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. That being the case, perhaps we should stop reading management books for advice and start looking at social psychology. Very simply, social psychologists study how people interact with others their families, friends, and yes, business partners. Smart marketers and executives have been using the findings of this growing field for decades to close sales, hold effective meetings and get their way in negotiations. But rather than putting you through an academic psychology le sson, we condensed the most useful concepts into one article. The Foot in the Door Phenomenon
Image Source The Concept: If you re wondering how to convince superiors, employees or customers to do what you ask, try using the foot in the door phenomenon. This refers to the tendency of people to do something huge if they have already agreed to something much smaller. Your friend should be much more open to helping you deco rate your entire house for a dinner party if, for example, he already helped you pick out decorations. How You Can Use It: This handy principle has countless applications in the business world. Hand lotion and beauty supply kiosks at the mall use it all th e time. If you can get a person to talk to you for a couple of minutes and rub some lotion on their hands, you ve got your foot in the door, and they are much more likely to buy from you than if you had just screamed a sales pitch at them.
you then ask for what you really want. . Rather than simply asking for this funding and risking being shot down. you didn t need that amount in the first place. which now looks trivial in light of what you asked for a moment earlier. use the door in the face principle. but don t fret. It will look as though you found a way to accomplish the same tasks for half the price with half the personnel. How You Can Use It: Let s say you want your company to approve funding for a team of five marketers to research a new advertising campaign. you make your actual request look reasonable by first making an outrageous request that the person will unquestionably turn down. Social psychology research states that you are much more likely to get what you want by doing this.The Door in the Face Phenomenon Image Source The Concept: Another classic persuasion tactic is known as the Door in the Face Phenomenon. Act like you re really going to work hard on cutting the funding down to the bone and reworking your proposal. When they turn you down. Using this approach. This will almost certainly be disapproved. In a few days. come back and propose the funding request you wanted all along. Ask your company for twice the amount of funding for a team twice as big as what you need.
remember about your product. and the Recency Effect.The Serial Position Effect Image Source The Concept: A truly sharp marketer should understand how our brains process information. This was later titled the Primacy Effect. How You Can Use It: This powerful concept can affect what the millions of people seeing your advertisements. prospects will remember these benefits when they see your product on a shelf or think about the commercial they just saw. think long and hard about which ones you want to stick deep into your audience s memory. The Serial Position Effect (developed by Hermann Ebbinghaus) assists by explaining how we remember items we see or hear in lists. If you have five benefits that your product provides over the competition. listening to your radio pr omotion. Place those items at the beginning and end of your pitch. or reading your sales letter. This way. Ebbunghaus discovered that things shown at thebeginning of a list and at the end of a list are remembered best. .
tobacco or other vice-related products. . For example. such as a little game or survey online. Similarly. the customer may begin making some positive assumptions about what you sell. and change their opinion to fit how they acted. but join your buddy at the shooting range one day.Attitudes Follow Behavior: Resolving Cognitive Dissonance Image Source The Concept: Cognitive dissonance is a fancy term for when people have opinions. such as gambling. This especially works for businesses operating in controversial markets. if you normally despise handguns. you might leave thinking about how guns aren t really that bad if you use them safely. Simply by holding and shooting one yourself. you did it. How You Can Use It: What this means to you is that if you can get your customer to pe rform a small task. after all. behave contrary to them. your brain begins thinking positive thoughts about it. If you can find a harmless and fun way for potential customers to get involved with your products and services they will be more likely to become loyal buyers down the line. a boring task might later be remembered as not being all that bad or even being fun because.
meaning that they focus on what you are saying closely. These people focus on irrelevant parts of the pitch that randomly interest them. there s little hope of them buying. The involved group takes what is known as the Central Route. Generally speaking. or they are distracted. classic adages such as look before you leap will probably work better than perform proper market research before investing. develop counterarguments and respond based on what they eventually decide your product is all about. These two audiences take two different routes to understanding your message. for example might interest them more than the information in the pitch. if you re selling a market research service. these people will probably buy. Simple language is also important for this kind of audience. there are two types of audiences. For example. . depending on your product/serv ice. If your ad or pitch was strong and convincing. How You Can Use It: The distracted audience takes a very different route to understanding your pitch known as the Peripheral Route. Your audience is either attentively thinking about your message. The speaker s good looks.Two Routes to Persuasion Image Source The Concept: Not everyone processes information (including product demos and advertisements) the same way. If it was weak or not convincing enough.
