How To Get What You Want From People: 9 Persuasion Strategies

Today you’re going to learn how to get what you want from people only by using persuasion, influence and motivation.

This article emphasizes the importance of impression and communication towards having anybody to do what you want. Discreetly, pressure is applied on another person using emotional manipulation and influence. At the same time, the power of words is maximized to help you master the art of adaptability based on occasion, environment and the personality of the person.

How To Get What You Want From People:

1. Physical Attractiveness

You are in a conference.

A man looking dashing in sleek black suit and tie looks more respectable and trustworthy. It is a likely a sign of that man’s expertise, position and disposition.

On the other hand, another man with spiky hair wears plain white shirt paired with a pair of tattered jeans and funky sneakers. Upon seeing him enter the venue, attendees are more likely to have big question marks on their faces, wondering if he is up to something bad.

If the two men approach you to ask for a small conversation, which one would you trust first?

Attractiveness and charm work like magnets. People create their first impressions of a person by judging from appearance encompassing neatness, orderliness, taste, sense of fashion and physical attributes. First impression may not last, but it certainly works if you want to get somebody else’s attention and trust – two essential elements in getting somebody to do what you want.

Physical attractiveness is tantamount to charm and charisma, and is normally associated with wisdom, position and money – elements that indicate reputation and power. It commands attention, interest and initial trust.

Using it, you can persuade people who find you interesting to do what you want. They are very likely to follow your request to gain your interest back. It may sound shallow, but it is human nature to give trust to someone who stands out from the rest through charming looks.

To properly use the power of physical attractiveness in getting other people to do what you want, you have to dress and organize yourself appropriately according to the occasion and situation. Nevertheless, this does not mean you have to look formal and authoritative all the time. There will be times when occasion and culture demand you to adapt to the people so that you can reach a more personal level of connection with them. It also includes language and gestures.

Harmony and consistency imply that you are looking at the same direction as them, and that you have the same goal as theirs. People are willing to follow a person whom they think understands them.

Sustaining the impression is a different topic, of course.

2. Authority

Showing higher authority is the most effective way to get someone to do what you want. Depending on the approach used, respect or fear finds its way to force a person to act on your request.

There are two kinds of authority: authority by power and authority by expertise. You can use both, depending on your strength. However, the former is mostly linked to fear while the latter is linked to respect.

Authority by power uses influence brought by position, connection, social status, popularity, money and raw power in its literal sense. Many people have a natural predisposition to fawning to gain favor and connection. They have to give to benefit in return. By showing that you are above them in the areas mentioned, you can get anyone to do anything for you.

Authority by expertise, on the other hand, uses influence brought by knowledge and experience. By showing that you are well-versed in your field, people will not hesitate to follow your commands because they know that you know better. They put their trusts in a more accurate and efficient opinion leader, so they are willing to act on your command. For this to work, though, your expertise has to manifest in your words, gestures and actions.

A boss ordering his subordinates to finish a project to beat a very strict deadline is followed based on the rule of authority by power. There is fear involved – the fear of punishment and rejection.

On the other hand, a mentor who shares his principles and beliefs to his students as he gives advices is followed based on the rule of authority by expertise. There is respect involved coming from the knowledge he imparted to his students.

It is of utmost importance to project yourself as an authority if you want take control. Your goal should be to show authority on the first meeting.

By using the power of authority, you put the heaviest pressure on the other person. That gives you the upper hand.

3. Esteem

Mark Twain once said that he could live for two months on only a good compliment.

Praises push people to work harder by leaps and bounds because they are motivated through their raised self-esteem and self-worth. When they are appreciated by other people, their sense of self-appreciation is increased as well. Naturally, people who are valued and trusted more also feel obligated to live up to expectations and validate the compliments given to them.

Respect and acceptance are two vital needs of humans. If you are generous enough to give positive reinforcements, you can also expect that things will most likely go according to your vision.

When you are trying to get a person to do something for you, tell him that you are asking the favor because you trust him, and you think that he is the best person to take the responsibility. You must make that person believe that he is valued and needed, something that he will gladly respond to positively.

The level of esteem boosting is different for each person, though. You also have to understand if the person you are asking to do something for you has a high self-esteem, big ego or full of pride. There is a thin line between the three, so you have to be in the right spot to succeed. A self-esteem-boosting effort may not work for a proud person, while a pride-boosting effort may be interpreted as offensive by an egoistic person.

Self-esteem is the confidence and level of satisfaction in one’s ability and characteristic. It gives a person a sense of security of his own self, allowing him to accept mistakes and flaws without damaging his confidence.

A person with a healthy level of self-esteem can be easily persuaded simply by being appreciated and acknowledged. You can say “ Can you do this for me? I know you are really good at it, and I would love to get your help on this.”

Pride, on the other hand, is the direct opposite of self-esteem. A proud person does not feel comfortable and secured on his own abilities and characteristics. His own abilities and characteristics alone do not mean anything unless they are seen as better than others. He needs to feel that he is above other people, that he is unique and special. He does not have a set standard because he always relies on comparison with the people around him.

