So far we have covered three of the six universal secrets of getting people to say “Yes” from Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

They are:

1. Reciprocity

2. Scarcity

3. Authority

Today, we move onto the 4th Secret: Consistency. 

The consistency principle states that “it is our nearly obsessive desire to be (and appear to be) consistent with what we have already done. “ 

In other words, once we have made a choice or taken a stand, we will start to encounter or feel personal pressures to behave consistently with that commitment.  And, as a result, those pressures will “cause us to respond in ways that justify our earlier decision.”

Consistency

Real Life Example

This power principle of consistency plays out all too often in our everyday lives.  And most of the time, we are totally unaware of it.

Take for instance my friend, Bryce, who recently fell for this principle during a promotion for a Half Marathon race.  In short, the event launched a campaign where anyone who would post on their facebook page the following would receive $5 off their entrance fee:

“The Big Cottonwood Marathon & Half is excited to welcome Bryce Jackson to this incredibly fast and spectacularly scenic half marathon.  Show Bryce some love as he gets ready to GO BIG on 9.13.14!”

It also included a link to the event website and a picture of some of last year’s participants.

Why This Works

So you may be thinking, “All they did was offer a discount…that’s why he signed up.”  While that is partly true – there is some financial incentive (albeit not very much) – there is something much more powerful going on here.

The Event got my friend Bryce to publicize his commitment to run this particular race to all the people associated with his facebook page.  What this does is show others that Bryce has made this commitment.  And as we learned earlier, once we make a choice and take a stand (especially when that commitment is made public or written down), we naturally want to be consistent with our decisions.

As a result, the pressure to appear consistent will greatly motivate my friend to actually complete the race.

How To Apply To Your Photography Business 

As with the example above, it all starts with a simple commitment.  Once someone commits to something, it then becomes easier for them to commit to doing something more so as to appear consistent with their earlier decision.

Here are a few ideas on how you can start utilizing the power of consistency in your photography business:

1.  Having Issues With Missed Appointments?  Have Your Customers Fill Out Their Own Appointment Cards

A recent study showed that a health spa was able to reduce missed appointments by nearly 20% simply by having their patients fill out all the details on the appointment card.  How much time, money, and effort would be saved by drastically reducing the number of your missed appointments?

2. Surveys From Clients & Prospects

Another stellar way to employ the power of consistency is to engage your clients and prospects in a survey or questionnaire.  By doing so, it allows your clients to write down their views and opinions of products and services.  And as we have seen, once people have taken a stance on a particular idea (or product in this case), they will feel pressure to remain consistent with that decision.

So what if you created a survey that asked clients and prospects about your various products and services.  Aside from general questions about which products of yours they might be interested in, you could ask specific questions such as…

“How often do you update the photos in your home or office?” or “What do you intend on using your photos for? Do you have a specific place in your home/office that you are trying to decorate with photos?”

The answers to those questions contain the keys to potential future sales.  For example, if you know that each year your client likes to update all of their photos in their office, then you can schedule a designated time to contact them about that and what their options are.

Or if you know that your client really wants a large canvas wrap for their family room or has a void in their hallway that they would like to decorate with a grouping of family photos, then you can show them how to do just that.  “I think that this photo would look great in your family room, don’t you?”

In addition, it will help you know what they really want in the end.  Many times as photographers, we try to push one particular product on everyone, even though it really isn’t the solution for all of our clients.  We just do it because it’s easier.

But by getting your clients to make a small commitment in writing, say to redecorate their office every 12 months, we can now follow up and help them remain consistent with their decision.

Start applying these powerful principles today!  They work.  I challenge you to try them and see for yourself.