Dr. Robert B. Cialdini—the seminal expert in the field of influence and persuasion, explains in his landmark book ‘Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion’, why people say yes and no, and how Cialdini’s 6 principles can be applied to business to business marketing and sales.
The six principles can operate at a conscious level but normally work most powerfully at a subconscious level. They’re a great tool to assess your content and marketing communication. Ideally anyone element of communication should be communicating one of the six principles:
- Reciprocity – giving something for nothing. eg provide great content without an exchange of data or meeting commitment
- Commitment/Consistency – this about acting consistently as well as looking consistent. It is also about getting customers to commit to you incrementally.
- Social Proof – people want to know they are choosing someone that is popular with other people (think busy restaurants versus empty restaurants). Why? Because it lowers the risk in making the choice
- Authority – people chose goods and services that have ‘approval’ from authority. This could be anything from the British Standards kite mark to membership of industry bodies. Again it is all about lowering perceived risk
- Liking – people buy from people they are both like… and that they like. So finding common ground and building rapport is as important in the digital world as it is face to face. The hard sell very rarely works
- Scarcity – perceived scarcity builds price and demand. This can be anything from limited editions to flash sales. People hate to miss out.
Read the book, you won’t be disappointed with Cialdini’s 6 principles !