Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive is the kind of book that makes you want to go out and conquer the world, or at least talk it into doing what you want it to do. I think calling it 50 ways to be persuasive is a bit of a stretch. Many of the techniques are just variations of previously mentioned techniques. But 10 Proven ways and 40 Spins on those Ways is not nearly as sexy a title.
These are simple things like asking someone to do something-the success all depends on How you ask them. The first bit of business in the book is about recycling your towels in a motel. Some motels ask their guests to please re-use their towels-they then cited all the ecological and environmental reasons it was a good idea to do so. Appealing to desire to Save The Planet didn’t work too well. So the Scientists writing the book tried using the Herd Instinct.
Instead of a little sign telling people how re-using their towels would help the planet, they told how many other people staying at the hotel had re-used their towels. Turns out if they tell the hotel patron that 70% of all guests re-use their towels at least once during their stay-then the person will re-use their towels as well. If they take it a step further and tell the Hotel Guest that more people in their Room re-use their towels, then even more Guests re-use their towels.
This is the same principal that applies when 4 out of 5 dentist recommend a certain brand of chewing gum or a waiter tells you that most people are ordering the Steak Special tonight. Why should we care what most other people are doing? Logically we shouldn’t. But Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive shows that we do.
You know, most people who read this blog like to leave a positive comment.
The Herd Instinct covers the first four or five Proven Ways to Be Persuasive. The rest of the book has things like asking for less and getting more, use your Jedi skills for good, and the dangers of being the smartest person in the room. The chapters in Yes! are super short and many of the 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive are kind of easy to read about, but not so easy to understand how to use. Many of them seem to be task specific, which is good if you happen to be a waiter and want to use one of the techniques, but I am not sure how it would translate to say, blog readers or football fans.
Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive is a fun little book and more than once while reading it I had flashes of ideas that could be used in blogging or online marketing of one sort or another. I have these sudden visions of being the Pied Piper of the Blogsphere and getting those million links we all dream about. I may try a few of these ideas and see what, if anything, comes of them. Hey, it couldn’t hurt.
I found myself staring off into space pondering what I had read more than once. These techniques remind me of Propaganda and Subliminal Messages-the idea that we can be so easily manipulated is a frightening one. Of course, I sense only good in you, so go ahead and read Yes! Most of the reviews on Amazon gave it 5 Stars. I do tend to think most of us have grown up with The Hard Sale and are not as easy to influence as we once were. I think these are ways to get people to do things they might already be inclined to do anyway. For better or for worse.