Table of contents
  1. Introduction
  2. Foot-in-the-Door – Definition
  3. Mechanisms of Action
  4. Examples of Utilization
Foot in the door



Foot-in-the-door belongs to the so-called sequential techniques. This means that in this case, the proper request is always preceded by another request. Therefore, it is not a single action but a sequence.

Foot-in-the-Door – Definition

If someone fulfills your small request, they are more likely to fulfill yor next, larger one.

Mechanisms of Action:

Let’s delve a bit into the name of this technique, which perfectly illustrates its essence. To enter someone’s house, we need the door to be open – it’s obvious. The problem arises when someone doesn’t want to let us into their house and closes the door in front of us. Then, we cleverly wedge our foot, and the door remains unclosed. This small space we’ve gained through this maneuver is our chance. Thanks to it, we have a higher probability that our request will be heard and fulfilled than if we were shouting through closed doors (although doors slammed in our faces can also become the seed of our success).

For someone familiar even slightly with Cialdini’s principles of influence, the resemblance to the rule of commitment and consistency immediately stands out. This is a good association because this rule is one of the mechanisms of action of the foot-in-the-door technique.

Examples of Utilization:

  • In self-service stores, when at the checkout, the cashier also recommends products currently on promotion.
  • During acquisitions, when the salesperson treats the sale of a small, inexpensive product as a prelude to selling the main product.
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