The Psychology of Persuasion Summary
This post is a review of the seminal book, that was written by Robert Cialdini, PhD., called Influence The Psychology of Persuasion.
The book is about social psychology and how it relates to advertising, marketing and sales. It tells us how “salespeople” or compliance experts use influence and persuasion to get us to do what they want us to do. This is a book about the psychology of influencing others.
Normally, I wouldn’t recommend a book about social psychology because most are overly technical. No one but a scientist would understand much of what is being discussed. However, in Influence The Psychology of Persuasion, Cialdini has simplified the subject and has maintained a more friendly tone.
This 280 page book is an easy and interesting read. I highly recommend that anyone who is in business or sales read this book. It will aid you in your quest for success.
Influence The Psychology of Persuasion consists of 6 main chapters that are each based on the 6 principles of influence.
One of the most interesting things about the book is that you can see most of these 6 principles used on typical internet marketing sales pages.
A brief summary of the 6 principles in Influence The Psychology of Persuasion.
Chapter 1 is about reciprocation.
This is when you give a gift or something of value to someone. The person who receives the gift will feel obligated to return the favor. They feel like they owe you something. Most everyone has seen this in action on most websites. The website owner will give you a free gift in exchange for your email address.
Chapter 2 is about commitment and consistency.
People tend to rationalize their decisions or commitments in order to stay consistent with them. Here is an example from the book. A woman left her abusive boyfriend. Sometime later he wins her back by telling her that he has changed. She then starts to rationalize the decision. She believes and tells everyone how much better behaved he is but, the reality is that nothing has changed.
Chapter 3 is about social proof.
Most people to tend do what other people are already doing doing. They don’t want to feel like they are not “with the group.” This is probably where the term “sheeple” came from. You can see this in business all the time. This is why there are hotel meetings in network marketing. Seeing a group of people there to watch a business presentation adds validation to the idea of being there.
Chapter 4 is about liking.
As the name implies, this is about getting people to like you. It is much easier to get someone to comply with your wishes, if they actually like you. Most of marketing is about getting a prospect to know you, like you and trust you.
Chapter 5 is based on the principle of authority.
If one is an authority, such as a firefighter, police officer or an expert in a field, like a doctor, it is easier to get the cooperation of people. If a doctor tells you to lose weight or stop smoking, you are much more likely to do it. If a police office tells you to stop, of course you’re going to stop. You see this in business as people hang on every word from a “guru.”
Chapter 6 is based on the principle of scarcity.
People seem to develop a stronger desire to get something when it is in short supply. You probably see this principle in action every day. You might see a sign in a grocery store that says “sale ends tomorrow.” Or you may have seen this on a website. “Only 5 left at this price.” Any advertising that states that there are only a few of something left or that there is a limited amount of time to buy something, shows scarcity.
That summarizes the 6 chapters of Influence The Psychology of Persuasion. Obviously, Cialdini goes into much more detail. He shows the experiments that have been conducted that illustrate each principle. He also gives many real life examples of how each principle has been applied.
He also teaches how to recognize it when someone is trying to use these compliance techniques on you and what you can do to avoid being led down that path.
Overall, I’d say that this is a very well book. It is easy to understand. It can be used by most people in business as well as the buying public. None of us want to have these techniques used on us as we make our buying decisions.
Influence The Psychology of Persuasion shows us how we can, ethically, use these principles to help in our journey to success.
Robert Cialdini Power of Persuasion a must read for all business builders!
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