People in all walks of life – from professional persuaders to pick up artists – are using his techniques to influence & manipulate
Imagine you could – without any coercion – make a complete stranger beg you to take his money.
Or have a Playboy centrefold give you her phone number within minutes of meeting you… even though she’s a 10 and you’re only a 5.
Welcome to the new science of modern persuasion.
And the father of this science is Dr Robert Cialdini, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University.
His book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, has sold over 3 million copies, is a New York Times Bestseller, and has been translated into twenty-seven different languages.
He’s been mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Scientific American, Financial Times, and the BBC, to name just a few.
And Dr Cialdini is in great demand as a consultant. His clients are a who’s who of international business… Google, Microsoft, Coca Cola, KPMG, Merrill Lynch, Nationwide Insurance, IBM, GlaxoSmithKline… He’s advised governments around the world, and helped President Obama get elected.
So how did Dr Cialdini become the world’s leading expert on influence and persuasion?
A Lifelong Pushover and Patsy
All his life, Dr Cialdini had been a pushover and patsy. Until one day, he asked himself: “What is it about the way that request was presented to me that made me say yes to something I didn’t want?”
To find the answer, he infiltrated sales organisations, ad agencies, PR firms, fundraising organisations… he even hung out with conmen…
And he discovered something interesting… everything they were doing could be boiled down to just 6 principles…
The 6 Master Keys of Influence
These 6 principles are…
• Commitment and consistency
• Social Proof
These principles are so fundamental, they’re found in every single human society – from midtown Manhattan, to remote tribes in the Amazon. In fact, they’re even observed in the social behaviour of chimpanzees. (Our closest animal relative.)
And there’s a reason why they’re so fundamental: each one increases our odds of survival.
How Reciprocation Keeps Us Alive
Take reciprocation. Could you imagine a society without reciprocation?
Think about it: Without reciprocation, every time we gave to someone, we’d be reducing our own resources. We’d make ourselves poorer.
So no-one would help others. We’d drift apart and live alone. In caveman days, that would have made hunting more difficult. And, when the first large carnivore walked past the door of our cave, we’d get eaten.
On the other hand, with reciprocation, when we help other people, we’re using our resources intelligently. We’re not giving them away, we’re investing them for the future.
And that’s why reciprocation is found in every human society ever studied.
And it’s the same with the other five principles: each one improves our survival rate.
And, because they’ve been keeping us alive for hundreds of thousands of years, they’re hardwired responses. They give us shortcut answers to life’s problems.
They tell us who to trust. What to want. Even who to mate with…
That’s why Neil Strauss, who literally wrote the book on how to pick up women – and who was the skinny 5”6 bookworm that picked up the Playboy Playmate at the beginning of this letter – said of Dr Cialdini’s principles:
“Five of them (if not six sometimes) come into play in [picking up women]. Although it’s a book about marketing, understanding these make all the difference in making the leap from interest to attraction.”
These six principles exist every time we interact with other people. They can be working for us, or if we don’t understand them, often working against us.
And mastery of these principles can be the difference between being able to easily and elegantly influence the people around us… and feeling like life is an endless battle.
Which is why I believe Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion is essential reading for anyone who wants a better life.
Examples of the Master Keys in Action
To show just how powerful these principles are, here are three examples from Dr Cialdini’s book:
Example 1 – how a veterans association used reciprocity to almost double their donations
When they sent out a standard mailing, they got an 18% response. When they included an unsolicited gift (gummed, individualised mailing labels), the response increased to 35%. (See page 29.)
Example 2 – how a beef importer used scarcity to increase sales by 500%
They tested three sales pitches:
(1) Their standard sales pitch.
(2) Their standard sales pitch, plus information about an impending beef shortage,
(3) Their standard sales pitch, plus the information about the shortage, plus that the news about the shortage came from the company’s exclusive contacts.
The results: the second pitch doubled the amount of beef sold. But the third pitch produced 6 times as many sales as the standard pitch. (See page 208.)
Example 3 – how the American Cancer Society used commitment and consistency to increase volunteers by 700%.
The Society called residents as part of a survey. During the call, they asked the residents to predict how they’d reply if asked to spend 3 hours collecting money for the Society.