Robbie Kimmel. if it came from a renowned nutritionist than from a self righteous teenager. How You Can Use It: What makes someone appear to be an expert? One tactic that has been used by marketers (and politicians) is to begin your pitch with something the audience already agrees with. One by one. Perhaps it s time to buy your TV or radio guy a course in effective speaking! . social scientists find that speaking confidently greatly improves believability. Chair of Astrophysics at Harvard University will surely be taken more seriously than. each student said the confident speaker was much more credible. being introduced as an expert never hurt either. Of course. One spoke very clearly and confidently and the other one hesitated and stumbled over his words a bit.Perceived Expertise Image Source The Concept: Let s face it most of us give more weight to what experts say than average Joes off the street. Robert Kimmel. This makes the speaker seem intelligent and makes the audience eager to believe more of what he or she has to say. A comment about an approaching asteroid from Dr. Finally. Most people would sooner listen to a warning about the health hazards of eating fast food. for instance. A study performed by Bonnie Erikson in 1978 proved this by having college students rate the credibility of two supposed witnesses to an accident. local guitarist and college student.
no sale. No trust. a message about risks of cigarette smoking seems much more sincere coming from the tobacco companies than it would if were given by an anti-smoking politician up for reelection. You can also appear more trustworthy by seeming like you re not trying to influence an audience. Hidden camera TV commercials utilize this tactic all the time.Perceived Trustworthiness Image Source The Concept: Trustworthiness of the speaker is another factor critical to any kind of visual marketing. Fortunately. One behavior that seems to carry a lot of weight is eye contact. . Social psychology experiments have found that people who don t think they re being watched are comfortable being completely honest. People also find others trustworthy when they argue against their own interest. People might link the politician s anti-smoking speeches to his political agenda. they were seen as more trustworthy. Researchers have found that if video-taped witnesses in court looked their questioner straight in the eye rather than down or around. whereas they cannot do this with the tobacco companies and are much more likely to absorb the message as true. Thus. how trustworthy you look can be controlled almost entirely by you. How You Can Use It: Our outward behaviors have a lot to do with whether trust us or not.
simply because they ve repeatedly heard it. However. . Social research has found that people tend to eventually believe things they ve been told many times. and by that point they have begun to accept its message and view favorably the product it advertises. The first time the audience sees the ad they might just ignore it. Studies show that people rate false statements such as Mercury has a higher boiling point than copper as true if they were made to read them a week before. How You Can Use It: This concept is why companies run the same advertisement three times during a one-hour television show.The Mere-Exposure Effect Image Source The Concept: Sometimes repetition alone can make a message more believable. a week later they may have seen the ad 20 times.
The words promote the product being sold while background music or intermittent comedy distracts us from thinking too deeply about the words. Be careful not to distract so much that ad is not processed. Mild distraction often preoccupies the brain just long enough to stop it from inventing a reason to say no. but not dee ply analyzed or argued by the audience. however. Extremely violent or incredibly sexual advertisements are often ineffective because the audience is simply too distracted by what they re viewing to pay attention to the message. . They key is to strike a balance such that your message is understood.Distraction Disarms Counter-arguing Image Source The Concept: Audio and visual messages are much more effective when the audience can be somewhat distracted by background clutter just long enough to inhibit counter -arguing. How You Can Use It: Many radio commercials utilize this tactic.
Thus. Studies have shown that.The Self. memories pertaining to what we think about the most. as it can greatly influence what your audience walks away remembering. One handy way to achieve this is known as the Self-Reference Effect. The Self Reference Effect refers to the tendency of people to effectively recall information about themselves. are held longer and recalled easier. Once you have these squared away. when asked to compare ourselves to a short-story character. .Reference Effect Image Source The Concept: Remember a marketer s job making sure the audience understands and remembers the sales pitch. we remember that character better than if we compared them to someone else. design your new message to match these traits. Try focusing on the basic lifestyle and personality traits of your audience. How You Can Use It: When planning a new marketing campaign or presentation to the board. This makes your message personally meaningful to them and boosts their chance of remembering what you said. (ourselves). Most people are primary concerned with themselves. it is important to keep this principle in mind.
As a result. The key is to find some kind of neutral stimulus that is clearly related to your product. Without even seeing the popcorn or being asked to buy it. tastes. you find yourself making your way to the concession stand because you suddenly feel like the movie wouldn t be the same without the snacks. A perfect example of this can be found at any movie theater. might trigger thoughts about the holiday. How You Can Use It: Priming is a classic sales tactic that has been used for decades.Priming Image Source The Concept: Priming is when various stimuli (sights. . This is classic priming. smells) automatically trigger thoughts of similar stimuli. for example. As soon as you walk through the door your nostrils are overcome with the smell of buttery popcorn. The smell of crisp fall air. even though no food is in front of you. and all five senses are susceptible to priming by intelligent marketers and businesspeople. and you can put it to use for your business immediately. simply smelling the fall air might make you crave pumpkin pie or apple cider.
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