One of the ten Laws of Persuasion that I teach in the popular Psychology of Persuasion Seminar Series is The Law of Association. This law states, we tend to like products, services, and ideas that are endorsed by other people we like and respect.
Calvin Klein paid $40,000,000 to link one of the world’s most loved and best-known people to its product. What did Michael Jordan and underwear have in common? Nothing, except huge sales! That is what the Law of Association is all about. When your products and your services are linked to credible, likable, positive-image people, your clients will tend to like the products and services. If you don’t know or can’t afford to pay a celebrity endorsement; then make sure you get testimonials from a variety of different people and place them on your website. Also, take a digital camera with you everywhere you go and have your picture taken with well-known people. All of this will increase your credibility and uses the power of the law of association.
There is much more to mental linking and associating materials together that you can use in your business presentations. In this article we will examine other aspects of associations.
Associations are acquired mental connections. When certain parts of a total situation are thought of, other aspects also appear in the focus of your consciousness. Make sure that your sales presentation, sermon, or teaching materials are arranged in a logical order to aid in the mental recall of those materials and ease of comprehension from your listener. The main reason so many beginning professionals that speak and give presentations get confused and fail to give an adequate presentation or sermon is because they have not established proper connections between the different points in the development of their materials. It is essential that you link adequate bonds between the main points of your presentation, sermon and teaching materials. It takes adequate preparation to link associated bonds strong enough to overcome stage fright and timidity that beginners experience in front of groups. Some estimates suggest that the professionals spend 6-8 hours of preparation time for each hour of live presentation that they give in front of groups.
There are eight Axioms of Association that you need to become familiar with as you develop teaching materials and sales presentations. These axioms will give you a basis to help with linking strong bonds of association. These axioms use the inherent principles of both the conscious and subconscious mind to help secure your message not only into the mind of your listener(s); but also help you with logical recall and delivery of your materials.
1. The Axiom of Contiguity – experiences that occur together in time or place either successively or simultaneously, tend to be recalled together.
2. The Axiom of Similarity – experiences which are alike or similar tend to be recalled together, or if one is recalled, it is likely to bring up a similar event or experience.
3. The Axiom of Contrast – contrasted experiences, or experiences of opposite nature, tend to be recalled together.
4. The Axiom of Cause and Effect – experiences associated by the bond of cause and effect tend to be recalled together.
5. The Axiom of Frequency – the more frequently an experience is repeated, the greater tendency for it to be recalled.
6. The Axiom of Vividness – the more vividly connected experiences are impressed upon the mind, the greater the tendency for them to be recalled together.
7. The Axiom of Recency – the more recently two experiences are associated together, the more likely one is to recall the other.
8. The Axiom of Primacy – if two connected experiences are the first of a series, there is a greater tendency for them to be remembered than if they occurred in the middle of a series.
You should capitalize on the various axioms of associations in every possible way that will enable your listener(s) to form strong association bonds between the main points of your materials. It is not enough for your audience (student, congregation, or client) to be impressed by the presented materials; you must embark a movement, purchase, and/or acceptance of your presentation. Your audience should also be able to remember the content of what has been said because of its value and because the method of your presentation was such that they gave favorable conscious attention to it.
As you can see from this detailed examination of the principles and philosophy of association; there is much more to association than the single principle that I teach in the Psychology of Persuasion Seminar. The basics of association are of paramount importance to all aspects of speaking and sales presentations. The better you become at mastering the linking fundamentals of association within your materials, the more effective speaker or salesperson you will become.