I am reading the book ‘Influence’ by Robert Cialdini. In the first chapter itself he has knocked my socks off. Quoting a small passage from the first chapter. Read till the end:
“A well-known principle of human behaviour says that when we ask someone to do us a favour, we will be more successful if we provide a reason. People simply like to have reasons for what they do. Langer demonstrated this unsurprising fact by asking a small favour of people waiting in line to use a library’s copying machine: “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine, because I’m in a rush?” The effectiveness of this request-plus-reason was nearly total: 94 percent of people let her skip ahead of them in line.
Compare this success rate to the results when she made the request only: “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?” Under those circumstances, only 60 percent complied. At first glance, it appears the crucial difference between the two request was the additional information provided by the words because I am in a rush.
However, a third type of request showed this was not the case. It seems it was not the whole series of words but the first one, because, that made the difference. Instead of including a real reason for compliance, Langer’s third type of request used the word because and then, adding nothing new, merely restated the obvious: “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?” The result was again nearly all (93 percent agreed), even though no real reason, no new information was added to justify their compliance.”
Amazing isn’t it? So, will this new information change the way you make requests? Can it have any impact on your brand’s communication? Do leave a comment.