Robert Cialdini’s six principles of influencing prospects are well known and provide an exceptionally useful and practical tool to check what you are trying to achieve with your communication:
2. Commitment & Consistency
5. Social Proof
But sometimes these principle are used poorly to judge communication.
The most common problem is the tick box approach where every single influencer area is attempted to be shoe-horned into a single piece of communication, sometimes even a single email! The reality is that it’s much more effective to focus on one influencing factor well rather than many badly. So yes ensure you are using all the influencer tools at your disposal… but over a whole campaign rather than each individual element.
The second way the principles are misused as a review tool is with an overly literal interpretation of what each principle entails. More often than not it is always better to show rather than tell. So a membership of a recognised membership body is more likely to convey authority in that area more effectively than a blunt statement such as “we are a leading authority…” Likeability is an area where you have to tread particularly carefully, just like when you are in a bar, someone telling you they are likeable is normally a pretty good cue to leave straight away.
So if using Cialdini’s principles, use them carefully and see them through the emotional context your prospects and customers will.