Power of Persuasion

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The Science of Persuasion : A Summary

Dr. Robert Cialdini

Summarised by Alan Phua Advisors Alliance Terences Division


Content Page Abstract 3



Principle 1 : The Principle of Liking


Principle 2 : The Principle of Reciprocity


Principle 3 : The Principle of Social Proofing


Principle 4 : The Principle of Consistency


Principle 5 : The Principle of Authority


Principle 6 : The Principle of Scarcity





AbstractThis summary serves to be an archive of my study in the science of persuasion and is meant to be shared and circulated to the benefit of those who wish to know the secret of how top persuaders are able to move and influence their persuasion prospects.

In the book Influence : Science and Practise by Dr. Robert Cialdini outlines 6 crucial principles of persuasion that when harnessed and applied into action, can tilt the favour of persuasion to our side. The irony of it all is that we regularly practice these 6 principles on a day to day basis without us actually being aware of it. The moment you gain the awareness of these 6 principles, you unlock a secret into the power that is persuasion.

In this summary, I will attempt to translate what I have learnt from his book and showcase how these ideas and/or principles can aid us in our daily business by showcasing some case studies on the application of said principles. I will justify it with some of my personal experiences as well as occurrences I have come across in my daily life whereby these principles are effectively applied.


IntroductionIt is said some people have it, some people just dont, that gift of the gab, that smooth talking, slippery tongue that some sales people possess. What exactly is it? What makes them so persuasive in their day-to-day abilities that nothing seems quite impossible for them to achieve? Just by talking alone, they can move, shake and influence people to not only listen to what they have to say, but to take action as well.

Believe it or not, we all possess this innate ability, we practice it on a daily basis without us being consciously aware of it. But there is no denying that if you hold the key to this powerful skill to persuade, you can pretty much get anything you want.

Whether is it you need to get something done, or make your prospect or client take a certain course of action, all this can be possible if you know how to apply the Principles of Persuasion.

Principles of what?!

Persuasion It is more of a science rather than an art. After many years of undercover study at top car dealerships, fund raising organizations and telemarketing companies, Dr. Robert Cialdini has condensed his study into 6 basic Principles of Persuasion that I will be sharing in this summary. These principles are

1) Principle of Liking 2) Principle of Reciprocity

People like people who like them - People often feel compelled to return a favor

3) Principle of Social Proofing - People do what others do 4) Principle of Consistency 5) Principle of Authority 6) Principle of Scarcity - People often do what they say theyll do - People prefer to listen to Experts - People want more of what they can have less of


In this summary you will be introduced to these 6 basic principles based upon my own understanding and interpretation of it. However based on my own research, its application should come pretty naturally to those who understand the core fundamentals of these principles.

The reasons why these ideas will appeal to you not only stems from the fact that Dr. Robert Cialdini, is the Regents Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University, he has also invested many years of extensive research into the behavioral sciences of the human mind. In addition, these ideas will appeal to predictably deeply rooted human needs within all of us.


Principle 1 : The Principle of LikingPeople like those who like them Naturally when it comes to talking to people, we tend to talk more with people whom we like, and inversely, people who like us. It fills a certain societal need within us to seek for acceptance amongst our acquaintances.

This is clearly evident when we prospect our warm market, we find, that if we speak to people that like us, we have a higher closure rate then speaking to those we dont or know whom do not like us very much. The fact is, when these people buy from us, they buy because they wish to please us, not just themselves.

But if we are in a situation whereby our relationship with the prospect isnt as warmed up as it needs to be, how can we then create that feeling of likeness to get them to take a course of action? Simple

Similarity and Praise.

Controlled research has identified several factors that reliably increase the chances of someone liking us, but these 2 principles stand out the most.

Similarity practically creates an immediate bond between us and a persuasion prospect. The similarities need not be huge, simple similarities like hobbies, their tastes can have a profound impact on how someone likes us. Think back, our closest friends tends to be people whom we have the most real similarities with right?

How then can we create the platform to find out similarities? The answer Informal conversations, ask the prospect specific questions, like what do they like to d, their favorite soccer team, what kind of sports they play and maybe even what kind of food they like to eat. The important thing is to establish this bond or bridge early because it creates a sense


of goodwill and trustworthiness in every subsequent encounter. The bottom line is : The more similarities you can uncover and build, the better chances the prospect will like you!

Praise The other reliable generator of affection and to make someone like you is praise. Once you have uncovered the similarities between the both of you, praise him sincerely about it, whether it is his taste in clothes, his choice of soccer team, or that you respect him for making a certain decision. Praise is the key to Charming and Disarming your prospect.

People like to hear positive remarks about themselves, so the more sincere praises you give a person, the higher chance hell like you.

The moment you are able to make a prospect like you, it will be easy to make them value what you value, just by the momentum generated from the bonds created.

Power Phrases :

Mr. Dan, I generally respect fans of clubs like Newcastle or Arsenal whereby the teams do not usually do well, but the fact that you stick with them so ardently tells me that you must indeed be a loyal fan of theirs, for that I respect you

Hey Lawrence, I really like your taste in clothes, if only I have your tastes, do you think you can teach me how you choose your clothes so that I can learn from you?

Mrs Lim, I like to work with people who have a lot of insurance because you prove to me that you are someone who believes in protecting what you value, and I value that very much.


Principle 2 : The Principle of ReciprocityPeople often feel compelled to return a favor The basic idea of this principle is very simple Give others what you want to receive. The law of abundance states that The more you give, the more you will receive. And its true! Many a time we are faced with a situation whereby we have a stalemate and no one seems to want to make the first move, break the stalemate by giving yourself the advantage of the first move.

By the simple act of giving alone, you generate a certain feeling of indebtedness in your prospect and that compels them to want to repay this debt. Think back, when someone has given you a treat, you feel compelled to want to give him a treat back right? This whole principle relies on our in build need to return a favor, especially if its a kind gesture in kind or otherwise.

We can use this to our advantage, by combining the power of making someone like us and at the same time, giving them a gift, we usher the prospect into a zone whereby they feel uncomfortable if they do not repay back the kindness. Often when someone cancels on our appointment, I see it as an advantage because I know I now have the advantage of seeking that he repay me back the appointment, this feeling builds up and eventually he will feel compelled to not only repay back the debt, but also to over-compensate his inability to keep to the appointment by going an extra mile in our case, maybe buy a bigger premium policy to return to the status quo between me and him.

By giving our prospect a personalized thesis with name, birthday and picture in it, we create a massive feeling of indebtedness in them that will make them very willing to listen to what we have to say. By applying this knowledge, we can truly get what we want by giving people what they want. Thousands of candles can be lit from a sngle candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared -Buddha


Principle 3 : The Principle of Social ProofingPeople do what others do Perhaps to me, the most power principle in all 6 is the power of social proofing. It is all around us, and in every form possible. Whether is it the queue at the restaurant, the reason why people also go for something that everyone is going for the whole ideology behind what a fad is is grounded solidly in social proofing?

Even the government regularly employs the power of social proofing to get everyone in order and in line. The basic fundamental idea is this : IF EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING IT, WHY NOT YOU?

Humans are social creatur