Tue, August 09 2011

Why the word “because” matters

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

I just finished teaching my strategic communications class at American University’s Key Executive Leadership program, and I found myself emphasizing one point quite often.  It was the importance of the word “because.”

When you’re making a case for something at your job, you need to do three things:

1. Grab people’s emotional attention
2. Provide a quick rationale for your recommendation
3. Ask for a specific action

The best way to address #2 is with the word “because.”  Everyone needs a rationale for feeling and doing certain things.  So you want to serve that up for them, quite simply.  The word “because” wakes them up to the fact you’re providing the rationale they need to move forward.

Social psychologists have tested the strength of the word because, and Robert Cialdini notes it is one of the strongest ways to influence people to agree to something, even if the rationale isn’t fabulous.

No doubt about it: Providing a reason is powerful for persuasion.


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