8 Business Persuasion Techniques to Persuading People

To make people become loyal to your brand, you need to have effective business persuasion techniques. Oftentimes big businesses around the world use the persuasion of many forms. Some are obvious while others are seemingly latent.

If you are running a business, or a manager who wants to succeed in your career, here are some of the business persuasion techniques you can use.

These techniques are scientifically proven. Meaning, it is being backed up by scientific studies. So you don’t have to doubt. Okay, let’s begin.

Business Persuasion Techniques

8 Business Persuasion Techniques

1. The power of reason

In 1978 Ellen Langer conducted a research that investigated how people respond to a request. The study used different sets of sentences that researchers tailored to a certain pattern.

Here’s the actual sentences:

Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine?”

“Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make copies?”

“Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush?”

What do you think the effect of the wording of these sentences people’s compliance? Here’s the result:

The first sentence “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine?” got about 60% of compliance.

The second “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make copies?” 93% compliance.

And the third one “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush?” 94% compliance.

What does the result really mean? The result suggests that people would most likely comply to a request if the reason of such request is stated. This is the power of “because”. In other words, you are more willing to comply with somebody’s request if you hear the reason behind such request than simply a request.

This happens because our brain is always looking for a solution, an answer to every challenge; solving puzzles and crosswords. Understanding how the brain works help you take advantage its power.

It is in the same principle where TV commercials, products demonstrations, and engaging speeches are founded. It is not how good the product or an idea is, but how beneficial will it be to the listener or the receiver of the message.

If you want people to buy your product or believe in your idea, you’ve got to establish its importance. Your products must offer a solution to people’s problems.

2. The Power of Gestures

Body or hand gestures are important ingredients of effective speaking. If used correctly, these gestures can boost the positive impact of the message.

There are different hand movements you can use to signal the emotion or intensity of the message you are trying to convey. Most effective speakers and communicators have mastered the art of body gestures.

The question is, what is the proper way of using gestures? Many experts would suggest different technique. Vanessa Van Edwards in her article 20 Hand Gestures You Should Be Using suggests that to effectively use gestures, stay in a box. According to her, an appropriate gesture space is from top of chest to the bottom of your waist.

Meaning, all of your gestures must stay in this area of your body as you speak. Because if you go beyond, there will be negative consequences. Either your audience will find you exaggerated or you will be perceived as lack of confidence.

In addition, some suggest that showing an open palm when speaking elicits approval. Speakers who open their palm when speaking appeared to be likable and friendly. Palms hidden appeared authoritative.

So every time you are convincing others, try to make hand gestures with an open palm to get a favorable response. This is a technique that only few might know.

3. Limit the Choices

One of the fascinating truths about life is the number of choices we have every day. You can choose from a brand of a car, a school to enroll in, to a person to marry with.

But in an attempt to make better sales, you can’t have unlimited choices for your customers.

Why? Studies show that the more choices shoppers will have, the lower the number of buying tendency. More options simply overwhelm customers due to so many information needed to analyze. Such mental overload paralyzes proper decision making. As a result, customers lose their attention.

To make great sales, limit your options.

4. Loss Aversion

In economics, there’s a concept called Loss Aversion. This theory suggests that losing causes more powerful psychological pain than gain. The same principle applies to punishment or penalty. In fact, the penalty is a more powerful strategy to make people complaisant than giving a reward.

This principle can be applied to business too. How? Simply focus on addressing what the customers will have lost if they don’t buy your products – if they don’t believe in your ideas.

Do not just demonstrate the benefits of your products but also instill into your customers’ mind the opportunity they miss if they don’t buy. Sounds peculiar right? But it works. Savvy business marketers apply the same technique.

5. Use the Power of Color

Color has a significant impact on mental processes such as buying behavior. In business, the use of colors can the tremendous. Colors may elicit customer’s buying mood that will result in more purchases.

Different colors have a different effect on emotion. Take the following example:

Blue – often used by big businesses because it elicits productivity.

Red – is used in most restaurants to stimulate appetite.

Black – elicits feelings of sophistication.

Pink – suggests femininity, neatness, and calmness.

To learn more about colors, take a look at the infographic below.

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist


Learning how to use colors to your advantage can make significant success in your business.

6. Apply scarcity Principle

Scarcity principle is a concept that explains why people mostly buy products that are nearly out of supply.

In a study, researchers found out that the sales on cookies were somewhat dependent on the supply of cookies. If the number of cookies in a jar decreases, the sale increases. Most people buy cookies from a jar that contains fewer pieces of cookies than on a full cookie jar.

In the world of business, creating an illusion of scarcity can help influence people’s buying behavior. The general reality is that when something is out of supply it becomes more and more valuable. As a result, people tend to make an irrational decision just to buy such commodity.

Applying scarcity principle allows you not only to persuading people but also directing them to behave the way you want them to do without being noticed.

7. Tell Stories

We all tell stories every time we hang up with somebody. In reality, stories bind us all together – an important component of relationship formation.

Stories connect the speaker and his/her audiences. By telling stories, people feel that you are, behind your sophistication, a normal person – a person who experiences a problem and struggle to find solutions to those problems.

Stories also can make people perceive you as authentic. Especially when you share similar story your audiences have. Because they feel sympathy, they will gradually build trust in you.

8. The Persuasive Power of Mimicry

One of the most influential techniques you can use for your customers or people whom you want to gain approval from is mimicry. This method is proven by several scientific studies. The question is how are you going to use this technique?

James Larsen on his article , designed an exercise to illustrate the power of mimicry.

Here’s the exercise:

Sit down opposite your spouse (or significant other) and start a conversation. Watch and listen closely, and copy what you see and hear following these rules:

1) Mimic major body movements after a 2-4 second delay. If you see leg crossing, cross your legs. If you see a face touch, touch your face.

2) Be careful to move the opposite side of your body so your movements match your partner’s movements. If you see a face touch with the right hand, copy this movement with your left hand. To your partner, your movements will resemble looking in a mirror.

3) Restate every other comment your partner makes using the same words you hear. If your partner says “I don’t think I like Billy Johnson one little bit,” you say “You don’t think you like Billy Johnson one little bit.”

The main outcome of this activity is gaining closeness. Doing the technique above allows you to influence customers’ buying behavior. The feeling of closeness makes normal customer buys a product you are selling.


Psychology works in every aspect of life. In business, psychology is a powerful tool you can use to achieve success. Persuasion is a perfect example how psychology works.

Most of the small businesses struggle not mainly due to product quality but marketing issues. Most successful businesses around the world don’t have the best products, but they have the best marketing strategies.

One common challenge in marketing is persuasion – how to convert visitors into real customers. But if you use the techniques discussed above, you’ll have a better chance to outsmart the competition.

Now you know.

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