The power of persuasion has been on full display throughout history. Some will insist that even the concept of religion is nothing but a mere power play turned massive world trend, persuading people to live by a set of rules. Others, victims of personality cults, have witnessed first-hand just how persuasive things like propaganda can be.
When harnessed correctly and effectively, the power of persuasion broken down into a strict science can ultimately help you achieve business success in the long-term. There’s no person better to explain the science of persuasion than the author himself, Robert Cialdini.
Robert Cialdini is a world famous professor, and has been called one of the most influential men alive by the likes of Harvard. He’s currently teaching psychology and marketing courses at Arizona State University, and his theories and studies of persuasion and marketing and the interaction between have become renowned books.
Robert also publishes many papers. One of his most influential papers was published in Scientific American in 2001 The Science of Persuasion. Cialdini was joined by other experts in the field, Goldstein and Martin, and the trio worked up a 2007 re-release of sorts titled 50 Secrets from the Science of Persuasion.
What this book does is summarizes a very wide range of published scientific experiments and works to draw conclusions from the results and then shows the parallels of marketing and sales and examines how to tap into the science of persuasion to achieve success in your particular field.
In order to be an effective businessperson, regardless of your product or your particular type of business, you must be able to persuade people to purchase your product. Nothing really sells itself.
If you were the only water source in the desert, then okay. You win by default. Business doesn’t work like that, however. What if you were side-by-side with another water salesperson in the desert? Which one of you would sell the most water, and why? This is where persuasion needs to come into play. You’ll never have the market cornered entirely.
Within The Science of Persuasion, you’ll learn a few key principles and how to relate them to business. Remember: persuasion by itself is not a business principle alone. Persuading someone to purchase from you is different than, say, persuading someone to do you a simple favour.
To break down the true science of persuasion, let’s look at a few key points from the book and the published paper.
First, it’s important that you convey your products popularity and back it up with specific social proof. Also, limit the amount of similar options you offer. If you’re offering too much of any one thing, you customers might not choose anything at all.
If you’re giving out a free gift with your product, emphasize the value of that gift to take the free stigma out of it.
Play the middle on the pricing. People don’t like paying top dollar, but paying bottom-end prices makes them feel as if they’re buying something cheap.
Don’t threaten your customers in any way with messages toned to create urgency. A strong call to action is important, but forcing someone’s hand will scare them away.
There’s so much more to learn on the actual science of persuasion. It’s difficult to summarize such an inclusive work. It’s important you understand the gist of persuading someone to purchase from you. From there, you can research the actual book and take from it what you need.