Reciprocity is one of the most powerful persuasion principles. Simply put, creating an obligation to give back in the other person will make them more persuadable. And it can be used, in the right way, to give something small and obtain something disproportionate in return.

Consistency Trap

A consistency trap is the act of making a person state something, usually in the first person, and then forcing them to act in accordance to what they stated. To a degree, they will already act in accordance to it. This is due to the principle of consistency. We are likely to continue doing what we already do, […]

Costly Signaling

Costly signaling is the act of doing something that purposely hampers or hurts you just to show that you can take it. For example, a consultant sacrificing clients they don’t really like, despite losing cash, or someone quitting a job they don’t like, just because they have so many other options. Underlying Psychology/Biases Costly signaling works […]

Frame Battle

A frame battle is the term given to when two people have frames that are in opposition. Usually, a frame battle will continue with each side trying to persuade the other one, until one eventually prevails.

Persuading Logical vs. Emotional People

There are different incentives that you can provide at the closing stage to convince both logical and emotional people. The main differences are: Logical people will value more the numerical optimization of a proposal, while emotional people will value more the insertion of additional things into a bigger package; If you’re selling a car, you have to improve […]

Identity Labeling

Identity labeling works by planting a trait in the person that is useful to you and that can be used against them later. Examples include: “You look like the type of person that invests in products like these”; “You look like you heavily invest in your education”; “You look like the type of person that recognizes […]

Eliciting Multiple Reasons

Eliciting multiple reasons is a technique that can be used to make something more or less attractive. The goal here is that: When you ask for a small number of reasons for something, such as one, the person will succeed and their liking is reinforced; When you ask for a high number of reasons for something, such as ten, […]


In terms of persuasion, a justification is always persuasive. Just saying “because” already convinces a person more. Naturally, the higher-quality the justification, the better, but it’s always persuasive to a degree. There was a persuasion psychology study done where a person would try to cut in line for a copying machine, giving different justifications. “I need […]

Future Lock-In

Future lock-in is a technique that consists of giving a short-term benefit in order for the target to commit in the long-term. The crux of the technique is that, in the long-term, the short-term advantage is useless, but to the target, in the moment, it does feel like a big element. The simplest example of future […]

Intent Labeling

Intent labeling is the name given to the group of techniques that consist of making a person crystalize their commitment in the first person. It includes techniques such as: First-person confirmation; Including active choice; Giving one reason for something; Or, in a more general sense, Initiative, if it’s in the first person (“This is what I like about […]


The effect of salience is very simple. What stands out more is remember more. Underlying Psychology/Biases This happens due to evolutionary reasons. The things that stood out, in the past, were usually predators or, at least, dangerous things. So, evolutionarily, we have a tendency to be very aware of things that stand out. Sub-Techniques There are four key ways […]

Option Set Change

Changing the option set where you/your offering is included is a way to manipulate the context. It’s very similar to perceived contrast, but in this you’re not changing what you highlight of you or others – you’re literally changing the “others” you compare yourself to. For example, I have a $50 book If I compare it […]


Framing is a very powerful tool to change how others perceive you. You change the point of view from which you analyze something. Framing can be done at multiple stages: Pre-Framing, which is all about defining the frame and positioning you want before anyone even comes to you; Reframing, which is all about changing the existing frame […]

Removing Exits

The set of techniques used to remove exits try to cut off a person’s options and licenses in order to prevent them from leaving. It overlaps with illustrating loss to a degree. Underlying Psychology/Biases This group of techniques works by both triggering loss aversion and the sunk cost bias (the same ones as for illustrating loss), but also manually removing […]

Progress and Loss

Illustrating both progress and loss are two twin techniques of effort manipulation where you both: Make something seem as if it’s already in progress, which makes it sound less effortful; Illustrate negatively how it would be to actively stop this now, which makes it seem more effortful to stop; In short, if the person is in the […]


Based on the principle that 2/3 of all effort we make is mental effort (The Effortless Experience), you can simply reduce the apparent mental effort associated with your offering to make the person adopt it more easily. Underlying Psychology/Biases Streamlining is the canonical example of mental effort manipulation. When something seems effortful, it is. And when it seems like […]


Accelerating is one of the Four Ways to deal with emotional objections. It consists of agreeing with the person’s objection and then amplifying it until it becomes ridiculous, and asking the person to agree with it (or justifying themselves). “Maybe I should buy this product”; “Maybe you should. Maybe every one should change their mind. Maybe nobody […]


Reshaping is one of the Four Ways to handle emotional objetions, and it consists of reducing a specific objection to a more generic principle, which is easier to deal with. “The price is too high”; “Of course. If you pay a high price without obtaining results in return, that’s a bad experience, right?”; “Sure, exactly”; “So, […]


Flipping is one of the Four Ways to handle emotional objections, and it consists of, as the name says, flipping an objection on the person. The simple version is, when the person asks, “Can you do [ABC]?”, you ask them, “Is it OK if I don’t do [ABC]?”, or “Will you do [ABC] instead of me?”. Underlying […]

