14 Scientifically Proven Ways To Get Someone To Say Yes

Dev Gupta Dev Gupta
Dec 25, 2022 14 min read
14 Scientifically Proven Ways To Get Someone To Say Yes

One of the most difficult tasks for many people is to get a yes from someone.

This not only applies to the salespeople but to each one of us.

You should know how to get a yes from your boss, clients, friends, and family.

Although very few people know the right techniques to get someone to say yes to their offer.

To solve this problem in this article I will tell you 14 scientifically proven techniques to get a yes.

All these techniques can be applied when you are selling a product or service and can also be used in your day-to-day lives.

The Art of Pre-Suasion
Demonstrate Your Expertise and Knowledge
Get Them to Like You
Give Reason
Create Scarcity
Principle of Reciprocity
‘Foot in the Door’ Technique
‘But You Are Free’ Technique
Show Social Proof
Tell Stories and Humanize Information
Labeling
Give Compliments
Implementation
End On a High Note

The Art of Pre-Suasion

Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade by Robert Cialdini
Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade by Robert Cialdini

Robert Cialdini laid down the concept of pre-suasion in his book - Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade.

Pre-suasion is the practice of influencing the minds of your customers and making them sympathetic about your product even before you start pitching it.

In the words of Cialdini, “It is what you say immediately before you deliver the message that leverages your success tremendously”.

You don’t need to necessarily say something.

You can even create an environment where your customers subliminally start liking your product.

A guy got 3 great jobs by saying something before the interviewers start asking him the question.

In each of these interviews, the guy asked the interviewers - What was it about my qualifications or qualities that made you attracted to my resume?

Due to this question, the interviewers started focusing on the positive qualities of the person.

Cialdini describes two more instances where pre-suasion made people say yes.

The first is when a guy goes to shopping malls to get girls’ numbers as they pass by the stores. One of them was a shoe store and another one was a bakery.

In neither of them, he was able to get the girl’s numbers.

Although, when he tried asking girls for their mobile numbers near a flower shop he got very successful.

Flower shop worked because they get the girls in the mindset of romance.

In the second instance, a furniture-selling company tested one of their advertisement by changing its background image.

In one advertisement they displayed their furniture on clouds and in another one they used the image of coins.

When people saw the advertisement with clouds in the background they searched for comfortable furniture on the company’s website.

On the other hand, when people saw the coins in the background they searched for cheap furniture on the website.

As you can see, even with an image you can influence the minds of people.

Instead of directly selling your products you subconsciously make them like your product first and then start selling them.

Demonstrate Your Expertise and Knowledge

An Example- The website My Assignment Expert showcasing its years of existence along with other factors
An Example- The website My Assignment Expert showcasing its years of existence along with other factors 

You should always speak about your expertise first before you start telling the main idea.

When people know that you are someone who has a lot of experience and knowledge they will listen to you more carefully.

Speak about your famous clients, awards, and the books you have written.

If you are selling a product you can tell how many years your company has been there in the market and the total number of happy customers they have made over the years.

In this way, your chances of getting yes would increase.

Demonstrating your expertise can drastically change how the audience perceives your idea.

Get Them to Like You

Numerous research has proved that we feel connected and more likely to say to those we like.

A group of psychologists conducted an interesting experiment to test out this principle.

They sent survey forms to a group of strangers that had a note attached from the sender.

The sender's name was either similar or dissimilar to that of the recipient.

Let's take an example from a popular book "The Little Book of Yes How to win friends, boost your confidence and persuade others", a person called Robert Greer might get the survey from someone named Bob Gregar, and a woman named Cynthia Johnston might get the survey from someone named Cindy Johanson.

Others received a note from a sender with a non-similar sounding name.

Those receiving the survey from someone with a similar-sounding name were nearly twice as likely to complete and return it compared to those who received a survey from a dissimilar name.

Now, likability doesn't get limited to the sound of the name.

You can find shared interests, similar values, and common hobbies between you and the other person and use it as a tactic to get a yes.

Take your time and find genuine similarities between you and the other person.

Give Reason

Ellen Langer - A Harvard psychologist
Ellen Langer - A Harvard psychologist

It is very important to have a legitimate reason for why you are making the request. Always use the word because.

In the 1970s Harvard psychologist, Ellen Langer experimented to test the principle of reasoning.

Her research examined the circumstances under which people would be willing to allow a complete stranger to pushing in front of them in a queue.

To conduct this experiment Langer chose a busy office, specifically, by the photocopy machine.

In her first experiment. Langer arranged for someone who was part of the study, and a complete stranger to those to whom they were speaking, to approach whoever was next in line to use the photocopier and simply ask, “Excuse me, I have five pages, may I use the Xerox machine?”

When faced with this rather direct request, six out of ten people said yes.

This means that 60 percent of people said yes to the request.

When the stranger’s request was followed with a reason - “Excuse me, I have five pages, may I use the Xerox machine because I'm in a rush?"- compliance jumped to 94 percent.

