The Art of Persuasion – in a Second

The first rule of changing minds is to keep your message short, sharp, and simple. People tend to respond less well to long convoluted arguments, according to Kevin Dutton, Ph.D., author of Split-Second Persuasion: The Ancient Art & New Science of Changing Minds. Dutton goes into detail in his book, and uses the acronym SPICE to explain the keys of the persuasive message. Here they are:

Simplicity: Keep your message short, sharp, and simple to convince people of its truth.

Perceived Self-Interest: Con men agree it’s the key to getting us to do something we didn’t think we wanted to. Focus on the benefits of the other person, rather than emphasizing your own wants and wishes and emotional history. For example, not- I’ll be sad if you don’t, instead – You’ll be happy if you do.

Incongruity: Surprise people — tell them your product is 400 cents rather than four dollars and they’re far more likely to buy it.

Confidence: The more confident you are, the more we believe you’re right, even when we know your facts are wrong. Have you seen a sales person look at you and outright deny the product is missing a feature when it’s clearly missing?  It’s hard to argue with confidence.

Empathy:  Look people in the eye, nod when they nod, tell them you’re from the same small town they are.  Empathy is about building trust, as we trust people like ourselves.

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