We all need to engage in one task or another. Tasks that need speaking—that need us to convince people. The social chain of everyday life is balanced on these terms. For that, we require certain skills for life to progress. Some are financial management, discipline, business management, and persuasion.
Persuasion seems to be an impossible task. Making someone do something, persuading a group to accept an opinion, or agreeing to a request or the viewpoint can be a challenge. Yet, some individuals are better at it than others. An example is salespeople who earn a living by convincing other persons. They exude such confidence and ability to manipulate choices, and sometimes we wonder. They can convince people to purchase a certain product or service.
Psychologists have seen certain techniques applied by salespeople—the technique present in persuading people. Psychology supports these. There is the Foot-in-the-Door and the Door-in-the-Face Technique. The former entails using smaller requests to get bigger ones, while the latter uses an unreasonable request at the beginning, making the respondent refuse and then, the proposing intended request.
Also, there is the Norm of Reciprocity which believes we need to behave in line with accepted social and moral norms hence convincing the respondent likewise Ingratiation which is presenting oneself positively to convince people and That’s Not All which is prominent amongst marketers to convince customers undecided on whether to buy a particular product. There is also the low-balling. In this discourse, we give the low balling technique overview.
The technique entails proposing a request, getting approval from the person, then altering the terms of the agreement at the last minute. Psychologists have categorized this process as unethical, especially in sales negotiation and businesses. For example, when a house is supposed to be sold at a particular sum and the seller refuses to disclose the genuine state of the building, like leaking plumbing or the durability of the structure, they term this as low balling the buyer.
This differs from the foot-in-door technique. In both cases, there is a small request, but in low ball technique, it is made to get the initial deal to apply the less favorable bargain by the buyer. Similar to the door-in-the-face technique, this is playing on the need to maintain the reputation we are supposed to have amongst our peers (Burger and Caputo, 2015).
It doubles as an acceptance strategy, convincing an individual to agree to it. When a person applies this, he/she proposes a desirable offer at the beginning. From this offer, the respondent is made to commit to the agreement. Then, before they complete the deal, the individual will alter the offer.
In addition, this technique is used in sales. A seller suggests selling a product at a lower price. The customer agrees to it. Then, the seller increases the price before the sale ends. Because the customers have initially agreed to the sale, they will, against their will, accept the higher price.
In another instance, a travel agent may present a holiday prospectus; a five-star hotel, an exquisite dinner, an Olympic-size pool, and unlimited fun. The traveler sees this as a wonderful deal and agrees to pay for it. Then, the travel agent tells the traveler they booked the hotel throughout the year. But they are in luck. The agent then tells them there is a three-star hotel, at the same price. Because the customer has given consent to the sale, they agree on the less attractive offer.
Essential Requirements for This Technique to Operate
For the technique to be efficient, the opening offer must gravitate enough, like a cheap price, in order for a person to agree to it. The person should consent to the proposal and be sincerely committed. A French accession study by Guégen and Pascual (2000) showed that the view of consent affects agreement in such circumstances. Specifically, the buyer should not be pressurized into an agreement. Once the two parties are in agreement, they will create a relationship. They make the second just before the commitment is fulfilled. For instance, before the customer signs a contract. The second request entails a higher demand, such as an increased sale price.
How successful this technique is goes beyond the realms of business and sales. Robert Cialdini carried out a low ball technique overview and evaluation on college students. Participants were expected to appear early because the evaluation was to take place in the morning. Cialdini told one group of the start time before they took part. Meanwhile, he requested another group to agree to take part in the experiment, but only told them the start time after they had agreed to take part. Cialdini saw more compliance from the second group. His evaluation supports the efficiency of the technique in procuring compliance (Cialdini et al., 1978).
We have also seen the technique to be efficient in philanthropic situations. Richard Brownstein and Richard Katzev (1985) discovered the technique to be more efficient than the door-in-the-face method in getting higher sums of money from people (Brownstein and Katzev, 1985). Even though the facts of the request altered, the subject still feels mandated to follow their behavior (Pascual, Carpenter, Guégen, and Girandola, 2016).
In this low-ball technique overview, we see the reliance on the desire to get consent. According to this hypothesis, any individual would want to be seen in a splendid light by their peers. People are consistently aiming at or seek to gain and preserve this perception of themselves. When the terms of a deal are changed, they refuse to be seen as weak-minded by refusing to proceed with the agreement (when it is a contrasting thing entirely) and agree to the new demand as a way of keeping their ‘reputation’ with the seller (Burger and Caputo, 2015).
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