Robert Cialdini: World’s #1 Influence and Persuasion Expert Shares All | E196
Robert Cialdini: World’s #1 Influence and Persuasion Expert Shares All | E196
In this episode, Robert and Hala discuss how to become a skilled persuader and why that matters in business. Robert breaks down the tactics to recognize when we are being influenced so we can defend ourselves against it and make the best decisions for ourselves. They also discuss Robert’s 7 universal principles of persuasion: reciprocity, liking, unity, social proof, authority, consistency, and scarcity.
– How small changes in language can have big impacts on behavior
– The ethics of persuasion
– Why humans require mental shortcuts
– The power of reciprocity
– Why we shouldn’t downplay our favors
– How kindness can help us retain employees
– Rejection-then-Retreat Method
– How to use the Liking Principle
– The Joe Gerard Sales Method
– Why Social Proofing reduces uncertainty
– How to be perceived as an authority figure
– Difference between being in authority and an authority
– How can we use the scarcity principle in business?
– The importance of appearing consistent
– And other topics…
Robert Cialdini is a Wall Street Journal and New York Times best-selling author, speaker, professor, and social psychologist who specializes in the science of influence. He has authored several books, and his latest book, Influence, is a new and expanded version of his classic international bestseller, which has been translated in over 30 languages and has sold over 5 million copies. As a keynote speaker, Dr. Cialdini has earned a worldwide reputation for his ability to translate science into valuable and practical actions. His on-stage stories are described as dramatic and indelible. Because of all of this, he is frequently regarded as “The Godfather of Influence”.
Robert’s Books: https://www.robertcialdinibf.com/
Robert’s Website: https://www.robertcialdinibf.com/
Robert’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robertcialdini/
Robert’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobertCialdini
Robert’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/teamrobertcialdini/
Robert’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/robert.cialdini
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[00:02:08] Robert Cialdini: There's not a single society that fails to train its members from childhood.
[00:02:14] In this rule, you must not take without giving in return. If I do you a favor, Hala? You owe me a favor. People will feel obligated to give back after they have received. The implication for business is we have to go first. The rule for reciprocity works along all behavioral dimensions, including if you do somebody wrong, they stand ready to do you wrong.
[00:02:44] Don't do it. Be ethical, be good, be kind, and that's what flows back rather than any kind of coercion or trickery or deceit.
[00:02:57] Hala Taha: What is up young and profiteers? [00:03:00] You're listening to YAP, young and profiting podcast where we interview the brightest minds in the world and turn their wisdom into actionable advice that you can use in your daily life. I'm your host, Hala Taha, aka the Podcast Princess. Thanks for listening and get ready to listen, learn and profit.
[00:03:31] Hey Robert, welcome to Young and Profiting podcast.
[00:03:34] Robert Cialdini: Thank you. I'm glad to be with you.
[00:03:36] Hala Taha: I am so excited for this interview, guys, young and profiteers, it is an exciting day. We have Robert Cialdini. The Godfather of Influence on the show. He is a Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestselling author, speaker, professor.
[00:03:50] He's also a social psychologist who specializes in the science of influence. He's authored several books and his latest book Influence is a new and expanded version [00:04:00] of his classic international bestseller, which has been translated in over 30 languages and has sold over 5 million. Now, YAP fam. We have had a lot of greats come on the show to talk to us about influence.
[00:04:11] We've had Chase Hughes, Mark Bowden, Scott Adams, Robin Dreeke, Chris Voss, just to name a few. But Robert Robert Cialdini is literally the godfather of them all when it comes to this topic. In fact, he's probably been referenced about 20 times on this show, and I've been waiting to have him on since episode one when Dorie Clark first dropped his name and I learned about him.
[00:04:31] Needless to say, I am stoked for this conversation. And in this episode, we're gonna learn about how to become a skilled persuader and why that matters in business. On the flip side, we're also gonna learn tactics to recognize when we're being influenced so we can defend against it, and also how to make the best decisions for ourselves.
[00:04:48] And lastly, we'll go super deep on Robert's seven universal principles of persuasion, which includes super interesting topics like reciprocity, social proofs, and authority amongst others. So Robert, [00:05:00] before we dive into persuasion and influence, I wanna take it back to your career journey. You actually said that you ended up studying persuasion because you always felt like you were a pushover growing up.
[00:05:09] So can you tell us about the days before you were the godfather of influence and what first sparked your interest in this field?
[00:05:15] Robert Cialdini: Yeah. Even before I went to university, I was always a pushover for the appeals of various sales operators or fundraisers who would come to my door and I would find myself in unwanted possession of these things.
[00:05:31] And it occurred to me that there must be something else then besides the merits of the offer that got me to say, yes, it must be a set of psychological factors involved in the way those merits were presented to me. That got my ascent and I always thought that was intriguing. That's truly an intriguing thing.
