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« Book Notes: The Power of Persuasion by Robert Levine - Building a Dream Machine »
Brief Guide to Persuasion from Power of Persuasion
Feb 6, 2006, 9:04p

OK, so the Book Notes I posted yesterday were way too long, so long that I can't even keep track of all the things I should be doing differently after reading that book. So, here's the concise version for those who didn't get through the previous long-winded post.

1) Use the contrast principle and anchoring
- e.g. TV on sale from $700 for a limited time for $300

2) Use the reciprocity rule
- e.g. give someone something, such as your time, and they'll feel compelled to pay you back even if they don't consciously want to

3) Use social proof
- "Nothing draws a crowd like a crowd" - Barnum

4) Make acquisition difficult to make people want it
- e.g. kids want to play with the toy that's out of reach

5) Use guilt and shame
- Catholic Church is the best at this

6) Limit the number of choices to increase satisfaction
- e.g. selling 6 flavors leads to more sales with happier customers than selling 24 flavors

7) Encourage psychological ownership
- e.g. 30-day money-back guarantee

8) Appreciate the people around you
- "The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated" - James

9) Appear honest, likable, and authoritative

10) Separate gains, even small ones from large losses
- e.g. the "you've saved $X" at the bottom of Safeway receipts

11) Consolidate losses, esp. into larger gains
- e.g. "would you like to donate $3 to the election fund" when paying your taxes

12) Appeal to risk-taking for losses, safety for gains

* Avoid questions answerable with "No"
* Use justifications, esp. those starting with "because"
* Use "it's for a good cause" and "even a penny would help"
* Ask for highest price just shy of the JND ("just noticeable difference"), which is usually 5% in prices
* Never exceed the reference price (e.g. a pricing strategy of $1.29 + 10% if pay with credit is less attractive than $1.39 - 10% discount if pay with cash)

Read comments (1) - Comment

Roy - Feb 7, 2006, 7:20a
Interestingly, from this more concise version I realize that the main focus of the persuasion in the book is persuasion in sales. I hadn't realized that from your previous post. I wouldn't be as interested in learning about sales tactics, but I bet it would be useful in a) being a smarter consumer and b) applying those methods of persuasion to other aspects of life and business. So, I'm still going to add it to my reading list.

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