I came across a very interesting article on the role of repetition when it comes to persuasion. Essentially, we have to remember the elements of human nature when hoping to persuade someone to volunteer or some other thing we need. It’s not that people don’t want to do what we’re asking, sometimes they just don’t get it yet. In the case of repetition, it may mean that they need to hear the request 3-4 times before there is a connection in their brain that says, “Hey, I think I want to try that.”
Persuasion can be exhausting. Ever spent an hour on the phone calling through a list of parent trying to get them to volunteer? Of course you have! It takes a lot out of most of us. I think it’s this way because in many ways we feel like we’re selling ourselves. We have a lot invested and to hear a no or not get any answers or call backs is personally difficult. I think that sometimes we give up too early or we don’t ask often enough. People need to see that video a few times or hear two or three different stories of life change before they pony up. Find a way to separate the ask from you personally and do it often. Although they said no six months ago doesn’t mean they’ll say no when asked again.
For repetition to really work (according to research), it’s important to create a brand and be consistant in the way you communicate a need. The familiarity of the brand is what will make people more inclined to say yes. So, when it comes to persuasion, your image/brand is just as important in how/when you ask.
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