Influence: Science and Practice – by Robert B. Cialdini

Influence: Science and Practice (5th Edition)
by Robert B. Cialdini

Enter, one of the most powerful books you will ever read about the psychology behind what causes a person to say “yes” to another’s request, i.e. compliance. Robert Cialdini has put together a masterpiece based on actual academic research as well as real world examples that he has compiled working in sales and advertising. The book is broken down into various compliance techniques all of which influence our behavior to comply or ignore another’s request. These are: reciprocation, consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity.  Through these techniques, Robert lays down a clear and practicle path to understanding how we can influence others to do what we ask.

Some of you might be thinking, well I’m not really “selling” anything, but all of us can agree that we do often negotiate or buy products and services. So understanding compliance and finding ways to make it easier to get what we want is beneficial in all areas of our lives. Keep in mind there are two people competing for compliance in every situation, both you and your customer, salesperson, employee, husband, wife, child, parent, etc. Therefore, understanding the science of compliance as well as how to defend or guard against it when necessary can be beneficial all around.

As with any entrepreneurial book, you need to open your mind to an alternative way of thinking. This book will require your attention as it dances between practical and academic application you will have to focus! But if you can do that, you will not want to put it down and in fact as many of the reviews on Amazon or Barnes & Noble state, readers go back and read this book over and over again. It is very powerful.

Here is an 11 minute video about the science and practice of influence and the top factors involved in the process.

Here are a few snippets from around the book:

I can admit freely now. All my life I’ve been a patsy. For as long as I recall, I’ve been an easy mark for the pitches of peddlers, fund-raisers, and operators of one sort or another…With personally disquieting frequency, I have always found myself in posession of unwanted magazine subscriptions or tickets to the sanitation workers’ ball…

Just what are the factors that cause one person to say yes to another person? And which techniques most effectively use these factors to bring about such compliance?

It is much more profitable for salespeople to present the expensive item first; to fail to do so will lose the influence of the contrast principle and will also cause the principle to work actively against them. Presenting an inexpensive product first and following it with an expensive one will make the expensive item seem even more costly as a result.

People prefer to say yes to individuals they know and like. Recognizing this rule, compliance professionals commonly increase their effectiveness by emphasizing several factors that increase their overall attractiveness and likability.

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