Door to door donations are increased by allowing people to remain consistent.
I mean, if you ask someone to workout with you tomorrow, they are likely to say no.
But the trick is to get them to agree first: “Why, yes I would like to be in better shape and start going to the gym.”
“Cool! Me too. I’ll pick you up at six and we can go workout together.”
I would fall for this in a second, probably intent on displaying an unwavering ethic. Of course, good luck trying to get me to commit in the first place.
What funny games we play.
For instance, suppose you wanted to increase the number of people in your area who would agree to go door-to-door collecting donations for your favorite charity. You would be wise to study the approach taken by social psychologist Steven J. Sherman. He simply called a sample of Bloomington, Indiana, residents as part of a survey he was taking and asked them to predict what they would say if asked to spend three hours collecting money for the American Cancer Society. Of course, not wanting to seem uncharitable to the survey taker or to themselves, many of these people said that they would volunteer. The consequence of this sly commitment procedure was a 700 percent increase in volunteers when, a few days later, a representative of the American Cancer Society did call and ask for neighborhood canvassers. Using the same strategy, but this time asking Columbus, Ohio, residents to predict whether they would vote on Election Day, a team of researchers led by Anthony Greenwald were able to increase significantly the turnout in a U.S. presidential election among those called.
-Robert Cialdini, Influence