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9 lessons on persuasion from a preschooler

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Right up front, we’re shooting out the disclaimer that whining and throwing a temper tantrum are not part of this list, so if that’s what you were expecting, we hate to disappoint you, but there are times when you might feel it’s come to that if you’re not garnering the online audience for which you were hoping.

Whether it’s sales or readers you’re looking to score, there are helpful lessons to be learned from the wee ones as Jarom Adair at Copyblogger learned when he started closely studying the seemingly limitless persuasive powers of his four-year-old, Elijah.

1. The art of the ask

Despite repeatedly assuring Elijah that he would not find cake at the hardware store during a recent trip, Elijah approached an employee anyway and asked, “Do you have cake?”

Instead of turning him away, the employee led us to the employee lounge where, coincidentally, someone had just celebrated a birthday.

They happily gave Elijah a large slice of birthday cake, and I relearned one of the most basic lessons of persuasion.

Persuasive Tip #1: You’ve got to ask for what you want, or you’ll never persuade anybody to do anything.

And just like asking for cake in a hardware store, there are two common places most writers often don’t think to ask for what they want. They are:

#1 Ask at the end of your article — Any time you’ve given someone something of value (like an informative article on your site), this is a great time to give people a gentle nudge to join your email list or look further into a service or product you offer.

#2 Ask again after they’ve taken action — If someone has just taken action — like joined your email list or purchased something — immediately invite them to take more action. They have action-taking momentum, and it’s a great time to make them an offer they can’t refuse.

Full story at Copyblogger.

Tips on writing.

Photo credit: Annie Colbert

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