Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials) Revised Edition, Kindle Edition
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- Length: 281 pages
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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.
The theme of the book is what the author identifies as six principles of ethical persuasion: reciprocity, scarcity, liking, authority, social proof, and commitment/consistency, with a chapter is on each. This book makes a nice companion to Korobkin's "Negotiation Theory and Strategy" published by Wolters Kluwer and sold at a considerably higher price, in where that author discusses many of these same concepts in much less depth.
Whether wanting to supplement a more in-depth academic study or merely looking for tips as an influencer, salesperson, or consumer, this is a great reference.
My only beef is that Amazon limits this book to one per customer. Are you kidding me?? I wanted to buy a dozen to give to new graduates this spring, and Amazon only lets me get one? That is a strange marketing strategy.
This book is organized around the 6 psychological principles that direct human behavior and give these techniques their power: reciprocation, consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity. Although this book may have been written to engage the popular reader, the conclusions that the author, a psychology professor at Arizona State University, reaches are based on controlled, psychological research. As Cialdini entertainingly walks the reader through what he learned during his 3-year period of participant observation that served as input to this book, in my opinion although he is both successful at instruction as well as keeping the reader engaged, as with many texts the reader will need to extrapolate in order to apply personally, especially if what is sought is application to the workplace.
Judging by the location of dog ears that were left behind after my reading of this text, the portions I especially appreciated are the first chapter, "Weapons of Influence", the last chapter, "Instant Influence: Primitive Consent for an Automatic Age", and the many sidebars throughout the body of what the author provides called "Reader's Reports". In fact, it turns out that the author has found that the "Readers's Reports" are one of the most popular aspects among readers, and in my opinion these are similar to the "Letters to the Editor" one might find in a newspaper or magazine: people writing in to the author to share how the principles and techniques that are presented in this text have been encountered in the real world. Fascinating lessons learned rooted in science. Recommended reading.