A logical and well trained consumer will try to consider all information before making a decision, but rapidly evolving information and hectic schedules drive all of us to shortcut decisions. These shortcuts help us to cut through the details and rely on specific parameters to make a quicker decision. For a business owner, these shortcuts could be used in your business to help your customers reach a decision.
The science of persuasion identifies these six shortcuts commonly used in making a faster decision.
- Reciprocity. This human obligation to give when you receive. Commonly found in restaurants when the bill is given with a mint. But it can be far more effective when you give your customers something that is both unexpected and personal. For example, offering a second mint because they were so agreeable to serve.
- Scarcity. People want things more when the product or service is limited. When using this persuasion tool, clearly outline the benefits of your product or service, and as well as the unique features. Close by explaining the potential loss that could come should this opportunity not be taken.
- Authority. We all want to follow those who are credible, knowledgeable, and experts in the field. For example, a sense of confidence is given when the business is a member of an industry association, or if a doctor or realtor displays licenses for everyone to see. This could be as simple being introduced by an associate, and asking them to also include your years of experience or achievements.
- Consistency. Someone that has made a commitment to a project, goal or specific objective will be ready to make additional commitments to achieve end goal. Be on the lookout for voluntary, active, and public commitments.
- Be likeable. People want to do business with someone they like. Building this relationship can be as simple as 1- find similarities, 2- give appropriate and meaningful compliments and 3- stay cooperative. Once you have established a comfortable report, the business side of the relationship is simpler.
- Consensus. People look to the actions and behaviors of others to determine their own. Show how others are utilizing your product or service. Be truthful in the information and be prepared to show more specifics.
Implementing these shortcuts into a business can be small, practical and even costless. However, it is important that a business employ these shortcuts ethically. When integrated wisely, these tricks can go a long way to move your customers to making a purchasing decision.