Influence The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini

So I have just finished this book and once again I am blown away. If you have not read this book before it is going to open your eyes to the possibilities of marketing and how you present your staff, website, copy, products and in fact everything you do.

For anyone who has ever taken a course in marketing, copy writing or the such like you are going to recognise so many of the principles covered in this book. First released in 1984 I personally believe that Influence The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini is the godfather of modern internet marketing.

The book is so extensive it is hard to know where to start. The book has 6 core arias of Influence that it says creates an automatic “click – whirr” inside of our own heads. An automatic response to a set of external influences. Robert B. Cialdini breaks this down into, Rociprocation, Commitment and Consistency, Social Proof, Liking, Authority and Scarcity.

Over these 6 sections Robert B. Cialdini talks about why cults form. How we take social ques from people but that we are much more likely to copy if we think the person is “like us”. How we are unable to make simple comparisons in price especially when the items are only loosely related.

Robert B. Cialdini in the section on Commitment and Consistency talks about how once we have made a completely arbitrary commitments we will stick with it even when it goes against our best interests. Forinstance if you ask someone in passing if they are going to buy from you the chance of them actually doing so dramatically jumps. This is because they feel on some level that they have made a commitment and consistency is so critical in society that people will hurt themselves not to break it.

In the section on social proof Robert B. Cialdini talks about how we listen to reviews even when we know they have been faked. Have you ever wondered why TV shows use canned laughter that sounds so bad… it is because we respond to it and tell the producers time and again in studies that we think it makes the show funnier. We only have ourselves to blame.

All of this could leave you feeling a bit down about going through life being tricked into liking people and things you might otherwise not and buying a tone or rubbish you don’t need. Do not worry one of the best bits of this book is at that every chapter ends with a “Saying No” section. Teaching you how to be switched on to the cues and how to avoid them, turn them on the person that is trying to hood wink you or all together overcome them.

All in all a really great book. 5 / 5 from me.

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