Monday, September 23, 2013

it was going to be pie in the sky

There's a old adage that goes something like 'good scientists are as happy to be proven wrong as right. What makes them happy is the proof itself'.

The same can be said for planning.

Contrary to the beliefs of some of my colleagues (ha) I'm just as happy when the application of certain principles may not work the way we intended. Whichever way it goes we've learned something.

One persuasion principle that works more often than not in advertising is the 'liking' principle.

People are generally more open to suggestion when the message comes from someone, or some brand they like, or indeed if the message is presented in a way that is likable.

We are more likely to say yes to someone who pay us compliments, or whom we feel like will co-operate with us.

One way of leveraging the principle of liking is to share something in common before we start negotiating.

Because we generally tend to like people who are similar to us.

This principle has a high strike rate but doesn't always work.

I enjoyed this example from Laurie Taylor's 'Thinking Allowed' Radio 4 sociology program.

A Labour politician had developed a winning formula when canvassing in a downtrodden area of London where many of his constituents lived in tower blocks.

The candidate would ring all the bells on a particular floor in order to get 4 or 5 voters on the landing at once, therefore giving himself more of an audience for his pitch.

This saved time and also he understood that his constituents had more propensity to be influenced by each other than in one on one situations so there was a fair chance that he could take advantage of another principle (social influence/herding). So far so good.

Our politician's opening gambit would include sharing something in common with his targets.

He would use the 'liking' principle, usually along the lines of explaining that they could trust him because he came from the same area as them.

Until one day when he rang four bells but only one old woman answered her door.

Deprived of a group audience our politician still pitched with his 'You can trust me, I'm from this area, too' opener.

To which the old woman replied from behind the slightly ajar door, with security chain still in place...

'I wouldn't trust anybody who comes from round here'.

blog comments powered by Disqus