Influence: Science & Practice [Book Review]

Influence Science & Practice Book Review

Why does it seem as if some people have a greater level of influence over others? You’ve met those moms and dads out there who utter a few words to their children, and the children’s response is immediate obedience. Or the CEO of a company who has an amazing vision and can inspire and motivate his team to strive towards that vision. I think they all read the book Influence, by Robert Cialdini!

Mr. Cialdini is a world-renowned expert on the science of influence and has written multiple best-selling books on persuasion and influence.  He is a gifted writer that presents difficult topics to his readers in such a way that they are enjoyable, yet the reader is left with actionable content that can be utilized immediately with amazing results. In this article, I would like to share with you Mr. Cialdini’s six weapons of influence and how we can utilize them ethically to have people comply with our requests.

The six weapons of influence are as follows:

  1. Reciprocity
  2. Consistency & Commitment
  3. Social Proof
  4. Liking
  5. Authority
  6. Scarcity

I would like to expand upon reciprocity & scarcity, and how to utilize them in business and multifamily real estate, through the help of Mr. Cialdini’s writing.

Listen to the Audio version of the Book Review:

Reciprocity, as Mr. Cialdini states, is one of the most widespread norms of human behavior. All human societies follow this law, and we are more likely to comply with a request once someone has done a favor for us. The example that he uses in the book is the religious group the Hare Krishna and their ability to solicit donations from strangers.

The group began to give little gifts to strangers without anything in return, and once this power of reciprocity was formed, only then would the member ask for a donation.  The power of reciprocity was such that it could overcome a dislike for the individual. You feel compelled to return the favor, and the law can trigger unequal exchanges.  A $1 flower can net you a $5 donation. Sneaky, sneaky!  Next time you’re walking through Costco or Wholefoods and decide to munch on all of the samples, think again.  You may find yourself walking back and buying a pound of cheese.

Scarcity is another powerful weapon of influence, where opportunities seem more valuable to us when they become less available. A deadline or a limited number of items are two tactics that marketers employ to have the public comply with their offers.  If we take something away or we create competition, it becomes more valuable. An example in multifamily is to show an apartment to multiple prospective tenants.  The tenants sense the apparent interest and competition in the apartment, and are more likely to act and act quickly to sign the lease.

Utilizing these weapons of influence in an ethical manner is an important distinction that needs to be made.  If you are going to offer a gift to someone, you should not expect anything in return. And if you are telling your customers that there is only two items left of a product, yet you have a warehouse full, you should stop and re-evaluate your tactics. These weapons are powerful and should only be used ethically for people to comply with your requests.

I highly recommend any salesperson, business owner, parent or anyone who wants to learn why they comply with other people’s demands to read Influence cover to cover.  As an educator, I am always looking for ways for people to take the next step in their journey, and utilizing the weapons of influence that Mr. Cialdini teaches has created outstanding results for the Jake & Gino community.

Once you are done with Influence, then it’s onto Pre-Suasion!

Please let me know what weapons of influence you are employing in your business by leaving us a comment below.


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