Why Do you Say Yes?
There are some specific conditions or situations in which we tend to comply with direct requests.
- Foot in the door - Once we have granted one request, we are more likely to comply with another request. So a salesperson will make a small request first: "May I ask you a few questions?" and "May we sit down?". Finally, “May I order you one?”. This is called the "foot in the door" technique. (Note that the initial requests should be phrased to get a "yes" response.)
- Door in the face - First, someone makes a very large request of you and you say “no” (that's the door in the face). They graciously accept your refusal and then a few days or weeks later the same person approaches you with a much more modest request. You are more likely to comply this time than if you had never been approached.
- Low Ball - First, get a person to agree to some unusually good deal. Then change the conditions and the person might still agree to the new conditions! For example, a car salesperson might offer you a fantastic deal or a teacher might request some help. Once you agree, then the sales person 'discovers' a mistake and raises the price or the teacher tells you it’s a dirty job at 7:00 AM, but you still go through with the agreement.
And of course, do not forget the age old technique of throwing a tantrum, promises, arguments and threats! ;)
Some people may find these techniques 'manipulative'. A simple yardstick to check whether you are being manipulative is to ask yourself - "will this truly be useful to the other person?" If the answer is yes, your conscience can rest at peace. Of course, the other person still could feel he / she is being manipulated ... that's life!