6 Secrets from Social Psychology That Make Your Clients Say “YES”

Picture this: a technique to seduce people which makes them do the things that you want them to do. In his best selling book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials), persuasion-professor Robert Cialdini presents 6 scientific based seduction techniques from social psychology. The book gave me ideas a financial planner can use to make their clients say ‘YES’ to the service financial planners are offering.

 

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If you’re still reading this you are seduced by four of Cialdini’s techniques to keep reading. I used them in my intro….

Cialdini calls his techniques the weapons of inluence: psychological “buttons” you can push for an authomatic response.

The 6 Secrets of Cialdini are:

  1. Reciprocity
  2. Consistency
  3. Social Proof
  4. Liking
  5. Authority
  6. Scarcity

1. Reciprocity

It’s the principle that suggests that people give back to you the kind of treatment that they’ve received from you. If you do something first, by giving them an item of value, a piece of information, or a positive attitude, it will all come back to you. The key is to go first.

If you smile at your client, you get a smile back. If you don’t, you don’t get a smile back. That’s essentially the rule. Whatever it is that you would like to get from a situation, you can increase the likelihood that it will be forthcoming if you provide it first. That’s why I prefer not to charge the first meeting. You can give as much as you want. Your client will pay you back later.

2. Consistency

People will feel a desire to comply with a request if they see that it’s consistent with what they’ve publicly committed themselves to in your presence. The implication there is to ask people to state their priorities, their commitments, the features of the situation that they think are most important, and then align your requests or proposals with those things. The rule for consistency will cause them to want to say yes to what they’ve already told you that they will do or what they do value.

There’s a great way financial planners can use consistency in every sales conversation. It’s proven that it will increase the chance people will say yes. At the end of the first meeting with clients most financial planners use something like this: “Thank you for coming to my office. If you want me to help you with your financial plan, please call me.”

If you change to saying instead of “Please call if you me to help you with your financial plan” if you say “Do you think it’s realistic that when you like the financial plan, I’ll help you execute it?”  and wait for clients to say yes – as they all will do because everyone will find this realistic – then your clients will be more eager to do business with you because people are going to be consistent with what they had said publicly they would do.

3. Social Proof

People will be likely to say yes to your request if you give them evidence that people just like them have been saying yes to it, too. For example, if you have  multiple kind of services like financial planning, estate planning and retirement planning and you make clear on your website and in other media that “Financial Planning is your most popular service” this will become more popular. What’s great about this is, not only a very small change can produce a big effect, it’s entirely costless and entirely ethical. It’s only the case that “Financial Planning” is identified as a popular service. That’s enough to cause people to want to go along with what they see as the wisdom of the crowd.

4. Liking

No surprise that people prefer to say yes to a request to the degree that they know and like the requester. A simple way to make things happen in your direction is to uncover genuine similarities or parallels that exist between you and your client, and then raise them to the surface. That increases rapport.

Similarly, uncovering genuinely admirable or commendable features of a person, and complimenting the person on those things will lead to liking. Simple things that we can easily get access to. Instead of burying them and keeping them under wraps, we mention those similarities, we mention those compliments that are genuine to provide. That establishes a rapport that leads to a yes.

5. Authority

Authority refers to the tendency of people to be persuaded in your direction when they see you as having knowledge and credibility on the topic. What’s interesting is how many financial planners fail to properly inform their audience of their genuine credentials before launching into an influence attempt. It’s a big mistake.

Cialdini says that a crucial point with regard to authority is not talking about being in authority and using that lever to move people in your direction. There are all kinds of problems associated with that, including resentment and resistance. Cialdini is talking about being an authority. Someone who is perceived as a credible source of information that people can use to make good choices. A great way a financial planner can be seen as an authority is to start a blog. Or even better: write a book.

6. Scarcity

People will try to seize those opportunities that you offer them that are rare or scarce, dwindling in availability. That’s an important reminder that you need to differentiate what you have to offer that is different from your rivals or competitors. That way you can tell people honestly, “You can only get this service, or this advice, or this combination of advantages by moving in the direction that I’m recommending.”

Scarcity is the typical human phenomenom that we desire things that:

  • are rare 
  • are out of reach
  • are forbidden

Cialdini learns us that it’s easier to seduce your clients by emphasizing what they can lose (“what if you lose the feeling of always having peace of mind”) than by telling them what they can retain or achieve (“what if you can achieve your life goals”).

If you want to know The One Thing You Really Shouldn’t Do When Trying to Influence Your Clients, all you have to do is to answer this question:

What is your biggest problem to make your clients say “YES”?

Please, leave your answer here below in the comment field. You’ll receive (within 24 hours) a personal email from me with The One Thing You Really Shouldn’t Do When Trying to Influence Your Clients.

To your succes,

Ronald Sier

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Marc

At times, I tend to forget to simply ask if the client wants to implement my advice. This stems from situations where a lot of detailed technical discussions preceded the crucial juncture where I should have asked outright to implement the plan.

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Admiring the hard work you put into your blog and in depth information
you offer. It\’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn\’t the same unwanted rehashed material.

Great read! I\’ve saved your site and I\’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

Mike Leffler

Ron,
For 2., Consistency above, would you explain what you mean when you say to a prospect, “Do you think it’s realistic that when you like the financial plan, I’ll help you execute it?”
Thank you.

    Ronald Sier

    Mike, the secret about consistency is (as mentioned above) is that people are going to be consistent with what they had said publicly they would do. Maybe an example makes it more clear.
    There’s a great study Cialdini mentions about a restaurant owner in Chicago who was able to reduce the number of no-shows at his restaurant by just having his receptionist change two words that she used when she took a booking. Previously she said, “Thank you for calling Gordon’s Restaurant. If you have to change or cancel your reservation, please call.” That was the standard approach and it was producing about 30 percent no-shows.
    If she changed to saying instead of “Please call if you have to change or cancel your reservation,” if she said, “Will you please call if you have to change or cancel your reservation?” and waited for people to say yes, as they all did, then no-shows dropped to 10 percent because people were going to be consistent with what they had said publicly they would do.

    Now, what I\’ve experienced in my own financial planning practice is that everyone (yes, everyone) finds it realistic that when my client likes my financial plan, then he would give me permission to execute it. Or in other words: to become my client. My client is actually saying: \”Yes, your offer is realistic to me because when I like it, I\’m going to be your client\”.
    Because I know that people are eager to stay committed to the things they have publicly said they would do, it\’s increasing my odds that my prospect will turn into a client.

    Hope it\’s clear now Mike.

      Mike Leffler

      Thank you for the reply, Ron. That helps a lot. I think in my case I wouldn\’t assume that they\’re going to like my plan. I think I would say, \”If you like my plan, will you work with me?\”

Mike Leffler

Our biggest problem is that a discovery meeting goes seemingly very we\’ll, but the prospect is very slow in following up (or doesn\’t at all).

Sean

My biggest problem is that I don\’t ask directly for a yes or no type answer at the right time. I tend to let them guide the answers as opposed to leading.

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