Tag Archive for: Pre-suasion

Use Post-suasion to Set Up Future Influence

I recently watched an interview with Robert Cialdini on his newest book Pre-suasion. If you’ve not picked up a copy I highly encourage you to do so. Not only will you learn how to set the stage (pre-suade) to make persuasion easier, you’ll learn about a 7th principle of influence he calls unity.

As I watched the interview I recalled something from chapter 14 in Pre-suasion – the concept of post-suasion. Not only are people unaware of how to pre-suade, they’re also unaware of post-suasion. What do I mean by that? It’s about doing things after the fact that will set the stage for potential future interactions.

One example of post-suasion would be how you respond to, “Thank you.” For more on that take a look at my post How to Respond to Thanks.

Another post-suasion approach has to do with networking and making connections. Let me share a story to help you see what I mean.

I recently attended Elliot Maise’s Learning 2016 conference in Orlando, Fla. It was an outstanding event where I met lots of people in the learning and development field from around the world.

With each event I attended I made it a point to reach out to presenters and people I sat near and interacted with. I made sure I gave them a business card and mentioned what I do.

What stood out was how few people either sent a follow-up email or reached out to connect on LinkedIn. Unfortunately this form of post-suasion is overlooked far too often. I’ve seen it with young and old, male and female, successful and unsuccessful. I would say the vast majority of the people I meet are very smart and career-oriented but for some reason this extra step eludes most of them.

So why do people overlook it? I think a big reason is because they don’t understand the power of networking. Let me be very clear about networking – I’m not talking about connecting and immediately after that trying to sell your services or set up a meeting to sell your services. People are turned off by that approach and I will usually break the LinkedIn connection right away if that happens.

Networking is about mutually learning from and helping each other. I connected with people during and after the learning conference because I’d like to learn from them, I think I can teach them some things and you never know how we might benefit each other down the line.

When I post-suade I make sure I send a personal message, not standard, “I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn.” When I personalize my invite, I drop in one sentence about how I enjoyed talking with them, meeting them or attending their presentation. Another sentence is a little more personal, like wishing them good luck with an initiative they may have mentioned. My last sentence talks about staying in touch with them via LinkedIn and encouraging them to contact me if they think I can help them in any way.

When someone accepts my connection request I put a note on their LinkedIn profile to remind me when I met them, where I met them and a brief comment about our interaction. Then I respond with another brief, personalized message thanking them for accepting the connection. Touch points like what I’ve described are the social part of social media. When I do these things I feel much more at ease sending messages in the future.

Something else I do is regularly reach out to people I’ve interacted with in the past. For example, in September 2015, I was in Toronto to host the Principles of Persuasion Workshop for Sun Life Financial. I sent a personal note to each attendee in September 2016 to see how they were doing and to remind them I’m always available to help.

You never know where people will be in two, five or ten years. If you want them to think of you then take the bull by the horns and be the one to stay in touch. Earlier this year I wrote a post titled A Networking Story which detailed a chain of connections that led to friendship and ultimately business. I encourage you to read that post to get better a picture of how I view networking.

Let me end with this encouragement – when you meet interesting people don’t just exchange business cards. Think about post-suasion and take a more effective step by connecting on LinkedIn. It’s your opportunity to learn more about them, for them to learn more about you and to easily stay in touch.

WIIFM – Is It Always The Motivation?

Salespeople like to say everyone’s favorite radio station is WIIFM. In case you don’t know it, WIIFM is an acronym that stands for “What’s In It For Me?” The assumption salespeople make, and most other people for that matter, is humans are always motivated to act in their best self-interest. State Auto’s former Chief Sales Officer Clyde Fitch put it this way, “Self-interest isn’t the only horse in the race but it’s usually the one to bet on.”

In the absence of certain factors people do act in their best self-interest quite often. But the smart persuader knows there are many decades of research from social psychologists and behavioral economists that refute this claim.

This was brought to the forefront of my mind as I reread Robert Cialdini’s new book Pre-suasion. He highlighted a study conducted by Adam Grant and David Hoffman. These two looked at the hand washing behavior of doctors. If anyone knows the importance of hand washing to prevent the spread of germs it would be doctors. Despite their knowledge, doctors wash their hands about half as often as they should. That’s not good for doctors or patients!

In an effort to see if they could motivate more hand washing to prevent the spread of germs and disease Grant and Hoffman tried two different approaches. One appealed to WIIFM and another appealed to why most people chose to become doctors – to help patients.

