Learn how to solicit commitments and consistency in ways that increase compliance with requests.
- Encourage commitments and consistency. People generally want to be seen as honoring their commitments and as behaving consistently, being someone that can be counted on instead of flip-flopping or being hypocritical. Commitments are most powerful when, one, they're public, made in a way that others hear and will know if they violate the commitment. Two, they're active. They take an action in conjunction with a commitment, such as putting an item on their calendar. Three, they're voluntary. They don't feel forced into it. Here's a great example. A restaurant was having problems with no-shows, people making reservations and then not showing up. The no-show rate was 30%. Then they made a change in how they took reservations to make them public, active, and voluntary. They used to say, "If you have problems, "please give us a call." They changed that slightly, but significantly, to a question: Will you please give us a call if you can't honor the reservation? Then they paused, which is important, to give them space to say, "Yes," and make the commitment. No-shows went down from 30% all the way to 10%. Here's what to do. First, look for positive, relevant ways to encourage people to make public, active, voluntary commitments and build on those. Second, ask for small commitments or easy agreements to pave the way for even bigger commitments and more substantial agreements. Make it easier for them to buy in early and small and then it will easier for them to buy in later and larger. Third, ask people to say specifically when and in what manner they will follow through on a task, action item, et cetera. In a relevant study, women agreed to do breast cancer checks sometime in the next month, and 53% of them followed through. Now that's okay, but another group was talked through specifically when and where they were going to do it and 100% did the exam. Fourth, built momentum. Offer evidence to people you're influencing that they're already making progress. Look for opportunities to achieve small wins that demonstrate progress in the direction of your larger persuasive objectives. In one of many experiments highlighting this effect, car wash customers were given cards and got a stamp for each visit. After eight stamps, they'd get a free car wash. The test was between eight-stamp cards with no stamps and 10-stamp cars on which the attendant stamped the first two spots to give them a head start. Notice that, in both cases, eight stamps were needed for a free wash, but the results were very different. 34% of the head start group came back enough times for a free wash, compared to only 19% of the other group. The head start group also came back faster, an average of three fewer days between washes. Help people see they're making progress, even if they don't see it, especially if they don't see it.
- Name a feeling that might inhibit you from inspiration-based influence.
- Explain how to most appropriately balance short-term and long-term results.
- Assess why “pains and gains” is a powerful motivator.
- List the steps of the advice influence technique.
- Identify the first thing you do when using social proof.