Persuading Others for Small Favors

Have you ever found your self sitting at a bus stop, when someone you do not know comes up and sits next to you?

Of course, we all have.

Now, you already noticed him, the first thing you saw was that he was dressed very nicely, and because of this you noticed that your guard dropped two notches since he first approached.

You hear the release of a deep breath slip out of his lips, he leans the upper half of his body towards you slightly, asking in a calm tone, “Could you please hand me that pen right there on the ground by your foot?”

Automatically, without thinking you reach down and grab the pen, he takes it and continues on with whatever work related articles he was doing, when he sighs loudly, grabbing your attention, yet again.

Naturally, you find yourself questioning his frustration, he then returns by telling you that he has a huge project due and needs someones opinion on his work, within seconds you find yourself mindlessly looking over his meeting schedule.

The loud crack of the air brakes on the bus pulling in front of the two of you breaks your attention off of him and onto your ride, out of the corner of your eye you see that he has also gotten up and is following behind you as you are loading the vehicle, he groans loudly, throwing his head back, explaining that he has forgotten his wallet and does not have money for the bus fare, wondering if you could cover him.

Without hesitation you find yourself agreeing to the terms and covering his bus ride, as you take your seat, he walks past, you just happen to catch the corner of the black leather wallet sticking out of his back pants pocket, realising that he just persuaded you to do all of those favors for him.

But, I am sure you are questioning how and why was it so easy for him to do that?

The answer is simple, persuasion goes back to psychology, you need to understand people in order for this to work simply.

He was clean cut, well shaved and dressed well, statistically, you are more likely to befriend or trust a complete stranger depending on how they dress, because upon first meeting them, this is the only insight on their personal life that you have about them.

Secondly, he started out by asking small favors first, the main goal was to have you purchase the bus ticket, but he could not just come out and ask a random stranger that, so, he started the trust building process by asking you to get the pen, once you complied, he began to gain the upper hand.

With the first task being a success he decided to take it to the next level, making you feel important and valued by this complete stranger by him asking your opinion of his work, something of which he was supposed to be an expert in, this made you feel important, people are more likely to do something when they feel like they are valued and needed by someone else.

By this point, you were already hooked, when it came time to ask for the real reason he decided to talk to you, the result happened smooth and without your knowledge of what was happening, this is how persuasion works, making the other person feel like whatever they are doing is going to value their life or someone else’s, but first you have to gain trust.