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Psychology Of Persuasion • How To Persuade

Aligning With Values

Simply put, a "value" is what a person believes to be important.

Each person's values are arranged in a hierarchy with the most important value on the top and the least important value on the bottom. Our research has revealed that people will always seek out their highest value on the hierarchy.

Here's a list of values (things that could be important) for choosing a restaurant:

  • Nutrition
  • Variety of food
  • Cleanliness
  • Rest room comfort
  • Location / Convenience
  • Quality of food
  • Service
  • Decor
  • Ambience
  • Price


Now let's take this same list of values and arrange them in order for two different people (remember: the order is key!):

 James

Susan

  1. Quality of food
  2. Service
  3. Decor
  4. Ambience
  5. Price
  6. Nutrition
  7. Variety of food
  8. Cleanliness
  9. Rest room comfort
  10. Location / Convenience
  1. Price
  2. Location / Convenience
  3. Cleanliness
  4. Ambience
  5. Quality of food
  6. Nutrition
  7. Variety of food
  8. Decor
  9. Rest room comfort
  10. Service


Even though James and Susan each share exactly the same list of values regarding restaurants, they are likely to make completely different choices because the order of their values is different.

On most occasions, Susan will pick a restaurant that is close and inexpensive, while James is willing to travel to get what he considers to be high quality food and good service.

To use this effectively, you must learn how to:

  • Determine the values of a person or group
  • Determine the hierarchy of the values
  • Match your product or idea to the highest value possible
  • Shift the other person's hierarchy if you can't match it
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