Six Principles of Persuasion

I am always amazed at people who have mastered the art of persuasion. Persuasion and buy-in by people work far better than force. The successful business or organization understands how persuasion works so much more effectively than cramming a new program, product, or purpose down someone’s throat. By mastering the power of persuasion, you get more commitment, greater engagement, and a positive attitude. 

To understand the power of persuasion, it is useful to understand the behavioral principles behind it. The principles are simple, but powerful, when used in combination by a person who has mastered the art of persuasion. Here are six fundamental principles of the art of persuasion:

  1. Personal Relationships. If there is one underlying foundation to the power of persuasion it is the concept of building and maintaining personal relations. Building personal relationships takes time and energy, but it pays enormous dividends. I have watched dozens of people in our community get things done because of personal relationships. It is critical to becoming persuasive. 
  2. The Law of Reciprocity. We naturally want to help people who have helped us, and on the flip side, we pass on working with people who have done negative things to us. A person builds relationships by giving and helping other people to be successful. Our human nature is more open to listening and helping others who have helped us.
  3. Buy-in. Seeing and hearing people buy into your ideas, thoughts, or programs helps bring other people along. The fly-wheel of success is based on how a person builds momentum with each little success and win. People want to be part of a winning team. 
  4. Consistency. Consistency in how a persuasive person acts, what they say, and how they say things all create trust and comfort. Our human nature does not like “shocks” to the system or radical changes. Trust and consistency are critical in the principles of persuasion. Trust in the power of persuasion is a sense or feeling that is earned. 
  5. Third-Party Validation. Having another opinion or back-up from a third party helps secure support and buy-in. Having independent, verifiable support of the person making the persuasive point enhances the point’s credibility. It shows the thought, program, or idea has growing support and movement.
  6. Scarcity. There is timing and rhythm to life. Opportunities come along, and then they are gone. We have all experienced it in our personal life. The principle of the power of persuasion also relies on scarcity. Helping people see the window of opportunity is an excellent tool in persuasion. The feeling of missing out is a powerful emotion, and understanding the concept helps make key points in the power of persuasion. 

The next time you are working to persuade someone to a new idea or a program’s concept, use the behavioral principles of persuasion to make your points. It will take time to build, but once in place, the power of persuasion grows exponentially.

Better, Stronger, Together