Learning is not the same as selling cars is it?
- Reciprocity - We like to return favours. We started with a cup of coffee at the car dealer's.
- Scarcity - when something is scarce people want it. According to the car salesman this car offer was only valid for this day.
- Authority - you believe the professor rather than the postman. The car seller stressed that he had sold cars his entire life. (Unfortunately that was a minus for me :)
- Consistency (and commitment) - once people have put the first step is the next easier. A test drive ...
- Consensus (Social evidence) - one sheep over the dam.. and others follow. Stories about other people who also opted for this type of car.
- Sympathy (liking) - If you like someone you are quicker to award him something than when you don't like someone(this factor had my car salesman then not again!)
This prompted a discussion on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. My own conclusion is that you have to look and observe what drives people, what motivates them. So my car salesman quickly realized that would still like to have a red car and my husband was prone to a station model. How did he get there? By simply asking what we seek, by asking and observing which cars drew our attention. If you realize this, the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is less relevant. Is ultimately about influencing people. What trigger can you use to motivate them?
From car sales to learning online
The link between Cialdini and online learning is that we are learning online with a lot of added distractions than in a face-to-face setting. In an online workshop or webinar for example, you're always just one click away from your email. I myself have just facilitated a three-week online course on business and human rights, the involvement from week one to week three went down, from high to low. It's quite a challenge to keep the attention of busy officials. I still find it a nice challenge to fascinate people, and keep them engaged online. Relying on their own motivation of participants is not enough.
Motivating people to engage in online learning - tips from car salesmen
Can you think of other actions based on these principles?