I came across this book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion written by Robert Cialdini in 2017 and I feel you should read it too. Especially, if you are into; Buying, Selling and influencing people to act or think in a particular way.
Who Is Robert Cialdini?
Robert Cialdini is an American psychologist and marketing professor at the Arizona State University. He’s internationally recognized for his work regarding the intersection of social psychology and marketing, both of which come out together in his book “Influence: The Psychology Of Persuasion”; here, Cialdini goes in detail about explaining six principles that influence customers’ behavior and propels them to say “yes” in socio-economic settings.
What happened when I read Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
This book explains the psychology of why people say yes to requests using six universal principles. When I read this book, I got to understand why sometimes ago I bought what I later didn’t need and requests I should have turned down and I felt changes in the way I interact with clients and prospects afterwards.
Imagine someone walk in to your office with a box of pizza and you are damn hungry. He gives you and you eat. Minutes after, same person comes with a request, would you turn him down? No.
Imagine, as a boutique owner, you persuade a customer to buy a suit worth $5000. Will such customer say no to your request of him buying a shoe worth $500? No. You know why? If he could buy a suit at that amount, the shoe will be a chicken change to him.
We generally believe that if something is expensive, it is good. But it isn’t, not all expensive goods are good. It was the way we were wired to think that marketers leverage upon.
Robert Cialdini explained in details the six principles you can use to persuade customers and how you can defend yourself against them.
The good thing is, these principles have been with us since the beginning of life we were just ignorant of them or perhaps didn’t pay attention to them.
This book is perfect for you no matter your chosen field because it will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success.
Summaries of the principles in Influence: The Psychology of persuasion
I will try as much as possible to make it short and straight to the point.
#1. Principle of Reciprocation
This rule simply means we should try to pay, in kind, what another person has provided us. That is, if a man does you a favor, it will be nice for you to return such favor to avoid feeling of indebtedness.
For instance, say I give you some money to help you, maybe N5000. If per adventure I need you to help me with two times the amount, you will be willing to. Because if you don’t, you will feel ingrate (even if I don’t see you as one).
Just as the popular saying, one good turn deserves another.
As a businessman, give a customer or prospect a free gift and see if he will not buy from you next time.
#2. Principle of Commitment and Consistency
Remember, it is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end, says Leonardo Da Vinci.
His principle will teach you how you can commit to a cause and consistently follow it up. If you have seen someone that gave up something because it isn’t working, it’s because such person wasn’t consistent enough.
See it this way; if at first encounter I do not buy your products, don’t be discouraged. Make a commitment to draw my attention to you and be consistent doing it.
So also, follow customers commitments with more commitments. If a customer buys a shoe worth $5000, show him tie worth $100, show him shoe worth $500. You know why? Because we like following up (consistency) our commitments.
Commitment and consistency is the reason I may end up spending all my money in your shop by showing me products that are inline or complement my first purchase.
#3. Principle of Social Proof
This simple means, one means we use to determine what is correct is to find out what other people think is correct.
This is simply one of the reasons (if not the major) why brands and businesses use celebrity for their adverts. Say Beyonce do advert of her drinking Pepsi. Lots of people will resort to Pepsi because they will think, its the right soft drinks to go for.
When a lot of people do something, we end up believing it is the right thing to do.
Advertisers love to inform us when a product is the fastest-growing or large-selling because they don’t have to convince us directly that the product is good, they need only say that many people think so. Social proof!
#4. Principle of Liking
This is simple. If I don’t like you, I am not likely to buy from you. I don’t have to have met you before. Once the likeness isn’t there at first sight, you lose a customer.
If you want this principle to work for you, you must learn to make people (clients, prospects) like you at first sight.
According to Clarence Darrow, the main work of trial attorney is to make a jury like his client.
Physical attractiveness, similarity, compliments and contact & cooperation are what you should take note of if you want your clients to like you.
#5. Principle of Authority
Who would you want to follow if not an expert? Robert made us understand that, before people can buy from you or have them think in a particular way, they must see you as an authority.
Ways by which you can be perceived as an authority are; Title, Clothe and Trappings. Assuming you come to my hospital and met two young men. One with lab coat and a stethoscope, the other with jean trouser and a top. Who will you go to for medical help?
Portray yourself as an authority you are if you want to be patronized.
#6. Principle of Scarcity
This simply means, if its rare, its more valuable. Don’t expect much from a products that’s all over the market.
People buy things that are scarce or rare without thinking about it. If its readily available, they may have to think twice before buying and by then, maybe too late.
To use his principle, have terms like, exclusive, limited edition, ending soon etc. with your adverts.
In conclusion, with this short review, you can make changes to your of dealing with customers (if you are businessman) or your influence.
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