By: John P. DeMann, Ph.D.
I have always been interested in why we do what we do. I have often asked why some would do something when in other cases they would not. This question got me to think about and research the idea of influence in an organized way so I could give you some really powerful tools to, not only get more from life, but to protect yourselves as well from those who use the power of influence to get something from you.
Let’s consider the first rule; the fixed action pattern. These involve certain predictable behaviors that we, as well as animals do, when we receive a certain trigger. What’s interesting is the trigger is often something very small. There are two important things we need to understand about fixed action patterns: First it’s observable that the fixed action pattern work very predictably. Second, humans can also be triggered to act in predictable ways both good and bad.
We need to remember that our fixed action patterns are often necessary for our survival, but because we are not living in in the same environment we use to many of these patterns often end up hurting us. One of these fixed action patterns that can hurt us is shortcuts. Humans have made it a part of their automatic behavior to find shortcuts to complete a task and in doing this we often fall prey to the negative outcome. Termed judgmental heuristics these can be seen when we shop for something and we equate expensive equal’s good rule. This may be true, but let’s tell a story where it was not: A store owner going on vacation wanted to get rid of an item so she wrote a note to the manager asking her to cut the price in half. However, when she wrote the note the manager she thought it said to double the price. The items before the price change had not moved, but when the manager doubled the price the items sold out.
Another important example of the power of influence is the real-estate company that used the concept of contrast. This company maintained a couple of properties that were used to show first. These were very run down and overpriced. Once the customer saw these they were then shown the real properties which were in much better condition and offered at a better price. You can imagine how powerful this tool was, it sold homes much faster. The power of contrast can be used in many areas of life. If for example you have some bad news to tell someone if we use the compare principle we see if we can find news that is much worse than the one we have to give it makes sense to give the worse news first.
Another influence factor is that of authority. We are much more apt to buy from an expert. We see this in the medical field. We will buy what the person of authority tells us to buy. Do you know how many people die each year because they believed that the person with authority were right? We see this in advertisements all the time. People who seem to have the authority are the ones selling it.
Another rule is that we are more likely to buy from someone we like. However the most powerful rule here is that we will repay what others have done for us. This can be seen when someone offers you something free and later they ask you to buy something. If you accepted the gift the chances of you buying go up, even if you don’t like the person. Obligation seems to be the most powerful of the influence principles.
There are several laws of influence that can be used in what we do including the control of our own behavior. Have you ever got up and walked to the refrigerator even though you are not hungry? We all have and the truth is there was a trigger that caused it. Becoming aware of the triggers and being able to control the triggers will help us navigate more successfully through life. Imagine being able to instill these triggers yourself and creating automatic behaviors that will help you reach your goals. Imagine how these laws can help you sell your product or yourself.
If you would like to learn how to use all the rules of influence to improve the quality of your life we are holding several on-line seminars. The cost of the seminar is very inexpensive for what you will gain. The cost is$ 99.00 US. If money is tight we offer flexible payment plans that are interest free that will allow you to learn this information stress free. If you are interested please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a date and general time that will work for you and I will get you set up on the day and time that will work best for you.
John Paul DeMann