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Strategies of Influence
There are fundamental theories for motivating people towards making positive decisions sooner than later. While I do not promote creating artificial circumstance solely for the purpose of influencing a purchase decision it is worthy to understand hidden motivators because when these conditions are true and sincere they are highly effective ways to influence sales.
Personal Rapport! Building relationships is the foundation of selling anything. We should endeavour to build personal business relationships wherever possible because the more people understand you, your knowledge and attitudes and grow to like you or your company or its products the more likely it is that they will rely on you in complete trust as the source of needed products and services. The stronger the personal rapport you may build the stronger your influence is in making buying decisions.
Personal Authority! When prospects perceive you as an authority or expert of credible knowledge on a subject your opinion carries great weight of influence in decision making. Such authority may be implied by authoring a book or magazine articles or leading training seminars on certain subjects to gain notability and public awareness of your expertise. This is also the effect of reliance on the observation of opinions and decisions of those in certain social or business circles that are perceived as "in the know" or the corporate use of "paid celebrity endorsements" riding on someone's personal authority regarding related products and services.
General Consensus! A reverse reflection of the effect of personal authority is seen in the effect of mass approval for business products or services. Like sheep blindly following the flock, people often skip the effort of personal evaluation to follow the choice of the crowd. If statistics show vast numbers of consumers are buying a product it is likely you will be influenced positively into a desire to get into the "in crowd" and purchase it too. This is the influential effect sought by a prominent restaurateur declaring "over three billion served" on their outdoor signage. Therefore, it is possible that if you have enough money to get enough repeated advertising campaign exposure in a selected or regional marketplace that you can imply you or your product is in the hot zone of mass collective approval or desirability you can achieve this motivator without actually being the market leader.
Personal Commitment! Most humans unconsciously hold certain value in their word so once given it is irrevocable without good reason or changing circumstances. If you can get someone to commit to an order or agreement of some sort it is highly likely that they will go through with it to fulfillment. This particularly true if we sign a pledge to this agreement or publically declare our intentions on a certain subject. It is almost certainly a done deal even if the signed pledge document is of no real legal value. This pledge of commitment may be considered a personal endorsement to sway other prospects.
Reciprocation! When we receive something from someone, all but the most socially inept feel an obligation to give something back. This isn't limited to gifts and tangible goods; it also includes support, information, and treatment behaviour. If someone supports you, shares knowledge, or treats you with kindness, you are likely to reciprocate the treatment behaviour or support in a gift of equal measure. This is a powerful effect of providing free or value added services to your marketing strategy.
Loss and Scarcity! When consumers perceive an imminent loss of opportunity to obtain a popular item, as when something is in short supply, they become powerfully motivated to possess it. This indicates the reason for product presentations that post "limited time" or "limited quantity" offers. This technique is a powerful call to and motivator of action when there is little or no reason for such limits of either time or quantity.
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