Dr. Robert B. Cialdini—the groundbreaking expert of influence and persuasion—delves into the power of persuasion and the psychology of why people say ‘yes’ in his acclaimed book ‘Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.’
He demonstrates how to use these principles in your business to grow and convert.
There are six universal principles of influence: reciprocity, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity. Let’s explore these principles and see how they can be applied to your business strategies.
Our first fundamental principle of persuasion is reciprocity. Reciprocity is the want we have to repay what another person has given or done for us. It’s an important principle to consider for your business.
If you provide something for free for your customers, they’re more likely to want to give something back to you. It may be with a purchase or simply by remaining loyal or recommending your business.
Commitment and Consistency
Commitment and consistency refer to the idea that once we make a choice or take a stand on something, we strive to behave consistently with that commitment to justify our decisions and remain loyal.
For example, email marketing is one of the most profitable types of marketing. If you convince your customers to commit to you by subscribing to your email list, it will increase the likelihood of them returning.
People respect businesses that are committed and consistent. So if you agree to do something, make sure you follow through on it.
The principle of social proof is something that has been proven again and again by social experiments. When we are unsure, we look to others to provide us with the correct actions to take. And the more people there are who undertake that action, the more we consider it correct.
We’re more likely to walk into a busy restaurant over an empty one—even if the menu and prices are the same, and even though service will be quicker in the quiet one. We will believe the busier restaurant to be better since more people have flocked there.
This proves our internal pull to follow others and base our decision on what others are doing.
By saying something like ‘95% of our customers saw results in under 30 days,’ you’ll instantly increase the trust people have in you.
As humans, we tend to agree with people we like and have a common ground with. We strive to find commonality with people, and we will be more likely to work with them or choose to buy something from them.
Try to appeal to your customers and find common ground to influence them to do business with you.
The basis of the principle of authority is that we are much more likely to trust people we view as authorities who possess greater knowledge and experience.
It’s for this reason that toothpaste companies use dentists in their advertisements.
If you can find someone who is a well-known expert, or someone with an official title, to endorse you and your product, you’ll be using the power of persuasion to pursue people to put more trust in you and be more likely to do business with you.
This principle refers to the idea that we want more of what is less available or is running out.
This principle uses persuasion selling by letting your customers know that they could be losing out on something. It spurs people to make a decision and take advantage of an opportunity available to us when we would normally have taken more time to consider it.
Giving people a time limit or letting them know that the product is running out is a great strategy. But don’t do this falsely because your customers will see right through it, and you’ll lose them instantly and damage your reputation in the process.
We hope you now have a deeper understanding of persuasion psychology and the 6 principles of influence. Understanding and applying these principles ethically is usually cost-free and is incredibly easy.
You’ll be able to utilize each of these principles in your business carefully and strategically. Try not to be too forceful when using these strategies—customers don’t like to feel pushed. It should feel natural.
The idea behind the power of persuasion is that it spurs your customers to make a decision based on an internal pull. It’s not that you’re overtly encouraging them to take action in a pushy way.