The Three Rules of Persuasion

Remember the time when you saw the movie poster of Inception (assuming you don’t know about it) and said to yourself, “nah, I don’t really need to watch this movie”. But then, come a few days later, all your friends are raving about it. You say you haven’t watched it yet and then, as you see the stunned look on their faces while they stick out their hand to form an ‘L’ sign, you realize, you’re actually missing out.

So the next day (or weekend), you set yourself to watch that movie (and it was awesome!) and try to find some other non-moviegoer guy whom you can pass the ‘L’ sign on too.

Welcome to the game called persuasion.

It happens everyday, you see (and experience) it at all times in your life. In the internet, the necessity to master the skill is even more crucial. You need to invoke action from your readers, you want them to purchase something, or click on a link, or whatever. There are just countless of things that requires you to have this ability.

Three Rules.

Today, I have three rules to share. And yes, it will (hopefully) help you be a better persuader (be it online or offline). These rules are relatively easy to understand, as for the application, go see for yourself ;)

Rule Number 1 –Bandwagon

The more people are in it, the more likely one will follow suit. Does peer pressure sound familiar to you? Sure does. If all of your friends are studying, most likely, you’ll do it. If most of your friends have watched Inception, well, isn’t it such a shame you still haven’t? That’s why you scramble just to get a ticket- fast.

Bandwagon is the easiest strategy you can use. Everyone’s doing it/has it! No one wants to get left behind. In reviews for example, you can stress how particular people (professionals for better) use this type of product. If you’re giving advice to newbies, the more it will appeal to them since they obviously want to go the pro route.

Rule Number 2 – Reinforcement

Usually, you know it’s bad advice if someone’s telling you to do one thing while the whole world says you do another. Positive reinforcement counts – a lot. If you’ve been diagnosed of a risky disease for example, you don’t want to stick to just one doctor, you’d want a second, third, nth opinion to finally convince you.

Works the same way for basic things. It’s easier to convince people if there’s a group that backs up the claim.

So how do you apply it? Simple. You listen to the crowd or the experts (depending on who’s opinion weighs more). Chances are, if your readers want to look at a 2nd opinion, he’ll most likely find something similar to yours (hence, it backs you up).

Rule Number 3 – The Truth

We love resorting to flowery sentences and bombard our posts with advertising words like ‘best, brightest, amazing, ultimate… etc.’. But at the end of the day, we all need the same thing – nothing but the truth.

I’d say I can smell scam from a mile away, I can see through marketing lies like it’s spelled in front of me. If it’s an outright lie, then there’s no chance I’m buying even a word of it. Same thing applies for majority of netizens right now. We get smarter and savvier by the minute. The online community taught us day by day to sort through the gist of what’s important and ignore those that doesn’t really matter.

By far, the truth is the most important. And if you want to persuade people better, you should start telling it.

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  1. says

    Great Insight! I really like how you portrayed the “Reinforcement”, that works out of the ordinary. “The Truth” is certainly we should always be sticking with and that is the best strategy to move upward. Thanks :)