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Book Summary: Influence – By Robert B. Cialdini, Phd

The Psychology of Persuasion

This book on “the psychology of compliance” is a classic, and may well be referenced in half of the other books I have reviewed here.  There are very powerful techniques here. Influence

One of the largest values of reading this book is that you will (hopefully) be fully aware of any of these techniques being applied to yourself.

  •  If you ask someone to do you a favour, your will be more successful if you provide a reason.  People simply like to have reasons for what they do.
  •  In the right situation, with the right customers, “Expensive = good”
  •  Perceptual Contrast: contrast products or prices with another to show it in a good light – show the expensive option first.
  •  The Reciprocation Principal: Free samples and other means create psychological debts, and people feel a need to repay them.  There are also reciprocal concessions – If you won’t buy the big product, will you buy the medium one?
  •  People have a need and a desire to remain consistent.  Once a stand is taken, we have a deep need to be consistent with that stand.
  •  Important for online purchases, you can often obtain a large purchase by first obtaining a small one.  This changes a “prospect” to a “customer”.  At a deeper level, subtle requests change someone’s self image, and they want to comply with that.  This is also especially powerful when people write their goal or commitment down.
  •  People are influenced by the actions of others – testimonials are very powerful.  When uncertain, people will look to the actions of others.
  •  We are more likely to take the opinion of, or comply with those who are “like” us.  Mirror and match.  Co-operation is also powerful.
  •  Bringing bad news can cause the recipient to dislike you, even if you are not the generator of the bad news.  Positive connections help more than logical ones.
  •  Authority also has powerful pull on people, and can be proxied by clothing or title.  People underestimate their deference to authority.  “Expert Opinion” also helps.
  •  Scarcity or unavailability can also motivate prospects and increase the perceived value of what you are selling.. The “Limited time offer” is a variant of this.  People hate to lose freedom.
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