We value what we have more after we have it. In psychological terms, this is known as the endowment effect. We’re also extremely loss-averse. Framing a question within a fear of loss perspective increases compliance to action.
We’re very sensitive to possible threats too. A statement positioned as a threat is likely to drive more action than one without.
You have a big arsenal of potential tools you can deploy to persuade a group and move people to action. You can rewrite most of your current messages to incorporate a fear of loss or sense of treat.
Imagine you’re trying to persuade your boss to support your engagement efforts, consider the differences in the following:
|Before the appeal||After loss / threat appeals|
|Increase retention rates||Stop losing customers to competitors|
|Improve collaboration||Stop employers wasting time and duplicating work|
|Improve knowledge sharing||Stop experts leaving and taking their expertise with them|
|Increase advocacy||Steal your competitor’s customers before they steal ours|
|Generate new leads||Find potential clients before competitors|
You can create plenty of your own examples I’m sure.
Both fear of loss and sense of threat are persuasive tools which, despite their reputation, can be used to do good. Both can be considered for any action you’re persuading people to take.
(…and if you don’t use them, your competitors certainly will.)