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Mastering the Behavioral Laws of Persuasion Published: Sunday, June 3, 2007 By: Dr. Manuel Ángel Morales

If you go deep into behavioral sciences you will find powerful tools, techniques and strategies of healthy, constructive and effective persuasion.  The ability to communicate persuasively is a skill that can be used in all aspects of personal, business, institutional and social life.  Here is a researched inventory of the strategies, methods and techniques available in the wide field of behavioral sciences and the theory of organizational design.

  • The Law of Reciprocity – When someone gives you something of perceived value, you immediately respond with the desire to give something back.  To some degree, reciprocity influences behavior.
  • The Law of Contrast – When to items is relatively different from each other, we will see them as more different if placed close together in time and space.
  • The Law of Friends – When someone ask you to do something and you perceive the person to have your best interests in mind, and/or you will like him to have your best interest in mind, you are strongly motivated to fulfill the request.
  • The Law of Expectancy – When someone you believe or respect expects you to perform a task or produce certain results, you will tend to fulfill his expectation, whatever positive or negative.
  • The Law of Association – We tend to like products, services, or ideas that are endorsed by other people we like or respect.
  • The Law of Consistency – When an individual announces in writing or verbally that he is taking a position on any issue or point of view, he will strongly tend to defend that belief regardless of its accuracy even in the face of considerable evidence to the contrary.
  • The Law of Scarcity – When a person perceives that something he might want is limited in quantity, he believes that the value of what he might want is greater than if it were available in abundance.
  • The Law of Conformity – Most people tend to agree to proposals, products, or services that will be perceived as acceptable by the majority of other people or the majority of an individual’s peer group.
  • The Law of Power – People has power over other people to the degree they are perceived as having a greater authority, strength or expertise.
  • The Law of Persuasion – The purpose of any selling process (formal or informal) is to convince customers  that t they will be better off with the product or service than they would be with the money necessary to buy it.  (Every choice implies a rejection).  The customer always acts to satisfy the greatest number of unsatisfied needs in the very best way at the lowest possible price.  Proof that other people similar to the customer has purchased the product or the service builds credibility, lowers resistance, and increases sales.  Testimonials of any kind increases desirability and lower price resistance to product or service.

 The purpose of a healthy and wise persuasion process is to enter into an exchange and into an agreement such that both parties have their needs satisfy and are motivated to fulfill their agreements and to nourish their relationship as they move to the future.  Thus, both parties should be fully satisfied with the results of the persuasion process.

In order to apply effectively the laws of persuasion there is a kind of emotional maturity that has to be present, meaning that the party that wants to achieve something, by way of this kind of sustained interaction, has to show calmness, control and coolness in the face of problems, difficulties and adversities.  This will required outcome-based thinking, carefully communication, social intelligence, self mastery and with other people, quick rapport, asking until you get the result and a kind of win-win psychology.

There are two philosophical pieces of wisdom.  First, a behavior is ultimately determined by feelings, and second if you want to constructively influence someone, demonstrate to that person you are a real friend.

Copyright 2007 QBS, Inc.


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