The art and science of persuasion
PERSUASION IS NOT ONLY an art, it is
also a science, and researchers who study it
have formulated a series of rules for moving
people in your direction. Based on more than
60 years of research into the psychology of
persuasion, Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways
to Be Persuasive (Free Press, 2008), by Costco
member Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin
and Robert B. Cialdini, reveals 50 effective
strategies to make you more persuasive. Here
1. Don’t offer too many choices.
Whether it’s the number of products you offer
or the number of plans you allow your
employees to choose from, sometimes you
can offer too many choices, which often frus-
trates people. Companies offering a small
number of retirement plans have far greater
enrollment than companies that offer a large
number of plans.
3. Argue against self-interest. Trust is a
critical component to persuasion. The surest
way to be perceived as honest is to admit to a
small weakness in your argument, product or
business immediately prior to communicating
the strongest pro argument.
4. The threat of loss is more persuasive
than the potential for gain. Instead of telling
your audience what they stand to gain from
taking your advice or buying your product,
tell them instead that they stand to lose out on
an opportunity if they don’t take your advice
or buy your product.
5. Make people feel as if they’ve already
made progress toward a goal. A car wash
offering a loyalty card nearly doubled cus-
tomer retention by changing their offer from
“Buy eight washes, get one free” to “Buy 10
washes, get one free—and we’ll start you off
by crediting you for two washes.” C
Save on business services
March is business canvassing month
at Costco. Special offers are available
for current Business Members to save
on business services, including payroll,
merchant credit-card processing and
business phone systems. To learn
more, visit Costco.com and enter
“Biz Blitz” in the search box.
Every Click Matters.
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MARCH 2010 ;e Costco Connection 13