In the WIIFM scenario doctors saw signs that read, “Hand hygiene protects you from catching diseases.” In the patient focus appeal the sign said, “Hand hygiene protects patients from catching diseases.” So the difference was a single word – “you” vs. “patients.”

The WIIFM approach caused no change in hand washing behavior but the patient focused approach cause a 45% increase in hand washing!

What does this mean for you? It’s easy to default to WIFFM and that leads to typical ways to motivate – salary increases, bonuses, rewards, etc. Make no mistake, those traditional approaches do change people’s behavior but sometimes there are better, less costly ways to motivate a behavior change. Taking time to know why people do what they do then tapping into that can be far more effective.

Most people don’t become doctors to make lots of money or for fame. Those are nice by-products but not the motivation. Usually people get into healthcare because of a personal experience that leads them to want to help others.

Teachers certainly don’t get into that profession for the money. A love of learning and desire to help kids are big reasons people become teachers. Coaches usually choose that profession because of a love of sports and the impact a coach had on them. They want to pass along the love and impact people the way they were impacted.

When you discover someone’s why and craft your persuasive appeal around it you’re tapping into a powerful principle of influence – consistency. When your persuasive appeal reminds them of their why it’s much easier for them to say yes to you.

My encouragement for you this week is to pay attention to those you interact with, see if you can discover their why then make sure your attempt at persuasion incorporates that knowledge. Do so and you’ll be far more successful when it comes to hearing yes.

If You Were My Son

Have you read Robert Cialdini’s new book Pre-suasion? If not, make sure you get your copy today because in addition to learning how to set the stage for persuasion, a strategy he refers to as “pre-suasion,” you’ll learn about a new 7th principle of influence.

That’s right, a new principle is introduced in Pre-suasion. For more than 30 years, since publishing Influence Science and Practice, Dr. Cialdini has referred to six universal principles of influence. In Pre-suasion he tells readers there’s a seventh principle that was hiding underneath the surface all along. He introduces readers to the principle of Unity, otherwise known as “we.”

The principle of togetherness highlights the reality that we are most likely to help those with whom we share some kind of bond. It’s not necessary for liking to be activated although the principle of liking may facilitate togetherness.

Consider for a moment your family. You might have family members you don’t particularly enjoy but you’re more inclined to come to their assistance over a stranger or perhaps a close friend for no other reason than the bond of family.

Another example comes from the few, the proud – the Marines. Marines don’t just go through training; they go through the crucible. It’s said that Marines forge a bond amongst themselves like no other branch of service. I see this firsthand every time my father, a Marine who served in Vietnam, meets another Marine. If that other Marine happens to have seen combat I’d swear my dad was closer to him than his own flesh and blood.

So what can you do if you don’t have the bond that comes through family, team sports or the military? Sometimes you can create a sense of togetherness by the words you use, which leads me to a story.

Many years ago there was a position I aspired to at work that had just been filled by someone else. Because of my interest I was asked to mentor with the person who had the job I wanted someday.

I’ll never forget our first mentoring session. He walked into my office, sat down, looked me in the eye and said, “If you were my son I’d say stay as far away from (name withheld) as you can. Do you understand me?” A little shocked I replied, “I don’t think you can be any more clear than that.” He reiterated, “Stay away from (name withheld) because for some reason (name withheld) doesn’t like you and I don’t want to see you get hurt.”

Wow! Do you see what he did? He was much older than me and he treated me like family as he gave me the same advice he would have shared with his son. His approach was much more powerful than leaning on the fact that we were coworkers or just sharing advice without prefacing it at all. After all, a parent would never knowingly steer his or her child in the wrong direction. He created a “pre-suasive” moment based on the principle of togetherness and that was all he needed to do. I stopped pursuing the position and focused on other priorities.

How can you tap into this “new” principle to become a more effective persuader? If you truly would give the same advice to someone that you’d give to your spouse or children, then let the other person know that. Family is the tightest unit of togetherness there is because you share the same genes.

I’ve also seen a powerful response when you label someone as a friend. You might know you’re friends with coworkers but when you tap into that saying, “Thank you, friend” or “Thank you, my friend,” it changes things. I remember the first time someone responded in an email, “Thank you, friend,” because it really caught my attention. I knew in that moment everything changed in a very positive way.

Remember, together is better! Don’t simply look to connect on the principle of liking, seek to go deeper and tap into the sense of togetherness you may have with the person you’re trying to persuade. Doing so will make you more persuasive and deepen your relationship.