How to influence new customers in 50 minutes!

A group of colleagues have been talking about Dr. Robert Cialdini’s book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, raving about how it contains lots of insight into what motivates people to behave in certain ways. But with a backlog of books that includes The Art of the Start and Freakonomics, among others, I don’t have the time to read the entire book, recommendations or not.
Fortunately, I was grabbing a new audio book from this morning — The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It I’ll be reviewing it in a week or so — and noticed that they had a Cialdini talk from Stanford University available for download for a mere $2.95. So I downloaded it and…

I’m very impressed! In his Executive Briefing: The Power of Persuasion, Cialdini gives a 45 minute overview of what’s in Influence, peppered with amusing anecdotes and examples of how influence works and how to use it in daily business and personal situations. He wraps up by taking a few questions from the audience.
But then again, maybe you don’t need to listen to this lecture. If you already know the answer to these six questions, you’re already a master of influence and persuasion:

  1. If you have two options to present to a client, which should you present first, the more costly or the less costly one?
  2. Is it better to tell prospects what they stand to gain by moving in your direction, or what they stand to lose if they don’t?
  3. If you have a new piece of information, when should you mention that it’s new, before or after you present this information to your audience?
  4. If you have a product, service or idea that has both strengths and weaknesses, when should you present the weaknesses? Early or late in your presentation?
  5. After someone has praised you, your product or your organization, what is the most effective thing you can do immediately after you have said “thank you”?
  6. To arrange for someone to like you and want to cooperate with you, what is the single most productive thing you can do before you try to influence that person to like you and cooperate with you?

Those would be useful and interesting to learn, wouldn’t they? And for less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks, you can do just that.
Stanford Executive Briefing: Dr. Robert Cialdini on The Power of Persuasion

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