Would you like to increase your influence, and get more compliance from people?
In case that wasn’t an enthusiastic “HELL YEAH!” let me say this… your success in life is directly correlated to your ability to influence other people.
Regardless of whether it’s marketing and selling your product or service, getting hired by a company or a private client, getting a vendor to agree to your terms, or even getting your spouse or kids on the same page… you need to know how to elicit a YES.
Today, we’re going to take a deep dive into the psychology of influence and persuasion, and look at 6 specific principles of persuasion. And how they apply to business and marketing. They’re right out of one of the most important books for marketers, a national bestseller – “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Dr. Robert Cialdini.
Dr. Cialdini has conducted an extensive study on what motivates human behavior, and has narrowed it down to six universal principles.
Here they are and how you can use them to ethically influence and persuade others.
We have a deeply wired desire to reciprocate. When someone gives you something, you feel indebted to the person.
Here’s a good example I see on a regular basis any time I walk into a store, a coffee shop, or any kind of a building with two sets of doors.
I hold the door for the person behind me. And every single time, without fail, the person almost rushes to open the second door and hold it for me.
Ever notice that?
This is the principle of reciprocity in full swing. Any time someone does something for you, you feel a sense of debt to that person, and quickly want to repay them. That’s normal human behavior, and when you can… use it to boost your influence.
Here’s how marketers and entrepreneurs can leverage it…
You offer something first BEFORE asking anything from your potential clients and customers. You provide value upfront, and people suddenly want to reciprocate with their loyalty.
Do you have something good to offer your audience?
Turn it into…
– Free training
– Free video
– Free report
– Free sample
– A special giveaway
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched a video or read a good report on a topic of interest to me, and next thing I know, I’m pulling out my wallet and cheerfully buying the person’s training program.
Commitment & Consistency
Now this is a very interesting one. If you’re not familiar with it, it just might be shock you to discover why YOU could be inclined to take certain actions.
Here’s the delio…
Once we commit to something, we have a tendency to stick with that commitment and defend it.
Case in point. Ever contemplate for awhile about a purchase. And then after you make the decision to buy it, suddenly all doubts disappear, because you’ve made a commitment (with your money) and will now stay consistent with it.
This is SUPER powerful.
And it’s why people have brand loyalty. Think toothpaste, shaving cream, razors, shampoo, clothes, fragrances, cars, and even alcohol!.
Another example would be starting a task, and then feeling almost obligated to complete it. Once we start on a certain path, we’re very likely to stay on it.
How can you leverage this in business?
Simply ask people to take small steps and make mini commitments that will lead them down the decision path.
How about those free samples at Costco or Starbucks? It’s not just goodwill, they do it ‘cause IT WORKS.
Even something as simple as asking people to comment on a Facebook post or a video, is a small step. Now you know :).
This one is obvious. We place more trust in something that’s being endorsed by others.
Do you shop on Amazon? And after the price, what’s the first thing you look at?
For most it’s REVIEWS!
How many other people bought and are using this product?
I know any time I book a hotel, the price, the pictures, the description is nice, but I need to see how many other people stayed there and have something to say.
When we see reviews, testimonials, endorsements, lots of followers and fans on social media… the level of trust and our desire to be a part of it immediately goes up.
Here’s one of the most important things I learned in my 11 years in face-to-face direct sales. When you first meet a potential customer, your #1 goal is to get them to LIKE you and TRUST you.
Because people don’t buy from others they don’t like and don’t trust. Period.
And one of the surest ways to build rapport and get people to like you is to be relatable. In person, you can find some common ground. Online, if you’re trying to build influence through videos, email, articles, etc… you’ve got to be authentic..
People like dealing with others who are genuine and real, and have things in common with them. So find what you have in common with your audience and showcase it.
Don’t underestimate the power of being REAL with people. Your potential clients, customers and business associates are craving for it.
Even the most rebellious among us, still follow others who have authority and expertise.
Expert endorsements go a long way in helping sell products and services. And can be adapted by just about anyone willing to do a little legwork to either find someone in that position… OR… be the expert themselves.
Sometimes acting and looking the part is enough to be perceived that way. But that should NOT substitute real knowledge and expertise.
I learned that lesson myself, after spending over a decade in the financial services field. I was 19 when I got started for crying out loud. And sitting down with people TWICE my age, talking to them about retirement and finances, was somewhat of an uphill battle.
Not in my mind, but I know it was for them.
So what did I do?
I made the decision to become an expert on my topic. I read a bunch of books on investing, planning and taxes. Subscribed to finance publications. Learned the right words. And I kid you not, some people were amazed that a 20 year old could talk to them about retirement, and many of them gladly did business with me.
So become an expert and a leader.
When something of interest to us is scarce, we suddenly have the urge to get our hands on it.
It adds a sense of urgency. Taps into the desire for something you can’t have. And the fear of missing out.
Limited time offers, deadlines, limited quantities. They work very well, even when people clearly know what’s happening.
I once had a short stint as a salesman in a carpet store. This was a full-time job to pay the bills for a couple of years, while I was getting my feet wet in the financial services business.
Anyways, every week, we had a “NEW” sale. It would start on Saturday and go through Friday. And the next day, on Saturday, we would be tagging the new sale.
One week it was “50% off.” Another week “25% + FREE Pad.” Then it would be “2 Rooms with Free Labor” and so on. If you did the #’s, the bottom line price didn’t change all that much. But people would line up in droves to “not miss” the deadline for the sale. Even though the exact same thing has been advertised in papers and circulars for years.
So there you have it.
6 psychological principles of influence and persuasion that gets more people to say YES. Which is the secret to getting everything you want in life.
Use them ethically, and watch as doors of opportunity swing wide open.
Oh and by the way, if you think even for a second this is manipulative, it would only be IF you’re trying to manipulate someone into doing something that’s NOT in their best interest.
If you have a product, service or even an idea you want to sell someone on, and it’s truly good for them… then don’t you think it’s your obligation to do everything in your power, ethically, to get them to agree?
I believe so!