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The 10 most effective persuasion techniques

The 10 most effective persuasion techniques

May 7, 2021

Persuasion is the ability of human beings to convince other people to do something they did not plan to do.

I recommend you read this article to enter the subject: "Persuasion: definition and elements of the art of convincing"

How to convince someone? The best persuasion techniques

When persuading tooThe techniques used for this are very important .

These persuasion techniques can be grouped in many different ways, but especially those identified according to the six principles of Cialdini's influence:

  • Principle of coherence . We need to be consistent in our motives and in the speeches that accompany our actions.
  • Principle of reciprocity . It is referred to the need to return to others the favors they give us.
  • Principle of scarcity . Something is more attractive if you have limited availability.
  • Principle of social approval . We seek the support of the majority, so having something with which most agree will be a better option.
  • Principle of authority . As we have seen, someone expert in a subject can make us believe something about it more easily.
  • Principle of sympathy . Someone who is nice to us will be more likely to persuade us.
You can read more about the 6 laws of the social influence of Robert Cialdini in this article

The main persuasion techniques

Next we will see some persuasion techniques, the most studied and effective.


Let's start with the persuasion techniques based on reciprocity, the techniques based on commitment or coherence and we will finish with the techniques based on scarcity. Then we will review elements and techniques used that have to do with the principles of authority, sympathy and social approval, although these are usually integrated into the other types of techniques.

1. Techniques based on reciprocity

The techniques based on reciprocity are those in which the interaction between source and receiver cause in the latter the idea that a concession is being made , which makes it more likely to return the favor.

These techniques are used, of course, by commercial, but sometimes also by political organizations in negotiations or even in the advertising strategies of municipalities and governments that urge the population to take care of public resources and equipment, although if they are used badly they can also have a more sinister role in the maintenance of clientelist networks and corruption schemes.


Within these techniques include:

  • Technique of the door / the slam in the face

This technique is based on the fact that the source makes an initial offer that is very exaggerated and expensive for the receiver who knows that he is going to refuse. Once the receiver rejects it, the source will progressively lower the cost level, to finally reach the point that was the objective from the first moment. A) Yes, the receiver considers that he has been made a big reduction, which facilitates that he ends up accessing the offer .

A clear and easy to understand example that employs this technique is the bargaining of traders in different markets around the world.

  • Technique "this is not all"

It is based on offering, in addition to the initial offer, a small extra gift . The gift is seen as a concession, so that again it is easier for the receiver to feel favored and to accept the offer. We can find an example in the television promotions of some products, in which they often give a small gift (the sheath of the knife we ​​have bought, a second pair of glasses, etc.).


  • Slap technique on the shoulder

This technique is based on establishing an informal and partly emotional link between source and receiver , making the receiver feel the need to correspond to the relationship he has with the source. This technique can be exemplified by the procedure carried out by banks with their clients.

2. Techniques based on commitment

The techniques based on commitment and coherence are based on the receiver's desire to be coherent with their previous attitudes and actions.

They are also the ones that pose the most moral dilemmas in their most extreme versions, since some of them break with the idea that the sender and receiver must start from the same conditions as the first one who knows all the necessary information and plays with advantage. That is why, too, that knowing how to recognize these techniques will help us not to get caught up in them.

The main and most used are the following:

  • Amago technique or "low-ball"

In this technique the receiver accepts an offer from the source, but once accepted the source puts emphasis on information that makes the deal somewhat less attractive . Of course, this information can not go against the data provided at the beginning by the issuer, but they are usually part of "the fine print" of what has been negotiated. The receiver can always reject it, but the desire to be consistent can cause him to decide to accept the offer equally.

  • Technique of the foot in the door

This technique is based on making a small initial offer, easily accepted by the recipient . Once accepted, you can proceed to make increasingly larger offers. A valid simile could be given in the game, where you start by making small bets and then increase the amount of money wagered.

