Recent research is verifying something that mentalists have known for decades: touching somebody in a gentle yet firm way can greatly increase the chances they will comply with your wishes. Depending on context, the odds that they will do what you ask them to can nearly double.
As a technique for influencing people, touching can be fantastically useful. The trick is to not be, pardon the pun, heavy-handed about it. The touch should not be too aggressive, nor should it be in any way flirtatious. Also, be sensitive to the way the recipient of your touch is controlling his or her personal space. Some people have a larger zone of personal protection than others. People who maintain a particularly large personal zone tend to be touch averse. If the opportunity even comes up, you’ll want to limit the amount of times you touch them to only once.