What To Say To Get Your Way

What To Say To Get Your Way written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Jonah Berger

Jonah Berger, a guest on the Duct Tape Marketing PodcastIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Jonah Berger. Jonah is a Wharton School professor and internationally bestselling author of Contagious, Invisible Influence, and The Catalyst. He has a new book we’re going to talk about — Magic Words: What to Say to Get Your Way.

Key Takeaway:

Words are crucial to almost everything we do, including communicating, persuading, and connecting. In this episode, Jonah Berger joins me to discuss the science of language and how certain words have a more significant impact than others. You’ll learn practical tips on how to use those magic words to make a real difference.

Questions I ask Jonah Berger:

  • [1:14] Would you say there’s kind of a theme or a thread that’s run through your work?
  • [2:12] Would you go as far as saying that you are advising people to be scientifically intentional about the words they choose when they’re influencing?
  • [3:56] What was the research that you did like to compile the six types of words that can increase impact in every area of your life?
  • [7:21] At what point does the concept you’re talking about become a negative influence?
  • [9:05] What have you noticed in what the example you use in the book, Donald Trump, has done that has actually influenced people, you know, regardless of how you feel about it?
  • [15:58] What role does listening play in this universe?
  • [18:21] Can you unpack the language of beer?
  • [20:20] Where can people connect with you and learn more about your work?

More About Jonah Berger:

  • JonahBerger.com
  • Magic Words: What to Say to Get Your Way

Learn More About The Agency Intensive Certification:

  • Learn more

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Email Download New Tab

John Jantsch (00:00): This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Outbound Squad, hosted by Jason Bay and brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network. The audio destination for business professionals host Jason Bay, dives in with leading sales experts and top performing reps to share actionable tips and strategies to help you land more meetings with your ideal clients. In a recent episode called Quick Hacks to Personalize Your Outreach, he speaks with Ethan Parker about how to personalize your outreach in a more repeatable way. Something every single one of us has to do it. Listen to Outbound Squad, wherever you get your podcasts. Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Jonah Berger. He is a Wharton school professor and internationally known, best-selling author of books like Contagious, invisible Influence, and The Catalyst. And we’re gonna talk about his latest book today, magic Words, what to Say To Get Your Way. So welcome back to the show Jonah.

Jonah Berger (01:13): Thanks so much for having me back.

John Jantsch (01:15): So before we get into your current book, w just looking at the, your titles there as I read them off, would you say there’s kind of a theme or a thread that’s run through your work

Jonah Berger (01:23): There? There is. I would certainly say it relates a lot to influence and think about how influence works, whether it’s seeing others through word of mouth, which is what Contagious was all about, influencing others through traditional social influence. We’re doing the same thing. We’re doing something different and how others motivate us or demotivate us using influence to drive change, which is very much behind the catalyst. But along the way I realized that a lot of what was behind influence was the language we’re using, right? When we’re sharing word of mouth, we’re not only trying to get people to talk about us, we’re trying to get them to say certain things. When we’re trying to change others, we’re not just trying to get them to change. Using broad strategies, certain particular words are quite impactful. And so for the last decade or so, a lot of the work I’ve been doing is involving natural language processing or insight from textual language data. And so it finally was to the point where I thought it was ready for a book on the topic.

John Jantsch (02:12): So, so would you go as far as saying that you are advising people to be, uh, let’s see, scientifically intentional about the words they choose when they’re influencing?

Jonah Berger (02:21): You know, I think about language a lot like math, right? You can break down interpersonal interactions into a series of things that are more and less likely to work and to drive action, right? And what’s so neat is, you know, the amazing amount of data now that we have out there on language, you know, you and I are having a conversation right now. It may end up being transcribed when we call customer service. It’s recorded when we post our opinions online, we leave them in our language, in digital form, we can mine all this data for insight and we can use a rich set of new computational tools to extract that insight. And so we’re really living in a time where we can learn a lot about what type of language increases

John Jantsch (02:58): Our impact. Yeah. You know, one thing, we do a lot of work with companies to help develop strategy and I find that a lot of comes out of what their customers are saying about them. Yes. Like here’s the value you really provide. So we’ve just been taking all their reviews, chucking it into ai and it’s saying, here’s the stuff that people really value about what you do. And I, I think that’s, you know, it’s pretty scary how fast we could process that amount of data now.