[00:05:55] And I, I kept that at the back of my mind when I went on to school.[00:06:00]
[00:06:00] Hala Taha: And so you actually studied animal behavior in school and then you ended up switching gears midway. What happened there? Share that story.
[00:06:08] Robert Cialdini: Yeah. I was studying animal behavior because my advisor at the time was an animal behaviorist and I was working in his lab and had never taken a class in social psychology, but I had a mad crush on a girlfriend I had at that time, and she was taking a social psychology course and there happened to be an empty seat next to her and I filled that seat.
[00:06:34] And by the end of the semester, I was much more attracted to human behavior than to animal behavior. And so with that in mind, I decided to go ahead and apply to social psychology programs, especially those that focused on my lifelong interest in the psychology of influence.
[00:06:58] Hala Taha: It's so funny how sometimes [00:07:00] these little decisions in life, they lead us to such big decisions in our life and set off a whole career trajectory.
[00:07:06] Had you not taken that class, you may not have realized how much it interested you.
[00:07:11] Robert Cialdini: And if there hadn't been an empty seat next to my girlfriend at the time, you and I wouldn't be talking, I would be having a very different conversation with somebody else, if anybody at all. So you're right about serendipity.
[00:07:27] I think it's a greatly underrecognized factor in the attainment of various people who have made a name in their particular arena.
[00:07:39] Hala Taha: 100%. So let's get into the meat and potatoes of this interview because I feel like I have so many questions for you and I you are like the person to talk to you about influence.
[00:07:51] So let's get some foundational things out of the way first. So a lot of people think that persuasion is like mind tricks or manipulation, but it's [00:08:00] very important in business to understand how to influence and persuade people because at the end of the day, businesses need to be able to persuade their customers to buy so that they can stay in business.
[00:08:10] So I'd love to understand your opinion on the ethics of persuasion, especially when it comes to utilizing those tactics in business ethics.
[00:08:18] Robert Cialdini: That's crucial. That's, you've put your finger on a major concern of mine since I began to study the influence process because as we'll see, these principles give us dynamite, but you can use dynamite for good or ill, you can use dynamite to help build a bridge or you can use it to blow up a bridge.
[00:08:40] And the key is to build bridges with those principles. So you have long term enduring relationships with the people that you are influencing. So they want to continue to do business with you on into the future.
[00:08:56] Hala Taha: And so one more foundational question and then we'll move on to your [00:09:00] seven universal principles of influence.
[00:09:02] I feel like this concept of mental shortcuts is really important, and I think we'll circle back to it a few times in this interview. So when making a decision, it would make sense that humans would consider all the factors in order to make a good decision, but it's actually not the case. In reality, we have very overloaded lives, we've got information overload, and we often need shortcuts to guide our decision making.
[00:09:25] Can you talk to us about why humans require mental shortcuts and some of the pros and cons behind that.
[00:09:32] Robert Cialdini: We live in the most information overloaded, stimulus saturated environment that has ever existed on our planet. We have so much information, so many options, so many challenges, so many choices that we couldn't stop and consider fully each of them and be able to go on with our everyday interactions with people.
[00:09:58] So we need [00:10:00] shortcuts to be able to signal a good choice on the basis of one or another highly predictive feature of that situation that normally steers us correctly, let's say the fact that there's genuine authority, opinion that favors the particular position that we have. If we can bring that to the surface early on in our presentation, look at these testimonials from people who are legitimately constituted experts.
[00:10:31] Our audience members will say, oh, that's enough. I don't need to consider this myself. The authorities have said this is the right thing. I can go on, make that decision and deal with all the other decisions that I have to make in my information overloaded day.
[00:10:48] Hala Taha: Yeah, and what are some of the things I cook can go wrong with mental shortcuts.
[00:10:52] Robert Cialdini: So because they are shortcuts, sometimes there are profiteers that lie along [00:11:00] the paths of those shortcuts who try to trick us into moving in their direction by giving us one of those principles when it doesn't really exist naturally in the situation. They counterfeit it or they fabricate it there.
[00:11:16] They say that they have authority when they truly don't have authority in the situation, they might dress in a way that. Connotes authority or might have a particular kind of diction or they might tell us that they have certain kinds of degrees and diplomas that they don't really have, and they trick us into using that shortcut.
[00:11:39] That's the thing we have to walk, watch out for, and we have to penalize those people who do that.
[00:11:46] Hala Taha: Yeah. So hopefully in this interview you guys are gonna learn how to defend yourself against those types of things because you're gonna understand some of the tactics that you can use to persuade people and that people are gonna use to try to persuade you.
[00:11:57] So it's this like whole game that we've [00:12:00] gotta play in business. So let's move on to your seven principles. You have these seven principles of persuasion that we can all use. The first three principles that I bundled together, it's all about relationships, and that would be reciprocity, liking, and unity.
