Welcome. My name is Jim Speakman and I have an intense interest in what persuades other people. I have started my own company to research and discover the most current discoveries in the art and science of influencing and persuading other people. I don’t think of myself as an "expert" but rather a very curious student of persuasion.
As a student of persuasion, I read lots of books and articles, and listen to lots of audio programs from the experts. Then I take one very important next step … I actually use these techniques. Some of them are not worth a second of your time, but others are actually very good! This web site is my chance to share the very best of what I have discovered over the past 12 years as well as inform you about the techniques and methods that do NOT work at all! I’ll be brutally honest.
In this very first article that I’ve titled, "Do you know how to be PERSUASIVE?", I will share with you the fundamental reason that our normal attempts at persuading others usually fails … and one technique to improve our chances of success.
What we normally do
Have you ever been in a foreign country (or watched a TV program where this has happened …) where they don’t understand you? What do most people do in this situation? They talk slower … and louder. We try to force our version of reality on them. But, no matter how hard we force it … they still don’t understand.
Persuasion is like a foreign language
In order to persuade the other person … you have to "speak their language". Sounds simple right? Well, it’s not. Try speaking Chinese! The problem is, we each have a very hard time stepping out of our own "world" to allow ourselves the ability to see the world from the other person’s point of view. And that is the reason we usually fail at persuading the other person to our way of thinking.
Speaking the foreign language
There are many things we can do to be more persuasive. First of all is realizing that no one else thinks like we do … no one, period. Because of that, it’s critical to realize that in order to get what we want, we will need to see the situation from the other person’s point of view. Then, with a little creative thinking, we can create ways to help the other person give us what we want by helping them get what they want. This takes "strategic thinking" and requires a new set of knowledge and techniques.
Thinking Strategically to Win!
Using this web site, I will share with you specific techniques that more often than not will persuade other people to your side … and help you get more of what you want, more often! I will use this specific space to write new articles, thoughts, ideas, observations, and opinions (always complete with a list of great books to continue your learning). My goal is to help you succeed at persuading the other people in your life!
New Articles Almost Daily!
In this space on my web site I will share with you different persuasion techniques, insights, tips, hints, and ideas … so check back often.
Today’s Persuasion Technique:
This is one of the fundamental techniques regarding persuasion and is simply called "Reciprocity." This is the act of giving something of value to someone in an effort to instill a sense of obligation in the other person. When you give something (without being asked) … it creates within the other person a desire to give something of equal value back to you. This "evens the score." So, when you do this, you are creating pressure for the other side to reciprocate in-kind … and it works!
During a future article, I will discuss the necessity of being an "ethical" persuader. But for now, I will assume that you are an honest, credible, trustworthy person who is only seeking to persuade the other person for mutual gain.
Using Reciprocity can be extremely powerful. A quick example of this is when you receive a "FREE sample" of something in the mail. In that case, you didn’t ask for it, but it may have a reasonably strong influence on you when you are at the store next time and see that particular brand. That is ethical persuasion using reciprocity. You are able to enjoy the benefits of the "free" gift immediately, but you feel an internal sense of obligation to purchase that brand in the future. Keep in mind that nothing is guaranteed to work every time. But, think about how samples of soap, laundry detergent, shampoo, and much more are sent in the mail every single day. If this was not an effective way to influence behavior, it wouldn’t still be happening!
You can use reciprocity today! Give something of value to someone who has the ability to return a gift of equal or greater value to you! They may choose to give you something, or they may not. But know that things tend to even out in the end. You will be rewarded for your generosity. So, if you can give a free sample or free trial of your product or service, do it. If that’s not possible, then give a "free" piece of information … like a special article titled "The top 10 things you must know when buying __(your product or service.)" Information has huge value!!! Take full advantage of this fact!
One final note, do not expect an equal response from everyone. People are unique. Everyone will respond differently. However, the principle of Reciprocity will succeed more times than it will fail.
Look at these books for more information:
As you know, I read a lot of books … over 1,600 so far … and I feel strongly about recommending some of the best ones to you. Regarding Reciprocity, add these great books to your personal library:
- Influence Science and Practice by Robert Cialdini
- Persuasion, Influence, and Compliance Gaining by Robert Gass and John Seiter.
- The Psychology of Persuasion by Kevin Hogan
I respond to every email.
Feel free to send me a quick email. I will answer each one. My goal is to help you become more persuasive and more successful by sharing the techniques that work with you and helping you to avoid the ones that do NOT work!
Check back every day for more persuasion techniques!