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Worth a Reread: "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert Cialdini

As my Top Pick of suggested marketing books to read in 2024, I thought Robert B. Cialdini's "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion," was worth a reread (this time on Audible). As is often the case, I picked up on several insights that I either previously missed or just plain forgot. While it’s still fresh, I thought I’d share some of what I learned about the dynamics of human behavior and the science behind why people say "yes."

Influence: the psychology of persuasion by Robert B Cialdini

Reciprocity: The Power of Giving

Cialdini introduces reciprocity as a fundamental principle of influence. He explores the innate human tendency to reciprocate favors. Whether it's offering a small gift, providing value, or extending a helping hand, the principle of reciprocity sets the stage for positive interactions and fosters a sense of obligation in others. 

Commitment and Consistency: Small Steps Influence Big Commitments

The concept of commitment and consistency revolves around the idea that people prefer to stay true to their word and prior actions. By obtaining small commitments, one can gradually influence individuals to make more significant commitments over time. This principle sheds light on the psychology of building trust and gaining compliance through gradual steps. 

Social Proof: Following the Crowd

Cialdini explores the power of social proof, emphasizing that individuals often look to the actions of others for guidance. Whether through testimonials, endorsements, or showcasing popularity, leveraging social proof is a potent way to influence decisions. People tend to align with the perceived wisdom of the crowd. 

Authority: Trust in Expertise

Establishing authority is a crucial aspect of persuasion. Cialdini discusses how people are naturally inclined to follow the advice of experts. By positioning oneself as an authority figure through credentials, knowledge, or affiliations, one can enhance credibility and increase the likelihood of gaining compliance. 

Liking: The Persuasive Influence of Affinity

In the realm of persuasion, likability plays a significant role. Cialdini explores how people are more likely to be influenced by those they know, like, and trust. Building rapport, finding common ground, and creating a positive image contribute to the likability factor, making it easier to persuade others. 


Scarcity: The Allure of Limited Availability

Cialdini introduces scarcity as a powerful motivator. When something is perceived as rare or in short supply, its desirability increases. The fear of missing out (FOMO) becomes a driving force, prompting individuals to take action. Creating a sense of urgency through limited-time offers or exclusive access can trigger the scarcity principle. 


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