UP Answers

UP answers are my proprietary technique to deal with logical objections, which serve to state logical facts in an optimized format. The two key elements used are: Uncertainty. A type of adverse transparency; Being honest and humble versus too egotistical; Potential. Mentioning the potential before you do the track record; It works by anchoring the person […]

Manipulating Emotion

When objections are emotional, there are usually two key techniques you can use to address them: Removing a person’s negative emotions Usually done using empathy (the “empathetic ramp-down”); Building more desire in the person Usually done through the hero’s journey format previously explored; These two techniques usually work very well for the two D.i.S.C. emotional types (the Passionate […]


Plowing is merely the act of persisting relentlessly in terms of persuasion. It’s pure persistence, almost in a stubborn, or even delusional manner. An example can include: “I’m not sure the product fits my needs”; “Why wouldn’t it? What are your needs?”; “Well, I’m not sure it works for my type of person”; “I’m sure […]

Social Identity Contradictions

Social identity contradictions, also known as reverse social proof or negative social proof are a way to decrease the value of an option/cut off that option by using social proof against it. Or in short, telling the person that “most people don’t do this”. Underlying Psychology/Biases This technique works in the opposite way that social proof does. While […]

Value Identity Contradictions

Value identity contradictions are all about taking an action or option the person has that you don’t want them to choose, and them making it seem like that action goes against their identity. The canonical example is someone telling a friend, “What are you doing? This isn’t like you”. For example, if someone doesn’t want to […]

The Possibility Shuffle

The Possibility Shuffle is a technique for weakening an objection. When a person has a specific option they’re convinced of, for example, “Your product is not good”, you simply insert other plausible options to confuse the person. Now, instead of one viable option, they have several, and the original one loses its value. You simply ask a question […]

Implementation Intention

Implementation intention is a persuasion principle that defends that, when a person is forced to think about how they would implement something, they are more likely to do it, as the mental effort necessary to do it is reduced. Therefore the name. The person must think as if they have the intention of implementing this; In short, […]

Preemptive Labeling

Our goal with this technique is to preempt the objections that the other side will have before they do, which takes away their weapons. Underlying Psychology/Biases By simply stating the problems that someone would raise before they do and addressing them beforehand, the intensity of them will be limited. You will disarm most of their objections. It also […]

Starting with the Negative

Starting with the negative is nothing more than asking every possible question in its negative form rather than the positive one. “Is this a bad time to talk?”, versus, “Is it a good time to talk?”; “Does this proposal sound ridiculous?”, versus “Does this proposal sound good?”; Underlying Psychology/Biases This technique works due to the […]


Anchoring (also known as the primacy effect) is simply the effect that dictates that a person will use the first impression of something as the filter for every subsequent interaction. Underlying Psychology/Biases Sub-Techniques Anchoring itself can be used as tool to make yourself look better or change your positioning You anchor the person with the initial impression you want to […]

Exclusion Confirmation

Exclusion confirmation is a technique that can be used to both test a person and provoke an objection in them. The goal is to get the person to chase and create intrigue by excluding them, saying something such as “This may not be for you”. If they don’t chase, you know there’s a lack of […]

Return Timing of Favors

The return timing of a favor is important to take into account in terms of reciprocity, because it defines how much someone else values a favor or gift from you with time. Underlying Psychology/Biases This is a type of memory editing bias. With time, we start to forget about elements of certain people, or like them […]

Personal Touch

Using a personal touch persuades by showing the person you put more effort into something than you should have. In a way, it’s the opposite of the low-touch, cold approach of being abundant, but it works as long as the person doesn’t convey neediness. Underlying Psychology/Biases Sub-Techniques Using the presence or absence of a name (a […]


Giving is one of the most powerful principles to trigger reciprocity in the other person. Depending on the accelerators used, someone can give something small and obtain something much more valuable in return. Underlying Psychology/Biases Giving works by triggering reciprocity, and creating an obligation to give in the other person. Sub-Techniques There are five key accelerators […]


Mirroring simply consists of adapting yourself to be similar to the other person in some way. There are multiple methods and formats for this. Underlying Psychology/Biases Mirroring works because, as you adopt the same words or moods as the other person, they will identify with you more. The more that they consider you some like them, the […]

The D.i.S.C. Personality Types

The D.i.S.C. framework defends that there are four different personality types. These types are a combination of two axes: Logical versus Emotional; Fast-paced versus Slow-paced; These combinations result in four distinct types (the names are not the original ones, to facilitate understanding): The Dominant (logical and fast-paced); The Passionate (emotional and fast-paced); The Nurturer (emotional and slow-paced); The Analyst (logical and slow-paced); Each type […]


Empathy is merely the process of understanding what the other side is thinking or feeling. In terms of persuasion, it can be used to make the other side feel understood and disarm them due to this. Empathy is a great technique to use, in specific, when the other side is emotional – when they have high amygdala activation (when […]


