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Even the most motivated employee can sometimes feel disheartened and need a boost. Robert Cialdini is a Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University and is considered the world’s leading expert on the Psychology of Influence. Within his book, he outlines six basic principles that he believes are the foundation to achieving influence.
This also affects how people interact and especially how people interact when they buy and sell. If you have work with people, or are in sales then you must read his book ‘ Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion’ for deeper insights.
Many people have dubbed these six laws of influence as weapons, because once you master how to use them, you can become deadly at getting what you want from people.
The six laws we are going to cover in this podcast are:
- The Law Of Reciprocity
- The Law Of Commitment And Consistency
- The Law of Social Proof
- The Law of Liking
- The Law of Authority
- The Law of Scarcity
1. The Law of Reciprocity
This is a social convention which causes us to feel that we must repay in kind what another person has provided us. We are obligated to repay that person in the future, regardless of whether we like them or not, even if the favour is uninvited.
This also works when we refuse a person’s request; we feel we should make up for it by saying yes to their next request. For example, if a client says no to sale you can still ask for a referral and you are likely to get it based on this law.
2. The Law of Commitment and Consistency
Once we take a choice or a stand, we experience internal and external pressure to stick to that commitment. Once a client for example says yes to a particular service or product, it becomes difficult for him to change his mind. Even if you remove the reasons he had for buying, he will find other reasons to replace them so that the commitment remains. However this is not a good technique to leverage if you want to keep clients long-term.
3. The Law of Social Proof
This is the case of ‘keeping up with the Jones’ so if everyone has an iPod, I should get one too. This means that the more number of people that conform to an idea, then it is the right thing to do. Which is why statements like ‘All our customers prefer this model’, or referring to what the competition bought works like a charm when selling to customers.
4. The Law of Liking
If you were given the option of buying a product from two salesmen, the chances are that you will buy from the one that you like more. A smart appearance and building rapport is key to using this law at work. Also why it’s easier to sell to friends and family, which is why direct sales programs work so well.
5. The Law of Authority
You may not believe what you are told by friends and family, however when you the same information comes from what you believe to be a legitimate authority, you will listen. That is why no one believed smoking could be that bad for you until the Surgeon General placed notices on cigarette packages. We believe people in authority are more trustworthy
6. The Law of Scarcity
The more scarce something is, the more valuable it seems. You can employ a number of tactics to use this law, but they probably won’t guarantee you a long-term client. Some techniques include the Limited Number Technique – when you claim this is the last item or date available. Or the deadline tactic- when you claim something is available only for a limited period of time. This is a way of suggesting that this needs to be bought NOW or it will become more expensive or unavailable.