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on December 27, 2016
As an author of books on selling, I keep an eye out for the best books on sales and sales psychology. This book is a game changer.

In reply to the few one star reviews...It has been stated in the uncharitable reviews, that the entire content of the book could have been written in a few pages. I agree, at first look, this would seem true. The Harvard Business Review article "Harnessing the Science of Persuasion" by Cialdini, from their October 2001 issue....is a good example. You can even get the Six Principles from the books Table Of Contents...save yourself some time.

But sales ideas have to not just be listed....not just explained...they have to be sold. Examples have to be given, Principles have to be
explained...we need proof. And you need the entire book to do that. The people who read a short article by the author, maybe read the
ideas...but nothing else happens. Salespeople are changed by the content of this book, like with all great sales books. For salespeople to benefit from a sales book, the ideas have to be explained, understood, proven, accepted, and made real. This book does that.
I own perhaps 2,000 books on the subject of selling. This is certainly in the top 5.
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on October 7, 2017
Great case studies and very interesting content about human behaviour and the reasons behind our actions. Really breaks down the fundamental reasons why most people do what they do in regards to making decisions and how we are all being manipulated by people who know how to pray on these primitive instincts. Very long and dry - probably three times longer than it needs to be to make the same points. Listened to the audiobook as I don't think I would have had the patience to read it. Still over 9 hours of audio!
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on June 17, 2017
Good read!! And, this was an excellent tool for a newcomer to marketing to help understand the process of connecting with people to make them want to do business with you. Great tips. I've tried them and noticed a BIG difference, including gaining a few new customers.
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on October 1, 2010
"Influence" by Robert Cialdini is one of the most wonderful and influential books I've ever read! Other books have been written on the topic, but Cialdini's is the best and most influential of them all.

"Influence" deals with the study of persuasion, compliance, and change - a subject that has application for every area of life. Cialdini presents the latest research on influence in a compelling way, clearly stating the 6 principles of influence and providing wonderful illustrations of each principle from advertising, psychology and other fields. If we understood these 6 principles better, we would be less subject to manipulation from others (for example, the manipulation to buy things we don't need or to buy more than we need). We might, in turn, also be able to understand how to influence others for good.

The 6 principles of influence are:

1. The Rule of Reciprocation: "We should try to repay in kind what another person has provided us."

2. Commitment and Consistency: "Once we make a choice or take a stand, we will encounter personal and interpersonal pressures to behave consistently with that commitment."

3. Social Proof: "We determine what is correct by finding out what other people think is correct."

4. Liking: "We most prefer to say yes to the requests of people we know and like."

5. Authority - we have a deep-seated sense of duty to authority

6. Scarcity - something is more valuable when it is less available

I find that in my own life, these 6 principles are remarkably powerful and have the ability to explain a lot of the behavior I observe as a father, teacher, and priest. We would all benefit from memorizing and mastering these six principles. They are simple but extremely powerful. My daughter read this book when she was 14 or 15, and I had to wrestle with her to get it back because she loved it so much! I only hope she doesn't begin using the principles against me!

One of the best parts of the book is the wonderful examples of each principle that Cialdini provides. An experiment to demonstrate the principle of authority, conducted by Stanley Milgram, is the classic example. In this experiment, two volunteers show up to help with an experiment, purportedly to test the effect of punishment on learning and memory. A researcher in a lab coat with a clipboard explains the experiment to the volunteers and that one is to take the role of the Teacher, who will administer increasingly higher levels of electric shock to the other volunteer, the Learner. Every time the Learner got a question incorrect, the Teacher was to administer a higher level of shock. However, the real experiment was to test how willing the Teacher was to administer pain to the innocent Learner, who was not really another volunteer but an actor pretending to be in increasing stages of pain. The results shocked everyone, for Milgram discovered that about two-thirds of the subjects were willing to administer the highest level of electric shock. The reason? Their deep-seated duty to authority.

Influence is filled with many such fascinating and useful examples of how our lives are influenced by others. I highly recommend the book to all readers, for influence is something common to us all, for good or for evil.
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on February 17, 2016
The ONE Thing about ROBERT CIALDINI that upset me was that he has NOT published MORE Books with Observations from his academic labs. I am in ENCHANTED by that MAN. I share this book with everyone in my circle who is required to motivate OTHERS to take the Actions that will enhance their daily activities. Not since "Men Are From Mars, Women Are Venus" have we had a Truly USEFUL New Set of Language Skills to bring Truth and Civility back into the American Business Selling Conversation. Dr. Cialdini - Please publish MORE of your FLOWING River of Communications without obstructions. What I learned at M.I.T. was how to ask Good Questions to solve problems -- This BOOK is a GUIDE To Successful Relationships, both personal and business. I would LOVE to send Every Member of U.S. Congress a copy to break the inter-personal log-jams that are harming our younger Americans who want to BELIEVE again. Hooray for YOU, Dr. Cialdini.
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VINE VOICEon July 24, 2009
Although this is not a new book, its insights remain as true today as ever. Robert Cialdini dissects the way people are convinced to do things, and presents them in a one-item-per-chapter format.

His basic thesis is that the brain is designed to make snapshot decisions in order to survive, and while many of the cues its based upon are helpful (ie. seeing people running from a burning building), many have become designed to deceive (ie. the attractive salesperson drawing you into a purchase). Some of the experiments and case studies are genuinely surprisingly, but are all rooted in the basic programming we all have.

In short, you need these to persuade people:

- Reciprocation: I do you a favor, and you are predisposed to do the same thing for me. Those free food samples at Costco aren't so free after all.
Contrast: extreme positions make less extreme positions more palatable - you are more likely to spend $100 on a shirt if you already spent [..] on a suit, and the good cop is more likely to win your confession after the bad cop has done his work.

- Commitment: studies show that gamblers are more convinced of a horse's capability to win after placing the bet versus before the bet. Placing a commitment causes more loyalty to an idea.

- Consistency: people will defend a position once they take it - competitions that ask you describe the virtues of a product in 15 words or less essentially convert you to promote positive messages of that product to other people, since you will aim to be consistent with yourself.

- Social proof: people will look to others to aid their decision-making process. If "people like you" claim to like an idea, chances are that you will too (hence canned laughter in TV shows).

- Liking: you are more likely to accept an idea from a people you like. Studies show that attractive people have twice the likelihood of con vicing others than average-looking individuals, and salespeople are frequently trained to feign interest in your hobbies and mirror your body language for the same reason.

- Authority: if those we respect take a position, we're more convinced by its validity. From the sales frenzy over Sarah Palin's glasses to the use of celebrities to endorse products, authority is a trump card in persuasion.
Scarcity: we are driven to ideas that seem scarce - hence the use of the "buy now, offer won't last!" approach to sales, or the use of high prices to create exclusivity.

Each of these points is meticulously approached and a solid case is presented. Most strikingly, the book is extremely readable and accessible, and presents information from a wide variety of sources. Anyone in a job that requires expert execution of persuasive tactics, such as marketing or sales, should buy a copy immediately. For everyone else, it's worth reading to help identify and avoid the techniques that buy our subconscious commitment without out active participation.
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on January 3, 2017
I wasn't familiar with Dr. Robert Cialdini before reading this book. I understand now, however, why he's the top dog when it comes to the research of persuasion. I especially appreciate how he takes a sophisticated, complex topic and makes it accessible to lay readers. Timely, well-written and, in some places, even fun.
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on February 18, 2017
Reading this book will open your eyes to the techniques used by others to influence you. You will also understand how deeply ingrained some of the principles are that make us susceptible to these influences. You might not always be able to stop the influence, but being aware of it is the first step to controlling your life again. Hopefully you can also learn some of these techniques for good and help improve your results in life.
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on May 6, 2013
It's been a while since I've read something as captivating as this book. Like the author, I have found myself on the "receiving end" of some of these weapons of compliance in both my personal and business lives. There is a thorough discussion of each of the six principles of persuasion, supported with illustrative real-life stories and objective research. Some of the points make intuitive sense immediately (now better understood with research-based explanation) but there were some that made me say: "What?!". For example (and I'm trying not to spoil the surprise): "The same societal conditions that cause intentional deaths also cause accidental ones." Is he kidding? When you read the explanation, supported by research, you (like the author) may change your travel plans. The applications abound for Sales, Marketing, Team-building, and Customer Sevice. Read it and apply the learning now!
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VINE VOICEon August 22, 2008
Everything Dale Carnegie accomplished regarding individual influence, Robert Cialdini has equally achieved on the topic of mass influence. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion offers an exceptional scientific look into the realm of persuasion backed by substantial logic and examples. Based on the premise of society's need for quick solutions for analyzing an abundance of issues in everyday life, Cialdini illustrates how marketers, salespeople, and pushers in all fields take advantage of these tools to exploit the public at will.

Years ago a great friend and I ran a sales business that involved an immense amount of persuasion to arouse people to take action. Using a considerable amount of trial and error, we discovered there were certain actions we could take that vastly changed the reactions of people, almost mechanical in nature, and we therefore drastically increased our effectiveness. We knew it worked, but had no way to explain what was happening. Cialdini clarified so much of the psychology behind these influences and added considerable amounts we had never even considered.

The beauty of Cialdini's work is his ability to delve into the scientific nature explaining why people react in certain ways in response to particular actions or unconscious stimuli. The science is backed with substantial examples and authoritative studies that prove beyond doubt how powerful even simple methods of persuasion can be.

Anyone in sales, marketing or any position where influence is imperative (really, in what line of work is it not?) absolutely needs to be aware of the content within this book. Perhaps even more importantly, this book should be essential reading to anyone as it's of equal importance to understand how you are being exploited as it is to learn the craft for your own benefit. Cialdini spends a section on each chapter detailing how to defend yourself against the ongoing psychological warfare that causes you to take actions you would otherwise avoid, thus the scope of his work provides equal time and value to both exploiter and the exploited.

I have not encountered another book on psychological influence that I would rate higher. I also can not recall a book I would recommend for both business associates and my family, including my mother; yet I genuinely feel this book warrants such high regard.
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