When Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton hires you as a persuasive adviser, you know you've got it made in the persuasive shade.
This is the case for Mr. Robert Cialdini who wrote "Influence" back in 1984; however, it took years before the book was finally given the spectacular reception it deserved (Cialdini actually writes about why in his next book, "Pre-Sausion").
Here is a brief bulleted list of the concepts found in this book:
1) Reciprocity drives Persuasion
When you give somebody something, most of the time they will feel compelled to give something back. In fact, in the later book "Predictability Irrational", studies show people will actually get furious if somebody gives them something when they are either unable or unwilling to do something in return.
2) Commitment Drives Commitment
When you get people to invest their time or energy into something, they will be more inclined to stick with it through thick and thin.
This was also beautifully demonstrated in the later book "Hooked."
3) Social Celebration Drives Individual Trust
It's no secret by now that when you have glaring endorsements from other people, individuals will tend to trust you more than if you didn't.
I hate to keep mentioning other books that have expanded on these concepts... but, in the book "Social", the author goes through great lengths to prove our brains have grown in size and power merely to act on and interpret social signals, and not just for the sake of greater volumes of individual cognition.
This theory is probably why referrals tend to drive more business and higher sales conversion rates than anything else.
Moreover, when we (my marketing agency) add video testimonials to our clients' sites (of their customers), their website conversion rate doubles within a few weeks. That's why this is now a staple in all of our marketing systems.
4) People Tend to Comply with People They Like
I cannot tell you how many clients I got simply because they "liked" me better than "the other guy."
I've heard it a LOT!
It makes sense though, doesn't it?
After all, if you like someone, this usually implies you trust them, enjoy what they have to say, and usually agree with what they have to say as well. So how can you go wrong? And that's exactly why being "liked" is so critical for being persuasive.
5) People Tend to Comply with Leaders
Here's a shocker: People trust experts. Who doesn't? If a doctor tells you your knee is broken, you trust them.
If an attorney tells you your case is winnable, you trust them.
After all, we rely on experts to spend their twilight hours studying the solutions to problems that we are too busy to deal with.
This is why being the authority in your field is so critical. And obviously having credentials next to your name, i.e. CPA, Ph.D, M.D., etc. really helps.
6) The Less There is, the Greater the Demand
If I put a bowl of M&Ms in front of you, you may take some or not. However, if there were only a couple left, you may be inclined to take them before it's too late.
And that's how this idea of scarcity works. I'm sure you've heard of these phrases:
- Limited Time Only
- 30 Day Sale
- Supplies Limited
- Limited Edition
- 10 Hours Left!
All of these are playing on your emotional response to claim and swallow limited resources before anyone else can.
Frankly, it's an evolutionary response that has kept individuals alive for thousands of years. That is, those who acted in time!
I like Robert's ideas, although his writing style can be a bit academic. That's not a bad thing, but his books will definitely slow your speed reading down a bit. Either way, his ideas are always on the cutting edge, and this book was his intellectual Plymouth Rock.
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