I am back from my Coming Home 3 Conference in San Diego with Ed Dale and all the gang, it was outstanding. I learned a lot and will be posting shortly on the the presentations. In the meantime, three different time this book was mentioned to me to read about selling and how to sell and the psychology of selling. Remember this conference was all about selling and internet marketing.
Here is the post from Wikipedia on Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
In writing the book, Dr. Cialdini spent three years going “undercover” applying for jobs and training at used car dealerships, fund-raising organizations, telemarketing firms to observe real-life situations of persuasion. The book also reviews many of the most important theories and experiments in social psychology.Harvard Business Review lists Dr. Cialdini’s research in “Breakthrough Ideas for Today’s Business Agenda”.
Six “Weapons of Influence”
Cialdini defines six “weapons of influence”:
- Reciprocity – People tend to return a favor, thus the pervasiveness of free samples in marketing. In his conferences, he often uses the example of Ethiopia providing thousands of dollars in humanitarian aid to Mexico just after the 1985 earthquake, despite Ethiopia suffering from a crippling famine and civil war at the time. Ethiopia had been reciprocating for the diplomatic support Mexico provided when Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1935.
- Commitment and Consistency – If people commit, orally or in writing, to an idea or goal, they are more likely to honor that commitment. Even if the original incentive or motivation is removed after they have already agreed, they will continue to honor the agreement. For example, in car sales, suddenly raising the price at the last moment works because the buyer has already decided to buy. See cognitive dissonance.
- Social Proof – People will do things that they see other people are doing. For example, in one experiment, one or more confederates would look up into the sky; bystanders would then look up into the sky to see what they were seeing. At one point this experiment aborted, as so many people were looking up that they stopped traffic. See conformity, and the Asch conformity experiments.
- Authority – People will tend to obey authority figures, even if they are asked to perform objectionable acts. Cialdini cites incidents such as the Milgram experiments in the early 1960s and the My Lai massacre.
- Liking – People are easily persuaded by other people that they like. Cialdini cites the marketing of Tupperware in what might now be called viral marketing. People were more likely to buy if they liked the person selling it to them. Some of the many biases favoring more attractive people are discussed. See physical attractiveness stereotype.
- Scarcity – Perceived scarcity will generate demand. For example, saying offers are available for a “limited time only” encourages sales.
Robert B. Cialdini was the Regents’ Professor of Psychology and W.P. Carey Distinguished Professor of Marketing at Arizona State University where he has also been named Distinguished Graduate Research Professor. He retired from academia in May 2009.
He is best known for his popular book on persuasion and marketing, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. Influence has sold over 2 million copies and has been translated into twenty-six languages. It has been listed on the New York Times Business Best Seller List. Fortune Magazine lists Influence in their “75 Smartest Business Books.”