… if you want to persuade slow payers to pay more quickly then it’s worth understanding the psychological principles behind the influencing process.
Professor Robert Cialdini sets out six such principles in his book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.“.
One of those is Social Proof, a principle that relies on people’s sense of “safety in numbers.”
- In other words,
- * you’re more likely to work late if others in your team are doing the same,
- * put a tip in a jar if it already contains money, or
- * eat in a restaurant if it’s busy.
In 2009, Britain’s tax system had a problem – too many people simply weren’t paying. The usual collection methods were being used
- 1 letters to the late payers,
- 2 interest charges,
- 3 late fees,
- 4 legal action …
But … in 2008 they only collected 57% ($290 million of the $510 million due).
Then, in 2009, they collected 86% by adopting a new approach ($560 million collected from the $650 million due).
This is what they did.
They used phrases such as
* “We collect taxes to make sure that money is available to fund the public services that benefit you and other UK citizens,”
* “Even if one person fails to pay their taxes it reduces the services and resources that are provided.”
* “Nine out of ten people in Britain pay their tax on time.”