The social science behind effective persuasion

by on January 31, 2013

Tapping into social norms is a low-cost, and effective means of getting your business’ message across to customers. Consider some principles of social norms and situations where using them might help others to understand your point of view:

  • People naturally tend towards what they view as the norm; for example, when hotel managers left information cards in their rooms informing guests that “75% of customers reuse towels,” the reuse rate went up over 30%.
  • Another strategy to leverage is the reciprocity principle: a client’s instinct to return a small gift or favor often yields better cooperation.
  • Finally, finding common ground—even superficial things like the kind of car you drive—promotes favorable outcomes in business negotiations.

Source: Wall Street Journal: The Science Behind Persuading People

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