Many residents, not wanting to sound uncharitable, said would volunteer.
A few days later, a representative of the Society called to ask for canvassers. The result was a 700% increase in volunteers. (Page 58.)
As you’ve seen, just one idea could multiply your income. And these are just three of the countless case studies you’ll find in the book. But the book isn’t just for business people and charities …
This book is essential reading
Dr Cialdini’s book is essential reading for…
* Business owners and managers
* Sales people
* Charity workers and fundraisers
In fact, anyone who wants to become more persuasive… or wants to defend themselves against manipulators who use these techniques as a weapon… or anyone who is curious why people do what they do…
When you read it, you’ll discover…
* How to get the very best price when selling your car.
* Does your child have phobias or fears? How one psychologist cured the phobias of 67% of young children in just 80 minutes. You can use the same method to free your child from his or her fears… for free with youtube.com.
* Before you buy a house, STOP! And ask yourself whether the real estate agent used this insider trick before he showed you the house. Because, if the answer is “yes”, you got played by the agent… and are about to make an expensive mistake!
* Is your teenage daughter dating a deadbeat? The best way of making sure the relationship is short-lived.
* Why it’s often better to reward, rather than reprimand, uncooperative employees – as long as you do this thing immediately afterwards.
* The one thing you must do when you make an initial offer in a negotiation – fail to do this, and you hand power to the other side.
* Many supermarkets offer free samples, but this Indiana supermarket added a twist… and sold 1,000lbs of cheese in just a few hours.
* Why there’s no such thing as a fair trial in America – not even close! The shocking truth about the inequalities in our legal system. (This has nothing to do with race, gender or class biases.)
* A sneaky trick used by a “deaf” tailor to make his suits look like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Customers couldn’t buy quickly enough!
* Ever noticed how conmen and women tend to be good looking? It’s not a coincidence. And, amazingly, even average-looking people can use their appearance to become more influential. (Just one change can make a man 3 ½ times more influential.)
* How a charity got 700% more volunteers… by first asking a hypothetical question.
* Is your airline pilot planning to kill you? When Andreas Lubitz deliberately crashed a passenger jet in 2015, killing 150 people, it shocked the world. But these deliberate crashes happen far more often than you realise – but rarely made public. See the chilling evidence on page 122… and discover the telltale signs that reveal where and when it’s most likely to happen next…
* Looking for love? Which TV shows you should never watch before a blind date.
* The simplest, most reliable, way to gain respect from anyone.
* How to borrow $10 from any friend or acquaintance
* The principle of influence that’s easiest to exploit unethically. Discover how to defend yourself.
* Adding this one question to the start of a cold call increased a charity’s donation rate from 18% to 32%.
* The powerful influence principle that caused the Republican Party to say yes to G. Gordon Liddy’s crazy Watergate plan. Without this, America’s history would have been very different.
* Why Dr Cialdini rarely signs petitions any more. Once you discover the reason, you might never sign a petition again.
* A simple – and painless – way to socialise socially withdrawn children.
* A simple way for bartenders to get more tips.
* If you start having a stroke in a public place, don’t cry “Help”. Do this instead, and it’ll massively increase your chance of getting help. This information could save your life, or the life of a loved one.
* The one factor that causes us to crave some scarce resources, but not others.
* Why, if you’re in hospital for a week, you’ll probably receive either the wrong medicine, or the wrong dose. This can be fatal if you don’t guard against it.
* Why some people are willing to pay 39 times face value for a mass-produced item.
* Can you really tell the difference between a kind, honest, intelligent person, and a good-looking, selfish halfwit? (This is useful to know if you’re single and in the dating game.)
* The one thing you should always do when asking for a favour.
* What every business should do immediately after making a sale. Fail to do this, and you’re throwing away a fortune.
* Are these TV shows destroying your marriage?
* When a jewelry range wouldn’t sell, a store owner doubled the prices… and the entire inventory sold out in just a few days. Learn how to spot when increasing your prices will increase your sales. (It’s more often than you suspect.)
* How to save the most money during department store sales.
