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Cialdini's Six Principles of Influence

In his seminal marketing book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Dr Robert Cialdini laid out principles to help people wield influence over others.  Cialdini's Six Principles of Influence are reciprocity, scarcity, authority, commitment, liking and commitment.  AN IMPACTFUL MODEL.  Cialdini's research spanned years of practical experience in various sales domains including used car dealerships and telemarketing firms and his work is still widely referenced today, decades after it was first published. SIX PRINCIPLES IN MORE DETAIL.  The six principles are:  Principle Description Action Reciprocity Based on the idea that if you receive something, you are more obliged to give back to others in kind. This might be expressed through respect, attention, kindness, or anything. Give gifts, information or benefits. In a product context offer free trials.  Scarcity The principle of supply and demand states that the more scarce a resource, the more valuable it becomes, assuming that it has some level of demand.  Offer limited windows for action, and limited numbers of an offer. Also, highlight the unique and special.  Authority You are more easily convinced when you see an authority figure in a respective field advocating or endorsing the point. Use testimonials and quotes from respected experts.  Commitment and consistency Also known as the ‘foot in the door’ technique, this approach focuses on establishing a commitment from you and relying on your need to be consistent to benefit from that commitment.  Encourage a commitment to ‘sign up later’ or make a public declaration.   Liking It’s probably no surprise that you prefer to say ‘yes’ to people who you like. And you tend to like people who you can identify with and have a level of similarity with you.  Focus on similarities with people to form connections, and look for opportunities for sincere and specific compliments.  Consensus or Social proof When you are uncertain, you will tend to look at how others behave to determine your own behavior. You use the ‘herd behavior’ as a cognitive shortcut.  Highlight popular or in-demand choices. Stress that ‘people like you’ tend to make this choice.   THE ADDITION OF UNITY. Most recently Cialdini has added the principle of Unity. This plays on a sense of belonging and even tribalism and it's the difference between saying "Bob is like us" versus "Bob is one of us." The latter will create greater cooperation and influence. Cialdini cites the example of a woman trying to get donations on a University Campus. When she added the words "I'm a student here too" to her sign, donations doubled.  IN YOUR LATTICEWORK.  These principles have broad connections with a number of models, especially relating to cognitive heuristics and behavioural economics. You can understand many of these principles in the context of Fast and Slow Thinking, in particular models such as Anchoring and the Halo Effect.  Many of the techniques might be considered in the context of Nudging and the EAST Framework. You might also consider other persuasion models including Challenger Sales, Aristotle's Rhetoric, and the Trust Equation. 

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