DITF & FITD Compliance Techniques: Definition & Comparison

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  • 0:03 Influencing Behavior
  • 1:06 Compliance
  • 1:32 Door-In-The-Face Technique
  • 2:56 Foot-In-The Door Technique
  • 4:35 Comparing &…
  • 5:01 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Compliance techniques are used to gain a 'yes' from your target recipient. In this lesson, you'll get a closer look at two of the more popular techniques and how they are similar and different in nature.

Influencing Behavior

You're a teenager and it's Friday afternoon, so you're getting ready for an evening out with friends. You really want to catch the movie that just came out, but it won't be over until 11 p.m. You already suspect your parents will say no to your request to stay out so late since you have a swim meet in the morning, so you devise a new plan to try to get your way.

You approach your father and ask for a 1 a.m. curfew. He immediately shoots down that idea. You follow that question up with a request to stay out until 11:30 p.m., just enough time for the movie to end and you to arrive home. Your father agrees and you happily finish getting ready and head out to see your movie.

What just happened here? Did your dad cave in to your request? Or, were you successful in using a psychological tool to get your way? Technically, both would be correct. Your use of something called the ' door-in-the-face' (DITF) technique worked by first getting you a 'no,' then ultimately getting you your 'yes.' DITF is a common technique used by marketers and salespeople to try to influence consumer behavior.


DITF and its companion foot-in-the-door (FITD), are both forms of compliance. Compliance is defined as a behavioral response to another person's request. Using compliance techniques is a way to influence another person's decision-making by appealing to them in specific ways that encourage them to follow your request or suggestion. Let's look at DITF and FITD in a bit more detail…


As we saw in our introduction, the door-in-the-face (DITF) technique works in a 'no, then yes' type of way. The first question or request you seek is typically something large or unreasonable that you anticipate getting a 'no' answer to. Then, you follow it up by making a smaller, more reasonable request. The idea is that because the person said no to the first request, they will likely not deny you the smaller, second request.

For example, you want a raise at work and approach your boss to suggest an increase of $5,000 for the year. When your boss tells you no, you make a more acceptable suggestion of $2,000 and she agrees.

Salespeople and marketers use the DITF technique a lot in an attempt to appeal to consumers. Take the example of a telemarketer who is trying to entice you to donate to their organization. They may call you, give their pitch and then ask you for a $500 donation. When you tell them no, they may change their pitch and instead ask you to contribute $50, to which you readily agree. They got a no on their first attempt, but a yes on the second. They have successfully used the DITF compliance technique on you.

Door-in-the-face works best when the requests made are very similar and made by the same person. The technique is designed to get the second request fulfilled. That's why it's referred to as ' door-in-the-face,' signifying the door being slammed in your face on your first attempt.


The foot-in-the-door (FITD) technique works exactly the opposite of the DITF technique. The idea behind FITD is that you ask for and gain something small upon your first request. Then, you follow-up and make a larger request on the second attempt. Literally, the idea is that getting your 'foot in the door' makes the person you're asking more likely to agree on a second, third, and fourth time.

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