Knowing how to convince people to say yes to your requests will make your life blissful! These five persuasion techniques will help you ask for what you want — and get it.
Before the tips, a quip:
“There is only one way to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it.” ~ Dale Carnegie.
The first tip for persuading people to say yes is to find a way to make them really, really want to do it! The more they want to do it, the easier your job is. To learn more about being persuasive, read Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In.
And here are five quick tips for convincing people to say yes to your requests…
How to Convince People to Say Yes – 5 Persuasion Techniques
1. Find ways to lighten the mood. Researchers studied the effects of negotiating the purchase price of an expensive piece of art in two ways. Half the time, the buyer said, “I offer $6,000, and that’s my final price.” The other half, the buyer said, “I offer $6,000, and I’ll throw in my pet frog.” Which do you think was more likely to convince people to say yes to the offer? You got it — the offer that included the pet frog. A brief, humorous, light-hearted aside can put people in a good mood and make them more likely to be persuaded.
2. Make your request over a meal. “In a series of studies during teh 1930s, psychologist Gregory Razran discovered that people developed a special fondness for people, objects, and statements if they were introduced to them while eating a meal,” writes Richard Wiseman in 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot. “The effect may be attributable to the fact that good food puts people in a happy mood and can cause them to make faster, and more impulsive, decisions.” One of the best persuasion techniques is a delicious meal — if the person likes food, that is!
3. Get agreement on something simple and little. You’re more likely to convince people to say yes if the person has already agreed to something little. Any simple question that elicits a positive answer — eg, “Isn’t this chicken delicious?” — increases the chances that you’ll get a “yes” to a more complicated, serious question. This persuasion technique has been used by salespeople for decades, if not centuries.
4. Rhyme your request. Remember Johnnie Cochran’s defense of OJ Simpson? “If the gloves don’t fit, you must acquit.” According to Wiseman in 59 Seconds, research shows that rhymes can be surprisingly effective in convincing people to say “yes.” So, whether you’re asking your boss for a raise or asking your parents for a later curfew, find a way to rhyme your request. Rhymes are more memorable, likable, and repeatable — which ties in to the first persuasion technique (be light-hearted!).
5. Ask for more than you expect, and be open to negotiation. Another classic way to convince people to say “yes” is to ask for something that you know will generate a “no” — such as a raise that quadruples your current salary or a curfew of 4 am. After the person you’re persuading stops hooting with laughter, ask what he or she thinks is reasonable. Learn how to negotiate — and how to be assertive while negotiating! You don’t need great people skills, but you do need to be confident and assertive.
What do you think? If you have any thoughts on these persuasion techniques, or questions about how to convince people to say yes, please comment below…
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.