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Harnessing the Science of Persuasion- Robert Cialdini-Professor Marketing and Psychology , Arizona State University Six Principles: 1.

The Principle of Liking- People like those who like them. Appln:

Uncover similarities and offer genuine praise 2. The Principle of Reciprocity- People repay in kind. Appln: Give what you want to receive 3. The Principle of Social Proof- People follow the leads of similar others. Appln: Use peer power whenever its available

4. The Principle of Consistency- People align with their clear

commitments. Appln: Make their commitments active, public and voluntary


5. The Principle of Authority People defer to experts.Appln:

Expose your expertise; dont assume its self-evident

6. The Principle of Scarcity- People want more of what they can have

less of . Appln: Highlight unique benefits and exclusive information

Attracting Prospects attention-Use the KISS Principle to catch the readers attention- use short opening paragraphs Some opening techniques: a) Comparison or story ( a neighbours experience) b) Event in Readers life (compliments !) c) Rhetorical question(appeal to the ego, seek opinion) d) Gift ( principle of reciprocity) e) Product fact/Testimonials ( Principle of Social Proof) f) Surprise question ( interesting terms & offer) g) Challenge statement (e.g. tempt with exciting ways to be part of a group/exclusivity..Principle of Scarcity) h) Offer views of Experts (Principle of Authority)

Cut Redundancy.
Actual facts Facts Added bonus Bonus Advance warning Warning Important essentials Essentials Past history History Merge together Merge Unexpected surprise - Surprise

Step 2 Use Active Verbs


Writers who use active verbs come across as professional while those who use passive verbs sound bureaucratic. Verbs are do words like buy, sell and build. Verbs can be used actively or passively. Passive 7 new buildings were built by IMI the last 3 years Active IMI built 7 buildings in in the last 3 years

This matter will be considered by us

We will consider this matter shortly. MTNL workers dug up the road

The road was dug up by MTNL workers

Use active verbscont.


Exceptions where passive usage is good To make something less hostile this bill has not been paid (passive) is softer than you have not paid this bill (active). To avoid taking the blame a mistake was made (passive) rather than we made a mistake (active). When you dont know who the doer is or do not want to name the doer the names of the people to be promoted have been announced.

Step 3 Write as you speak

Use You and We


Applicants must send us. You must send us

We always tell customers before we We will tell you before we


Advice is available from. You can get advice from

Please Note : Similarly, always call your organization (WE). And there is nothing wrong with using we and I in the same letter. Use words that the recipient will understand (not necessarily simple words) Use jargon if and only if the recipient will understand it easily

Step 4 Give Concise Instructions


Instruction Sit down! Bureaucratic language Those who have come to attend the session are advised to sit down. Those who have come for the meeting are advised that they are seated. Your teeth should be brushed I should be grateful if you would send it to me

Please be seated

Brush your teeth. Please send it to me.

Instructions are the fastest and most direct way of giving someone direction. Many of you dont use commands for fear of sounding impolite. But if you put the word please in front please do this the problem goes away

Step 5 - Avoid Nominalization


Nominalizations are formed from verbs. Verb Nominalisation

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Complete Introduce Provide Fail Arrange Investigate

Completion Introduction Provision Failure Arrangement Investigation

We had a discussion about the matter.


We discussed the matter There will be a stoppage of traffic on the Haryana border by trucker. Truckers will stop traffic on the Haryana border

The construction of the domestic departure terminal has been done by a team from the aviation group A team from the aviation group has constructed the domestic departure terminal

Step 8 Use Lists


Lists are excellent for splitting information up.

People with a mathematical brain or those who display a very sharp sense of humor or chess players of club standard or higher are more likely to show early signs of being musical.
People who : Have a mathematical brain; Display a very sharp sense of humour, or; Are chess players of club standard or higher are more likely to show early signs of being musical.

Step 10 Replace Bureaucratic Words


Avoid Additional Advise Applicant Commence Complete Comply with Use extra tell you start fill in keep to

Group Exercise -3 Groups and 10 minutes each maximum-a page and a half
Internal Information to all Placing an order as customer Letter responding to a complaint

Internal information regarding an impending cash crunch situation and the need for employees to restrict travel within the country Placing an order ( high value-Rs.200 crore) on a computer hardware solution provider against stiff competition Responding to a poor service and call complaint on the A/c supplied to an important customer

Structuring of a Letter (6 Types)max-a page and a half


Informative External and Internal

Laudatory (good news)/Complimenting - External and Internal

Seeking/Sourcing External and Internal

Grievance ( Bad News) - External and Internal

Feedback Positive and Negative

Persuasive (Marketing) External and Internal

Other Six groups

5W1H Communication Model

Inverted Pyramid structure

3 Broad Categories
a) Good News Inquiries Information Response Award b) Bad News Problems Complaints Grievances c) Persuasive Letters Sales Appeals Changing mindsets Need Satisfaction

Remember ...when persuading and communicating...

Think as wise men do, but speak as the common people do


-Aristotle

The greatest problem in communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished -George Bernard Shaw