A Road Map to Closing Deals
Business majors and longtime entrepreneurs will be very familiar with this work. And in an age when many shiny new theories on leadership and personal development come out every year, it’s refreshing to revisit a classic that has stood the test of time. Thirty- five years after its original publication, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” should still be required reading for marketers, small- business owners, and anyone else looking to improve their negotiation skills.
Dr. Cialdini lays out six “universal principles” of the human psyche. These include “Reciprocity,” our tendency to want to return perceived kindness or concessions; “Commitment and Consistency,” our tendency to cling to past decisions; and “Scarcity,” our tendency to assign value to things based on their rarity. While these may sound like surface level business concepts, the way Dr. Cialdini uses these principles as a launching point gives “Influence” value. With each principle, the author dives into examples of how these psychological elements can be used by you or against you in any negotiation. Take “Commitment and Consistency” for example. If you are able to get a person to agree with you on several small points, you lay the groundwork for them to agree with you in the future. Conversely, you can be more alert when people try to use this tactic on you. One of the most powerful results of reading “Influence” is that it helps you recognize behaviors you yourself were unaware of. Indeed, that’s the whole underlying thesis of Dr. Cialdini’s work: As social creatures, we all have habitual behaviors geared towards finding common ground with others. Once you are aware of these behaviors, you’ll begin to see conversations and negotiations in a whole new light.
Written by Dr. Robert Cialdini, “Influence” explores why people say yes. A professor of business and psychology, Dr. Cialdini is uniquely qualified to tackle this question, combining scientific data with practical applications. “Influence” is still a subject of praise, with marketing research groups and journals of psychology lauding the book as a “proverbial gold mine.” You don’t have to get too far into “Influence” to see why.
FOCUS ON THE FIRM The Oilfield Equipment and Services Industry
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