As social creatures, relationships and community have a tremendous influence on a person’s willingness to buy. Keep these six principles of social influence in mind when you’re looking to persuade prospects.
People say yes when they receive something first.
This is why stores give out free samples. Featured products get a sales lift as people feel obligated to reciprocate by purchasing the product. When a New Jersey waitress offered diners a free piece of chocolate, her tips went up by 3.3 percent, but when she returned and offered them a second (unexpected) chocolate, her tips rose by 21.3 percent!
To delight your customers, include a small extra with your next printing piece or customize an accessory with a name or meaningful label.
People say yes to those who are like them.
This may be as simple as a shared nationality or common hobbies, but it can be as nuanced as a salesperson mirroring the gestures, posture, or body language of a potential customer.
Affirm your customers by highlighting similarities or lavishing authentic compliments, and you will see a measurable impact. Prospects want to feel you like them!
3. Social Proof
People say yes when they believe others are saying yes.
For example, by merely labeling certain dishes “most popular menu items,” a restaurant in Beijing found these dishes sold 13-20 percent more frequently! When people believe others have responded similarly, a pending purchase seems more sensible.
To activate this persuasive tactic, share glowing testimonials or data on the number of customers who have recently purchased.
People say yes when supply is limited.
Because people have an aversion to missing out, they want more of something they might get less of. For example, automobile manufacturers who limit production of a new model are able to charge substantially higher rates.
Employ scarcity by using time-limited offers or constrain buyers to “x” number of products and you will increase the worth of what you offer.
People say yes when they’ve taken small steps first.
Work towards personal alignment that will stimulate customers to follow through on new commitments.
Woo your prospects toward a sale by reminding them how your product or offer corresponds with something they’ve already said they value (family, safety, saving money, health).
People say yes to authoritative or “trustworthy” communicators, especially when listeners are uncertain.
Communicators are perceived as trustworthy when they are highly qualified, when they are honest about weaknesses or mistakes, or when they say something positive about the competition.
Use brand story pieces to share how your company is seeking to improve or use highly respected community members to endorse your product.