General Show Notes:
Practical Advice on How to Influence People: 6 Key Principles
Many years ago, Robert Cialdini introduced the principles of influence. Today they are crucial skills for salespeople worldwide. They are also foundational to your Customer Experience. If you enrich your experience with these principles, which include things like learning to genuinely like other people and encouraging a favorable environment for reciprocity by your sincere generosity, you can benefit your bottom line.
In this episode of The Intuitive Customer podcast, we speak to our guest Brian Ahearn, CMCT®, Chief Influence Officer at Influence People about Cialdini’s Six Principles of Influence. We discuss how you can use them to create the experience you want that will deliver the customer-driven growth you need.
There are six fundamental principles of influence, according to Cialdini. These are what Ahearn uses in his work to help people strengthen relationships, overcome uncertainty, and motivate other people to action. They include:
- The Principle of Liking. Many people make the mistake of thinking this principle is about getting other people to like you, but it isn’t. What Cialdini is saying is that if you genuinely like other people and communicate this fact to others, it will set the stage for a relationship that can move forward.
- The Principle of Reciprocity. When people do something for us, we often feel like we should return the favor. However, these feelings of reciprocity only occur when we feel like the other person is sincerely helping us, not just trying to get something out of us. Ahearn says that this principle is about helping other people get what they want, not getting what you want in return. Ahearn explains when you demonstrate sincere generosity these things you want will come back to you naturally as a result.
- The Principle of Authority. When we feel like someone is an expert in something, we appreciate their advice more. It’s why we hire a CPA to file our taxes and go to the doctor when we have symptoms. We want sound guidance, and it saves us a lot of time to get it from an expert. Making yourself an authority in a relevant area to people makes you a credible resource with advice others want to hear.
- The Principle of Social Proof. There is an evolutionary imperative in the idea of safety in numbers. Therefore, showing people how other people just like them have taken action and enjoyed a significant benefit as a result, is a compelling motivator for all of us humans.
- The Principle of Consistency. We all want to believe that we are as good as our word. When we agree to something, most of us intend to deliver and feel great shame when we don’t. So, gaining agreement to move forward in some way is an excellent way to persuade people to change their behavior. They want to live up to your expectations—and their own.
- The Principle of Scarcity. In the time of our COVID-19 pandemic, we all have seen plenty of customer behavior motivated by feelings of Scarcity. We all want to have what we need when we need it. Creating feelings that a person needs to act to have what they need before it’s gone is a strong motivator for action. However, Ahearn cautions that it is essential to keep people working together instead of in competition. If you don’t believe him, consider the empty shelves of toilet rolls in stores as of late.
We often talk about the psychological principles that are behind the customer behavior inspired by Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Influence. Your customer-facing teams must recognize this behavior and its motivations. We recommend training your employees in the soft-skills of emotional intelligence and the concepts of Behavioral Economics, in a program like our Memory Maker Training, so that they can manage it to a better place for your organization.
For his part, Ahearn advises us to stop telling people what to do and start asking. This minor adjustment in your approach can make a major difference in your ability to persuade other people to do what you want. Moreover, he tells you to have a fallback position if the person cannot agree with your original request. That way, you have a better chance of still moving forward with your desired action, even if you don’t get agreement for what you originally asked.
For my part, I believe talking to people on a human level, with empathy and an eye toward helping others, we can meet everybody’s needs—and that includes your need for customer-driven growth.
To discuss this further contact us at www.BeyondPhilosophy.com
About Beyond Philosophy:
Beyond Philosophy help organizations unlock growth by discovering customers’ hidden, unmet needs that drive value ($). We then capitalize on this by improving your customer experience to meet these needs thereby retaining and acquiring new customers across the market.