The Science Behind Persuading People

The Wall Street Journal:

One of the most crucial skills to improving your career in the new year may be the ability to persuade people to see things your way.

Social norms can play an important role in getting customers, colleagues and businesses to do the things you’d like them to do—such as making a particular purchase or agreeing to your position over a deal, says behavior expert Steve Martin, author of a book on the science of persuasion, “Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive.”

An example of the power of consensus messaging is the use of information cards in hotel rooms. The number of customers who reused their towels increased by 26% when information cards in hotel rooms read “75% of customers who stay in this hotel reuse their towels,” according to research conducted by Robert Cialdini, Mr. Martin’s co-author and founder of Influence at Work in Tempe, Ariz. The reusage rate increased by 33% when the cards’ message read: “75% of people who stayed in this room reused their towels.”

Read the whole story: The Wall Street Journal

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