The Seven Principles of Persuasion that Should Be At Work on Your Website
The psychology of persuasion has been exercised in all types of arenas from prisoner of war camps to quasi religious cults to the science of selling and the marketplace.
Since time immemorial there have been a number of fundamentals of influence that have worked, and continue to work, to persuade others of our point of view.
These seven principles applied in the area of small business and attempting to influence people to buy our products and services work as well today as they have down through the centuries.
A thirty five year study based on clinical research and evidence by Dr. Robert Cialdini, an American professor of both marketing and psychology, identified seven principles of persuasion which can easily be put to work in your business, both online and offline.
These principles are
1. Self interest-the consumer or potential customer wants to get the maximum for the least cost;
2. Consistency-we are greatly influenced by people and businesses who are consistent, not those who change their message or opinion at the drop of a hat;
3. Reciprocation-this refers to the sense of obligation most people feel when somebody does something or gives something for free which creates a tremendous sense of obligation in the recipient;
4. Social proof-we are hugely influenced by what others have bought and approve of which explains the enormous amounts of money that celebrities and sports stars can earn from endorsing products, services and businesses;
5. Authority-we are influenced by people and businesses in positions of authority and pay greater attention to so called experts, academics and people who can demonstrate authority than we might to the person working in our local supermarket;
6. Liking-liking is a tremendous and underrated source of influence. Are you more likely to be influenced by someone you like or someone you dislike or don’t know?
7. Scarcity-the power of scarcity is clearly demonstrated at sales time in shops and stores or when great works of art are auctioned. This same principle is a very powerful source of persuasion in any business regardless of whether you are selling your goods and services online or on the high street.
A good business website will have most or all of these fundamental principles of persuasion at work on behalf of the business.
The absence of these principles when you take your business online is a common mistake as many small business owners think that doing business on the internet is somehow different.
Yes, it is different but not as different as you might think.
Because the internet is only the medium through which you transmit your message and offer-the fundamental principles of persuasion outlined above stay the same.
If your website does not tap into these weapons of influence you are missing a great opportunity to sell more of your goods and services and acquire new clients and customers for your business.
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