B2B Marketing using Door in the Face Technique
January 2020

As part of our mission to support companies with B2B Marketing, lead generation and digital marketing we occasionally share content tips and insights based on our studies of Behavioral Design to help you optimize the return on investment you get from your marketing efforts. The door-in-the-face technique is a compliance methodology empirically proven to get people to do what you want making it effective for B2B marketing as well.

Our latest video explains the concept to the Door in the Face technique, and how you can leverage it to increase compliance with your requests, and close more deals.


Leveraging B2B marketing to support charity

We had an opportunity to test this while doing a small charity drive for the Gift of Happiness Foundation at a B2B business forum in Bangkok where we participated for marketing purposes.  Set up decade ago by Mr. Eddie Hawthorne, this foundation supports over 2,000 Thai children and families from very underprivileged communities with monthly donations of clothes and toys and toiletries.  They’re a cause that’s close to the heart of many and are very deserving of support.

To optimize the donations we raised we leveraged the Door-in-the-Face (DITF) technique for Compliance.


What is the DITF technique and how does it work?

DITF is a methodology based on research into compliance done by social psychologists. In other words, it’s an empirically proven technique to get people to do what you want.

The idea behind DIFT technique is that you can increase the likelihood of compliance with a request by preceding your request with a larger one, that’s likely to be refused.

DIFT is basically a special case of leveraging reciprocity. Typically what happens in people’s minds in this type of scenario is that because they have refused your bigger request they feel unpleasant and obligated to appease you for their refusal, which is why they’re happy to comply with your 2nd smaller ask

Pragmatically what we did during our charity drive is we gave people the opportunity to purchase a nifty red hat for 800 baht, and at a slight delay, we offered them the opportunity to donate100 baht. Those who didn’t buy the more expensive hat, felt obligated to at least donate the money.


How to make DIFT technique work for you?

To leverage DIFT in for B2B or B2C business all you have to do is, when making a request (a sales proposal for example) start with a BIG request, knowing it’s likely to be refused, and then come back with a second and smaller request, which will be more likely to win compliance.


How effective is DTIF?

Studies done on DITF technique in volunteering and donation situations indicate the 2nd request, when made alone, is likely to get only 17% compliance, but when preceded with a larger request, the compliance rate climbs up to 25-50% (depending on the conditions).

That’s a net increase of between 47-290% percent!

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