Jonah Berger (03:21): Yeah. But you can almost think about, we’re talking about a sort of social listening. You can almost think about people leaving breadcrumbs right behind about their opinions and attitudes. And sure, one person’s opinion or attitude may just be one person’s opinion, right? But if tan a hundred, a thousand, 10,000 people are saying the same things, you can learn a lot both about where your brand should be, what problems your customers are having, who your competitors are, and what strategies might be useful in, in the future. And so it’s amazing to see both how we can use language to influence others, but also how we can learn from the language people leave behind and be better marketers as a

John Jantsch (03:55): Result. So coming from your world of academia, I’m, I’d love if you share a little bit about the research that you actually did to compile. Think you, you have six types of words that can increase impact in every area of your life as you claim. So what, describe the research that went into Sure. Boiling that down.

Jonah Berger (04:14): Yeah, so let’s just take a step back. You talk about six key types of words and I often talk about them in a framework called the speak framework. And that’s S P E A with two C’s at the end rather than a K. I’m not clever enough to figure out how to make it have a K, but the S is for

John Jantsch (04:27): The language is the toughest letter in Scrabble. It really is

Jonah Berger (04:31): . That’s good to know. I will try to avoid it in future frameworks. But the S is for language that evokes similarity. The P is for the language that helps us pose questions. The E is for language of emotion. A is for language of agency and identity. The C’s are for concreteness and confidence. And lemme just give you one example. So often when we’re trying to get others to, to do something, we often use verbs. And what do I mean by that? Well, if we’re asking for help, we say, can you help me? Or if we were a nonprofit, for example, trying to get people to, to turn out and vote, we might say, can you go vote? Right? We use verbs to encourage people to take that desired action. But the study was done at Stanford University a number of years ago where they saw whether a small subtle shift in language and they actually two letters could increase the impact of a request.

(05:16): So rather than asking some students to help, for example, clean up a classroom, they asked some to help and they asked some to be a helper. Now helper is the word help with two letters on the end. Er, very small difference. Only two letters yet led to a 30% increase in the percentage of people who helped it. And you might say, well that’s students and a classroom. Does that really work in the real world? Well, some similar scientists wondering, could we use this to actually change the number of people that turn out to vote? So they sent out tens of thousands of mailers to voters. Some people they said, Hey, could you go vote? And others they say, well hey, would you be willing to be a voter and go vote. Now voter and vote are only one letter difference, but there it led to a 15% increase in turnout.

(05:59): The reason why is quite simple, right? People like actions, but they really wanna hold desirable identities. We all wanna see ourselves as smart and helpful and interesting in all those various things. But turning actions, verbs, helping voting into identities, being a helper is a way to encourage people to claim those desired identities. Right? Voting is fine, but if voting is a way to show I’m a voter, well now I’m more likely to do it. Similarly, losing is bad, but being a loser would be even worse, right? Cheating is bad, but being a cheater would be even worse. And so research shows that framing undesired actions as undesired identities is more likely to get people to avoid them. Cuz no one wants to be a loser. Right? And so a, a great way to encourage people to do something is not by using actions, but by turning those actions into a,

John Jantsch (06:45): It’s actually like you’re almost getting them to join the team.

Jonah Berger (06:48): Yeah. You’re a team. It’s a question of which team it is. Yes. But Right, right, right. It can be different teams. And the same thing is true even with talking about yourself or colleagues, right? You wanna make someone look good, don’t say they’re hardworking, say they’re a hard worker, . Now it seems more persistent, right? If you call someone a runner, it seems like they run more often than if you just said, well they run. And so calling someone a creator rather than they’re creative, calling someone an innovative rather than they’re innovative. All of these things make them seem more like persistent, true aspects of self and makes other people see them more favorable.

