Ever binge watched a TV series?

Finished a book when really you needed to sleep?

Here, red10 ‘s Gavin Simpson talks about one aspect of pre-suasion that Professor Cialdini – the guru of influencing – calls Magnetizer.

How Can You Keep Someone’s Attention?

It’s hard enough to get someone’s attention, never mind keep their attention.

In a previous article, we shared influencing guru Professor Cialdini’s technique to increase your chances of getting someone’s attention, called Priming, helping others to be in a receptive state of mind.

Once you’ve got someone’s attention though…how do you keep then interested and focused on your proposal?

Have you heard of the Ziegarnick effect?

Again, Professor Cialdini turns to psychology to give us some tips. Have you heard of the Zeigarnick effect? No, well neither had I. It’s one way in which we are hard-wired as humans

The effect was first observed and described by a Russian psychologist named Bluma Zeigarnik. Sitting in a busy restaurant in Vienna, she noted that the waiters had better memories of the orders that remained unpaid. Once the bill was paid, however, the waiters had difficulty remembering the exact details of the order.

Magnetizer Tip #1: Use Unfinished Stories

The Zeigarnick Effect is used all the time, as unfinished stories to keep our attention, for example;

  • movie trailers give you some of the story but not all the story, leaving out some important details
  • the soap drama end on a “cliff-hanger” and you just have to tune in for the next episode to see what happens
  • your friend tells you about a wonderful person they have just met, and they are going on a date, you can’t wait to hear how it goes. In fact you haven’t heard a few days later and you can’t help yourself dropping them a text to see how it went.

Magnetizer Tip #2: Self-Relevant

So how can we dial this up even more?

Cialdini proposes if you make things “self-relevant” i.e. as relevant to you as possible e.g. your age, your profession, your interest area then it’s more likely to hold your attention. For example:

  • someone in your network tells you about some exciting research they are imminently completing that is also in your interest area. Would you like to discuss the results when they are available?
  • You email a client about a pilot of something you are doing with a different client. On reflection from a recent conversation with them it also meets a need for them in their business.

Magnetizer Tip #3: Proposing a Puzzle

We all love a mystery, a whodunnit page-turner.

Cialdini proposes that if we can turn our narrative into a puzzle to be solved, then it fires up our interest so that we keep attention until the end.

Have we mentioned that this is just one of eight pre-suasion techniques?

Of course, it’s useful to know the outcome you are trying to influence to know how to use a magnetizer. And there are seven other pre-suasion techniques that Cialdini says we are hard-wired as humans to respond to.

That’s for another article…

How can you start to use Magnetizers?