The Principles of Persuasion


The post is developed in partnership with BetterHelp. If you’ve ever tried to convince someone to do, say, or buy something they didn’t want to, you know how hard it can be. On the other hand, some people are more prone to being pushovers and tend to be persuaded easily. Certain people are better are persuading than others, which often has a lot to do with personality, mindset, and confidence. Sometimes luck can help, but more often than not, you can learn how to use the principles of persuasion to get what you want. Whether you’re starting a new business and need capital or just need to convince a friend to do you a favor, being persuasive is a skill everyone should have. To learn more, visit for tips and advice. Once you learn about the principles of persuasion, you can apply them to different aspects of your life and can hope to see changes as a result.

What Is Persuasion?


Persuasion refers to methods that convince another person to change their perspective, alter their point of view, pursue a specific course of action, or purchase a product or service. You can be persuasive through your speech, in writing, and even by using certain body language. People in sales careers have to use persuasive techniques to get people to buy their products, but you also use persuasion in everyday life. Kids use it to get the toys they want at the store, and adults use it to obtain a variety of things they want or need.

What Are the Principles of Persuasion?

There are six different principles of persuasion. They include:

Scarcity – Having less of something means it will be more in demand. If people believe that something is limited, in low supply, or otherwise needs to be acted on urgently, they will be more likely to invest in or buy it.

Authority – When someone is in a position of authority, they’re more likely to be persuasive. People tend to trust those with power, wealth, status, or a uniform. If you can earn someone’s trust, you have a better chance at persuading them.

Commitment – People need consistency, and they need to know their actions align with their values and morals. When there is a mismatch between someone’s choices and their values, it’s called cognitive dissonance. Most humans are uncomfortable with cognitive dissonance and do whatever they can to avoid it. When you show consistency, people are more likely to commit to what you’re selling them, whether it be an idea or a product.

Reciprocity – People don’t like feeling indebted to others and are often compelled to repay them in some way. If you give something to someone for free, as an example, they may be more likely to give something back. Do someone a favor first, and you might get something even better back.

Liking – People are more likely to go along with requests, suggestions, and advice from people they know, trust, or admire. A stranger is often going to be much less persuasive than a friend or even a celebrity. The more you can personally connect with someone, the better chance you’ll have at persuading them.

Social Proof – If people believe that others like something, they’re more likely to give it a chance or like it too. Consider how easy it can be to assume a restaurant is good just because its line is out the door. Psychology shows that people look to other people for guidance in making their decisions. So, if you want to persuade someone, you need to convince them that everyone else is taking your advice or buying your product too.

Getting good at persuasion takes time and practice. Some people will be better at it than others without even trying. The good news is that you can always become better at it if you set your mind to it.

The Personality of a Persuasive Person


Why are some people more naturally persuasive than others? They may have a personality inclined toward it. Persuasive individuals often have these kinds of qualities, and they make sure to use them to their advantage:

  • They are people pleasers
  • They smile a lot
  • They listen more than they speak
  • They make a personal connection with a person before trying to win them over
  • They aren’t pushy
  • They’re confident in themselves and what they’re selling
  • They have a charming personality
  • They present their ideas with enthusiasm
  • They’re unafraid
  • They use positive body language

Luckily, if you don’t have these traits already, they’re all things you can work on. You can try to improve different aspects of yourself on your own, or you might consider taking some classes to help. There are even classes you can take that specifically focus on being more persuasive.

Benefits of Being Persuasive

You can have the best idea in the world, but if you’re not able to communicate why it’s the best idea, it probably isn’t going to stick for very long. On the other hand, being persuasive can cause the whole room to listen to what you have to say. While being more persuasive can help you sell things, there’s a lot more it also does for you. You can build stronger relationships, gain more self-confidence, garner more praise, improve your leadership skills, and have more success in achieving your goals. People who are persuasive have a lot of influence over others and it’s a skill that can open a lot of new doors for opportunities.

Learning how to be persuasive can be a learning curve, especially because certain people are naturally better at it. There is no one correct way to use persuasion, but there are certainly things that can help. If you’re struggling with being more persuasive, you should consider reaching out to a professional or taking a class, depending on your needs. The internet is also full of tools, tips, and tricks you can use to help. Everyone is different, so you should seek out the support and assistance that feels right for you.

About the author

Avatar photo

Benjamin Noah

Benjamin is a professional blogger and marketer, who frequently writes about custom packaging, technologies, news and health to help businesses understand and adapt new ways to reach and inspire their target audience.