A proud person does not mind bringing down other people’s qualities and reputations. For him, the world revolves around him.

A simple compliment will not work on a highly proud person. Saying “I need your help because you are good at this” may not have enough motivation for him. Instead, say “I need your help because you are the only one who can do this perfectly.”

Lastly, ego is the recognition of individuality for a person to feel important. Everybody has ego, and everyone will have his ego bruised at some point when other people question his own ability. As a result, he will try to disprove claims by naysayers.

Boosting ego is practically the same as boosting self-esteem. The only difference is that the former specifically needs the feeling of being valued in addition to being acknowledged.

For instance, saying “You look really beautiful in your gown” can boost self-esteem. Saying “You look really beautiful in your gown; I wish I can have the privilege to walk this lovely lady to the ball” can boost ego because that person is made important for the specific occasion.

SEE ALSO: How To Have Good Conversation With Anyone: 10 Best Strategies

4. Dissonance

Dissonance is defined as the lack of agreement or inconsistency in beliefs of a person or between two persons. Naturally, when there is a disagreement, either party will try everything and do his best to prove that he is correct and the other is wrong. When used smartly according to your order, command or request, you will practically have nothing else to do but wait for that other person to initiate the action.

But how do you inject your command, order or request in this situation?

You want someone to do something for you, but you are not sure if that person will agree to your terms. Using a conversation, you pry open that person’s opinion about it to see if conflict exists.

If that person has two conflicting beliefs and either one is the same as yours, including the fulfillment of an action which is what you want to be done, all you have to do is fan that person’s opinion that is favorable to you to add extra weight. You have to validate that person’s opinion and suggest that it is the proper one. Due to that validation, he will likely choose the belief you share.

On the other hand, if that person does not have a conflicting belief, then, his decision is likely to be firm. Lucky you if it is in your favor.

For example, you want to ask your friend to watch Spider-Man in the theater, but you are not sure if he wants it too or not because Superman is simultaneously showing. Instead of asking him to see the movie with you, you inquire about his opinion first regarding the two movies. If there is a conflict, you can take advantage of that to sway his opinion in favor for Spider-Man. The next thing you know, he is walking with you to the theater.

What if he has a firm belief or decision which is not in accordance to your own? That is the time when the disagreement becomes between two persons.

In this case, all that is left to be done is to use the power of agreement to lay down your points, which hopefully, can change his opinion. Using the first three rules discussed – rule of physical attractiveness, rule of authority and rule of esteem – you should have the upper end of the rope.

But what if he has a firm belief or decision which is agreeing with your own but does not want to do what you want him to do? After all, similar opinions between two persons do not necessarily come with similar actions.

This is where you play the role of the devil’s advocate and take the opposing side for the sake of argument regardless if it is not your real belief or opinion to begin with. The law of reverse psychology will be placed in effect.

As mentioned, a person in a disagreement will do anything to prove that he is correct. That includes taking an action to achieve validation. However, you have to force him to prove his argument by opposing his belief as hard as you can.

For example, your friend also prefers Spider-Man over Superman, but the problem is that he is not interested to see the movie. You will then argue for Superman to force him to bring out his pride on the line, a pride that he will protect by proving that he is right – that Spider-Man is far better.

If he argues hard about Spider-Man being a better superhero than Superman, there is a possibility that he will invite you to see the movie just to prove his point. The argument will make him want to change your mind about Spider-man, although you are secretly in favor for the movie to begin with.

The end result – you get to see Spider-Man with your friend, exactly what you wanted.

5. Moral Obligation

It is everybody’s moral obligation to give back when they receive. This rule is one of the foundations of the subconscious mind, so every time you make a decision, your tendency is to decide according to the principle of reciprocity.

As a moral obligation, it is connected to pride and credibility that when unfulfilled brings shame and persecution from people who hold ethics really high. Many people will try everything with the best of their abilities to get rid of their feeling of indebtedness. There is a willingness to return the favor, usually subconsciously. That is what you should take advantage of.

When you give something for free, the receiver’s mindset tends to make decisions that will fulfill the indebtedness. Shopping centers give free items to their long-time customers, so these customers feel obligated to give back through their loyalties.

Doctors who successfully cure their patients are referred to other people because these patients feel obligated to return the help they received. A politician who backs up a colleague in an issue is also given a favor by his colleague to pay his debt of gratitude, sometimes even if it means doing the wrong thing.

The rule of obligation is most especially helpful in negotiations, like when selling or closing a deal. You simply throw in some extra effort, although tangible items are still seen as attractive by many people.

You are trying to close a contract with a client, but you think it is not reaching a conclusion because not all his terms are met. You cannot do something about it because the management’s decision is final. How would you use rule of moral obligation with nothing else to offer?

As early as the negotiation happens, establish an image that you are his friend more than your company’s. Always tell him that you will do everything to get a more advantageous offer for him, even if it means putting your name on the line.

