Persuasion Psychology:

Liking and Partiality

By Sarah Jamieson

Persuasion Psychology - Liking and Partiality: It’s a no-brainer to say that we are all more willing to say “yes” to a request from someone we LIKE. The elements of liking translate well to an online environment. Interacting with customers is one of the best ways to be persuasive.

An important aspect of liking is your customers’ belief that you want the same things they want, you want them to succeed, and that you’re on their side. Keep this in mind as you write web content.

Positive associations – yes, you can look good (or bad) by association. You can use elements on your web site like pictures showing benefits to build positive feelings.
Creating lots of great free content and interacting with your market frequently will also build strong associations between you and the good experiences they have.

Attractiveness increases liking and influence.

Attractive people exude a “halo effect” and so prospects believe good-looking people have more positive qualities than someone less attractive.

This makes them more persuasive in getting what they ask for and in changing other people’s attitudes.

Increasing your own “attractiveness” is in your best interests. I suggest you invest in a professionally-taken photograph to use on your web site. Ensure you are well-groomed for all your online photos and videos.

Similarity also increases liking and influence. We like people who are similar to us, and thus we’re more likely to say yes to their requests and agree with their opinions.

You can influence prospects’ perceptions of similarity by presenting yourself as similar in your dress, lifestyle and hobbies.

Use market research to dig into hidden motivations you can use to show you are similar to and understand your market.

If you find that a prospect is particularly hostile to you in say comments to blogs or in emails I suggest a radical solution.

Ask them for a favor – either on your blog or via eMail. It could be something like:

“Hi, I’d like you to do me a really big favor. I know you are not happy about XXX but it would help me a great deal if you can suggest ways in which I can improve.”

This is the so-called Benjamin Franklin solution to getting someone who does not like you – to like you. You have nothing to lose – if the hostile prospect agrees – he or she will probably grow to like you. Compliments are another factor we can use to increase liking. People tend to like those who compliment them. Make sure your compliments are sincere though, or they could backfire.

Familiarity also increases liking. We tend to like people and things we are familiar with – assuming the contact hasn’t been negative.

You can increase prospects’ familiarity with you by staying in frequent contact with them - via email and social media.

Persuasion Psychology > Persuasion as Mental Shortcuts > Favor Reciprocation > Commitment and Consistency > Social Proof > Liking and Partiality > Authority and Influence >