The James Altucher Show – Robert Cialdini

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Intro
Pre-Suastion is All Around Us
  • If you ask a girl for her number, you’re much more likely to get it if you ask in front of a flower shop
    • Why? – Women associate flowers with romance
    • “Background characteristics, like the kind of shop you’re passing, will cause you to see that particular concept – in this case romance – as more important”
  • If you walk into a wine store, and there’s French music playing, you’re more likely to purchase French wine
  • Voters who vote in a church, are more likely to vote Republican, while voters who vote in a school, are more likely to vote Democrat
  • An online mattress store website, with a fluffy cloud background, will sell more fluffy, as opposed to firm, mattresses
  • We can be drawn to a particular concept or idea, which then prioritizes that concept or idea in our mind
    • Most of the time it makes sense – but we can often be tricked, because of this, into paying attention to things a communicator draws our attention to, the moment before our choice
  • Robert puts pictures of individuals who are characteristic of the audience he’s writing for, in the corner of his computer screen
    • He says this helps him write better for those people – it allows him to visualize his audience
    • Your writing environment, will very much influence the language you use
CLASSR – The Principals of Influence
  • C – Consistency 
    • People want to be consistent with their past actions
    • For example, at the start of a job interview, Robert recommends asking your interviewer why they chose you for the interview
      • This brings your positive qualities to the front of their mind
    • “Give people a reputation to live up to, so they act in a way that’s consistent with the label you’ve given them”
    • When looking for advice on a particular subject from someone, refer to that someone as an expert in conversation
      • This will make them like you, and heighten the chances they give better advice
    • Instead of handing someone an appointment card with the date/time of  their next doctors appointment, Robert says it’s a better idea to hand someone a blank appointment card and have them fill it out
      • People want to be consistent with their actions (like writing down the appointment time on their own) – this will lead to fewer no shows
      • People live up to what they write down
  • L – Liking
    • If someone likes you, they’re more likely to be persuaded by you, so be nice to people
  • A – Authority
    • We obey people with authority
      • You’re more likely to listen to a doctor for medical advice than a non-doctor
    • When there is a clear right answer that comes in a declarative way, we’ll likely obey the experts who know what the evidence is
    • Don’t use authority if you don’t have it – don’t fabricate it
  • S  – Social Proof
    • Monkey see, monkey do
      • We do what other people do
    • To convince customers to buy, it’s effective to say X out of Y people have bought this
    • If a restaurant owner marks a dish on the menu as “one of our most popular dishes”, it will in turn become more popular
      • People want to like what other people like
    • When there is subjective opinion – social proof dominates
  • S – Scarcity
    • We want what’s scare
    • In dating – how can you apply this?
      • Stress unique characteristics you have
  • R – Reciprocity
    • People return favors
      • People always want to repay you
    • Research shows that customized/personalized gifts, allow the recipient to feel a much higher sense of appreciation
    • Hare Krishnas give out flowers or other gifts to increase donations
    • Robert recommends sending flowers to a girl before a date – this will allow her to bring romance to the front of her mind
  • Important to note…
    • With all of these, you want them to become part of the background (like fluffy clouds on a website), or a natural part of the interaction – then they’re much more likely to get through, because they won’t be counter argued
      • Obvious attempts at persuasion are prone to counter argument 
      • So don’t do obvious things – like bring a donut to your  job interview to get your potential employer to like you
    • To decide which of the above to use, Robert recommends asking: ” Is this principal inherent in the situation? Does it exist naturally there?”
      • Simply point to social proof, for example, don’t fabricate it
List the Negatives
  • Warren Buffet starts off all his letters to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway by saying what the company has done wrong over past year
    • This establishes trust with the reader
    • You’re more likely to believe, and listen to, the next thing he says, because he’s established himself as a trustworthy person
  • If the other person lists your negatives before you do, you lose trustworthiness to some extent
Unity – The 7th Influence Technique
  • Warren Buffet, in his latest shareholder letter said – “Here’s why I’m telling my family members to hold on to Berkshire Hathaway stock”
    • He’s included the reader in the kind of information he would give to a family member
  • It’s effective to prime someone by saying… “Let me tell you what I would say if you were my brother” or “Here’s what I would say if you were my cousin”
  • We tend to like people more of the same identity
    • For example – people of the same country/state/town, people of the same company, people we can share a bond with
Fear vs. Greed
  • Loss aversion – people have a preference to avoid losses over obtaining gains
    • When people are unsure, or uncertain, they become protective – they don’t want to loose opportunities that might be there for them
    • So in a sales letter, it might work to say something like – “Things are changing…I have particular ways to deal with this uncertainty. We would hate for you not to be able to take advantage”
    Long sales letters are more effective than short ones
    • It’s an authority technique, it shows how much you know
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