[00:12:15] So this idea of reciprocity, and I think I'm gonna spend a lot of time here because I think it's really eye-opening and there's a lot of nuggets to uncover. With this first principle, this rule of reciprocity states that we should try to repay in kind when another person has provided to us. So can you help us understand the power of reciprocity and how it's ingrained in us as humans to always pay our debt?
[00:12:39] Robert Cialdini: Yes. It exists in every human culture. There's not a single society, human society on earth that fails to train its members from childhood. In this rule, you must not take without giving in return. If I remember your birthday with a card, you should remember mine with a card. If I do [00:13:00] you a favor on, you owe me a favor.
[00:13:04] And in the realm of reciprocity and influence, people say yes to those they owe. If you don't give back to those you owe, you are ostracized from the society. People don't want to interact with you. They don't wanna deal with you. You're considered a free loader or an in grade or a taker, or a mo. Nobody wants those labels.
[00:13:29] So people will feel obligated to give back after they have received. The implication for business is we have to go first. We have to give benefits, advantages, information that will enhance somebody else's outcomes, who will then feel grateful to us and obligated to enhance our outcomes. There was a lovely little study done by in certain McDonald's franchises.
[00:13:59] One [00:14:00] week, every family that came in to the location was all the children of each family was, were given a balloon. Half of them were given the balloon as they left as a nice thank you for patronizing the McDonald's location. The other half were given a balloon when they entered and their parents bought 25% more food because the kids got something first, not after.
[00:14:31] First, and there was an interesting feature in that, and that is in the 25% increase in purchase, there was a 20% increase in purchase of coffee. So the children weren't getting the coffee, the parents were, but if you do my child a favor, you've done a favor for me and I'm going to buy more of your offerings.
[00:14:55] Hala Taha: Yeah.
[00:14:56] Robert Cialdini: So if you're new to a situation in business and [00:15:00] you go into a room with people you haven't known before and you're going to try to do business with them, you shouldn't look around the room and ask yourself who can most help me here? The question should be, who can I most help here? And once you've done that person is your equity.
[00:15:19] That person is your supporter. That person is standing on the balls of his or her feet waiting to get the chance to help you in return.
[00:15:29] Hala Taha: Yeah, I love this. I wanna stick on this golden rule. You must not take without giving in return. That is so important. It guides so many of our actions as humans and in business.
[00:15:40] There's so many examples of this, like giving free samples at a grocery store or having a charity foundation sending you like stickers and asking for a donation. Or even they, sometimes they'll send a dollar and they'll be like, and then you feel so indebted that you have to reciprocate. So what are some other examples in business that you can think [00:16:00] of that utilize this reciprocation tactic?
[00:16:03] Robert Cialdini: Where people offer online free information, you might want to help you with your business. You can send a white paper, you can send a study, you can send an analysis, or a podcast link to something that would be relevant. And once that has occurred, people feel a sense of obligation to give back to you for what you have provided them.
[00:16:30] And especially the case if you can, let's say you get something that comes across your desk that's a new study that just appeared. It's not even published yet and you have a colleague who you want to warm up to you. You want this colleague to feel more at one with you and more partnership. And so go to that person with that new study and say, I just got this today.
[00:16:55] Nobody else has this information. It's not even published [00:17:00] yet, but I'd like to give it to you to make sure that you can profit from that person is going to feel obligated and grateful to you for giving that particular thing, especially if it's something that nobody else has. Not even publish it, by the way, you know that McDonald's study that I told you about with giving balloons as people leave or as they enter, not even published yet.
[00:17:28] Hala Taha: I love that. It's such a great example and it's really important to note that you have to give first. That's what reciprocation is all about. It's giving first, and I'm the CEO of a social media agency and I run a lot of influencer accounts, and it's the same principle. You've gotta educate. If you wanna build a community that trusts you and wants to actually buy from you, you've gotta give first.
[00:17:49] And often you're giving your best stuff away for free. That's usually the way that you do it, because that's what's really gonna get people hooked and feel like they need to give something back because you've really added value to their [00:18:00] lives.
[00:18:00] Robert Cialdini: And the criticism is if you give away your best stuff or even some of your highly effective stuff. Why do they need you? That's wrong headed. Here's why they need you. You're a partner who has valuable information and resources to provide. They wanna continue to work with such a person.
[00:18:22] Hala Taha: Yeah, 100%. So let's talk about how to do this correctly, because you say that we shouldn't say things like, oh, it's no big deal, or Don't worry about it when we do a favor.
[00:18:31] Why is it important to make sure that we don't downplay our favors?
[00:18:34] Robert Cialdini: That's really a good question because so many times in my history, I've done a big favor for somebody beyond the call of duty. I really went out of my way to do it. And then that person thanks me genuinely and with real integrity in the way that they're saying, I really appreciate what you did for me.
