You and your team are always influencing your customers, whether you mean to or not. So why not influence them with intention and purpose, to create a better experience for your customers and bring more revenue to your business?
Last month, I covered three of the six principles from Robert Cialdini’s Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, and explained how they can help you increase your sales. The last three principles are covered in this article. Note: All the examples given are for a restaurant.
Principle 4: Consensus
Whilst deciding what to do in an unfamiliar situation, people often look to see what others in the same situation have done. You can leverage this by providing information on trends and similar mass movements of others and by showing evidence of others’ successes.
Testimonials about your product or service do exactly this and serve as proof from third parties about the benefits of the product. When you say what you sell is great, your customers will see this as you bragging, but when they hear what someone else has said, that is taken as proof.
- ‘Everyone loves our seafood platter- It’s our most popular dish.’
- ‘Lots of kids order this pasta and the plates always come back clean!’
- ‘This is the light beer that all the personal trainers from the local gym drink.’
Principle 5: Commitment & Consistency
When a person’s behavior is relatively consistent, we know what to expect from them. We tend to like people who act consistently because it means there will be no surprises, and one of the strongest human needs is a sense of control.
By having your customers make a small commitment you are more likely to be able to influence them to add to this commitment. They’re need to stay consistent to their word comes into play here.
- ‘That family always has New Year’s dinner here- and when they leave they always book for the following year.’
- ‘ We will call you in the afternoon to confirm your Saturday night booking- may I have your mobile phone number?’
- ‘One fillet steak- you have it medium rare, don’t you?’
- ‘I always get my coffee from XXX Cafe- they start making it for me as soon as they see me walking past the window, so I don’t even have to wait.’
Principle 6: Liking
We tend to like (and be influenced by) people similar to ourselves. That is because they mirror and reinforce who we are, what we believe in, and what we value. If you find similarities and opportunities for cooperation with your clients, you will not only achieve your goals, but also those of your customer.
- At a minimum, this means making sure that all your staff are likable and ‘nice’ -teach them to welcome people at the door, to say goodbye when customers leave and to ask them to come back soon.
- ‘The chef heard you really liked our special dessert last month, so she made some more when she heard you had booked for tonight, in case you’d like it again.’
- ‘It’s really nice to see you here again- would you like to sit at the same table? ‘
Name tags help build familiarity and liking for your staff
Is this all just manipulation? Cialdini suggests that we are always influencing people whether we want to or not; he says, ‘you cannot NOT influence others’. So why not do it effectively rather than by accident or random? You be the judge…
TIP: Share this and last month’s article with your team. Discuss times when the possibility of influence was overlooked and ask them to come up with their own examples of how you could use the six principles of influence in your business.
Brad Sugars founded the brand Action International in 1993 when he realized there was a disconnect between business advice and implementation. The answer was Action! Brad Sugars created a business coaching company so that business owners throughout the world can realize their goals in business. Today the company is known as ActionCOACH. To learn more about business, visit Brad Sugars Review blog!