+Scott Watson

Friday, 15 May 2009

Influencing - With a Tip!

My partner and I enjoyed a relaxing evening in Manchester this weekend. We stayed in a city centre hotel and not knowing the city's eateries, asked a member of the hotel staff for some recommendations. Almost immediately, he recommended a speciality steak house and asked us both 'what do you think?' After receiving a definite 'YES' from us both he asked our preferred time to eat (not past 9pm) and said he would call the restaurant but was pretty confident the place would not have any tables available...but he would do his best. NOW WATCH WHAT HAPPENED.

Upon returning to us 5 minutes later he coolly advised us that the restaurant was indeed 'packed to the rafters' and that their next available table would be 10.30pm (outside of our preferred time). Pausing for a few seconds he no doubt used our expressions of disappointment as leverage to then state 'BUT I've managed to get the receptionist to reserve a table for you both AT 8.30...as you wanted.

So what happened here? This chap identified parameters within which to work his influence. He applied the rule of information (I know the best place in town), scarcity (packed to the rafters), likeability (he was a decent enough chap who had served us politely at the bar) and finally the rule of reciprocity. How? Well, look what I have done for YOU. Now, it's time for YOU to do something for ME. Yes, he got a thank you and a fiver tip, which he duly accepted.

Have a think for a few minutes. Who is influencing you? Are they doing it honestly and ethically? What are some of the influencing traps you just seem to fall in to without thinking? I highly recommend you explore Dr Robert Cialdini's work at www.InfluenceatWork.com This gentleman is a true expert in his field and shares his expertise in a wonderfully kind manner.

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