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Saturday, February 28, 2009

How to Be Persuasive

This is the 1st in a series of 6 posts from Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive.

As a big fan of Dr. Bob Cialdini, I have used his classic book Influence in my courses for many years. Now, he has collaborated with colleagues Noah Goldstein, Ph.D. and Steve Martin (the Ph.D. not the comedian!). The new book, Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive is an excellent read for any student of the discipline and anyone who wants to improve business. Here are just a few examples:

: In one experiment a social scientist Randy Garner tested the effect of yellow 3M Post-it Notes. He sent out a survey and cover letter three different ways: one set of surveys contained a yellow sticky Post-it on top of the cover letter with a handwritten note requesting completion on the sticky note; one set of surveys had a handwritten request only on the cover letter; the final set of surveys contained only the cover letter and survey, with no personalized note of any sort. The results: 75% survey completion rate for the first group (with the handwritten Post-It note); 48% return rate for the second group (with the handwritten note on the cover letter itself); and 36% with only the cover letter. I just bought more sticky notes!

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