Influence, the Psychology of Persuasion - Dr. Robert Cialdini

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Influence, the Psychology of Persuasion - Dr. Robert Cialdini

Influence, the classic book on persuasion, has been translated into 30 languages and has sold over three million copies. It has been included in Fortune's list of the "75 Smartest Business Books" and the New York Times' list of best sellers. It is mentioned in 50 Classics of Psychology.

Even while we'd all like to think we're above other people's influence, the opposite is actually true. The truth is that we are hardwired to be open to different influencing strategies. Cialdini outlines the most typical influence techniques. He provides examples for each of them and explains why they are effective based on his study. The author acknowledges that he is probably among those who are most susceptible to persuasion. His first-hand accounts, together with countless other cases, offer a wealth of new information on the subject.

The proverb "It is better to give than to receive" holds true, and Cialdini explains why! The fundamental tenet of this chapter is that people are hardwired to reciprocate when you give them something. He gives a variety of instances, such as our propensity to send Christmas cards back to individuals who send us cards and our propensity to donate when solicitors give us flowers or modest gifts. Your propensity to make a grocery store purchase after receiving free sample.

This obligation to pay back is really strong. He emphasises that the reciprocal activity is not have to be "equal" and that, in reality, the reciprocal action is far greater. Many salespeople and marketers are aware of this and have created a variety of strategies to take advantage of this disparity.

The author of this chapter addresses how important it is for us to stay in line with the image of ourselves that we have painted in our minds. In our society, stability is valued, and the foundations of stability are dedication and consistency. Consistency and commitment serve as a shortcut for making decisions in life. Commitment and consistency help us to escape the consequences and problems associated with making the difficult decisions, making life "simple" because all we need to do is keep moving forward on the road we have chosen.

The term "social proof" describes our propensity to behave in a certain way just because others do. We frequently turn to those close to us to "teach" us how to behave when we are faced with a murky or confusing circumstance or when we are unsure of what to do. This straightforward idea is one of the most effective influencing strategies.

If you accept that this is how we typically behave, you can use social proof to influence other people's behavior by simply acting in that way yourself. One excellent illustration of this is our propensity to chuckle involuntarily when a "laugh track" is played during a television program.

A common formula for sales success is "know, like, trust." The emphasis in this chapter of the book is on that middle element. People simply want to do things for or with the people they like. Cialdini lists several related subjects that are connected to "liking":

Friendship - Our buddies are at the top of our list of people we like. We are therefore likely to conduct business with them and/or adopt their positions on a variety of issues.

Attractiveness - Numerous studies have revealed that attractive people typically perform better in a wide range of scenarios and are more liked by others. The takeaway from this is that you should pay attention to how you look because it matters!

We are all conditioned (to varying degrees) to obey figures of authority. However, it’s relatively easy to others to trigger our compliance through symbols of authority like titles, clothing and other status symbols. We often perceive and interact with people with authority differently. The more power a person is deemed to have, the more generous people are when estimating their height, and the more cautious we are with our conversations.

Buy now; supplies are limited! Have you ever heard that one? My assumption is that they do, and there's a solid explanation for it: because our brains are hardwired to desire to prevent "starvation," it shouts "grab some now" whenever it learns that something is soon to become rare. Scarcity is also connected to a subtler, deeper psychology. We are limited in our options as resources grow scarcer. While we enjoy our freedom and independence, we search for ways to obtain the soon-to-be-scarce commodity and avoid the impending shortage. In essence, we face a "double whammy," with our need for independence and our desire to prevent "starvation" driving us to seize the soon-to-be-rare object.

The psychology of why people say "yes" is explained in the book, along with practical applications for these insights. The authority on persuasion and influence is Dr. Robert Cialdini. This widely praised book is the culmination of his 35 years of meticulous, evidence-based research and a three-year program of study on what motivates people to alter behaviour. 

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