As the end of the negotiation nears, and you have already confirmed that the management has already approved a “take it or leave it” offer, hold the last meeting just yet to inform the client that although the contract is already firm, you will still try to pull a last string for whatever good it gets. Of course, there is really no need to do everything you are saying especially if you do not have a strong connection with the management anyway. All you have to do is to project that you are doing everything for the client.

At the last meeting, there is a good chance that the client will remember all the hard works you’ve put in the negotiation, all in favor for him. This will add to his decision as an extra pressure to decide on your favor. If he values professional relationship very much, he will likely approve the deal not for the face value but for the long-term benefit of your relationship.

What if you are a direct seller and you want other people to buy from you? Can you force them to purchase an item just by knocking on their doors and presenting your products? Probably not.

However, try throwing in a party where the ladies can actually try your products, converse with each other over a luscious dinner and take home some freebies. You are almost sure to get new customers, make a lot of sales and gain their loyalties because they feel obligated to return the favor for all the freebies and party you give them. This is the principle behind Trunk Show marketing, a marketing tactic that combines presentation, advertisement and selling in one awesome occasion.

6. Scarcity

There is a teambuilding event where all employees are obliged to make a group of five. You are the last one to arrive, so all teams have already been completed except for one. You do not like the members, but because it is the last team open, you still join them. Scarcity made you accept something you find unacceptable.

You go to your favorite antique shop to buy the last piece of vintage Victorian dining chair you are collecting. The owner sells it a hundred bucks higher than the first ones you already bought, but because it is the last piece, you still buy it although half heartedly. Scarcity made you spend more for something you know is originally cheaper.

Scarcity gives a person less time to decide and weigh the pros and cons of an action. As a result, immediate action is done because choice is already scratched out of the equation. By using this same principle to another person, you can easily sway him to decide and act on your favor.

Make that person realize that option is a luxury that cannot be afforded at that particular time. That time is already running out and the situation is win some or lose all. It works wonderfully, particularly in sales and negotiations.

You have to project an image that you have the last card, regardless if you just have to bluff or really offer something unique in return.

7. Contrast

You go to a dealer to buy a new car. Upon seeing the car of your dreams, you ask for details and learn that its price is more than what you are willing to spend for. You try to negotiate for a lower price but the salesman won’t budge as company policy dictates. With all tactics exhausted, you move on to other models and accept the fact that you will end up with something less desirable for your taste.

As you are ready to settle for a cheaper model, the salesman approaches you again to tell you that he will cut off half a grand from the price and throw in free parts and fuel vouchers. This is not the deal you are looking for, but you grab it nonetheless as the special offer may not last. The salesman got you to do something for him, which is to buy.

Contrast effectively plays with emotions because it involves helplessness and hope. You are given something undesirable and bad, so when you are given a better option that is not necessarily the best for your interest, you still grab it anyway. It is tantamount to cornering another person before showing him mercy – a mercy that he will gladly take.

The same principle applies to the classic interrogation tactic “Good Cop, Bad Cop.” Show the worst case scenario first before offering a better alternative.

SEE ALSO: How To End a Toxic Relationship: The Ultimate 11-Step Guide

8. Expectations

Humans tend to act based on the expectations of other people from them. They have to conform to standards and norms. That is how society works. Otherwise, they will be branded as inacceptable and disappointing.

By using the power of expectation and the pressure of conformity against other people, you can get them to do whatever you want. It is their image, credibility, reliability and reputation at risk, so they are likely to fulfill the expectations. Making a person realize your expectations can either develop or destroy his sense of self-worth, self-appreciation and confidence. Naturally, he will do everything to salvage his pride.

A person who is often told to fail normally loses self-esteem that badly affects real performance, while someone who is often praised for his performance no matter how good or bad it may be, is likely to remain motivated and ready to work harder.

To use this rule, instill in the other person’s mind your high expectations from him – that you are already looking forward to the result of that action. Be vocal about your expectations so a tinge of fear of failure keeps that person’s actions and decisions in check. At the same time, there will be a motivation to prove that he is exactly the person you expect him to be.

With expectation, you are practically suggesting an action and result, but with that suggestion is pride at stake.

9. Involvement

Involvement is equivalent to commitment. You do not get involved in something you do not really want to be a part of. This is practically the rule that keeps teams, groups and even syndicates working together harmoniously.

Similarly, you cannot ask for a favor and always expect a positive response from someone who does not belong to your group. That is because involvement is not a factor.

Involvement can put a person in a dead-end with nowhere else to run to but back to where he started. It involves sharing with that person disadvantages in return for benefits, information and connections. The deeper a person gets involved in, the heavier the obligation for that person to do whatever you want him to do will be. That is because the responsibility and accountability are already shared.

If you need a coworker to help you out in a project, make him your partner. It might slice your commission into two, but it also cuts the burden into two, allowing you to work better and have him work for you on your cue. He has no choice but to help you out and follow your lead because your failure is already his failure.

Involvement forces you to have something in common with another person. It is often the last best resort when you no longer have the ability to stand on your own. Involvement also creates curiosity, curiosity that you can help satiate by having another person do what you want.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article about how to get what you want from people. I sincerely hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here