The Science Behind Persuading People

“One of the most crucial skills to improving your career in the new year may be the ability to persuade people to see things your way,” writes Parminder Bahra in the WSJ.

favorable outcomes almost double when we identify common ground with the other party in a negotiation. Find similarities between you and your customer—such as the car you drive or the age of your kids—and express them before you start negotiating with them over a contract or a price, he advises.

“Influence isn't an art,” says Mr. Martin, “there's over 60 years of research and evidence that shows how we can effectively move people. My advice would be to learn the science.”

An example of the power of consensus messaging is the use of information cards in hotel rooms. The number of customers who reused their towels increased by 26% when information cards in hotel rooms read “75% of customers who stay in this hotel reuse their towels,”

If you'd like to learn more about the science of persuasion, the best books are Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion and Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive.