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  • Writer's pictureGreat Companies

Foot in the door Technique

In their famous 1966 experiment, Freedman and Fraser send someone around to ask people to place a small card in a window of their home supporting safe driving. Two weeks later, the same people were asked by a different person to put a large sign in their front yard advocating safe driving. The result: 76% of people who agreed to the first request now complied with the more intrusive request, compared to only 20% of people who were never asked to put a sign in their windows and were just asked to put up a large sign in their yards.

The lesson here is that you’re more likely to get a big “yes” from someone if you get a small “yes” from them first. A bond forms between the requester and the requestee during the small request, which makes them more likely to comply with a bigger request. Also, people tend to want to act consistently based on how they acted in response to the first request.

This means you shouldn’t ask someone to buy your product or set up an hour-long demo call when they visit your site for the first time. Make a smaller request instead. For example, ask to set up a quick 15-minute call to discuss something indirectly related to your product or service, like a consulting session. Small asks lay the groundwork for bigger asks

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