Which is a cue for everyone who expected the Jane Austen Classic to leave … No, no; – come back, it’s still interesting – honest.
We live in a world in which we are bombarded by persuasive messages; we can find them on the side of buses, and on the backs of taxis. If we open a glossy magazine they take up most the space; they’re in newspapers, on TV and even decorate the sides of our roads.
We call them adverts but they are actually persuasive messages – “You really need me, so come and buy me.” And sometimes they even work, we are persuaded and we buy.
There are, of course, other persuasive messages in our world; Road Signs that tell us to Slow Down: Stop: Not to park here – all these persuade us to an action with an unspoken hint at the consequences – ‘Drive Slowly’ says the sign, but the hint is ‘Or else!’
So we are used to being persuaded, but what happens if we become the one that needs to persuade someone else? How do we convince the boss that our idea will work? What can we do to increase sales? How to demonstrate that I am the best one for the job? The answer to all these questions is for us to be persuasive.
‘Persuasion’ can be defined as ‘the art of getting someone to do something that they probably wouldn’t have done without your influence.”
So you need to understand the process of persuasion from the receiver’s point of view – and that should not be difficult because, as we have seen, we are all bombarded by persuasive arguments from morn to night.
So what would influence you to accept the message? What would persuade you to change your mind, buy the product or hire that person?
First, surely we have ask the question “How believable is the information?” To be persuaded we need to be convinced of the credibility of the speaker. Things that pass through the mind are considerations like ‘Do I trust this person?’, ‘Why should I believe this information, is the speaker an expert?’ and of course ‘What’s in it for them?’
As we are all on the receiving end of persuasive messages; we can start to decode them; see how they work. So we can ask ourselves ‘what need are they trying to fill?’
To persuade someone to do something they probably wouldn’t have done before your persuasion started, there has to be a perceived advantage to the receiver; and often that will be one of Maslow’s famous hierarchy of human needs.
If we receive a flyer from our local butcher offering us cut price meat, they are focusing on the basic need for food, but also on the secondary need for security –. Look! We are getting something we need (food) and with a saving (financial safety) – can’t be bad; let’s get some.
Adverts for upmarket homes target our need for status and the TV that ‘everyone’ is buying hits the need for group identification. Pick up a magazine and see if you can identify which of Maslow’s Human needs are being directly targeted.
Wise marketing people know that to be successful they have to target across the whole gamut of needs, and so we can find adverts for that certain brand of car which ‘has a superior safety record’ – targeting our need for safety and security. The same car elsewhere is highlighted as being ‘Australia’s number one seller’ – well if it’s the in-thing then I want one! I want to be identified with the most popular car in Australia.
Another advert will tout it as ‘having a European design’ or ‘for the discriminating driver’ – honing in on those whose needs are for status or esteem.
As we can see, if we know what we want to happen, we can use our persuasive argument to target anyone of those needs – which is why when sales reps first meet us they engage us in conversation. Yes, they use it to build a rapport but they also use it to find out what motivates us … to be persuaded.
Now you now roughly how it works on us, how can you use that information to create your own persuasive message when it is needed? Locate the need and target it.
I hope I have persuaded you that it isn’t all that difficult to do.
Michele @ Trischel