* It’s a sin! A lowdown dirty trick some preachers use to get more money from their congregation. Is your minister or priest doing this to you?
* How a long-shot candidate won an election by changing his surname to Brown.
* What you should always do before negotiating the price of your new car. Do this, and you’ll save hundreds of dollars.
* Why you should never accept a free sample in a supermarket.
* Joe Girard’s two-part sales system that made him the “World’s Greatest Salesman” (according to the Guinness Book of World Records).
* A man walks into a clothing shop to buy a suit and tie. If you’re the sales assistant, and you’re paid commission, what’s the first thing you should do?
* A “magic word” that doubles the odds someone will do you a favour. (And it’s not “please”.)
* A sneaky, but 100% legal, trick used by “hard sell” companies to dramatically reduce “cool off” cancellations.
* Should a man buy a drink for a woman he’s just met in a bar… and should she accept it?
* Why Ethiopia – one of the world’s poorest countries – sent financial aid to Mexico… because of something that happened 50 years before.
* How to get what you want by asking for something you don’t.
* Why con artists wear lifts in their shoes… even if they’re already above average height.
* A psychological trick that’s so strong, people will do favours for you… even if they dislike you.
* Why political revolutions tend to happen after periods of increased prosperity and freedom.
* Can you buy politicians? Big companies make large donations to both political parties. Does it pay off?
* How to get three times as many people to do what you want… by making unreasonable requests.
* How a billiard table store increased their average order by 80%.
* Why doing favours for people can cause them to dislike you – and the one thing you must do to make sure your favours are appreciated.
* Everyone hates canned laughter… so why do TV shows use it? (The reason dates back to 1820s Paris opera houses.)
* Why threatening children rarely leads to long term behavioural change… And what you should do instead.
* If you ask someone to “watch my stuff”, do they? The answer will surprise you.
* Why toy companies often prevent parents from buying a popular toy at Christmas. (This is pure evil, but very profitable.)
* When only 17% of people agreed to a request, researchers in California added one small step… and 76% of people said yes – a 347% increase!
* Why doomsday cults often thrive, rather than collapse, when their predictions don’t come true.
* A simple question you can ask yourself that’ll reveal whether you’re acting with “foolish consistency”.
* Why school desegregation increased, rather than decreased, racial prejudice among American students.
* Hate sports? Can’t stand sports fans? This scientific study may confirm a lot of your opinions about the most passionate fans.
* How to use the principle of commitment to increase your own willpower.
* What do breakfast cereal companies have in common with 1950s Chinese communists? Both use the same brainwashing techniques – one for profit, one to win the Korean War.
* Be careful what you read – this 18th century German novel caused an epidemic of suicides across Europe before the book was banned. Movies, music and TV can have the same power over us today.
* How to predict the outcome of an election, even if you know nothing about the candidates, their policies, or the opinion polls.
* Add these two words to a sales pitch and your sales will soar!
* Would you torture another human being? Two thirds of people would. (And women are just as likely to do it as men.). The chilling implications for our society.
* Why the Jonestown massacre wouldn’t have happened if the People’s Temple had stayed in San Francisco.
* Why Lyndon Johnson was able to get so many laws passed… and Jimmy Carter couldn’t. (It had nothing to do with their policies.)
* The 2 signs of ‘reciprocation abuse’.
* How car salesmen hook customers with false “low ball” prices… and why the customers stay on the hook even when the price is suddenly increased at the last minute. Once you know this, you’ll never get suckered again.
* Adding this one question to the start of a cold call increased a charity’s donation rate from 18% to 32%.
* If you’re in a store, and one of the sales assistants says this to you, walk out immediately! They’ve just used a powerful manipulation tactic on you, and you’re no longer able to make a balanced decision.
* And much, much more…
Get all this information for just £7.69
Any one of these tips could increase your income, improve your personal relationships … or just fascinate your guests at your next dinner party.
And, as I write this, Dr Cialdini’s book is available for just £7.69 from Amazon.co.uk. (Reduced from £10.99.)
Click this link to buy it, or to read Amazon customers’ reviews.
PS Like this copy? This gun is for hire! Click this link to see more of my copywriting samples.
Note: this article contains affiliate links.