“It’s Easy As 1,2,3”: Persuasive Tactics

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?


I don’t know, but what I do know is that there are four main persuasive techniques that our friends and families (as well as companies) use to get us to do things we’d either normally say no to or not buy. They are the following:

Foot-In-The-Door, Door-In-The-Face, Disrupt-Then-Reframe, and Thats-Not-All

Those might just look like a bunch of words with dashes separating them, but I’m here to help you understand. Let’s take a drive down persuasion road.



Definition: a compliance tactic that aims at getting a person to agree to a large request by having them agree to a modest request first.

This persuasive technique, in my opinion, is one that is used by our family and friends the most. They ask us to for a ‘small favor’ like going to the grocery store for a few things, then they ask if we could shop their entire grocery list. Of course we agreed, because we’re already at the store. They persuaded us to do a big thing because they got us to do a smaller one first. 

Devious much?

Let’s keep driving. I think we’re about to past by Door-In-The-Face’s House.


Definition: a compliance method commonly studied in social psychology. The persuader attempts to convince the respondent to comply by making a large request that the respondent will most likely turn down, much like a metaphorical slamming of a door in the persuader’s face.

This technique can be very tricky. It tries to use a bigger request, knowing the ‘persuadee’ will most likely say no. So, after the door has been slammed in the persuaders face, to regain their persuasive self esteem, they ask for something smaller that will likely give them the reply they wanted.

We’ve been stopped by a red light, but it looks like Disrupt-Then-Reframe is crossing the street!



Definition: a statement that goes off the track of how the other person thinks. Then make a rational-sounding statement that makes apparent sense and leads the other person to agree to your request.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is my favorite persuasive technique at work. I work at a grocery store and I do personal shopping for customers. When I take their groceries to their cars and tell them their total, it’s usually a “wow, I spent way too much” look on their faces. So to persuade them not to take off items on their order, I look at the receipt and say, for example “Your total is $250.80 but wow you saved $75. I think we can all learn how to save from you.” I get their minds off the total with how much they saved because they love to hear something positive.

Lastly, but not least…

Companies favorite persuasive technique…


Definition: a sales technique in which the persuader makes an offer and then adds something extra to make the offer look better before the target person can make a decision.

We’ve all been to a store and saw something that we would love to buy, but once we saw the price, we walked away from it. As we walked away, a salesperson approaches us and tells us that he’d give it to us for 30% off but only if we bought it at that moment and that the product would be full price anywhere else. Yet, that’s not all, he throws in a 10% discount for your next purchase as well. That is this technique. 

It looks like the road has come to an end, I hope this was helpful. We’ll take another trip in a few more days, because persuasion is powerful. 

Leave a Reply