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Whether you’re looking to gain social influence or more customers for your business, it’s worth understanding basic persuasion methods.

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What Are Persuasion Tactics?

Persuasion tactics are methods used to sway the opinions of other people. For example, a salesperson might apply persuasive techniques to secure potential customers. When you employ powerful persuasion techniques, you can influence people to overcome biases or consider a different point of view. Effective persuasion tactics can produce results for marketers looking to meet quotas and team leaders working to build unity. In the realm of business, ethical persuasion can break down barriers between strangers and set the foundation for mutually beneficial relationships.

6 Practical Persuasion Tactics

Persuasion tactics are particularly useful in marketing or the management of small businesses.

  1. Get a foot in the door. The foot-in-the-door technique of persuasion suggests starting small with requests and offering something in return. E-commerce websites, for example, may ask for your email in exchange for a discount and then increase the communication from there. Charities also use this tactic; some donors who start off giving 20 dollars end up giving thousands over time.
  2. Listen to the other person. Experienced salespeople and managers know it’s better to talk less and listen to the other party more. Let a potential customer or client talk about themselves and what they're looking for. Speak to them in the language they themselves use to demonstrate that you understand their pain points and desires.
  3. Use the scarcity principle. Consumers are motivated by limited-time pricing or finite inventories. A salesperson may use the scarcity principle to get a wavering customer to make a decision.
  4. Invoke expertise. Well-regarded experts factor prominently in sales and marketing tactics. When a major athletic brand sells athletic shoes, they solicit endorsements from top athletes. The authority and status of these athletes help legitimize the brand. The same tactic can apply to knowledgeable experts in any number of industries. If they’re a fan of what you’re selling, they can lend their social capital and trustworthiness to your business in the form of endorsements or testimonials.
  5. Employ reciprocity. One of the principles of persuasion is that if you are kind to someone, they'll feel motivated to be kind to you in return. Giving a customer a bonus service can leave them with a good feeling and generate more business down the road.
  6. Optimize and customize the user experience. If you're trying to persuade customers in the e-commerce space, you won't have the luxury of a face-to-face conversation. You will, however, get a chance to customize the user experience. Try creating a number of landing pages on your e-commerce website, gearing each to a specific niche client. Demonstrate to potential customers that you have goods and services that can fit their unique needs. Case studies show that shoppers typically prefer customized care to a one-size-fits-all approach.

Want to Learn More About Sales and Motivation?

Become a better communicator with the MasterClass Annual Membership. Spend some time with Daniel Pink, author of four New York Times bestsellers that focus on behavioral and social sciences, and learn his tips and tricks for perfecting a sales pitch, hacking your schedule for optimal productivity, and more.