Persuasion is a mind game. First, you must work on your state of mind and then your target’s.
Your target’s mindset and decisions are dictated by their belief systems, which can be altered by their emotions. But in order for you to determine how to stimulate that emotion, you must first know about the belief systems of people.
Most people’s belief systems are developed at a very early age as a result of experiences that they’ve had in life or through messages that they received from people of importance, such as parents, or those who raised them from a very early age. Now, this is common knowledge, as most people know that beliefs are formed based on prior experience. However, what most people don’t know is that human beings generally have a very distorted recollection of their previous experiences. In other words, people often remember things much differently than the way they actually happened. This means that even though they are formulating beliefs based on what they believe to be true, oftentimes whatever they are remembering didn’t actually happen that way.
When consumers go into a store to purchase something, they would like to believe that they spend as much time as possible analyzing and scrutinizing the product at hand to make the best decision. However, in reality, that decision to buy or not buy takes place in just 5 seconds. In other words, there is a process, and there is no time for decision. In fact, the conscious or logical aspect of the mind is not even at work. The truth is that they unconsciously made their decision to purchase the product before they even left the house.
Now there is one factor that drives this unconscious process, and it’s known as trust. A large amount of trust is enough to make people do anything. People have extreme medical conditions and require surgery, but only allow a professional surgeon to operate on them. Why? It’s because of trust. In fact, when most people go to the doctor and receive a diagnosis they accept the diagnosis, because it came from a “Dr. someone” whose opinion they trust. So the first key in the persuasion process is to build trust. Once you’ve done that, it will then spin off into loyalty.
Loyalty essentially is something that’s very embedded in people, and it involves a lot of behaviors that become habitual once someone has formed the habit. It can be typically can be difficult to break them from it. So this can work in your favor or against you. If you are trying to convince someone to do something that is the opposite of something else that they are already emotionally invested in, trust or are loyal to, your job is going to be harder. But once you’ll gain their trust and start building loyalty toward you, it will be harder for anyone else to persuade them to move in opposite direction.
I consider myself a pretty trustworthy person, but just because I know that I’m trustworthy, doesn’t mean that other people will think the same. In fact, I don’t expect them to. It would be nice if people trusted me on face value, but the fact of the matter is if they don’t know me, I have to bring something to the table, and that something is usually an answer, a remedy or a solution to a problem that they have. All I simply need to do is show them how I can help them and get them to take a chance on working with me.
One way to establish trust right away is by creating a reputation for yourself at being very good at what you do. In other words, let your results speak for themselves. Once people can see what you’re capable of, they will exhibit sme level of trust for you; even if it’s small.