How do you get people to do what you want them to?
It’s the hardest thing. Sign this form, book your next review meeting, read my latest post.
Perhaps they’ve got better things to do…
No seriously, let’s look at the reasons: people are too busy, they think it’ll take too much time, they assume there’s nothing in it for them.
Or they think it won’t make much difference.
Researchers carried out a test to find out whether people who were asked to donate to charity assumed that even if they could afford a small amount, it wouldn’t do much to help the cause.
Based on this reasoning, they thought that one way to urge people to donate in such a situation would be to tell them that even an extremely small sum would be helpful, essentially legitimising small contributions.
To test this hypothesis, they went door to door to request donations for the American Cancer Society. After introducing themselves, they asked the residents "Would you be willing to help by giving a donation?" For half the residents the request ended there.
For the other half however, the research assistant added "Even a penny will help".
The people in this camp were almost twice as likely as those in the other half to donate to the cause – 50% vs 28%.
This suggests that simply pointing out that even a small amount of effort on their part would be acceptable and worthwhile to you is likely to be effective.
There are several ways you can adapt this – 'A brief initial phone call is all we need to get started’; ‘It’ll take 30 seconds to sign and once it’s done it’s done’.
Adding how it will personally help them (and therefore you) is likely to help too.
‘In this short post you’ll find the key to persuasion’.
Now go and make me a cup of tea.
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Why do we say ‘I will facilitate’ when what we really mean is ‘I’ll help’? Alan Gow from Argonaut Paraplanning says the Romans are to blame, in this week’s Money Marketing.