Influence by Robert Cialdini book summary

Influence By Robert Cialdini [Summary]

The Book In Three Or More Sentences:

What factors cause someone to say “Yes” to another person? What methods do politicians use to convince others? Why do we obey others? The book is a look from the inside, behind the scenes of what the most experienced sellers do to persuade people to buy from them.

The Core Idea:

Every day we communicate with other people and part of our work, part of our survival on this planet is bound up with our ability to persuade others to believe us, agree with us, buy from us. Influence by Robert Cialdini, explain in details how we can become better in our communication with other people and how we can persuade them to follow us and agree with us.

5 Key Lessons from Influence:

Lesson #1: The Power Of Contrast

Our everyday life is so busy. That’s why we form certain beliefs and establish automatic behavior in order for our brain to save energy. For example:

  • We see expensive jewelry and we immediately think that’s better than the cheap knockoffs standing nearby.
  • We see someone wearing a suit and we think that he is smart or important, or probably both.

Sometimes even changing the color, without the price, on a price tag to red can convince more people to buy.

We can use these rooted beliefs in people’s minds s to convince them to do what we want.

A simple example to explain the power of contrast is the following: a friend of yours complains about his current job or about his girlfriend. Even though he might be right about some of the things, you can easily convince him that his current situation is better by making him remember his last job or his last girlfriend. Remind him of the worst moments of his previous job and compare them with the best conditions of his current one. This will surely confuse him.

This technique can also be used when selling products to potential clients.

First show clients the expensive products. If the client is not happy with the price you can then show them the package you originally wanted to show them – the more affordable plan.

Following the logic, we can convince people to buy a shiny product, a car, a house at a higher price by first showing them a couple of not so perfect products. Then, we can follow up with a shiny new product at a higher price but possessing all qualities. This is a really simple technique used by salespeople around the world. Showing something not so beautiful first and then revealing the better, but the more expensive product, is the best way to justify the higher price.

Actually, that’s why people who show houses first present a couple of not so good options.

Lesson #2: Give First To Get What You Want Later

The law of reciprocity is a really widespread persuasion technique. The definition kind of looks like this: Reciprocity is a social norm of responding to a positive action with another positive action, rewarding the first positive action. Basically, in response to friendly actions, people are often much nicer and much more cooperative. Some are even ready to betray their own self-interest so that can return the favor.

For example, if we go out to have something to eat and I cover the bill, you’ll almost always offer to pay for the meal next time.

Giving something first to others will make them feel enslaved till they don’t return the favor. We actually see the law of reciprocity everywhere: Sites asking for your email and giving you a free eBook; Shampoo companies giving away free samples; Election campaigns where free food is served.

Think about the law of reciprocity the next time you want to convince someone to do something for you. Instead of telling them how good this new product is, you can first do something for them for free.

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