Getting Your Way…The Science of Being Influential

Chef_on_board_(12791502053)In life and in business, we all have things we want to accomplish. Few of those accomplishments can be achieved “solo.” We need each other. We need to work with each other.  

A key to working with other people is convincing them to join you. How can you get more people to subscribe to your service, donate to your cause, or buy your widgets? There is not only an art to persuading people, there’s a science to it as well.

Robert Cialdini, in his book Influence: Science and Practice shares six principles of persuasion that we can use and master.  Here they are:

Universal Principles of Social Influence
Principle Description Example
1. Reciprocation We feel obligated to return favors performed for us. When waiters gave diners extra mints after their meals, tips increased by more than 14%.
2. Authority We look to experts to show us the way. When an executive published the credentials of people brought in to turn around a London bureau, the government monitoring and advisory panel was more accepting of the rate and type of change the team made.
3. Commitment/ Consistency We want to act consistently with our commitments and values. Voters who said they’d vote on election day were 40% more likely to show up at the polls than those who didn’t make the commitment.
4. Scarcity The less available the resource, the more we want it. Before serving their buy-on-board meals, Midwest Airlines flight attendants announce: “We apologize in advance if we run out of a meal or meals in general. We have only a limited number of meals.”
5. Likability The more we like people, the more we want to say yes to them. We’re more likely to like people like us. People were nearly twice as likely to fill out a survey when it came from someone with a similar name as theirs.
6. Social Proof We look to what others do to guide our behavior. A sign in the Petrified Forest National Park saying, “Many past visitors have removed the petrified wood from the park, changing the natural state of the Petrified Forest,” actually encouraged visitors to steal more wood.

You can also learn more about this by watching his 15 minute video on YouTube.

When writing marketing copy for an eblast or a press release or a website, which forms of social influence should you use? Let us help you decide. Give us a call at 407-563-4806 for a free consultation.

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