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Persuasive Techniques and Persuasion Secrets

We live in an age of deception, advertising and propaganda. Whether it comes from the government, business, the media or even our friends and family we are on the receiving end of thousands of persuasive messages every single day. Not only are various persuasive techniques being directed on us, we also engage in persuasive activities as we strive to influence others and to better our lives.

Here are seven commonly used persuasive techniques used by advertising, politicians, and business to influence us –

The “Bandwagon” – You’ll recognize this one from High School. The “Bandwagon” is where you are encouraged to believe something or to do something simply because everyone else is doing it. Humans are herd animals and we all can fall for this one.

Examples - “Hell, everyone else is doing it, why don’t you join in?”

“Everyone is getting stoned at the party tonight. You should too.”

“All the other girls are having sex, why are you the only hold out?”

The “Anti-Bandwagon” – The opposite of the above approach. Identifies a belief or product with being a rebel and going against the crowd. You’re an individual so prove it by thinking this way or buying this product.

The “Testimonial” – This is when someone else you either know, respect or feel is similar to you endorses a product. A good example would be when Michael Jordan endorsed Hanes underwear or Tiger Woods recommended you buy a Buick. It doesn’t have to be someone famous, it can simply be someone you identify with.

“Everyday people” – This is similar to the testimonial in that it is used to identify a product or belief with the common person. Since most of us consider ourselves to be common we are drawn to people who appear to be honest and forthright.

“Snob appeal” – The opposite of the “Everyday People” approach. Appeals to our need to feel superior and identifies a certain product or belief with being able to achieve a certain level of snob appeal. This is the approach used to sell high-end automobiles and jewelry to people striving to move up the social ladder.

“Emotional Appeal” – This is where a certain emotion is elicited and attached to a product. You see this in the patriotic commercials that politician’s air during their campaigns and when people are shown to be happy and excited when using a product.

“Product comparisons” – This is a powerful persuasive technique that highlight s the strengths of one product or belief against another. It is effective because it gives the illusion of providing an accurate comparison while often providing the data in such a way that it skews the outcome.

Other techniques that are often used include repetition, catchy slogans and presenting information couched in generalities and with loaded phrases. I will go into more depth on these in a later article.

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