Six core elements of influence and persuasion part 1

3 people triyng to influence and persuasion each other by table

Professor Robert Cialdini wrote a very famous book that marketers love, “influence, the psychology of persuasion”. In this book he described six core persuasive techniques which have been tried and tested over the decades. It is considered a reliable science for virtually every business type and industry.

Influence: Reciprocity

People feel obligated to give back to other people when they receive something from them first. It is an unspoken rule that most of us tend to follow. It’s about mutually benefitting one another. You see this with gifts, we often use the gifts we get as a measuring tool to decide what gifts we should give back.

Within business this is done by free gift vouchers, cashback, coupons and charitable giving focused on the communities needs. Vouchers and coupons is a great method because it normally keeps customers shopping in the same place. The problem with coupons, cashback and charitable givings is that it is heavily overdone. We have become desensitized to it, we need to be more creative to get a better outcome and gain more influence.

“People will come to you faster and stay longer to learn something [of value to them] then they will ever come just to be sold to”

Chet Holmes

The strongest method of getting the most out of reciprocity is giving gifts that people want beyond what your business offers. If you own a wine business and one of your clients does a large purchase online. It might be good to look them up on social media and find out what they like much like Gary Vaynerchuck did at Wine Library. He noticed a new customer made a big purchase online and after looking at this customer's twitter posts he discovered that he was a fan of a certain NFL player. What Gary Vaynerchuck did next was give him a signed NFL T-shirt from that specific player with a note that sad, “Thank you for shopping at Wine Library”.

Imagine a business did this for you, gave you something you wanted that had no direct benefit for that company. You would feel special and there would be a good chance you tell your friends about this. You might even become a lifetime raving fan based on how that brand made you feel.

You want raving fans because it means you get free advertising. This is the ultimate referral strategy to get more business.

The key to reciprocation is to be the first to give, make sure the gift is personalized to the person and that it is unexpected. Do not give every single time as it loses its novelty, just give once in awhile. They have to be genuinely surprised so that they feel excited when they talk about you, your company and your product along with your brand.

Influence: Authority

People follow the lead of credible knowledgeable experts. People also pay more attention to those who seem to have an authority in a certain field. If you come across as an influential person then people will automatically be drawn to you.

You see this both with humans and with other primates where monkeys will help other monkeys of a higher social status than their own. The short study review was presented on D News. Here is a link to it:

You can become top of the social crop if you practice congruence with your body language, tonality and language. The tone that you want to represent must not be that of rapport seeking or rapport breaking. It must be dead in the middle (neutral), this way you sound like an expert. Your body language should present the posture and gestures of someone of authority. A strong posture is not slouching. This does not mean that you should be completely monotone but it does mean that your pitch must be firm, closer to monotone than going up or down but it must still be flexible enough to match that of the individual you talking to.

You need to sound like an expert, be sharp as attack and enthusiastic as hell with the body language, tonality and words. Another thing you can do is get someone else to introduce you as an expert and this will put you in a stronger perceived position of authority. It does not matter if this person is benefiting from introducing you or not.

Influence: Consensus

People will look to the actions and behaviors of other to determine their own. The way you make use of this is to draw from actions and behaviors of a group in the same social system the prospect is in or they aspire to be in. An example of an aspired group would be that of the middle class trying to mimic the upper class, it could also be an obese person aspiring to have abs. People want to feel special yet there is an overwhelming desire to fit in. Some marketers would argue on a deeper level that people feel more loved and connected by fitting in than being different.

An example of Consensus and authority working simultaneously would be when you on stage talking to a 100 people within a specific social system.

“My colleagues seem to listen to you, therefore I will listen to you. You on stage talking to us about our interest so I guess you must be important in this space.”

Thinking out loud

What is a social system?

A social system is a group of people that have the same interests ie) crossfit community is a social system but so is the members of SAICA. You get many varieties of social systems but each social system has their influencers.

Random company I love: If you looking for a great card reader for your business, try Yoco.


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