[00:18:55] And I used to hear myself say, I don't think anything of it, [00:19:00] no big deal. Just part of the job would've done it for anybody, and it wasn't even true. And I realized I had just slapped out of the window with the side of my hand, one of the most powerful influences that exist in human culture by diminishing or dismissing what I did.
[00:19:21] So now here's what I advise to people who find themselves in that position. Never wave your hand and say, oh, don't worry. Don't think anything about it. No problem. Don't say that. I hear that all the time. Here's what you say. If it's somebody inside your organization, you say, of course. I was glad to do I was glad to help.
[00:19:44] It's what we do for one another here. You put that person on record, of course, this is what we do for one another. So when you need something from that person, That individual is ready to give it. It's what we do here. [00:20:00] Now, if it's for somebody outside of the organization, I would say something slightly different.
[00:20:05] Once again, I would say I'm glad to have the chance to help. I know that if the situation were ever reversed, you do the same for me. You'd do the same for me. See again, you put the person on record. This wasn't just something that you were owed. No, there's an exchange here. We give to one another and oh, and please don't say if the situation had been reversed, I know you would've done the same for me.
[00:20:38] That's in the past. That will never appear again. You say, if it were to occur, I know you'd do the same for me. So again, in the future, that person has been primed to be ready to give to you on the basis of what you have honestly and earnestly done for them.
[00:20:59] Hala Taha: Yeah, that [00:21:00] is just such a good point.
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[00:25:03] A lot of my listeners are entrepreneurs, they're business owners, and they're having a lot of problems retaining their employees with the great resignation and quiet quitting and all this stuff going on. And I read in your book that you can actually use reciprocity to retain employees. And you've got a great story about how an employee stayed longer at his job because of the kindness of his boss.
[00:25:23] So do you recall that story? Can you share with us how we can use that tactic to help retain our employees?
[00:25:29] Robert Cialdini: Yeah. In my book I have something called Readers Reports. People who've read an earlier edition of the book Influence, I invite them to write into me and give me examples of a time when they experienced one or another of these principles they used effectively were, was used on them effectively, or they just observed it being used effectively.
[00:25:53] And this one woman wrote about her boss. Who was such a kind [00:26:00] individual. He would remember her birthdays. He would remember the birthdays of her children and give them little gifts or cards of one sort or another. And she was so taken by this that she said, I'm at the top of my employment category right now.
[00:26:18] I can't move up any farther, but I'm not going to leave my boss until he's in a position to retire in a couple of years because he's been so good to me. I can't possibly leave him now. I just saw a study that provided data to support this idea. It was the study done in Belgium where researchers looked at a manager who gave their employees information about how they can submit
[00:26:51] data to be able to move around within the company, actually leave their department. Not only didn't [00:27:00] they leave these people became more productive and more willing to take on voluntary safety activities. That had been a problem in the past. And when the researchers asked these employees why they said, I owed it to my boss for providing me with this kind of information that would help me in the future.
[00:27:24] Hala Taha: So it's if I care about you, you're gonna care about me. So show care to your employees, they'll show care back and wanna stay with you longer.
[00:27:32] Robert Cialdini: That's exactly right. The rule for reciprocity works along all behavioral dimensions, including, by the way, if you do somebody wrong, they stand ready to do you wrong.
[00:27:46] Hala Taha: Ooh, I wanna learn more about that.
[00:27:48] Robert Cialdini: Don't do it. Be ethical, be good, be kind, be helpful, and that's what flows back rather than any kind of coercion or trickery or any [00:28:00] kind of deceit.
[00:28:01] Hala Taha: Yeah, totally. So let's go one more layer deep on reciprocity and then we'll move on. Let's talk about the rejection and retreat method and why it's beneficial to get people to say no to a large request and then they can make a concession to the real request that you wanted.
[00:28:16] Robert Cialdini: I don't think it's beneficial to start out with something that you want people to say no to, but if you go into a situation with different alternatives you can give to people, begin with the one at the top, the one that will provide the most benefit to all concern, even though it might be the more expensive one.
[00:28:36] Because if they say, oh, that's great, but I can't afford that, then you get to retreat to the next most beneficial option and. In that retreat, people feel a need to reciprocate and retreat from their position of, no, this happened to me. I remember I was walking down a city street and was [00:29:00] approached by a Boy Scout.
[00:29:01] He wanted me to buy tickets to the Boy Scout Circus that was gonna be held that weekend, $5 a piece. This is a while ago. And I said, no, I, to be honest, I didn't wanna spend my weekend with the Boy Scouts. He said, oh, if you can't do that, would you buy a couple of our chocolate bars here? They're only $1 a piece.
[00:29:23] And I bought a couple of his chocolate bars in immediately recognized that something important had happened, because I don't like chocolate bars, but I like dollars. And I was standing there with two of his chocolate bars and he was walking away with two of my dollars because he retreated from an initial request.
[00:29:45] So in any situation you go into, have more than one option ahead of time prepared. Begin with the one that's gonna be best for all concerned. If that one is a no, then [00:30:00] retreat to the next one. And you get a reciprocal retreat in turn.
[00:30:06] Hala Taha: And it's important to make sure that you ask one thing and let them say no.
[00:30:11] And then you go in with a second ask.
[00:30:13] Robert Cialdini: And then you go in. That's right. Exactly. So if they've said no, then you can retreat from that no. And it's their turn now to retreat in your direction.
[00:30:25] Hala Taha: Yeah. Let's talk about how we defend against reciprocity so that we don't actually get tricked in business when we're trying to make purchasing decisions.
[00:30:33] Robert Cialdini: Yeah. The key is to recognize that what you have been given is not a true benefit to you or a true gift or favor, it's a device to get you to do something for them. I don't know if you've purchased a new car recently, but if you go into the car showroom, the car salesman are programmed to offer you a soft drink [00:31:00] or a cup of coffee or tea, or they give you something first.
[00:31:05] Don't think of that as a gift. That's a device. It's designed to get you to feel a reciprocal obligation to give something back. No, just take it for what it is, which is a sales device, and then you're not obligated to reply with a yes. You're not obligated to give favors back to people who've used sales devices on you.
[00:31:31] You're only obligated to give favors to people who've done genuine favors for you.
[00:31:37] Hala Taha: Yeah. Otherwise you'll end up walking off the lot with a car that you have to keep for a while because somebody gave you a soft drink when you walked in the door.
[00:31:46] Robert Cialdini: Right? They don't just use that. Of course, they do all kinds of other things associated with the principles of influence, but that's one of the things they all do,
[00:31:54] Hala Taha: 100%. So let's move on to the next principle, which is liking or likability. And when it [00:32:00] comes to getting people to say yes, what do you think we need to know about the liking principle and what are some tactics we can use to get people to like us?
[00:32:07] Robert Cialdini: So nobody would be surprised to learn that. We prefer to say yes to those we like.
[00:32:13] However, there are a couple of small things we can do that increase the rapport that people feel with us as a result of doing something that honestly exists in the situation that leads to liking. One is pointing to genuine commonalities. Or similarities that exist between the two of you. People like those who are like them.
[00:32:41] There was a study done on negotiators. There was a study with people who were negotiating over email on a very difficult problem. And because it was so difficult and because email is such a bloodless communication channel, in 30% of the cases, [00:33:00] there was no mutual agreement on the negotiation. Both sides walked away losing with nothing.
[00:33:08] That was for half of the negotiators. The other half were asked to send some information back and forth to one another about the themselves before they began the negotiation, their hobbies and interests and family situation and backgrounds and major, and college and those kinds of things. And now deadlock negotiations dropped from 30% to 6%.
[00:33:35] And when the researchers investigated the reason, it wasn't because of the amount of information that had been transmitted between the two parties. It was whether in that information, there were parallels, there were commonalities. Oh, you're a runner. I'm a runner. You're an only child. I'm an only child.
[00:33:59] [00:34:00] That was the key. Finding genuine commonalities, which led to a sense of rapport and people gave each other grace in the negotiations rather than walking away.
[00:34:14] Hala Taha: And I know that another tactic that we can use, especially if we don't know somebody well, to get them to like us, is to give them a compliment.
[00:34:22] What happens when we give people compliments?
[00:34:24] Robert Cialdini: So we said that people like those who like, who are like them, they also like those who do like them and say so who give them praise. And this would be an easy thing to do. Again, you look for something that's naturally in the situation, like genuine similarity.
[00:34:43] You can also look for commendable, admirable features of a person and simply comment on it. Paula, this is my greatest weakness. I, for whatever reason, have had a difficult time giving genuine [00:35:00] compliments to people, interactions. I can't tell you how many times in research meetings with my graduate students, I've said to myself, that was a brilliant insight that Hala just had, or that was really a great way of encapsulating our next step forward that Jason provided and I said it to myself.
[00:35:20] And I didn't get any of the good will that would come from giving that compliment honestly and genuinely out loud. So now I've made a small switch. Anytime I hear myself saying something admirable or praiseworthy about somebody I'm dealing with, I move that praise from my mind to my tongue. And I say, so I can't tell you how positive the effects of that have been for our interactions and the desire for us to continue to interact with one [00:36:00] another because we like one another more.
[00:36:02] Hala Taha: It's such like a small but powerful tip. I remember. I used to work retail when I was a teen and in college I would always be the top seller, and I did this unknowingly, but I would always give compliments to the people who walked. I'd be like, oh, I love your earrings. And then I would have a conversation with them, get to know them, and they would end up buying a lot.
[00:36:23] We also have to be careful when somebody is sucking up to us too much when they're trying to make a sale.
