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11 manipulation techniques to improve your results


When you fall into one of the manipulation techniques, it’s just that we tend to adhere to what we feel is our decision. Once the decision is made, it is somehow “frozen“. We talk about a freezing effect by our inability to reverse a decision. In the case of the decision that we make or that an intermediary makes us make, it commits us.

All those who hire us, manipulate us. Let’s call a spade a spade ! Nevertheless, it is difficult to blame professionals for optimising their practices in the light of advances in knowledge.

We are all, to varying degrees, manipulators without implying that we are great perverts. You will agree that it is necessary to denounce these practices when they are applied by people with questionable or even dishonest intentions.

I would like to point out to those who are manipulated a few keys to better defend themselves. Also, for entrepreneurs, it is interesting to answer some questions you can ask yourself and provide you with material to optimize your practices. I invite you to make an effort of imagination useful to optimize your practices.

Manipulation techniques : The pitfalls of the decision

We tend to adhere to and comply with what we think is our own decision. It can be considered as an intermediate link that will freeze the possible behavioural options. It leads the decision-maker to remain on his decision. Once taken, in this freezing effect, we are like prisoners of her.

The decisions we make or manage to make commit us

We are talking about escalating commitments as a result of an inconsistent decision. All these decisions that undermine our common sense when we persist on a path that seems doomed to failure thinking that we will eventually get there.

In this quest, we can be in the wasteful expenditure. In this diagram, there is a high probability that the more expensive the decision, the more we will persevere in our decision. The cost can be money, time, energy or all 3 at once. In the end, the decision is painful and may seem absurd.

Too invested to give up

There is also the abstruse trap that is more pernicious. Among the manipulation techniques, here is one that is self-manipulation. It is a system that commits us to a succession of decisions where we know that, in the end, the situation will not be profitable for us. It’s a bit like “sawing off the branch we’re on”.

Initiating the decision

We find ourselves in the situation where one individual manipulates another. This technique consists in getting an individual to make a decision without giving him all the necessary information.

Once the individual has taken the bait, he can never go back

It involves only one behaviour: it’s all or nothing! The priming is based on the illusion of choice in complete freedom.

In priming, you have the technique of luring. This technique consists in making a decision by shimmering one or more advantages. As circumstances have changed, he is made to understand that he has the opportunity to adopt alternative behaviour without being able to regain the same benefits.

manipulation techniques: the priming technique

Let’s imagine that you enter a shop to buy a model of discount shoes that you noticed when you walked past the window. Once inside, you are finally told that it is not available in your size. But the seller offers you other similar ones, of the right size, but not on sale….

You can guess that it will be very tempting to buy the open pair of shoes^^ because, after saying YES to the first proposal, it will be easier to say it again to the second proposal. Two consecutive decisions constitute what is called a reinforcement.

To avoid falling into the trap, you must know how to reverse your decision

Other manipulation techniques

The “foot-in-the-door” technique

Among of manipulation techniques, she consists in asking for an inexpensive action in a first movement and in the second one for a more expensive action in the end.

The individual will gladly perform an action without realizing that he or she is putting his or her finger on something. He or she must find himself or herself in a context of free choice that facilitates engagement.

Imagine if someone stopped you on the street :

  • Hello, do you have the time, please ?
  • It’s 6:00 pm.
  • Thank you, do you have a cigarette ?
  • Yes, of course.

Some smokers may have recognized themselves in this situation. The person who asks you for a cigarette will have a better chance of having his request satisfied if the request is made in a second movement.

The “door-to-nose” technique

She consists in first of all in requesting a very important service and then in requesting a less important service.

Imagine a friend asking you for help moving :

  • Tell me, are you available all weekend to help me move ?
  • No, sorry I have to visit my grandmother on Sundays.
  • I suggest you come by and help us on Saturdays ?
  • It’s okay.

The two requests only vary in cost but remain in the same project. To be successful, it is important that the technique be based on a noble cause. To improve its efficiency, the time between the two requests should not exceed 1 day.

Moving from a position of refusal to that of acceptance, we are talking about a norm of reciprocity or reciprocal concessions.

The two techniques of foot in the door and door in the nose are equal in terms of conversion level. Scientific studies have not really been able to prove that one of the two techniques could outperform the other.

manipulation techniques: the technique of touch

The “touch” technique

Among the manipulatio techniques to increase efficiency among handling techniques. It changes an individual’s judgment or mood and facilitates the acceptance of a request.

The “foot-in-the-mouth” technique

can be applied by phone or face-to-face. It consists in establishing a first contact with an individual by showing that one is interested in him.

Let’s say someone comes to meet you in a park :

  • Hello, excuse me for disturbing you, how are you ?
  • Hello, I’m fine, thank you !
  • Would you have 1 euro, it’s to offer a ride to my son.
  • Yes, of course.

The technique “of fear and then relief

She consists in relieving, in a first movement, an individual of a fear to submit a request. This relieving effect will facilitate the acceptance of the request.

Imagine that one of your relatives announces to you by phone by leaving a message on your answering machine that he had a very serious accident while borrowing your car :

  • Hello, I’m calling to tell you that I’m in hospital because of a traffic accident. Come as soon as possible…
  • Without knowing where he or she is and imagining the worst you look forward to hearing from him or her.
  • When you see the new one, you notice that the damage is minimal and that he or she has no injuries. Relieved you put the sponge on the car.
  • You have just fallen victim to one of the manipulatiion techniques called “fear and relief” 😉

The “foot-in-memory” technique

She consists in having an individual remember certain wrongful or negative behaviours in order to encourage him/her to refrain from this type of behaviour in the future.

Imagine that you are participating in an ecological awareness event :

  • Remember that when you stay in the shower for too long, you waste water !
  • Would you like to sign our awareness charter ?
  • Yes, of course.

The target will tend to remember this event and spend less time in the shower.

The “it’s not all” technique

She consists in reducing the perceived price of demand by reporting the addition of free product. Its variant would be to gradually reduce the price.

Imagine that when you go to your optician to buy new glasses, he or she tells you :

  • Hello, for 1 euro more the pair of sunglasses is free !
  • Yes, of course.

The “labelling” technique

She is useful in bringing an individual to do by himself what is expected of him, i.e. the expected behaviour.

Among of manipulation techniques, for it to be effective, the labelling must be related to the expected act and only concerns traits related to self-esteem.

Imagine that a person from an association to collect donations submits a questionnaire to you and then tells you :

  • Thank you for answering the questionnaire, it has become rare for people who care about the well-being of others like you. We can see that you are concerned about their future. Exactly, could you make a donation ?
  • Yes, of course.

The “corn you are free to” technique

She is used to seek a person’s help by letting them know that they are free to accept or not.

Imagine if a person who doesn’t look like a beggar at all stops you on the street and asks you :

  • Would you have 1 euro to pay for the parking meter, please ? But you are free to accept or not.
  • Yes, of course.

The “a little is better than nothing” technique

She consists in soliciting a donation for a noble cause from a ridiculously small sum.

Among of manipulation techniques, in this tactic, the individual who does not want to appear stingy is likely to accept.

Let’s imagine that a person for cancer control knocks on your door :

  • Hello, for the fight against cancer, would you like to help us by making a donation? Even 50 cents will be enough.
  • Yes, of course.

Click HERE to find out how to get organized and work less to stay effective and be part of the new blessed “Working less to be happy

What technique will you use in your business knowing that you are an honest person 😉 ?

To go further…

Robert-Vincent Joule and Jean-Léon Beauvois In : Petit traité de manipulation à l’usage des honnêtes gens [Online] The format of the paper book is available in French on : < >

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