Influence-Science and Practice by Dr. Robert B. Cialdini


When did you last thought rationally before buying something?

Influence, a word that is used in almost all aspects of life. We influence and get influenced by people all the time, whether at home or with friends or online or even just by watching something. When it comes to marketing, marketers depend on “mass influence”,  or in other words they use “mind games” to attract customers to choose their services or products. Dr. Robert B. Cialdini focused on “the psychology of persuasion” and stressed on the importance of emotions and what goes on in people’s heads in order for them to take a decision. This book is considered one of the smartest business books and it applies in many fields, including marketing.

How did I end up buying 5 kilos of turkey?

Cialdini discusses in this book how people take shortcuts to make a decision and he listed them as six tactics or principles naming reciprocation, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity. Each one of them in a way helps the salesman to reach his goal, which is to sell whatever it is he wants to sell.

Starting with reciprocation, people like to return favors and give back more than casually giving. For example, if you have turkey samples in your market and give to customers for a taste test, they will more likely get it than if you just have them on the shelves. They were given a piece and they could feel the need to buy some to return the favor. Another tactic that is very powerful is scarcity, which plays on the FOMO “fear of missing out” concept. Something is so much more valuable and special if it is limited. The fact that a customer has competitors makes them take the decision a million times faster, without thinking rationally.

Moreover, Why is it that we read tons of reviews before buying something or joining a service? Social proof. Fandoms are now the real-world communities and you only have to see them talk about something for a minute and your cart is already full with what you were just interested in.Most people trust in the hierarchy, meaning that if an authority -which is our fourth tactic- says something, then many will blindly follow. I mean, if you read a testimonial by a CEO recommending a brand is different than reading a review by a fellow customer.

Fifth one is easy, if someone likes you they’ll want to benefit you. Liking sounds easy but it actually needs you to put the effort online for people to choose you instead of tons of others. Last but not least is commitment and consistency, and this tactic in a way comes after the before-mentioned tactics. If you are able to get into a customer’s head, then you are more likely to be running in it almost every time they think of your kind of products or services. Get in their head and guarantee they’ll come back.

Take my money!

Cialdini influenced a lot of marketers and salesmen with this book and these tactics are being used every single day without millions of customers knowing. They think they want it but they were mind-played by experts who know how to win them using psychology. Some would say that this is unethical, but if you really think about it everyone and their mother uses these tactics in their everyday lives. In marketing, you have to play it smart; you have to know your audience and know how to win them over because if you didn’t, someone else will. Influence is a very interesting read that will definitely influence you!