Influence Summary

BookSummaryClub Blog Influence Summary

The lowdown: Learn the key principles of persuasion and the psychology behind them in this Influence summary.

When it comes to persuasion, Robert B. Cialdini is your guy. He is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University and has acted as a visiting professor at Stanford University and the University of California at Santa Cruz.

His book Influence is based on 35 years of evidence-based research into the goings-on of influence, manipulation and persuasion.

If you’ve ever bought something you don’t need because the salesperson talked you into it, then you’ll love this book.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition
13,669 people on Amazon loves this❣️
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition
  • Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
  • Must read book
  • It is made up of premium quality material.
  • Robert B. Cialdini (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages – 12/26/2006 (Publication Date) – Harper Business (Publisher)

The three main lessons from the book are:

  1. Our brain loves taking the easy option
  2. When negotiating, start with an outrageous request
  3. People obey authorities
influence book summary

Lesson One: Our brain loves taking the easy option

Our brain creates shortcuts that we follow on instinct.

Well, it isn’t only us. Did you know mother Turkeys only show maternal instincts after it’s chick makes noises.

In fact, if it doesn’t make it’s “cheep cheep” noise, the mother will neglect, or even kill it!

We aren’t so different actually. People have to make thousands of slip-second decisions every day, so we use mental short-cuts to put the pieces together.

One shortcut that we instantly take is we usually say yes to someone when gives us a reason… no matter how shitty that reasons is.

In an experiment, researchers had people in a photocopy cue try and skip the line.

When the excuse, “can I skip the line because I am in a rush” was given, 94% of people let them in. In contrast, when no reason was given, 60% of people let them in.

Lesson Two: When negotiating, start with an outrageous request

Another shortcut that we instinctively take is when someone concedes a little ground, many of us will agree.

For example, the author talks about when scouts came to his door asking him to buy a $5 ticket for the Boy Scout Circus. The author refused (which is a good call, because that sounds horrendous), then the boy offered him to at least buy chocolate for $1.

The author bought two pieces of chocolate even though he really didn’t want them.

Use this technique of rejection and retreat to help negotiations.

If there is a particular thing you want, start negotiations at a little more. Then when that is rejected, retreat and offer what you originally wanted.

Lesson Three: People obey authorities

People are always looking to be lead by an authority; it is built into us from a young age.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), this is so embedded into us, that sometimes we don’t second guess it.

There are numerous studies that show the impact an authority figure can have. Stanley Milgram, for example, conducted a test in the 70s where a massive number of people gave seemingly lethal electric shocks to a stranger when a man pretending to be a doctor or scientist told them to.

In the same way, we trust an actor dressed as a doctor in an advertisement for medication.

My Personal Takeaway

This book has so many cool little inside tips on persuasion. There are so many of those “I definitely do that” moments.

I think this knowledge is important in running a business as we all look to persuade others in some form.

Did this summary excite you?

Book summaries are great, but I also really believe that you will not fully understand the book or the author without trying the real thing. Learn more about this subject by listening to the full book for free via Audible.

Put it into action

There are so many times we can use tips like the ones I explained (and the others in the book) in business.

For example, you can use the authority card in your sales copy, positioning yourself as a leader in your field. This added authority can guide others to work with you.

You should consider buying this book if…

Honestly… anybody who works with people will love this book.

Or, read our other business book summaries.

Hey, I’m Erik… a Swedish university student, marketing professional, and life-long learner. Here at BookSummaryClub I summarize my favorite non-fiction books into easily digested posts. Hope you like what you’re reading!

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