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Influence – Robert Cialdini

Book Notes and Takeaways via Duncan Kelm

  • We will always have more success asking for favors if you provide a reason
  • We all have automated tapes that play in response to specific communications and experiences
    • Our auto tapes usually develop from physiological principles or stereotypes we have learned to accept
  • The contrast principle:
    • When compared to something of lesser appeal the original will always look more attractive
    • Example: Two women, one who is decent looking and then an unattractive women walks up, the other decent looking woman is instantly more attractive
    • When using the contrast principle in sales, ALWAYS present the MORE EXPENSIVE item first
      • This will employ the contrast principle in regards to price in your favor
  • Rule of RECIPROCATION:
    • People feel obligated to repay in kind when provided with something
    • Although the obligation to repay constitutes the essence of the reciprocity rule, it is the OBLIGATION to RECEIVE that makes the rule so easy to exploit
    • The uninvited first favor must not come across as a sales pitch, and must have the ability to create an obligation
      • Taking a client to a game or going golfing
      • Small gifts in the mail
    • There is a strong cultural pressure to reciprocate a gift even an unwanted one; but there is no such pressure to purchase an unwanted commercial product
    • This rule is so powerful because it triggers the UNPLEASANT feeling of INDEBTEDNESS
      • It weighs heavily on us and demands to be removed
    • A person who violates the reciprocity rule by accepting without attempting to return the good acts of others is actively disliked by social groups
    • People will often give back more than they receive
    • People will also often make CONCESSIONS for those that make concessions for us
      • Example: Sales, rejection then retreat technique, make a larger request one that you know will likely be turned down, then make a smaller request that you were really interested in all along
      • APPLICABLE EXAMPLE: I would like your business, if no, then would you allow me to draft a financial plan for you free of charge
      • If the first set of demands is seen as unreasonable this tactic will backfire
      • The concession tactic will also cause people to feel more responsible for having “dictated” the final agreement
      • Since this tactic brings about compliance, the person is likely to feel more satisfied with the result
    • Favors are to be met with favors, it does not require tricks to be met with favors ” The tactic must seem entirely genuine
  • Commitment and CONSISTENCY
    • Once a stand has been taken, the need for consistency pressured these people to bring what they felt and believed into line with what they had already done
    • People tend to keep their thoughts consistent with what was already done or decided o If a person makes a public commitment about something, e.g. “I think the stock market is going down” they will have a hard time refuting that commitment anytime soon
    • A high degree of consistency is normally associated with people of high intellectual strength
    • Commitment is key, small commitments of yes can help result in the larger commitment
    • Get clients to say yes and commit to small things, e.g. “do you think we have a good strategy?” “Do you understand how I explained this to you?” “Does this make sense?”
    • If I can get you to make a commitment (that is, go on record), I will have set the stage for your automatic and ill-considered consistency with that earlier commitment
    • Example:
      • Hello Mr. Target, how are you feeling this evening?
      • The caller’s intent is to get you to respond with a polite comment that you are doing well. Once all is fine then the salesperson can begin the tactics
      • People who explain they are fine will then have trouble to appear stingy afterwards
    • The tactic with starting with a little request in order to gain eventual compliance with related larger requests is known as the “foot in the door” technique
    • You can use small commitments to manipulate a person’s self-image, once they have made enough small commitments they become pot committed to that idea
    • When you set goals, write them down, you then have something for which to aim
    • Something special happens when you put commitments ON PAPER
      • Maybe seek to have all clients sign a document to get a commitment that is harder to release
      • “I am committed to the “long term,” I will not let the short term volatility of the market sway my objectives and goals.”
    • Public commitments tend to be lasting commitments
    • Written commitments are also more effective because they require more work ! Social Proof
    • Social scientists have determined that we accept inner responsibility for behavior when we think we have chosen to perform it in the absence of strong outside pressure
    • Since 95% of people are imitators, people are persuaded more by the actions of others
    • Convince and ye shall be convinced
    • Without a doubt when people are uncertain they are most likely to use others’ actions to decide how they themselves should act ” REFERRALS and WORD OF MOUTH
    • We will use actions of others to decide on proper behavior for ourselves, especially when we view the “others” as SIMILAR TO OURSELVES
    • When we are uncertain we are willing to place an enormous amount of trust in the collective knowledge of the crowd
    • An auto-pilot device, like social proof, should never be trusted fully
    • People are much more likely to listen to someone who is like them in AGE, SEX, RELIGION, POLITICS, and HEALTH habits o People are phenomenal suckers for flattery
  • Liking
    • The “luncheon technique” subjects become fonder of the people and things they are experiencing when they are eating
    • In order to be liked, try to connect yourself to good news as much as possible and disassociate yourself from bad news
  • Authority
    • People have a deep-seated sense of duty to authority
    • Adults will go to almost any length on the command of authority
    • Actions are often more frequently influenced by a person’s “title” than by the nature of the person claiming it o Size and status matter
  • Scarcity
    • Things are decidedly more attractive if they soon will be unavailable
      • Limited time offers
    • The idea of potential loss plays a large role in human decision making
    • Deadline tactic, an official time limit is placed on the opportunity
    • The “right now” decision tactic is much favored by high pressure sellers

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