Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. : Oscar Wilde

Friday, September 3, 2010

Applying Techniques of Persuasion

About a month ago Psyblog provided the following treatment of the six techniques of persuasion (from Cialdini, 2001). It is definitely worth using this list whenever you're planning a marketing document such as a résumé or a meeting with an employer.

  1. Liking:
    It's much easier to influence someone who likes you. Successful influencers try to flatter and uncover similarities in order to build attraction.

  2. Social proof.
    People like to follow one another, so influencers imply the herd is moving the same way.

  3. Consistency.
    Most people prefer to keep their word. If people make a commitment, particularly if it's out loud or in writing, they are much more likely to keep it. Influencers should try to gain verbal or written

  4. Scarcity.
    Even when companies have warehouses full of a product, they still advertise using time-limited offers that emphasise scarcity. People want what they can't have, or at least what might be running short.

  5. Authority.
    People are strongly influenced by experts. Successful influencers flaunt their knowledge to establish their expertise.

  6. Reciprocity.
    Give something to get something. When people feel indebted to you they are more likely to agree to what you want. This feeling could arise from something as simple as a compliment.
Here are some or my thoughts, strictly by way of illustration. You can probably think of better ideas.
  1. Liking: Know the potential employer well enough that you can show how you would fit their needs, including their cultural profile, if possible. Demonstrate your sensitivity to their needs.

  2. Social proof: You can offer suggestions in your marketing documents that the techniques and approaches that you use are becoming trends, or that more and more people with your qualifications are being hired.

  3. Consistency: When you network with a potential employer try to get some commitment to a reasonable follow-up from that individual (without being overbearing or obnoxious about it).

  4. Scarcity: At the very least avoid giving the impression that you are desperate for employment. Try to suggest that a number of employers are or would be interested.

  5. Authority: When you mention a college diploma or other qualification in your marketing documents your are implying that experts have endorsed your level of education.

  6. Reciprocity: At the very least, send a thank-you note.
You can combine some of these points too, clearly.