Pre-Suasion seeks to add to the body of behavioral science information that general readers find both inherently interesting and applicable to their daily lives. It identifies what savvy communicators do before delivering a message to get it accepted. Their sharp timing is what is new here. Older voices have recognized the wisdom of undertaking prior action to secure subsequent success. In asserting the value of early planning, the ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu declared, “Every battle is won before it is fought.” Consultants are taught to gain a client’s business by first attaining the status of “trusted advisor.” Dale Carnegie assured us, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.” All wise counsel. But there’s a drawback: days, weeks, or months of prior activity are required.
Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade
Is it possible to enhance effectiveness not only within those lengthy time frames but also in an instant—the last instant before communication is sent? Not only is it possible, but it is also established. Communicators can elevate their success by knowing what to say or do just before an appeal. Marcus Tullius Cicero, the
Roman orator of the first century BCE, recognized the sway of certain long-standing influences on human conduct, proclaiming, “Oh, the times! Oh, the customs!” The material in Pre-Suasion implicates a much more immediate and manageable source of influence: Oh, the moment!