Six Ways to Get People to Say Yes

“In Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert B. Cialdini, a respected social scientist and specialist in the area of compliance psychology, says that “… automatic, stereotyped behavior is prevalent in much of human action …”

He cites an experiment by Harvard social psychologist Ellen Langer, where you can see this concept in action. Langer approached people waiting in line to use a copy machine and asked, “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?” About 60% said “yes.”

Under similar circumstances, she did the same thing, but instead asked, “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?” In this case, an overwhelming 93% said “yes.”

What happened to increase the “yes” response so dramatically?”

From Copyblogger. This is an excellent discussion of what triggers people to respond, whether it is a personal request or a web page call to action.

By the way, the answer to the question “What happened to increase the ‘yes’ response” is that she provided a reason, she used the word because. It turns out the word because is a trigger word that, more often than not, causes people to help you.

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