John Jantsch (07:21): I won’t be the first or the last person to go here on this, but you know, at what point does that become negative influence? Like somebody responds to being called a runner, but they don’t really like to run that much, but they just kind of like the association. So you can actually trick them , you know, by giving them the association.

Jonah Berger (07:41): Yeah. You know what’s challenging about influence and tools in general is the tools themselves are neither good nor bad. Yeah. Yeah. So take a hammer, right? A hammer’s not a good thing or a bad thing. It can be used for some great things. It can help us build buildings. It can also be used to hurt someone. A hammer itself is neutral. The way we use it is positive or negative. And so if you said, Hey, you know Jonah, can we use these tools to get people to turn out to vote and help them exercise more and encourage ’em to be better to the world around them? We’d say, this is fantastic, right? If you said, well it’s gonna encourage people to buy junk and hurt people and do bad things, we’d say, well let’s not use these tools. And so it’s not about the tools themselves, it’s really about how we use them.

John Jantsch (08:18): Hey, marketing agency owners, you know, I can teach you the keys to doubling your business in just 90 days or your money back Sound interesting. All you have to do is license our three step process. It, it’s gonna allow you to make your competitors irrelevant, charge a premium for your services and scale perhaps without adding overhead. And here’s the best part. You could license this entire system for your agency by simply participating in an upcoming agency certification intensive. Look, why create the wheel? Use a set of tools that took us over 20 years to create and can have ’em today. Check it out at dtm.world/certification. That’s DTM world slash certification. This is a perfect segue to your name checking of Donald Trump in the book. But you use that example I think to illustrate that, you know, influence for good or bad depending upon, you know, where you stand on that. So, so talk a little bit about what you’ve noticed in what he has done that has actually influenced people, you know, regardless of how you feel about

Jonah Berger (09:25): It. Yeah. And so I don’t want to get into politics cuz some of your listeners may hate Donald Trump and some of them may love Donald Trump. Regardless of whether you like him or not. What you can agree with is he’s done an amazing job of motivating some set of people to action. Right? Even if you hate his policies and hate his ideas and hate him as a person, you can’t sit there and go, well he hasn’t had an effect. He’s clearly had an impact. And so even if you hate him, I think it would be a good idea to figure out why he has such an impact. And if you look at what he does, the same thing that startup founders and gurus and individuals we think are quite really good speakers often do, which is they exude confidence. They speak with a great deal of certainty, right?

(10:02): He doesn’t say something might happen, he doesn’t say this could work. He says, this will definitely happen, it will be amazing and everyone will love it. Right? He speaks with a great degree of certainty and compare that with most academics. And I’ll throw myself in the bucket here, right? We often say things like, well I, I think this is a good strategy, this might work. Or you know, as a consultant I often do this, right? I say, oh yeah, you know, I think this will be a good idea, this should work. Or you know, this is probably the best course of action. And what we’re doing there is two things. One, we’re sharing our opinions, but we’re also subtly undermining their impact. Because using hedges, the language I, you know, I think might, could possibly, all those are examples of hedges. Hedges undermine our impact cuz they make us seem less certain, right?

(10:45): They make observers think we’re less certain about what we’re saying and because of that they’re less likely to follow our advice. And so does that mean we should never hedge? No, they’re certainly cases where we should, but one don’t just hedge cuz it’s convenient and two, certain hedges are more impactful than others. So saying for example, it seems to me rather than it seems, suggests you’re willing to stand behind that opinion. Mm-hmm. Scroll back to top

powered by

This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network.

HubSpot Podcast Network is the audio destination for business professionals seeking the best education and inspiration to grow a business.





Posted by Contributor