6 Key Weapons For Influencing People
You can get what you want from others with a strong power of influence.
Having the ability to influence people around you, and even complete strangers, is not innate but it fascinates many people. Indeed, who has never dreamed of being able to obtain more easily what he wants from his boss or a customer? Everyone has probably dreamed of this at least once before.
However, very few people actually do. Why? Probably because they do not have the turnkey weapons to do so. If you are interested in the subject, I imagine you have already read books on sales, marketing, coaching, pitching or even the art of negotiation. Well, you should know that all the advices you will find in these books have been inspired or are based on the reference book on the subject: “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” written by Robert Cialdini.
In the following, I propose to introduce you to the 6 key weapons to influence people according to Robert Cialdini who is considered as a reference in the field.
Have you ever received a pen in the mail with your company name and contact information? There was probably also a purchase order. The principle of reciprocity is at work here. People feel indebted for the gifts and offers made to them. They can then respond by giving more time to listen to your speech, make a donation to a cause or buy your product or service than a competitor who has not had the good idea to offer this gift or a free sample.
“This means that you must come first. Give something: give information, give free samples, give people a positive experience and they will want to give you something in return.”
— Robert Cialdini
2. Commitment And Coherence
People do not like to be perceived as inconsistent. That is why we are so loyal to our teams or beliefs and no evidence is strong enough to change our minds on issues or topics that correspond to our stated beliefs and commitments.
We also value coherence, not only in others, but also in ourselves, which is why we find ourselves justifying action that may seem contrary to accepted principles or behaviors. If you can get a commitment in principle on your offer, by asking for an agreement like “You want to save money”, the answer yes opens the way to the commitment and coherence on which you can build by matching your offer positively with your client’s principles.
It is also where the power of the famous British lecturer Simon Sinek, who has written numerous books on management and motivation theory, operates. If your values, beliefs and the history that drives you to do what you do align with those of your customers and the market, then you are appealing to their commitment and consistency.
All this is presented in his book “Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team”.
3. Social Proof
People seek validation from their peers or people similar to them. If they see something in use in someone to whom they assimilate or aspire, then it will validate their decision to buy the same product, service or brand. This is where influencers marketing makes sense.
This is also where the buyer becomes suspicious, as brand declarations can be fake news. Infomercials were then created with testimonies from “ordinary” people, all with pop music as a background. There was recently a famous case of a celebrity who became an ambassador for Samsung products and made promotional tweets from an Apple device.
“Laughter in comedy shows exists for that reason.”
— Robert Cialdini
Very often, people tend to buy the person before the product. They tend to accept offers from the people they love. A number of factors can influence this situation. Robert Cialdini tells us that it is unfortunate that physical attractiveness, similarity, compliments, sharing experiences or humour are examples of these factors. Nevertheless, this is an established fact and we must take advantage of it.
Have you ever been in a sales situation where you have been asked semi-personal questions and the salesperson responds with similar experience? We often find ourselves reproducing the image of a person when we talk to them. This is called the mirror effect and it is something subconscious. However, it is also a technique that can influence your ability to reach an agreement during a negotiation.
“People prefer to say yes to those they know and love.”
— Robert Cialdini
People respect authority so that things like titles, clothes, presentation or anything else that gives the appearance of authority can influence and lead to a decision in your favor. Blogs can work this way too. Visitors to your website can see your articles written on topics related to your products and services.
In their eyes, you will then have an air of authority on the subject and this will benefit your company and your brand.
Buy now before they all disappear! You’ve probably heard these kinds of sentences in a salesperson’s loop before. People tend to place a higher value on a product or service if it is perceived to be restricted, limited or exclusive. Think about how you can present your products or services in a way that they appear to be in high demand and in ultra-low stock. The rarity will push you to buy.
The 6 key weapons, taken from Robert Cialdini’s book, that I have just presented to you will allow you to influence people around you to your advantage whether in the professional world or in your personal life.
Be careful, however, because having the ability to influence others is very powerful. However, great power always entails great responsibilities. You must not forget this and using your power of influence wisely for getting what you want but always with respect for others.
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