Influence - The Science and Practice by Robert B. Cialdini

Understanding the psychology of persuasion and influence Should be high on a sales person's learning agenda.

Astonishing it is. This book is a ‘must read’ for all salespeople. Not being in sales may be an even more important reason for reading this cornerstone work on how we can so easily be influenced by others. With a refreshing clarity Cialdini leads the reader to understand the deep seated automatic mechanisms of the mind, that leave us vulnerable to manipulation by anyone with sufficient understanding of persuasion.

"Not I" you mutter. Perhaps you already know the counter strategies that protect you from the designs of sophisticated marketers. Do you always have your shields up? Children have an uncanny knowledge of the principles laid out for your perusal in this book.

Using the principles in innocence is an easy way to get under most people’s guard. Yet who can say if persuasion is achieved by design or by accident. The motive is hidden too. It may be self-seeking, or its owner may have your best interests at heart.

Portrayed as weapons of influence, Cialdini uses countless research references, stories, and experiments to illuminate the nature of six distinct ways of persuasion. All of them leverage our in built reflexes and can be used to change how we react to information and events. A chapter is devoted to each weapon, and each chapter reveals endless subtleties in round after round of fascinating revelations. The six weapons are reciprocation, consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity. I put off reading the book for a while because I had heard these terms form other sources and thought I understood what they meant. As soon as I began to read, I knew that I had been short-changing myself.

In the first chapter Cialdini establishes the origin and necessity for the unconscious mental processes that can be used by unprincipled persuaders to change our minds. The last chapter encapsulates the messages of the first. Then Cialdini makes a passionate and well argued plea for people to reject those who misuse the principles of persuasion, to trick or manipulate people into making mistakes.

Influence – Science and Practice is a thoroughly engaging read. It is also a landmark work of reference. Combining these two attributes is no mean feat. Cialdini fully deserves the accolades this work has attracted. I recommend you take this information and make it your knowledge. You life will be better for having made the effort.

ISBN 0-321-01147- 3

Review by Clive Miller

If you need to learn about persuasion and influence or the psychology of persuasion, we can help. Telephone +44 (0)1392 851500. We will be pleased to learn about your needs or talk through some options. Alternatively Send email to custserv@salessense.co.uk for a prompt reply or use the contact form here.

Tags: