The Power of Pursuasion
I recently had an opportunity to listen to Dr. Robert Cialdini speak in Arizona. He was fantastic and left us with a number of things to consider that he referred to as the Principles of Ethical Influence. He defines this as ‘the ethical use of influence by being honest, maintaining integrity, being a detective, and not a smuggler or burglar’. Below I try to summarize 6 of his principles to exercising influence:
Reciprocation –You Go First. By going first you elevate the likelihood that you will receive something back. Giving can take many forms – a service, information, and/or concessions when you think about negotiations.
Liking – Consider bringing up similarities between you and them (i.e. share some hobbies and/or interests). Provide them with genuine compliments (I.e. I always appreciate how you are always on time and how well prepared you are.). These compliments have a way of making people live up to them.
If you’d like to increase the impact, compliment them behind their back with an understanding that it may make it back to them.
Consistency – The art of consistency begins with a starting point. Start small and build with existing commitments. Where possible get them to make a public commitment – ask the question and let them respond. For example – “Will you please call….” Pause and let them answer “Yes”.
Authority – Establish position through professionalism, industry knowledge, your credentials and admitting weaknesses first. He mentions three ideas worth sharing:
1) Show your work with an understanding a precise number gets a better result. (i.e. $80,126 is better than $80,000). We can then believe you’ve done the work.
2) Offer the information in unbiased way.
3) Mention a weakness early in the conversation to establish you as someone to trust.
Scarcity – The rule of the rare. Emphasize genuine scarcity, unique features and exclusive information. People gravitate to opportunities that are not easily accessible.
Consensus – People Power. Unleash the people power by showing the responses of others, other’s past successes and testimonials of similar others.
If you ever have a chance to visit and listen to one of Dr. Robert Cialdini’s presentations I would highly recommend it!