July 20, 2018

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The Contrast Principle

Whenever I take my five year old son to the toy store, we always have a set budget for each trip beforehand to minimize impulse purchases. "Seven dollars, Dagsen. That's it for this trip," I said to him as we were walking out of the house. Surely we could get a handful of matchbox cars for seven dollars that would appease his monstrous toy appetite for another few days.

"Seven dollars, Daddy?" He responded, seeming surprised at such a low amount. "How about a hundred-fifty dollars for the toy budget?"

"A hundred-fifty dollars, Dagsen? Do you know how many toys that could buy? That’s a whole year’s worth of toys. No, son, not a hundred-fifty dollars."

"Well how about fifteen dollars, Daddy?" I paused and thought about his counter for a second. "Okay, fifteen dollars," I replied, thinking that this amount suddenly seemed like a bargain for me. Yet it didn’t occur to me until we were leaving the neighborhood that my son had just doubled his net toy profit for the day, just by using one of the principles of influence.

The contrast principle is a powerful way to increase the odds of you getting what you want in your next transaction or negotiation. Here’s a search example. I’ll never forget the time I presented an exceptional superstar candidate to a client. He had done much more than my client was expecting to find in the market, had a strong and sharp presence and was someone that I would put in the ‘Slam Dunk’ category of candidates.

The response from my client? "Looks okay, Scott. Let’s see some more candidates."

You’ve got to be kidding me, I thought to myself. Do you know how hard it is to find someone this strong and this motivated to make a move to your company? But from this situation, I learned a powerful lesson. Whenever I find an exceptional candidate, I always present at least one or two others at the same time or within a day or two. All the candidates will fit the specs of the search, but that superstar shines just a little bit brighter and it keeps my client from wanting to see ‘what else it out there.’

Here’s an exercise you can do with your colleagues at your next training session to learn more about this powerful and simple principle of influence. First, visit Dr. Robert Cialdini’s site to learn more about the principles of influence. Then see what sort of solutions your team comes up with in the following scenarios.

How can you use the contrast principle:

  1. When negotiating fees.
  2. When explaining your value compared to other recruiters.
  3. When trying to overcome candidate concerns about moving forward.
  4. When trying to overcome candidate counteroffers.
  5. When trying to overcome client concerns about moving forward with a candidate.
  6. When trying to convince a candidate that they should consider your client’s opportunity.

- Scott Love

Scott Love’s training system can turn you into a big biller. His ‘treasure chest’ of educational tools has given recruiters just like you a complete system of success. Over 1,500 recruiters have invested in and benefited from his training products in the last two years. For information on his educational tools and to access free instruments and downloads, click Here. All products come with a 'better than money back' guarantee: if you aren't satisfied with them, then you get all your money back and you get to keep the

Copyright © 2006 Scott Love