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I Read “Influence” So You Don’t Have To

Hey, you…

Stop what you’re doing and lend me your eyes.

Influence” by Robert Cialdini was the first book I ever read about the psychology of persuasion, 15 years ago when I was first learning to write copy.

The book was a game changer for me, I bet it would be for you too.

Let’s trade, 1 minute of your time for 7 key principles that can revolutionize the way you think about influencing others (and understand how you’re being influenced yourself).

Cialdini is a renowned psychologist focused on the art and science of persuasion. “Influence” breaks down the fundamental principles driving our decision-making.

Instead of relying on intuition or guesswork, Cialdini gives us a framework for understanding how to ethically and effectively persuade others.

Decoding the psychology of why people say “yes.”
Leveraging these principles in marketing, negotiation, and leadership.
Becoming more aware of how these tactics are used on us daily.

Here are the 7 key principles of influence:

1. Reciprocity: Give something first, and people are more likely to YES your request. Like offering a free sample before asking for the sale.

2. Commitment & Consistency: Get a small commitment first, and people are more likely to follow through. Like getting an email before pitching your product.

3. Social Proof: We look to others to guide our behavior, especially when unsure. Show that others are doing it, and people are more likely to join in. Like displaying customer testimonials.

4. Authority: People obey authority figures. Establish your credibility and expertise, and people will be more likely to trust your perspective. Like having a doctor endorse a health product.

5. Liking: With rapport and common ground, agreement comes easier, because we say yes to people we like. Like bonding over a shared hobby or experience before sharing an idea.

6. Scarcity: People want what is rare or dwindling in availability. Highlight what stands to be lost, and customers are more likely to take action. Like saying “Only 3 left in stock!”

7. Unity: We favor people who are similar to us. Create a sense of shared identity to increase alignment. Like using “we” language to foster a sense of belonging.

These principles are powerful tools, but with great power comes great responsibility.

Or as Cialdini perfectly puts it: “Persuasion works by appealing to certain deeply rooted human responses. The more we understand these responses and how they work, the better we can use them, ethically and effectively, to inform and influence others.”

If you’ve read Influence, let me know in the comments which principle resonates with you most, and how you’ve seen it play out in your own life.

And if you haven’t read it yet, consider this your sign to add it to your must-read list.

Trust me (see what I did there?), it’s worth it.