This means that when you give reasons to people for your request they are more likely to say yes.

The study also found out that even if you give a bizarre reason to people they might end up saying yes.

When the stranger asked “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make copies?”

A whopping 93 percent simply said “OK, go ahead”, despite the fact that the reason was complete nonsense.

Although, when Langer increased the size of the request to strangers from five copies to twenty, the willingness of people to say ‘Yes’ dropped dramatically.

This means that giving reasons is not enough.

If you have a very big request you also need to give them an incentive.

The incentive could be monetary or you can tell them that you would help them in their future projects.

Before you ask someone for something make sure you know why you are asking it.

Create Scarcity

An Example - A product showing limited stock alert on the selling page
An Example - A product showing a limited stock alert on the selling page

The fear of losing out on exciting things can drastically increase the chances of getting a yes from your prospects.

Most people won't take any initiative unless there is some scarcity.

The principle of scarcity is widely used everywhere while selling products.

You must have noticed that when you view the products on Amazon or Flipkart you see a limited-time discount or get a limited stock notification.

All these create urgency in the minds of the people and they quickly buy the products.

Point out to your audience what is genuinely rare and unique about your product. You can use this same principle in your day-to-day life as well.

For example, your friend might be more likely to join you if you tell them you are only free this Friday evening for the rest of the month.

Similarly, you can tell your colleague that if they help in doing your project they would learn new things and can add the project to their portfolio.

Trust me creating scarcity is one of the most effective ways to get a yes from people.

Principle of Reciprocity

The principle of reciprocity is a social rule that demonstrates the willingness of people to give back to others in the form of behavior they have first received themselves.

Remember the times when your neighbor or friend gave you a nice birthday present?

In such a scenario you would get an inner feeling to give them a present in return.

When companies give you free samples of their products in malls or newspapers they are using this same principle.

Research shows that when people use a free sample they are more likely to buy the product.

At the core of reciprocity lies the art of giving. If you want others to say yes to your request you need to do something good for them first.

When you provide help with an element of personalization the other person gets obligated to say yes.

The psychologist Randy Garner found that he was able to double the number of people who would complete surveys he sent them just by accompanying his request with a short handwritten message on a post that included their name.

A handwritten letter stands out because someone has taken the time and trouble to personalize it.

Thus, it encourages people to take the time and trouble to respond.

Get into the habit of asking, “Who can I help” rather than “Who can help me”.

‘Foot in the Door’ Technique

Example of Foot in the Door Technique
Example of Foot in the Door Technique

This is one of the salespeople’s most effective and popular techniques.

Here, you first ask for a small request and then later on move towards the bigger request.

The first small request should be something that a large number of people are capable of doing. It should also be very easy to use.

Most of our friends use this technique all the time.

They will first ask for a small amount of money and after some time they will ask for a larger sum.

In sales, you can ask your prospects to sign up for a questionnaire or a webinar first and then pitch the product.

Allow your prospects to fulfill a smaller request first that builds a commitment in your relationship. Later, on smartly ask for a bigger request.


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‘But You Are Free’ Technique

As per the data published on Lifehacker, this technique has been found effective after doing a review of 42 psychology studies on 22,000 people.

According to this technique, after making a request you tell the other person that he/she has complete freedom to either accept or reject the offer.

See, most of us don't like when someone forces us to do something.

We all want to make our own decisions and that is why you should always allow the other person to reject the request.

Show Social Proof

An Example - Sharda University sharing their students' testimonials on its website as a social proof
An Example - Sharda University sharing its students' testimonials on its website as a social proof

Let's say you have gone on a holiday to Mahabaleshwar. This is your first time visiting this place.

You are hungry and in search of good restaurants. You reach a place where you find two restaurants in the opposite direction.

One is jam-packed with people and in another one there are only 2-3 people.

Which restaurant will you go to?

The one which is filled with people right?

Similarly, when you are buying products online you would most likely buy the one which has a 5-star rating.

Many times we have to make decisions without knowing what the right choice is. At such times we follow others as we have done.

In terms of marketing, it is known as social proof.

The trick is to show the social proof of people that directly resembles your current prospect.

For example, if you are selling an online MBA course you should tell the stories of students of similar age and income levels.

When you persuade others, the advice is to highlight the fact that many other people are already doing what you would like them to do.

Tell Stories and Humanize Information

It is always a good trick to give facts and figures to your audience when you are persuading them.

But, at the same time, you should include stories in your pitch.

We as human beings are fascinated by stories.

When you tell stories your prospects get transferred to a different world.

Even politicians craft stories in their campaigns to get more votes.

Teachers and even motivational speakers use the art of storytelling to capture the attention of their audience.

According to psychologists when people are exposed to numbers they become very critical of what has been told to them.

Although when you tell a compelling story that connects with them emotionally their ability to detect inaccuracies in what is presented is often reduced.

You need to remember that your product or service would be used by a human being. So, have a warmer tone when you speak to them.

