Door-in-the-face technique (DIFT)

This is the process used to obtain compliance by others (to make them behave the way you want them to) when a large request is made, knowing that it will probably be rejected in order for someone to accept a very small request. The real goal is to make the most of a small request, which makes it seem very reasonable because it compares to such a large, seemingly insignificant request. In fact, the big request gets you a “door face” when you ask us. This technique is used in marketing, strategy, diplomacy, sales, and charity.

For example, someone may ask you to donate 5 hours of your time a week for the next year as a volunteer for a charitable organization. After hearing this offer, you may think it is a big request, after which you may be asked to, instead of committing all this volunteer time, just donate a small amount. Compared to the time commitment, this technique seems very acceptable.


The following examples will illustrate the “door in the face” technique used in different fields.

Friend to Friend

Request one: Can you watch my dog for the whole day? [Response is] “No.”

Request Two: Can you watch him for an hour while I go to the market?

Employee to Employer

Request one: Boss, can I have a 60% hike in my salary? [Response is] “No.”

Request Two: Can I have a 20% hike?

Employee to Store Manager

Request one: Can you help me do all this work? [Response is] “No.”

Request Two: Well, can you help me with this bit?

6-Year Old Kid to Mom

Request one: Will you buy me the whole Barbie set? [Response is] “No.”

Request Two: Will you buy me a new Barbie doll?

From Mother to Son

Request one: Can you clean your room by tonight?

Request Two: Can you make your bed by tonight?

Although this approach may seem strange, psychologists have found two reasons why “no” in response to a large request usually leads to a “yes” in answering the next small request.


This technique confirmed my thoughts on how to effectively enter the door. It is a translation of the mind of the “burying” man. People do not like to be disappointed, so when they are presented with a small task after an irrational refusal, it sounds like a big deal. Regarding this particular DIFT, I thought it was very well done. It can be repeated and the variables are strongly defined.

III Semester MBA, DSCE


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