By Anupum Pant
Okay, time and again I’ve urged you to subscribe to 59Seconds on YouTube – A relatively new channel where Richard Wiseman, a professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, talks about interesting psychological studies that actually matter. If you haven’t done it already, you’ve probably missed their new video where he talks about an effective persuasion trick that could help you sales and marketing guys perform better at work.
Note: I have no idea if they teach this in Business schools (because I’ve never been to one). If they do, you could skip to this article where I talk about another trick that could help you persuade better. I bet no one teaches that at school.
The trick is called ‘Foot-in-the-door‘ technique. It is basically a technique that involves getting a person to say yes to a bigger request by first setting them up with a smaller request.
Here is how it works:
Suppose you need a large sign installed in the front-yard of a house. What do you do?
No, You don’t go to them and ask if you could place the sign there. Chances are high that they will say no to that big request, says this study.
According to the research study, this is what works the best – Go and ask if you could put a tiny sign on their front yard – a little request. There is a great chance they will say, fine, how would that tiny sign affect me. A few days later, go back and ask if you could replace the tiny one with a bigger board – about 76% of the people would say yes.
How can you use it?
The best way is to observe and learn from examples. Look at how ‘Freemium‘ products and services use it. They’ll give you something for free – say the software Workflowy – An amazing piece of software. You’ll start using it. The chances are great that you’ll find it very useful, you’ll get addicted and will have a lot invested in it (not money, you will have a couple of notes stored in it). Now, the day you try to store the 251st note on it, you’ll be asked to extend services by putting in some money or by sharing it with your friends. Instead of taking pains to migrate to some other note-taking software, or sell it to others, you’ll pay that small amount and buy their pro pack.
Why do you think supermarkets give away samples for free? And why do you think they place 75% sale boards with a little ‘upto’ sign outside shops? Simply to – Get Your Foot in the Door.
This is the best. Why do you think Whatsapp installs for free?
The answer is, to get you in and make you invest in it (again, not money, time and effort), only to ask you for a dollar the next year. Who’d say no to that after they’ve made a huge network of useful contacts on it!
Now watch how Prof. Wiseman explains it. [Link]