How Do People Make Decisions?

It’s easy to say that we want other people to agree with everything that we want them to do, but in the final analysis, this single task would be extremely difficult to accomplish if we had no idea how people actually make decisions.

Few teachers of influence will actually bother themselves to discuss decision making patterns with other people for the simple reason that it forms the center of every influencer’s arsenal. Who would want to give away the sharpest knives in the drawer?

I would – because I want you to learn as many useful things so you can start practicing persuasion and influence as soon as possible. In today’s discussion we are going to delve into the various decision-making patterns that people use (one time or another).

Note that although people want to appear rational and logical all the time when they make decisions, this doesn’t happen all the time. Sometimes, decisions are driven by emotions; sometimes they are driven by so many other factors. Knowledge of these special decision triggers can help you create more compelling arguments and can also help you strategize better in the future.

Decision-making patterns & triggers

The “foot in the door” technique still works. When someone makes a small request, people are liable to say yes. The trick is to identify that small request that will get the other person to agree. When you get that first non-committal yes, you can follow up with another request, and so on. The secret is getting into the zone where you are making requests and the subject feels compelled to comply with your requests. Using questions can also be helpful here since people are also compelled to answer inconsequential questions.

Loyalty to a product or system forms when a person actually has the product. People tend to perceive what they have as better than what other people have. So if you want someone to buy something expensive from you, first give them something valuable that comes at no cost. When loyalty is established, it would be much easier to sell something to that person.

Frame your offer as if they already have what you are offering and they are already enjoying all of the benefits of having what you are offering. This works especially well when you are selling a service. For example, if you do people’s taxes for them you can tell a potential client that he might be going on a short vacation instead of doing his taxes and endless paperwork for his business. The subject has to be able to imagine that he already has what you are offering. He has to feel that he owns what you are offering.

When a person is refusing your offer, do not act overly aggressive. Instead, conjure a clear mental picture (with a little tension) and project that image to your subject. The image should be able to convey what would happen to the subject if he does not take up your offer. Remember – only moderate tension is required. Do not overdo it! Do not try to scare your subject witless because it might backfire on you.

People are able to make decision faster if you line up the information in such a way that every step leads to another logical step. You have to condition the subject to think in a certain way so that when you are ready to reveal your offer or what you want him to do, he will readily agree with what you want. If you do not condition the subject, he might refuse because there has been no prior conditioning to begin with.

Frame offers in such a way that the subject will think that he is getting great value. For example, saying “this product is $20” would have a different impact from a statement like “this product used to be $90 but now it’s being offered for a limited time for just $20”. Do you see the difference? Wording is everything so before you make an offer make sure that your offer has been worded the best way possible so that the subject would find your offer irresistible.

Appeal to a person’s sense of logical decision making; this will trigger positive emotions and the subject will think that you are an extremely sensible person for thinking that he has good decision making skills. Phrase your offer in such a way that when he does agree to your offer, he automatically becomes a “good decision maker”.

After making an offer, be sure to offer something of value to buffer the “pain reaction” to a decision. For example, people tend to feel buyer’s remorse because they feel that they should not have spent that much money on what you were offering. To avoid this, make sure that you offer something that will reduce the pain reaction. The pain reaction often blurs out everything else at the point where a person is ready to make a decision about something.

Use emotional triggers often – because people tend to make decision faster if they feel that they are making the right choice. After making the choice that has been based on emotion, they will later rationalize what they have done. Don’t worry – emotional decisions are often permanent and they make people happy. We are not only social creatures – we are largely emotional beings, too!

People are impulsive whether they agree to that or not. A person can try to control his impulsive nature but if you know how to use the right emotional triggers, the conscious control over man’s impulsive nature can be bypassed.

Influential statements are not examined by people. Feel free to use different hypnotic language patterns because very few people actually go out of their way to analyze each and every sentence they hear.

Eliminate the risk in every negotiation and interaction because people simply hate risk.

People often go for something that is 100% sure than what is only speculated.

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3 Comments

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