- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Wiley (January 23, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0471763179
- ISBN-13: 978-0471763178
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 31 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #502,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Power of Persuasion: How We're Bought and Sold
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From the Back Cover
"An engaging, highly readable survey of the sophisticatedmethods of persuasion we encounter in various situations. Fromtelevision to telemarketing and from self-deception to suicidecults, Levine takes a hard look at all the ways we attempt topersuade each otherand how and why they work (or don't). . .. The next time you wonder what possessed you to pay $50 for amedallion commemorating the series finale of Friends, you'll knowwhere to turn."
"If you're like most people, you think advertising and marketingworkjust not on you. Robert Levine's The Power of Persuasiondemonstrates how even the best-educated cynics among us can bevictimized by sales pitches."
The Globe and Mail
"Levine puts [his] analysis in the service of his realmissionto arm the reader against manipulation."
The Wall Street Journal
"This wonderful book will change the way you think and act inmany realms of your life."
Philip Zimbardo former president, American PsychologicalAssociation
About the Author
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Aside from the dismaying news that we’re all patsies waiting to be taken, the book is full of entertaining, insightful stories on scoundrels running from psychics to gurus. Moonies recruit in a trademark sequence of “pickup, first date, love bomb”, creeping up on victims with imperceptible subtlety that ultimately engulfs them. Levine’s account of the 10-step method of car salesmen was particularly revelatory and unsettling in the frankness of its manipulation.
The most gripping part of the book was Levine’s depiction of the final hours of the Jonestown cult of Jim Jones, during which 900 members committed suicide by drinking cyanide-laced Kool-Aid, even after witnessing their own infants’ agonizing death throes. To read the transcript of the recording of those hours, and how people just like you and me were rooting for their own demise out of loyalty to a demented and manipulative leader, is to understand how tyranny works, and how it is happening right here, right now.
-- Ali Binazir, M.D., M.Phil., Happiness Engineer and author of The Tao of Dating: The Smart Woman's Guide to Being Absolutely Irresistible, the highest-rated dating book on Amazon for 4 years, and Should I Go to Medical School?: An Irreverent Guide to the Pros and Cons of a Career in Medicine
Just before starting to write this review, I saw something that illustrates how each of us often sees certain things differently. Another reviewer believed the book's example of a car dealer's sales process lacks the details a reader needs to design a sales process. That example is precisely the one I'd decided to mention to you.
Levine uses ten pages to detail this nine-step process. It's a terrific, practical example of getting the customer to make a series of small commitments that greatly increase the likelihood of a sale. You'll get enough info about each step and the overall process to adapt to your sales system to the extent you want. Most of us will choose to borrow parts of this and other processes you read about. One reason is that this particular process included unsavory steps.
Sure, it will take some work and thinking on your part to improve your sales process. That's part of customizing sales systems so they work best for you.
Interestingly, the book gives the real name (Mike Gasio of Fresno, CA) of the super-slick salesman...and notes that he left the auto sales business and became a teacher and counselor for at-risk young people. Mike now uses the same process of gradually increasing commitments to help these troubled youngsters make healthy changes in their lives. What a great story. And illustration of how we can effectively adapt persuasion tools to create either sleazy or healthy results. Once we have the information...the choice is ours.
One of my favorite books on persuasion.