  • Bait technique and switch

It is based on the fact that when the recipient accesses the offer, the product in question that attracted him has been exhausted , although other similar options are offered.

3. Techniques based on scarcity

With regard to the techniques based on scarcity, they intend to increase the value of what is offered to the receiver as long as he accepts it. Two techniques stand out:

  • Technique to "play hard to get something"

In this technique it is implied that the product is scarce and difficult to obtain in order that the receiver is motivated to acquire it. It is very visible in electronic or food products (smartphones, caviar ...).

  • Deadline technique

In this technique it is indicated that the offer is only temporary , with what is invited to acquire it quickly before it is over. A variant uses the number of units instead of time. The clearest example is the television promotions of some products, which together with the strategy of "this is not all" usually indicate the temporary availability of the offer.

4. Techniques based on social approval

The techniques based on social approval aim to use the need of the recipients to feel part of the group and society, using as an argument that a large proportion of the population accepts or accepts the offer that is offered.

In this case, the use of statistics or inclusion techniques in the group stands out.

This resource is frequently used in order to show the popularity of the offer, showing that if accepted, it will be included in the group. It is usually used in conjunction with the elements and techniques based on authority.

It can be seen in many advertisements, in which they show the statistics of satisfied customers or with comments of the type "9 out of 10 recommend it", "we are many partners of ...", "Join us".

5. Techniques based on authority

The techniques based on authority they act under the consideration that an expert in a subject will have a better criterion on this one than others , including the receiver. Regarding this fact, the use of expert testimonies stands out. In this technique, the expertise of one or several individuals is used in order to show the receiver that the offer applied is more valuable, efficient or profitable than others.

A clear example is the use of professionals in a sector to sell a specific product, such as the use of dentists to promote toothpaste or sports professionals to promote sportswear.

6. Techniques based on sympathy

With regard to techniques based on sympathy, they are based on creating a sense of similarity and closeness between the source of persuasion and the receiver . These stand out:

  • Use of elements that foster the feeling of familiarity

Although it is not a technique in itself, it is common to use the environment, the way of dressing and even the behavior and to be able to express oneself in such a way that the receiver feels comfortable enough to accept the offer. One example is found in a large number of brands and stores, which make their employees wear clothes and behave informally.

  • Attractive physicist

The use of the physical and personal appeal of the source facilitates that the recipient is attracted to what comes from him / her, with which he / she frequently accepts the offer. It is frequently seen in fashion advertisements and accessories, although it is customary to apply to a large majority of advertising elements.

  • Use of celebrities

The public recognition of a famous and influential person is used in order to modify the perception of the recipient (s) on a specific offer. They are very frequent in the world of marketing and are used continuously in advertising.

Some conclusions and reflections

All these characteristics and techniques are important and frequent elements in the attempts of persuasion that we find in our daily life, not only in the strategies used by organizations and large companies. Keep in mind that most people try to persuade others to change attitudes, values ​​or acts .

However, it has been valued that persuading does not necessarily imply manipulation, since in a large percentage of the cases we are aware that we are trying to modify our point of view with a clear purpose.

Bibliographic references:

  • Cialdini, R.B., Cacioppo, J.T., Bassett, R., & Miller, J. A. (1978). Low-ball procedure for producing compliance: commitment then cost. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36 (5), 463.
  • Cialdini, R.B., Vincent, J.E., Lewis, S.K., Catalan, J., Wheeler, D., & Darby, B.L. (1975). Reciprocal concessions procedure for inducing compliance: The door-in-the-face technique. Journal of personality and Social Psychology, 31 (2), 206.
  • McGuire, W.J. (1969). An information-processing model of advertising effectiveness. In H.L. Davis & A.J. Silk (Eds.), Behavioral and Management Sciences in Marketing. New York: Ronald.
  • Rogers, R.W. (1985). Attitude change and information integration in fear appeals. Psychological Reports, 56, 179-182.

Persuasion Techniques - 3 INSANELY Effective Tricks (May 2021).


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