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Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade Hardcover – September 6, 2016
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"The great social psychologist Robert Cialdini has written another timeless and indispensable book about the psychology of influence. I'll be recommending it for years and years."—Amy Cuddy, Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, and author of Presence
"Extends the science of persuasion in several important ways....an essential tool for anyone serious about science-based business strategies. Pre-Suasion is well worth the long wait, and is destined to be an instant classic. The book belongs on the shelf of anyone in business, from the CEO to the newest salesperson."—Forbes
"An utterly fascinating read on how the most important drivers of persuasion aren't the words we choose in the moment, but how we set the stage beforehand. Robert Cialdini is the world's foremost expert on influence, and you will never look at it the same way again."—Adam Grant, professor of Management and Psychology at the Wharton School, and author of Originals and Give and Take
"Digging down into how people make decisions at a primitive level is the specialty of author Robert Cialdini, a guru to salesmen and marketers since the publication of his 1984 book Influence. In his new book Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade, he returns with more tips about how to slither your way into people’s minds and rearrange what you find there.”—New York Post
"No psychologist’s research has been used more often or successfully than that of Robert Cialdini, who literally “wrote the book” on influence. Now, he’s done it again, showing us the power of the moment before an attempt to persuade. This is classic Cialdini—authoritative, original, and immediately practical."—Richard H. Thaler, Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, co-author of Nudge, and author of Misbehaving
"Robert Cialdini's Influence is, by a wide margin, the book that I recommend most often. Pre-Suasion may be even more shockingly insightful."—Chip Heath, Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business, and co-author of Switch and Made to Stick
"[Pre-Suasion] is sure to be an important contribution to the fields of social psychology and behavioral economics...detailed, readable, and fascinating, this book may cause the reader to wonder whether unbiased decisions are possible."—Publishers Weekly
“A fascinating and engaging glimpse into the world of persuasion, and it’s a lot more pervasive and evanescent than we might think.”—BizEd
"Books employing social science are very popular these days, but so are books on workplace culture. Pre-Suasion reminds us that there is a connection between the two, that using insights from behavioral science and social psychology can yield huge dividends if used accordingly and ethically."—800CEOREAD
“Exhaustively reviews the research not on how to influence others but on how to make people ready to be influenced….chapter after chapter piles on the experimental evidence from the field and the lab….Scholars, teachers and researchers will find the endnotes invaluable, because here, with his usual clarity and charm, Mr. Cialdini addresses academic concerns—such as the debate about the persistence and strength of change that can be produced in a brief lab study or field intervention—and explains many studies in detail, with more anecdotes to illustrate them….the overall message of this book is compelling.”—The Wall Street Journal
About the Author
Robert Cialdini is recognized worldwide for his inspired field research on the psychology of influence. He is a New York Times bestselling author. His books, including Influence, have sold more than three million copies in thirty-three languages. Dr. Cialdini is Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University and the president and CEO of Influence at Work, an international company that provides keynotes and influence training on how to use the lessons in Dr. Cialdini’s books ethically and effectively.
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Someone recently recommended that I read his new book Pre-suasion. This book is about research into “Priming”. This is the idea that our decisions are substantially influenced by seemingly trivial items.
For example, a company was introducing a new soft drink and had representatives stationed in a mall. Their job was to stop shoppers, explain the features of the new soft drink and attempt to gain the shoppers email address in exchange for the promise of a sample. The success rate was less than 33%. But when a Pre-Suasion question, “Are you adventurous?” was asked prior to launching into the discussion about the new soft drink, the results were astounding. First 97% of the people responded that there were in fact adventurous. They all had a better than average sense of humour as well . But what was really amazing was that once people had affirmed they were adventurous, the success rate shot up to 75%.
A key message of the book is that we like those who are like us, be it liking the same sports or sharing a nationality. This is also a key message of the Humm-Wadsworth. [...] If two individuals share a dominant Humm Component, it is highly likely they will get along with each other.
A wonderful example of this “liking” effect were the Lithuanian Jews who had escaped to Shanghai and Japan during WWII after gaining Japanese travel visas. The Japanese, post Pearl Harbour, had become allies of the Nazis who in turn demanded these Jews be killed. The Japanese asked the Jews why they were so hated by the Nazis. The answer by Rabbi Kalisch was telling, “It is because we are Asians, just like you.” Understanding the social power of saying the right thing at the right time saved a large group of Jews from death.
Another interesting application discussed in the book is when to use “I think” or “I feel.” Normals and Engineers are logical in their decision making and “I think” is the best approach. By contrast the other five Humm components are emotional in their decision making and “I feel” is the best approach. This is a great example of Practical Emotional Intelligence in action.
I found Pre-suasion to be a lively and engaging book. It’s a tour through social psychology. Note the actual book is 233 pages long but the references and end notes are about 150 pages.
Robert Cialdini, author of Pre-Suasion – a Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade shares his insights and finding about the importance of framing the discussion before it actually begins.
“The basic idea of Pre-Suasion is that, by guiding preliminary attention strategically, it’s possible for a communicator to move recipients into agreement with a message before they experience it.” That is a very strong statement. But throughout the book, Mr. Cialdini gives example after example of how and why it works.
If you have any interest in the psychology of marketing, then the chances are extremely good that you have been exposed to his first book Influence. So you might be wondering if this is simply a rehashing of the ideas contained in Influence.
Mr. Cialdini says that in the first book, he simply articulated the tactics advanced marketers were using to sell goods and services to the public. In this book, he is introducing concepts and ideas that the most advanced marketers are not really aware of.
In one example, a company was introducing a new soft drink and had representatives stationed in a mall. Their job was to stop shoppers, explain the features of the new soft drink and attempt to gain the shoppers email address in exchange for the promise of a sample. The success rate was less than 30%. But when a Pre-Suasion question, “Are you adventurous?” was asked prior to launching into the discussion about the new soft drink, the results were astounding. First 97% of the people responded that there were in fact adventurous. Clearly that is not the case. But what was really amazing was that once people had affirmed they were adventurous, the success rate nearly tripled.
Mr. Cialdini cites many research studies that substantiate his findings. The stories and research make for extremely interesting reading. The book is a quick read. Dr. Cialdini a master teacher, weaves the ideas together to form a clear and compelling case for understanding and employing Pre-Suasion techniques in all our persuasion attempts.
Mr. Cialdini very thoughtfully raises and answers the questions of using the Pre-Suasion techniques unethically. He cites numerous cases that show the long term negative consequences of such behavior.
The book is well researched. The references and end notes are about 150 pages, so for those who wish to do additional reading/research, the sources are well documented.
If you want to up your persuasive game, this is a must read.
And if you are seeking input from others, ask for “advice”. “The novelist Saul Bellows once observed, ‘When we ask for advice, we are usually looking for an accomplice.” “Togetherness” is one of the Pre-Suasion pillars.
I was provide a review copy of this book.