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.
Each principle is examined as to its ability to produce a distinct kind of automatic, mindless compliance from people, that is, a willingness to say yes without thinking first. The evidence suggests that the ever-accelerating pace and informational crush of modern life will make this particular form of unthinking compliance more and more prevalent in the future. It will be increasingly important for the society, therefore, to understand the how and why of automatic influence.”
~ Robert B. Cialdini from Influence
This is the classic text on the psychology of persuasion.
Robert Cialdini is a professor of both psychology and marketing at Arizona State University.
In addition to decades of lab experiments, Robert also spent three years in “participant observation”—aka embedding himself as a sort of spy in various organizations to learn the tricks of their trade. He tried everything from selling cars and vacuums to becoming a bus boy at a restaurant so he could learn how waiters do their thing.
The book is simultaneously kind of a consumer protection guide (how not to be duped) AND a manual for marketers (how to sell your stuff!).
Let's jump straight into some the Big Ideas:
1. Know Thy Triggers - One thru six.
2. Influence Yourself - Get your foot in the door.
3. Commitment - Write it. Share it. (WOOP it!)
4. Shocking Truth - Meet Professor Milgram.
5. Stand up - And push back. Exert your influence.
Let’s choose to influence ourselves and others wisely!
More goodness— including PhilosophersNotes on 300+ books in our *OPTIMIZE* membership program. Find out more at brianjohnson . me.
In order to study the subject firsthand, the author has taken positions as trainee sales representative, busboy, etc in various companies/establishments. Apart from drawing extensively from such experience, he also discusses the relevant and interesting findings in studies by other academics in psychology, past and present. The result is a systemic analysis of the most frequent, and most powerful, psychological devices that 'compliance professionals' use, with suggestions on how to avoid being unduly influenced.
A very useful book if this is what the reader is looking for. Personally I am more interested in taking a look from the opposite direction, i.e. at the positive application of the psychology of persuasion. I note that Dr Cialdini has written a more recent book on that...
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