The following advice was drawn from a book by Dr. Robert Cialdini titled The Psychology of Influence. The book presents the conditions that lead people to say "Yes" when given offers (like to hire you).
I am bringing these insights to your attention for two reasons.
- It will help you avoid saying "Yes" to offers that deserve a "No".
- It will show you how to get the most out of your marketing campaigns.
If our marketing systems fail to tap one or more of these triggers, the likelihood of reeling in new prospects goes into the toilet. As you become familiar with the triggers, ask yourself whether your marketing materials and website are using them.
Reciprocity means returning a favor. The trigger is that that we are DRIVEN to return the favor. It's almost like we don't have a choice but to return the favor.
This is why when someone you don't know gives you an unexpected gift or does an unexpected favor, you should be careful about what you are tempted to do in return. More than likely, the original gift was made with the intent of gaining something much bigger in return from you. Con men work in this fashion.
Dr. Cialdini tells the story of The Hare Krishnas. The are a religious sect (cult) that mill around airports seeking donations. They used to be easy to spot: shaved heads and long flowing robes.
Their fund raising method, which worked amazingly well, was to hand a traveler a rose, then ask for a donation. The simple act of accepting the rose created a powerful emotional obligation to help them. The best way to avoid giving them money proved to be avoiding them all together. They started dressing like normal people to offset this defensive action.
Regarding your marketing program, you can put the influence of reciprocity to work in many ways, not the least of which is to send business to your prospective customers. This is the power behind networking groups. They do favors for each other.
Another method, the one that you are currently being subjected to, is providing useful information to your prospects. That approach is known as education based marketing and it has been used quite effectively in every industry. Based on the poor marketing techniques of most contractors, a well executed education based marketing system is almost guaranteed to make you stand out.
Commitment to Consistency
Pay close attention to this one. It may transform your approach in every future negotiation and argument you are involved in. This trigger taps our need to be consistent to our word.
Once we state a position, we will adjust our actions and our opinions to backup our position, no matter how much new information arrives proving our original position was horribly flawed.
Here's how consistency of commitment affects negotiations and arguments. The moment your opponent states an opinion or position, it becomes emotionally locked in. It will be almost impossible to get him to change his mind. So, do everything you can to keep someone from stating an undesirable position.
Here's another amazing aspect of this influencer, simply stating a goal publicly greatly increases the odds that the goal will be achieved. Basically, we will work harder to achieve the goal knowing how bad we will look if we fail.
Here's how you should us this influencer in your marketing campaigns. Start off your prospects with small commitments that you can grow in size over time. Gradually, you will get them to the point where they will say they will hire you when certain conditions are met. Meet the conditions and they will hire you. In effect, their word becomes a subconscious contract.
We rely on what others think to determine what is correct. There is safety in numbers. If others are doing something, then it MUST be a good idea or at least safe. If others aren't doing something, then not doing that MUST be a good idea also. Once again, we are wired to follow the cues we see from those surrounding us.