The key Influencing skills…do you have them?

Welcome to Cialdini’s six weapons of influence. Listen here

If you are ever discussing or debating “influence and persuasion”, one of the go too books is “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” written by Dr. Robert Cialdini. His book was first published in 1984 and is one of the principle guides to the subject.

Cialdini identifies six weapons of influence, by which he means six behavioural triggers that tend to induce automatic and predictable compliance. They are Reciprocation, Commitment and Consistency, Social Proof, Liking, Authority, and Scarcity.

OK…What does that mean?

Reciprocation…“We are obligated to give back to others, the form of behaviour that they have first given to us. Essentially thou shall not take without giving in return.” – Cialdini

People like to return favours. Cialdini showcases this principle by citing an infamous social experiment. In 1974, sociologist Phillip Kunz sent out Christmas cards to 600 complete strangers. Despite not knowing a single recipient, Kunz received over 200 (largely enthusiastic) Christmas cards in return.

Commitment and consistency…People want to be seen as consistent. It stems from a desire to align our external behaviours with our inner beliefs and values. So, when we make a promise, we feel obliged to follow it through. Rather like “reciprocation”, the givers are then seen in a better light!

Social Proof…We are all tribal by nature. If we’re uncertain how to act, we take our cue from those around us. It’s known as the bandwagon effect. Hence, when unsure, we take the lead from others! The people influencing!

Liking…We like people who are similar to us, who pay us compliments, and who cooperate with us towards mutual goals. This is the psychological principal of liking, hence we try to match and mirror people’s behaviour’s.

Authority…Ultimately, selling your product is about building trust. One of the key principles is by positioning your brand as an authority. People tend to follow authoritative figures.

Scarcity… The less of something there is, the more you want it. This is scarcity, a principle used by many “on-line” retailers, and because it works, and taps into our fear of missing out!

How many of these, and how well does your business use them!

You don’t have to be a ‘person of influence’ to be influential. In fact, the most influential people in my life are probably not even aware of the things they’ve taught me.

Scott Adams