Exposure and familiarity work to persuade because, the more someone is used to you/your value proposition, the more easy they are to persuade. There are usually two types of exposure, and both work: Wide exposure. Someone knowing about you or your value proposition for a long time, as time goes by; Deep exposure. Short, intense experiences, […]


In the specific context of communication and persuasion, this wiki defines presence as your personal intensity and force. Someone that has presence, or gravitas, is someone who is a force, who is felt by others, who is taken seriously. Underlying Psychology/Biases Presence persuades because people cannot ignore presence. Someone who is more intense communicates higher value and is harder […]


Money is arguably the best qualifier. Regardless of effort, or statements, or others, the person being willing to pay is the most powerful manifestation of interest and value. It can be used when someone buys your product or service – which is the end goal in a sales situation – but it’s not the only method. Money […]

The Code of Conduct

The code of conduct is not so much a principle by itself, but a powerful cocktail of persuasion principles that qualifies the person. It simultaneously achieves: Rigidity (they are doing the specific things you want); Indoctrination (they are using your wording and terminology); Intent labeling (they are making clear what they will do); The home advantage (they […]

Escalation of Commitment

Escalation of commitment (also known in persuasion as the “foot in the door” technique, or a “consistency trap”, or a “compliance ladder”) consists of asking something small so that you can start asking more and bigger things afterwards. There are two main persuasion techniques, and this is one of them: The “door in the face” technique, which is the […]


Indoctrination is the process of sharing your view of the world with the person. It can be about ideals, specific techniques, processes or other, as long as they are viewing the world through the same lens as you. Examples can include: Getting someone to read your 3-step process and memorize the 3 steps; Having a 5-principle […]

Obstacles & Testing

Simply testing the person or placing obstacles in their path serves to prime them, as it’s additional effort they must do and something additional they must overcome. Underlying Psychology/Biases When you test a person, either they will make an effort to pass the test or not. Those that do make that effort are even more qualified, because you […]


Priming someone based on initiative simply means making the person do something to become closer to you (or your offering). This will make them like it more just because they took action. The more the person invests in taking that action, the more qualified they will be; Underlying Psychology/Biases This works due to the principle of consistency. Because the […]

The Home Advantage

The home advantage is simply the effect caused on you and other party when you are meeting on your home terrain. It’s usually known from sports, but applies to many areas. It can be both explicit or subtle (you can ask a person to book a call on your calendar casually, or you can look them in the […]


Rigidity is a priming technique that consists of forcing the person do things a certain way. It. can include: Forcing a person to apply using a form; Forcing a person to book using your calendar; Forcing a person to submit a document according to specific guidelines; … Underlying Psychology/Biases Rigidity works due to two main reasons: The […]

Situational Changes

Many people already have power over the other person just due to situational cues. A manager with their team, a professor in a classroom, and so on. There are two things to take into account: Neutralizing someone’s advantage when they have one; Gaining your own advantage when you can; Underlying Psychology/Biases Situational power occurs when a person has […]

Mood and Physiology

There are multiple techniques that can prime a person using their mood and physiology. There are three usual manifestations: Changing their physiology The person can be more easily persuaded when tired, distracted and/or caffeinated; Changing their mood Showing them a specific mood places them in that mood as well; E.g., showing someone investing in themselves before asking the […]


Priming someone based on their characteristics is all about making them prove they have them. It’s a type of qualification, where you’re qualifying the person based on their actual traits. Underlying Psychology/Biases The goal is, as with many characteristics, make the person prove themselves. In this case, you’re doing it based on their traits. The people that […]


Building desire is one of the main ways to prime or qualify someone without actually needing to change anything in your offering. The more the person desires your product or offering, the more they will be qualified. It can also be used to weaken objections (because usually, objections are a sign of lack of certainty or desire. […]


You can change your positioning to appear more unique or higher-value by leveraging multiple tools related to anchoring, framing and contrast and others. There are three main ways to achieve this: Change your anchoring and/or your consented claims If you claim to be the best, the fastest, or whatever the initial claim is, anyone that is coming to you […]


In persuasion, identification is simply the process of having elements in common with your target, which persuades as they identify with you. There are usually two key elements to identification: Eliciting (asking for the characteristics you want); “I only work with top performers”; “I only work with managers that recognize my talent”; Embodiment (embodying similar characteristics to […]

Social Proof

Social proof is having your value validated or demonstrated by people. It can be considered a type of displayed authority. Common methods include: Mentioned in Ultimate Persuasion: Testimonials; Referrals; Recommendations; Word of mouth; Introductions; Associations; Others: High-demand (queues in stores, full calendars, others); Underlying Psychology/Biases Social proof works by simply illustrating in a person’s mind […]

Displayed Authority

Displayed authority is any vehicle that communicates your authority that is not you. Third-party objects or people, for example. Underlying Psychology/Biases When someone communicates their own authority, they risk sounding biased. They may be exaggerated or lying. But when someone else (or an object) communicates the original person’s authority, they sound unbiased and fair (regardless of whether this […]