[00:36:29] Robert Cialdini: Hey, great shirt there, Jim, that watch out for that. It's, what you did was brilliant. You looked for something that you liked or found praiseworthy and commented on it. That's what I call a detective of influence rather than a smuggler of that principle into a situation where it doesn't naturally exist.
[00:36:51] That's the winner.
[00:36:52] Hala Taha: Yeah, and I bet if you're in a situation where you're trying to buy something, if you realize that somebody keeps giving you compliments on things that aren't really [00:37:00] praiseworthy, that's a red flag to know that they're trying to influence you.
[00:37:04] Robert Cialdini: We were talking about car dealerships.
[00:37:05] I infiltrated car dealerships to learn more about what they did, and that's another thing they will do. They will compliment you on your choices of interior colors or various kinds of choices that you make for add-ons and so on. They'll compliment you invariably .
[00:37:25] Hala Taha: That's funny. So speaking of car dealerships, I think a really great example is this Joe Girard formula that you talk about.
[00:37:32] So he was the number one car salesman by the Guinness Book of Records. I think he sold more than six cars a day every day, which is really unheard of. So tell us about the Joe Girard formula and how he's likability to boost his sale.
[00:37:45] Robert Cialdini: So what Joe Girard, he was a people person and one of the things he did to make sure that people liked him was
[00:37:56] he would send a holiday greeting card every [00:38:00] month no matter what the month. So if it was February, it was Happy Valentine's Day. If it was October, it was Happy Halloween. If it was December, it was Happy Holidays, Christmas or whatever, he would send every one of his 15,000 prior customers a card that said Happy Holidays.
[00:38:21] And when you opened it up, it said, I like you, Joe Girard. That's all. Now, that sounds expensive on the one hand, but that man could sell cars. He knew how to get people on his side and to remind them every month that he liked them, and he was named the best car salesman of all time by the Guinness Book of World Records.
[00:38:50] Hala Taha: So to do this ethically, I think. It would be trying to actually find things that you like about another person, genuinely when you're trying to get [00:39:00] them to work with you or whatever it is.
[00:39:02] Robert Cialdini: The wonderful thing about that, you find what you like about that person and you tell that person about it.
[00:39:10] Who likes you, and by finding something admirable, you've come to like them more. So now you have two people who like one another doing business. It doesn't get better than that.
[00:39:24] Hala Taha: Yeah, so interesting. I find this stuff so fascinating. So just to go another layer deeper on likability, let's talk about the halo effect.
[00:39:32] How does the Halo effect play into all of this?
[00:39:34] Robert Cialdini: So the Halo effect refers to the fact that if there's one prominent thing that you see as positive about other individuals, that transfers to all kinds of other things about that person. You regard that person more highly on other dimensions as well. So for example, one positive dimension is physical [00:40:00] attractiveness.
[00:40:01] People assign higher moral values and higher intelligence to people who are physically attractive just because that positive halo generalizes to all kinds of other things. For example, it's been found that elementary school teachers assign greater intelligence to the children who are prettier or better looking, even though their test scores don't deserve it.
[00:40:32] They just have a positive regard that extends to these measures. So this is the process of association, just raw association. If there's something positive about this person, we associate positivity with this individual in a general kind of way.
[00:40:51] Hala Taha: So what can we do then to increase our halo effect? What are some of the things we can do?
[00:40:55] Robert Cialdini: We can connect ourselves again to those things that we find [00:41:00] out that other people hold in a positive light. So we can also say I like that too, and I like something else that's associated with this thing that you value. So we can see ourselves as associated. We can become to be seen as associated with the things that people value.
[00:41:26] Hala Taha: I love that. We'll be right back after a quick break from our sponsors.
[00:41:34] It's getting cold outside, young and profiteers. At least it's cold where I'm at in good old New Jersey. And you know what it means when it's cold out YAP fam. It means that everybody is back in grind mode. Things are busier than ever. And on top of all that, it's time to start planning your holiday shopping.
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[00:48:36] This is so interesting. I do wanna move on to the next principle because there's so many to run through. So let's talk about Unity. This is actually a new principle that you added to your book. So what made you think that you needed to add this principle of unity to your universal principles of influence?
[00:48:51] Robert Cialdini: It has to do with something I've seen all around us recently, and that is this tendency for us to [00:49:00] identify. With certain kinds of people who we see as one of us, not just similar to us, but of us. So for example, there was a study done on a college campus where researchers took a young woman who about college age, and dress like a student would ask her to go to a heavily traffic part of campus and ask for contributions to the United Way in front of a United Way table.
[00:49:32] And she was getting some contributions because of similarity. She was the same age and dressed similarly to other students. But if she added one statement before she made a request for a contribution, she increased her donations by 450%. So what was the sentence? The sentence was, I'm a student here too.
[00:49:56] I'm not just similar to you in age and dress. [00:50:00] I'm one of you. And people say yes to those individuals. They feel a sense of belonging with to the same social and personal categories. And we see it now with politics where people who are in one camp or another are much more favorable and so on to others who are also in that campus.
[00:50:26] It's true in neighborhoods. It's true in communities. It's true in religious denominations and so on. And for business purposes, it's true in organizations. If we raise to consciousness that we are members of the same organization, we're pulling together, we're we have the same goals. People are more likely to say yes to us as a result of just pointing out that we are united in this particular category.
[00:50:55] Hala Taha: So in a nutshell, people are inclined to say yes to somebody that they [00:51:00] consider one of them. So if we can ever try to figure out what our commonalities are with another person and we call them out. They're more likely to feel like they relate to us, they understand us. They're one of us, a we relationship, you call it.
[00:51:12] And they're more likely to say yes.
[00:51:13] Robert Cialdini: And their categories, though, that define us, not, oh, you like Korean food? I like Korean food. No, not that. It's that it define us.
[00:51:23] Hala Taha: Like ethnicity, age, gender, those kind of things?
[00:51:27] Robert Cialdini: Right. So that's the next one. In fact, remember that Joe Girard example we gave that everybody bought from him?
[00:51:36] There was a guy in Michigan who outsold Joe. His name was Ali. And how did he do it? He said, I used all of Joe's tactics. If he used his tactics, how did he outsell him? Ali was. Lived in a town called Dearborn, Michigan, where a very large population is from Arabic backgrounds, [00:52:00] and he sold into that population.
[00:52:02] He was of them and he was able to do better even than Joe Girard by using Joe's strategy and adding this one thing unity.
[00:52:12] Hala Taha: So interesting. So let's move on to the next two principles I bundled together. That's social proof and authority, and I think they both have to do with reducing uncertainty once we've already established a relationship and things like that.
[00:52:24] So social proof to me is really important in business. I'm the CEO of a social media agency, like I mentioned, and social proof is really what helps people decide what they wanna believe. And I would love to understand. If you can talk to us about the psychology behind social proof and why we tend to have a herd mentality as humans.
[00:52:44] Robert Cialdini: First of all, let me compliment you. On that insight that both social proof and authority work by reducing uncertainty, that people have about what they should do next. If the authorities are saying that [00:53:00] something is the right direction to take, or that this particular product or service as an excellent one. That reduces my uncertainty about what I should choose in that situation, oh, this is what the experts are saying.
[00:53:14] I can stop calibrating and evaluating. I can just go in that direction. So when people are uncertain, they don't look inside themselves for answers. They only look outside and one place they look is authorities. The other place they look is social proof. They look to their peers. What are the people around them like them doing in this situation, which also reduces uncertainty about what you should do if all your friends are waving about a new.
[00:53:44] Film or a new restaurant or a new piece of software. They've beta tested it for you, so it's probably the right thing to do. Both of them reduce uncertainty and allow you to get off the fence and get into the game.
[00:53:59] Hala Taha: And again, it's [00:54:00] what's, it's another like mental shortcut, right? It's a way for us to make a decision without needing to spend so much time because other people have already made that decision for us basically.
[00:54:11] Robert Cialdini: They've beta tested the offer for us.
[00:54:14] Hala Taha: And so obviously I feel like everybody knows about reviews. It's often the first thing that we check now because a lot of buying happens online, but I'd like to focus on some less obvious examples of social proof. So for example, when a marketer says that a product or service is the fastest growing or the best selling, right?
[00:54:32] Those are also social proof tactics that they use in marketing language. Do you have any other like non-obvious ways in business that people use? Social proof.
[00:54:42] Robert Cialdini: There was a study done it, there was a one, another one of these readers reports in which a guy who was a car salesman wrote in and said, we sent out a radio commercial. Where we were trying to get new people to come and work for us, for our dealership.[00:55:00]
[00:55:00] And we said, we need more people to come and work for us. And all of a sudden we got not just more people applying for a job, but more people coming in. And when they asked them why, this is what people said if you need more people. You must have a lot of individuals who want your cars. So we took that as a sign of social proof, not just a need to employ more sales people.
[00:55:30] We took that to mean, oh, this must be a good dealership with good cars because they need more staff.
[00:55:38] Hala Taha: So you should always like think about your accomplishments and things like that. I can even see it with my podcast sometimes. I'm raking high and the charts are actually trending charts. So my reach is always the same, but sometimes I'm number one and then everyone wants to come on my show, but my reach is the same.
[00:55:54] It's just that the social proof has changed. So it's just so funny to see that, like how much that really [00:56:00] impacts people. So let's move on to authority. You've got this authority principle, which highlights the idea that people tend to listen to the advice and recommendations of experts. And so for example, you say that physiotherapists can better influence our clients to exercise when they have credentials on their walls, in their offices.
[00:56:17] So what are some other tactics that we can use to be perceived as an authority figure?
