Studies show that we tend to like and are more attracted to those who are like us and with whom we can relate. If you watch people a party, you will see them instantly gravitate towards people who seem to be similar to themselves. I can remember walking in a foreign country, taking in the unfamiliar sights and sounds, and then running into someone from my own country. We could have been from opposites sides of the nation, but there was an instantaneous bond between us, all because we had something in common in a mutually unfamiliar place.

Have you ever heard the saying, “People buy from people they like”? This is true even in the judicial system. If jurors feel that they share some common ground with you and, better yet, like you–even subconsciously–for that similarity, then you will have a markedly better chance of winning your case. Anytime we establish something about ourselves that others will identify with, we increase our persuasive powers. In one particular study, antiwar demonstrators were more inclined to sign petitions of those similarly dressed, and often didn’t even bother to read the petition before signing!

Similarly, we gravitate toward people who dress like us. In the 1970s, when young people tended to dress in either “hippie” or “straight” fashion, researchers studied the effects of clothing styles. Experimenters donned hippie or straight attire and asked college students on campus for a dime to make a phone call. When the experimenter was dressed in the same way as the student, the request was granted in more than two thirds of all instances; when the student and requester were dissimilarly dressed, the dime was provided less than half the time. Numerous studies conclude that your audience is most responsive to individuals who dress and act similarly to them.

Similarity theory states that familiar objects are more liked than less familiar ones. The same holds true with people: We like people who are similar to us. This theory seems to hold true whether the commonality is in the area of opinions, personality traits, background, or lifestyle. Consequently, those who want us to comply with their wishes can accomplish that purpose by appearing similar to us in a variety of ways.

Do you remember all the “cliques” in junior high, high school, or even college? People associate and interact with those they view as similar to themselves. Cliques are often based on such commonalities as gender, age, educational background, professional interests, hobbies, and ethnic background.

Researchers McCroskey, Richmond, and Daly say there are four critical steps to similarity: attitude, morality, background, and appearance. When receiving a persuasive message, the following questions are asked subconsciously:

1. Does the speaker think like me?

2. Does the speaker share my morals?

3. Does the speaker share my background?

4. Does the speaker look like me?

Of the four similarity factors, attitudes and morals are the most important. Master Persuaders are always looking for similarities or common beliefs to form the basis of common foundations with their prospects. We want to be persuaded by those who are like us and with whom we can relate. We see real-world examples of this in advertisements. We want to see people we can identify with, and the advertising execs accommodate us. When we see a particular commercial, we think, “Hey, he is just like me! He doesn’t have time to pick up his socks, either. That couple has a messy, cluttered house, too.” We see ads showing the average Joe or Jill because they create that similarity.

Your audience will connect with you when they perceive the similarity. O’Keefe found two important points regarding similarity and persuasion. First, the similarity must be relevant to the subject or issue being persuaded. Second, to persuade someone, the similarities must involve positive rather than negative qualities.

Everyone persuades for a living. There’s no way around it. Whether you’re a sales professional, an entrepreneur, or even a stay at home parent, if you are unable to convince others to your way of thinking, you will be constantly left behind. Get your free reports at Success Advantage to make sure that you are not left watching others pass you on the road to success. Donald Trump said it best, “Study the art of persuasion. Practice it. Develop an understanding of its profound value across all aspects of life.”

Conclusion

Persuasion is the missing puzzle piece that will crack the code to dramatically increase your income, improve your relationships, and help you get what you want, when you want, and win friends for life. Ask yourself how much money and income you have lost because of your inability to persuade and influence. Think about it. Sure you’ve seen some success, but think of the times you couldn’t get it done. Has there ever been a time when you did not get your point across? Were you unable to convince someone to do something? Have you reached your full potential? Are you able to motivate yourself and others to achieve more and accomplish their goals? What about your relationships? Imagine being able to overcome objections before they happen, know what your prospect is thinking and feeling, feel more confident in your ability to persuade.

Kurt Mortensen - EzineArticles Expert Author

About the Author:

Kurt Mortensen’s trademark is Magnetic Persuasion; rather than convincing others, he teaches that you should attract them, just like a magnet attracts metal filings. He teaches that sales have changed and the consumer has become exponentially more skeptical and cynical within the last five years. Most persuaders are using only 2 or 3 persuasion techniques when there are actually 120 available!

Kurt Mortensen teaches over a hundred techniques to give you the ability to effectively work with every customer that walks in your door. Professional success, personal happiness, leadership potential, and income depend on the ability to persuade, influence, and motivate others. Learning how to persuade and influence will make the difference between hoping for a better income and having a better income.

If you are ready to claim your success and learn what only the ultra-prosperous know, begin by going to http://www.PreWealth.com and getting my free report “10 Mistakes That Continue Costing You Thousands.” After reading my free report, go to http://www.PreWealth.com/IQ and take the free Persuasion IQ analysis to determine where you rank and what area of the sales cycle you need to improve in order to close every sale!

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