Use Contrast to Speed-Up the Rate of Influence—INFLUENCE SERIES #3

Contrast is a powerful tool to speed-up our rate of influence with others.

Contrast presents one or two alternatives or options and makes one of them seem more desirable than the other. It's an incredibly powerful tool of influence. In this video clip, Joe Friedman highlights how you can use contrast to speed-up the rate of influence.


How can I speed up the rate by which I have influence with other people? One tool that gets used a lot is called “contrast.” Contrast presents one or two alternatives or options and makes one of those seem more desirable than the other. What influences the other person is obviously that one of those options appeals to them more effectively.

Think of how these tools get used in advertising all the time: Pay me now, or pay me later. Think about something like preventative maintenance in the corporate world. Most organizations don’t want to spend money now on fixing things that aren’t broken. And yet, if you allow things to go on for too long without being addressed or maintained, what’s going to happen? Something breaks down, something goes awry, and the pay-off that is necessary long-term becomes much larger.

So what you need to do when using this tool is find options to present where one of those options seems inherently more desirable than the other. Think of the numbers of ways that we use contrast. When we show pros versus cons, we’re doing contrast. Cost versus benefit. When you’re using benefit versus benefit, what are you doing? Return on investment. So, we’re going to list all of the options and the one that has the higher return uses contrast to say it’s the better path for us to take.

And yet, think about those of us who purchase things… Is the low-cost provider the one that we always go with? And the answer may be no. So what do we do when we are spending organizational funds? We create a decision matrix and we will take into consideration: cost, quality, delivery, and all of the variables so we can compare apples to apples. All we’re doing is using contrast.

It is an incredibly powerful tool to use when you are attempting to influence others.