Words Matter - Part 3

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 | Jeff Davis

Words matter. 

In earlier posts, we looked at how words matter - Why Words Matter

Today I was reading Yes!, 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive written by Noah J Goldstein, Steve J Martin and Robert B. Cialdini. A great read - I highly recommend it. 

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Of particular interest today is Chapter 16 - "How can a simple question drastically increase you and your ideas?"

The idea of this chapter revolves around the concept of commitment. If you can get someone's buy-in prior to your ask, your chances of success greatly increase. In the example of an election, they suggest that before asking someone to vote for your candidate, your chance at success increases if you simply take a moment to get the individual to publicly commit to the act of voting.

One technique to ask them to predict whether or not they are going to vote on Election Day. If they say no, you have your answer. But if they say yes, they have publicly committed to voting. And the turn out rate to vote rises from 61.5 percent to 86.7 percent. "...after most (if not all) of these people have publicly stated that they'll perform the socially desirable behavior, they'll be motivated to behave consistently with the commitment they just made."

They go on to say that a restaurant owner was able to reduce the percentage of no shows individuals who book a reservation and then do not show up by making the following simple change. "Please call to cancel" was changed to "Will you please call if you have to cancel?" The first phrase required no verbal, public commitment to call and cancel. The second asked for a public commitment - "please call". The results were a decrease in the number of no shows from 30 percent to 10 percent. 

An amazing improvement, don't you agree?

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