You are on page 1of 5


50 Scientifically Proven Ways To Be
Persuasive Quick Facts
1. How can inconveniencing your audience increase your persuasiveness? Social
proof, mention “if the lines are busy, call back.

2. What shifts the bandwagon effect into another gear? We follow the herd when
the herd is most like us.

3. What common mistake causes messages to self-destruct? Negative social
proof. Don’t convey the negative social aspects of your message (like 22 million
women didn’t vote last year).

4. When persuasion might backfire, how do you avoid the magnetic middle?
This means people conform more to the average. People will decrease electrical
usage to match the average, while people will increase it to match it too. To defer
the negative (in this case, increasing usage) tell people you appreciate their
behavior (a smiley face for people who use less electricity worked).

5. When does offering people more make them want less? People feel
overwhelmed when faced with too many choices. Narrow the list to make it easier
for people to buy.

6. When does a bonus become an onus? When stand alone products/services are
offered as bonuses, their stand alone value is perceived as less. Combat this by
reselling the value of the bonus (e.g. a free $250 software).

7. How can a new superior product mean more sales of an inferior one?
Offering a higher and lower price product will help push the middle priced

8. Does fear paralyze or persuade? Fear persuades when clear specific action steps
to resolve the danger are given. Fear paralyzes when no action steps are given.

9. What can chess teach us about making persuasive moves? Reciprocation; and
it transcends likeability.

10. What office item can make your influence stick? A sticky pad. Sticky notes
make things more personal and therefore more persuasive.

11. Why should restaurants ditch their basket of mints? Give mints as gifts to
gain higher tips. Reciprocation influence is increased with significance (the way
it’s delivered), unexpectedness, and personalization.
12. What’s the pull of having no strings attached? Lead with a favor to instill

13. Do favors behave like bread or like wine? The value of a favor decreases over
time for the recipient and visa versa for the giver. Combat this by reminding
(diplomatically) people of your favor.

14. How can one small step help your influence take one giant step? Law of
consistency. Getting people to comply with smaller requests first makes them a
lot more likely to comply with bigger requests later.

15. How can you become a Jedi master of persuasion? The labeling technique:
assigning a trait, attitude, belief, or other label when making a request of the
person consistent with that label.

16. How can a simple question drastically increase support for you and your
ideas? Ask people to predict their future involvement. Then ask them why they
would do take part.

17. What is the active ingredient in last commitments? Get people to write their

18. How can you fight consistency with consistency? A person’s commitment to
consistency increases as they get older. When dealing with older audiences, you
want to assure them of how this purchase is consistent with their pre-existing
beliefs, values, and practices.

19. What persuasion technique can you borrow from Benjamin Franklin?
Inconvenience your opponent to do you a favor (they will think more highly of
you because they helped you).

20. When can asking for a little go a long way? Assure people even the smallest
donation (time, money etc) makes a difference.

21. Start low or start high? Which will make people buy? Auctions sell higher
with lower starting bids because it attracts more buyers (social proof and low
barrier of entry) who spend more time bidding and makes people want to win
more (justify time spent bidding). High traffic is critical.

22. How can we show off what we know without being labeled as a show-off?
Have someone introduce you. Hang your credentials.

23. What’s the hidden danger of being the brightest person in the room? Not
asking for advice.
24. Who is the better persuader? Devils advocate or true dissenter? True
dissenter. Help others prevent us from being led astray by encouraging opposition
to the majority view point.

25. When can the right way be the wrong way? Train people by showing the
mistake people make and the negative consequences that result.

26. What’s the best way to turn weakness into a strength? Arguing against self
worth creates the perception that you and your organization are trustworthy.

27. Which faults unlock people’s vaults? For maximal persuasion effect, there
needs to be a clear connection between the negative and the positive.

28. When is it right to admit you were wrong? When an error is the result of an
internal factor admit it. Companies that admit internal errors are perceived as
more in control of their resources and future.

29. How can similarities make a difference? We feel strongly positive about subtle
things we attribute to ourselves like our names.

30. When is your name your game? People pick professions, habitats, people, and
things similar to their name.

31. What tips should we take from those who get them? Waiters get higher tips
when they repeat orders back exactly as given. Mirroring others movement has
been shown to drastically increase compliance and/or successful

32. What kind of smile can make the world smile back? People can distinguish
between authentic and inauthentic smiles. People rate service higher when
accompanied by an authentic smile.

33. When is a loser a winner? Scarcity. When there is less, people want it more.
Information that is viewed as exclusive is viewed as both more valuable and more

34. What can you gain from loss? People value more what they could lose more
than what they like

35. Which single word will strengthen your persuasion techniques? Because.
Reasons are needed for higher stakes. Get others to say because to you too
(increases loyalty).
36. When might asking for all the reasons be a mistake? Asking people to give too
many reasons why they like something causes them to value the competitor’s

37. How can the simplicity of a name make it more valuable? People tend to have
greater affinity for products that have names/words that are easier to pronounce
(words that have a high degree of fluency).

38. How can rhyme make your influence climb? People perceive things that rhyme
as more accurate than things that don’t!

39. What can batting practice tell us about persuasion? Batters practice with a
heavier bat than they use, so it feels lighter by comparison (perceptual contrast).
Prior experience colors perception.

40. How can you get a head start in the quest for loyalty? When you offer a
loyalty program (like buy 8 and the next one is free) people will be more loyal if
you give them a head start, even if the number of purchases is the same.

41. What can a box of crayons teach us about persuasion? Use abstract and
ambiguous names; shy away from less-than-straight-forward names (but keep
them easy to pronounce).

42. How can you package your message so it keeps going and going and going?
Incorporate the advertised message into memory aids on the package.

43. What can persuade people to reflect on their values? A mirror. Looking at a
mirror causes us to reflect on our behavior and act in more socially desirable

44. Does being sad make your negotiations bad? Emotions make you more
susceptible to bad deals.

45. What can make people believe everything they read? Sleep deprivation. We
are more susceptible to influence when we are tired. Distractions also make us
more persuadable.

46. Are trimeth labs boosting your influence? Coffee makes us more persuadable
(but only for strong arguments).

47. How can technology impede persuasive progress? Emails tend to be
impersonal and hurt team relationships when they are the only form of
communication. E-schmoozing helps online deals.

48. How do you get to yes in any language? Focus the message to the culture:
individualistic (me) or collectivistic (we).
49. How can you avoid driving your cross-culture through the roof?
Individualistic people are more likely to comply when their past actions match up
with the request. Collectivistic people are more likely to comply when their peer
group had similar past actions.

50. When does letting the call go to voice mail cause a hang-up in your influence?
Collectivistic people focus on relational aspects of communication, whereas
individualistic people focus on informational aspects of communication.