Thirdgroup got the same survey with their namementioned (in type) on page 1 of the survey.Response rates? 75%, 48%, 36%. Peopleappreciated personalized approach, andsomehow a Post-It note even highlighted theextra work that someone did before sendingout the survey.
How restaurant mints are a personalizedaffair
. Let’s a say a restaurant providesmints for its customers on the way out. If theamount of tips per week is the baseline for that restaurant, let’s make the waitersinclude a mint as they give the check to thecustomer. The tips go up by 3.3%. However,when the waiters offer the mints themselves, prior to signing the check, the tippingamount went up by 14.1%. In yet another experiment, the waiter would present the patrons with 1 mint per guest, then givethem the check, then turning around to leave,then, as if remembering something sudden,turning around and giving them yet another mint per guest. Result? 23% increase in tips,as this signaled high amount of  personalization.
Attaching no strings increases response tothe message
. Using the same hotel as the onementioned in Chapter 2, researchers tried outtwo different versions of the sign. First one: if you reuse the towels, a donation will be madeto a nonprofit environmental organization.Second version: the donation has already beenmade, since the hotel trusted you’d reuse thetowels anyways. Recipients of the secondmessage reused their towels 45% more thanthe recipients of the first one.
As time goes by, the value of a favorincreases in the eyes of the favor-giver, anddecreases in the eyes of the favor-receiver
.Researchers asked a group of people in therandom office environment to exchange favorsand then rate the value of the given/receivedfavor in their eyes. A few weeks later thesame employees were reminded of the favor,and asked to evaluate the favor again. Favor-givers consistently assigned higher value to agiven favor, while as the time passed by,favor-receivers tended to assign lower value tothe received favor.
Asking for small favors changes self-perception, introducing ways for big favors
.Researchers asked a group of homeowners to place a large “Drive Carefully” sign on their front lawn. Only 17% agreed. In a secondgroup of homeowners, 76% of people were ok with road traffic people maintaining the signon their beautiful lawns. What was thedifference between two groups? A few weeksearlier group B was asked to display a smallnon-intrusive window sign asking drivers toslow down. This mental foot-in-the-door technique made homeowners from the groupB view themselves as socially responsible andsafety-aware, hence a request for a larger favor few weeks later didn’t startle them.
Labeling people into a social group tends to
increase their participation ratio
. A groupof people was interviewed regarding their voting patterns. Half of them were told that based on their response criteria, they werevery likely to vote, since they were deemedto be more politically active. Later on theelection day that specific half did indeedturn up a participation rate that was 15%higher than participation of the controlgroup.
Asking people to substantiate theirdecision will lead to higher commitmentrate on that decision
. Researchers called agroup of people asking them how likely theywere to vote in an upcoming election. Thosewho responded positively were either askednothing, or asked why they felt they wouldvote. Any reason would suffice, but whenthe election day came, the turnout for thecontrol group (who all responded “Yes” tothe question of whether they were going tovote) was 61.5%. Turnout for the group thatactually gave a reason (any reason)? 86.7%.A restaurant stopped telling customers“Please call to cancel your reservation” andstarted asking “Will you call and let us knowif you need to cancel?” Net result? Number of reservation no-shows dropped from 30%to 10%.
Writing things down improvescommitment
. Group A was asked tovolunteer on AIDS awareness program atlocal schools, and was asked to commitverbally. Group B was asked for the samekind of volunteer project, but was given asimple form to fill in. 17% of volunteersfrom Group A actually showed up to their assigned local school. From Group B 49%of volunteers showed up.
The fact that circumstances changedallows people to change their viewpointswithout being viewed as inconsistent
.People are generally not thrilled to changetheir viewpoints on something, as they fear they will display lack of consistency and becalled a flip-flopper. Convincing people thattheir old decision (to stick with the old product) was completely 100% correctunder old circumstances allows them to bemore responsive to the messages that imply anew product/idea is better because thecircumstances radically changed since then.
Sometimes asking people for help makesthem more open
. Group A was given some bogus research that included a sum of prizemoney. After the experiment, the researcher approached them and asked whether itwouldn’t be inconvenient if they had to givethe money back, since the researcher wasusing his own money. Group B was notapproached with such request after their  portion of bogus experiment was done, andwas allowed to keep the money. After this both groups were asked to rate their impression of the researcher. Even though itwas the first group who didn’t get to keep anymoney, all of them consistently rated theresearcher higher on likability scale.
Asking for little goes a long way
.Researchers went door-to-door asking for American Cancer Society donations. Group A just asked for a donation, group B ended their spiel with “even a penny would help”.Results? 28.6% response rate for Group A vs.50% response for Group B.
Lower starting prices attract higher bids
.This is a reference to a study of eBay itemswhere people consistently bid items with alower starting price higher. The explanationseems to focus on the fact that people investmore time into updating bids for a lower- priced item to let it go.
How to impress a potential customer withcredentials without being labeled as a show-off 
? Public speakers have someone elseintroduce them, a real estate company made aslight improvements to their phone service bydirecting people to “Jane, who has 10 years of experience with houses in upper price range”,and physicians display their diplomas on thewalls.
The danger of being the smartest person inthe room
. The expert card frequently trumpsany other card in the room. The example here

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