Instead of always presenting charts and numbers use pictures of real people. People become more attached to a subject when they see photos of real people.

A medical study investigated if doctors would conduct a more thorough analysis of a patient's condition, order more tests and detect more abnormalities if a patient's photograph was simply attached to an X-ray or CT scan compared to when it wasn't.

By all accounts, the answer is yes. This shows that humanizing information will help you in getting a yes.

Understand your goal and bring it to life using a story. Find characters your audience can relate to and show their motivation and desires.

Labeling

Labeling is a technique of assigning a trait, attitude, or belief to a person before making a request. The request that you make should be consistent with the label.

Let's say you have a colleague in your office who doesn't deliver projects on time. Imagine that some of your colleagues are giving the wrong labels to that struggling colleague.

They are saying things like “he is not capable of doing any word” or “he can never submit a project on time”.

If the person hears such things he will lose his confidence and in the end deliver projects late.

Although if you remind them how hard-working and dependable he is the person will eventually deliver the projects on time.

Once he submits the project on time you can give him compliments like “I always knew that you were a reliable person”.

These compliments will further motivate your colleague and he will always give you high-quality projects on time.

Sometimes, it's not necessary to give a person a label.

Instead, you can simply encourage them to ‘self-label’ by allowing them to confirm that they do in fact possess such desirable traits.

Get into the habit of genuinely labeling people with the sort of traits that are consistent with the request you are about to make.


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Give Compliments

We as human beings are self-centered and we like when someone compliments us.

One study found that people were more likely to respond favorably to a colleague's request if that colleague had complimented them immediately before making the request.

Numerous other studies have found that giving genuine compliments can increase the chances of getting a yes.

Waiters get a bigger tip after complimenting diners for their excellent selection of dishes from the menu.

Similarly, hairstylists get a bigger tip when they tell their clients how much they liked their new hairstyle.

Even though a lot of people know that people usually give compliments to get work done for them, they still say yes to most things.

Although don't give compliments too often since it will look fake. Don't give generic compliments as well.

Before asking someone to do something for you, think of one good thing about them and include a compliment in your conversation.

Implementation

Even if you convince someone to do a task or buy your product online the chances of them actually doing it are very slim.

This is because making a promise and fulfilling it are two different things.

The boom of social media and the internet has made a lot of people, including me, big-time procrastinators.

Only making a to-do list won't be enough. To really commit to a task we need to make an implementation plan.

When people make a concrete plan where they clearly mention what, when, and how they will do the task they are most likely to complete it.

Researchers called a group of voters and asked them if they will vote in the upcoming election.

Most of them said yes yet, on the day of the vote they didn’t show up.

On the other hand, they asked another group of voters at what time they will cast their vote and how they would get to the polling station. This group of voters showed up on the day of the vote.

The research proves that when people make a concrete plan they act upon it.

To make an implementation plan you can make the If...When...Then plan.

For example, if you wish to exercise more you can write - If it is Saturday and Sunday when I get home from work, then I will go for a run.

When you are persuading others, encourage them to make a plan on how they will achieve the goal on a piece of paper.

End On a High Note

Have you noticed how singers perform their most popular songs at the end of their concerts, rather than at the beginning or during the middle?

They do this because they know if they sing their popular songs at the start their fans will instantly get happy and leave the concerts before it ends.

I am not saying first impressions don't matter. They do matter since they pave the path to the rest of the conversation.

But, at the same time, you need to end your conversation on a high note.

What happens at the end of an experience is much more important and memorable.

Do you remember your presentation was going very well until your colleague dropped a jug full of water on the laptop?

Your holiday trip was memorable until your return flight got canceled and you had to spend half of your night finding a good hotel.

If you make subtle changes to how your conversations end your chances of getting a yes will increase tremendously.

Try to save the best news until the last. It will have a much bigger impact on people.


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Conclusion

So, here are some of the most effective ways to get a yes from the people.

Before making a request, clearly understand your goal first.

Don't be too pushy when making the request and always give them the opportunity to say no to your offer.

FAQs

How do you convince someone easily?

Establish your authority and speak with confidence. Try to find out some commonalities between you and the prospect and bring them up in your conversation.

Integrate stories in your pitch and make a smaller request first and then make a bigger one later on.

Show testimonials and create scarcity for your offer. Don't be too pushy and give them the complete freedom to say no to your offer.

Once they say yes, tell them to make a concrete plan which has all the information regarding how and when they will do the task.

How do you convince a deal?

The method of convincing is different for different persons. Some of the common techniques to apply are to be specific, have a background check done before the deal, select a good time, have patience, and be polite.

What is the best way to persuade someone?

Some of the ways to persuade someone are to be consistent yet polite, have a proper selection of words while persuading, introduce logical points in the debate to increase onside weight, highlight the benefits of the opponent, and remain confident during the whole process.

How do you convince a customer to say yes?  

Some of the simple tips to apply in order to convince a customer to say yes are to be consistent, have a logical conversation with the customer, show reciprocation and commitment, and present them with certain social proof.

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