[00:56:21] Robert Cialdini: For example, if you have a site online or you have an ad, you should include the testimonials, not just of other customers. That's social proof. But of experts whose opinion fits with what you are saying, and that research has shown that significantly increases the likelihood of ascent to your message, including, by the way, if you do so with multiple experts rather than a single expert, you do even better.
[00:56:57] Hala Taha: Let's talk about why people are [00:57:00] so obsessed with appearing consistent with their previous actions, and what do we need to know about that in order to better persuade other people?
[00:57:08] Robert Cialdini: People want to be consistent with what they have already said or done. They also want to appear consistent to those around them because people like those who are consistent. Who are predictable, who say what they mean and mean what they say, who match what they say to what they do and so on.
[00:57:27] And so if we can simply point to. What people have already done in a particular situation, and then ask them to be consistent with it. They're much more likely to do it. For example, we can increase the likelihood that people will donate to a cause if we show them that in their history. They have donated to this type of cause.
[00:57:49] Hala Taha: That's so interesting. I really appreciated this conversation. We always end the show with two questions, and so you can just, it doesn't have to be about influence in terms of how you respond. You can [00:58:00] just respond from your heart. So the first one is, what is one actionable thing that our Young and Profiteers can do today to become more profiting tomorrow?
[00:58:08] And profiting is not just about money.
[00:58:10] Robert Cialdini: When they need support or buy-in from their colleagues for an idea that they have. Don't ask their colleagues for their opinion about your idea. Ask for their advice about it, because when you ask for an opinion, you get a critic. When you ask for their advice, you get a partner and they're much more willing to join you in this idea and support it.
[00:58:38] Hala Taha: Very cool. And what is your secret to profiting in life?
[00:58:42] Robert Cialdini: My secret is always to be authentic, always to be ethical in the approaches that you use.
[00:58:49] Hala Taha: I love it. Robert, thank you so much for joining us, the Godfather of Influence. We appreciated your time here on Young and Profiting podcast.
[00:58:58] Robert Cialdini: I enjoyed it.[00:59:00]
[00:59:03] Hala Taha: There's a science to how we're persuaded, and that is why I had Robert on the show because he's the guy when it comes to this stuff. And persuasion and influence is so important in business. In sales and marketing, which even if you aren't in those fields, are just so important for you to know to make it in this world.
[00:59:20] It's a digital world. And everything that we do is social media and copy and graphics, and you need to know about influence and persuasion to make anybody take any sort of action. And so these are just foundational things that no matter what your career is, you need to know. So when it comes to making a decision. It would be nice to think that people consider all the available information out there in order to guide their thinking.
[00:59:45] But that's not the case. People are not rational. Our human brain has evolved to use shortcuts to guide our decision making, and this is why Robert has created his seven principles of persuasion and influence. He's boiled down to seven main [01:00:00] things that you need to know. And I'm gonna briefly recap these, and I highly encourage you guys to go deeper and pick up Robert's book Influence.
[01:00:07] I don't often push books on you guys, but this one is a true classic that everybody still references 30 years later. And also, I have to say that. Alex Hormozi is coming on the show next week. I have a two part episode with him. He's everybody's new favorite sales and marketing guru, and Robert Chaldini is also his favorite author and he references him all the time.
[01:00:30] Everybody loves Robert's work, so again, go grab Influence. You're not gonna regret it. It is a true classic when it comes to this kind of stuff. All right, so here we go. A quick rundown of the seven principles of persuasion and influence. The first one is reciprocity. People feel obliged to give back to others the form of a behavior, gift, or service that they have received.
[01:00:52] First, reciprocity follows the golden rule of mankind you must not take without giving in return. The [01:01:00] second one, scarcity. People want more of the things they can have less of, less quantity always equals more demand. Authority people follow the lead of credible, knowledgeable experts, and they can't help but trust others who have higher status, greater wealth, or people who are in uniform.
[01:01:18] Consistency. People like to be consistent with the things they have previously said or done liking. We talk about this one a lot on the podcast and the importance of likability. People prefer to say yes to those that they like. Social proof, especially when they're uncertain people will look at the actions and behaviors of others to determine their own actions.
[01:01:40] People do what they observe other people doing. And lastly, Robert's most recent addition to his principles is unity. People are likely to say yes to something if they share a similar identity. There you have it, the seven principles of persuasion from The Godfather himself, Robert Cialdini. Thanks so much for listening to [01:02:00] Young and Profiting podcast.
[01:02:01] If you found value in this episode, share it with a friend, and you can also drop us a five star review on your favorite podcast platform. And if you guys enjoy watching your podcasts on video. You can find all of our episodes on YouTube. And I'd love to hear from you guys on social media. You can find me on Instagram and TikTok @yapwithhal, and I'm super easy to find on LinkedIn.
[01:02:21] Just search for my name. It's Hala Taha. Big thanks to my amazingly talented team at YAP Media. This is your podcast, princess Hala Taha, signing off.
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