Ethical Influence in Pharmacy: Persuading Prescribers and Patients to Say “Yes”

PDS 2019

What makes people say yes? The science behind persuasion is comprehensive, and researchers have been studying the factors that influence people to say “yes” to the requests of others for over 60 years.

The real question is: what guides human behavior? During the decision-making process, it’s natural to think that people consider all the information available to them to determine their response. In reality, people are guided by certain factors that influence their decisions because we lead such busy, sensory-saturated lives.

Read on to discover what guides people to say “yes!”

An Introduction to Our First Keynote Speaker for PDS 2019!

Dr. Robert Cialdini, a New York Times best-selling author, psychologist, and professor, founded the principles of persuasion. We’re so excited to reveal that he will be at the 2019 PDS Super-Conference as one of our Keynote Speakers! At the show, he is set to wow the crowd with his topic on ethical influence, which will be a hot topic at PDS 2019 because we will focus on prescriber buy-in as well as ethical persuasion for your pharmacy patients. We will lay the foundation down at the conference, address questions and teach you how to effectively get the buy-in you want without sacrificing your integrity.

What we’ll share with you below are the findings of his research… you may be surprised at how you can use his principles effectively and ethically.

The 6 Principles of Persuasion

In Dr. Cialdini’s research, he identified 6 factors that influence people and drive them to say “yes.” He believes that if you understand and employ these principles in an ethical manner, you can also increase your chances of influencing others to the desired outcome.

  • Reciprocity
  • Scarcity
  • Authority
  • Consistency
  • Liking
  • Consensus

Dr. Cialdini identified these universal principles by observing real-life situations of persuasion over a number of years. Let’s be clear, these principles must be ethically used to be effective and align with moral practices. Let’s unpack how these principles guide our behaviors.

Reciprocity

This principle plays on the need for people to give back what they have received first. Whether it’s a behavior, gift, or service, people feel obliged to give back.

Simply put, if someone does you a favor, you have the social obligation to return the favor you owe. An example for pharmacies would be if one of your team members gives a customer personalized and unexpected service, such as a free sample, the customer will feel obligated to either purchase the product, other products or return to your store.

Scarcity

You may have already inferred what this principle is about. People want what they cannot have. If you announce that a product will be going off the shelves, your customers will be more willing to purchase this product even though nothing has changed about it, neither the quality or the price.

The research is clear — when using the scarcity principle in your pharmacy, you must not only speak of the unique benefits of your product, but also, what they have to lose if they miss out.

Authority

Why is it that we tend to hold more stock in people in uniform or degrees on the wall? Attributes such as these indicate a level of authority in their field and for most of the population that passes the mental litmus test of credibility.

The science behind the authority principle shows signaling what makes you credible makes your audience, patients, prescribers, or otherwise, more apt to be influenced by this display of expertise.

Consistency

This is an interesting principle, and likely not often considered in a business setting. The idea is that your customers tend to be consistent with the things they have previously said or done.

What this means is that if you make small asks at the beginning of your relationship or transaction, they will be more willing to see it through. An example of this is a recent study where a health center was able to reduce their missed appointments 18% by asking the patients to fill out appointment details on their own appointment card instead of the staff. This also works if you want to make a bigger ask of the customer down the road, they will be more agreeable to complete the bigger action if they have consistently completed smaller ones.

Liking

The driving force behind this principle is simple — people will say yes to those they like.

What makes people like you? Humans will tend to like others with whom they can relate, people who are amiable, and with whom they have a connection. This is why it is so vital that you’re putting the right people on your team in customer-facing positions. Your team on the front lines must be personable, knowledgeable, and provide exemplary customer care.

Consensus

The consensus principle follows the idea that people will flock to and trust the consensus of others. This is why social proof sites like Yelp, or the rating on your Facebook business page will successfully convert people to follow you. We trust the opinions of our peers.

For your pharmacy, it’s important to deliver quality patient care and excellent customer service, then provide an outlet for people to praise and rank you so you can build that credibility. This, of course, holds you and your team to high standards that you must uphold.

Save Your Seat to the Most Important Pharmacy Conference of Your Career

These 6 principles of persuasion are scientifically proven to increase your ability to influence others. PDS is proud to bring you the Annual Pharmacy Business Super-Conference with three days of actionable content. Independent doesn’t mean alone. Gain the knowledge and strategies shared by 1,600+ thriving pharmacy owners.

 

 

 

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